Death Penalty: Final Appeal
Cold Case S03E20 Death Penalty Final Appeal.jpg


Season : 3
Episode: 20
Directed by: Alex Zakrzewski
Written by: Sean Whitesell
Production Number:
Airdate: 16 April 2006
Date of Crime: 4 June 1994
Previous: Beautiful Little Fool
Next: The Hen House


External Links
IMDB Site


Description

The 1994 case of a raped and murdered 16-year-old girl is re-opened when Det. Jeffries gets a call from a prisoner on death-row -- scheduled to be executed in just three days.

Synopsis

In 1994, Mike Lange and his daughter Kate are moving into a new home, and giving instructions to the moving crew. Kate is an aspiring photographer, taking pictures of the crew as they work. Mike tells Kate that some men in the moving crew are ex-cons and that the company hired them to help them turn their lives around. He believes everyone should be given a second chance. Even mom? asks Kate. Mike quickly drops the subject and shows Kate her new room. Kate just wants to go back home, with mom. But Mike tells her that's not possible right now until her mother gets help with her drinking problem.That same night, Kate is found raped and murdered in the kitchen of their new house.

Present Det. Jeffries receives a call from Andre. Jeffries was one of the officers who interviewed Andre when he was arrested in 1994. Andre Tibbs, one of the movers, is accused and convicted of her murder. He was given a lethal injection death sentence. He has always maintained that he didn’t rape or kill Kate, and he insists the cop who arrested him framed him. Now he pleads to Jeffries to re-open the case.

Stillman, Jeffries and Rush discuss the case. Jeffries said because of the time crunch, they need to be sure they have the right guy,

Flashback Andre went back to the house to deliver an apology letter to Mr. Lange and found Kate already dead. When he heard a noise, he ran, afraid people were going to think he killed her because he had earlier convictions. He says the officer who arrested him took the letter from Andre’s pocket and took it with him. The detectives find out that the officer in question, Joey Norman, has just killed himself after the police’s internal affairs bureau started investigating him for corruption. Jeffries and Kat go talk to Andre in the death row; he is scheduled to be executed in three days.

Andre flashes back to the afternoon he was in the Lange’s house. He was carrying a heavy mirror upstairs and Mr. Lange offered to help. Andre didn’t want to look bad in front of his boss so he refused, but he fumbled and dropped the mirror. It upset Mr. Lange, they had a heated argument, and Andre ended up being fired. Lilly and Scotty talk to Mr. Lange about his testimony. They ask him whether he really saw Andre at the house that night or if Officer Norman made him say that. He relives the moments where Officer Norman told him he found Andre a few blocks from Mr. Lange’s house, with blood on his boots, and how the officer kept saying that Andre was guilty. Officer Norman asked him over and over again if Mr. Lange saw Andre inside the house that night, until Mike relented and said that he really did see him. Mike admits that he never saw anyone at the house that night. Lt. Stillman and Jeffries go ask the DA who prosecuted the case for a warrant for the letter that Officer Norman supposedly took from Andre, since now all of Norman’s possessions are with the IAB under investigation. The DA refuses, saying there is no question about Andre’s guilt.

Meanwhile, Vera and Lilly talk to Wayne Nelson, Andre’s boss at the time. Wayne flashes back to that afternoon when they were moving the Lange’s stuff from the van. Mr. Lange had given Wayne his car keys and some money to buy lunch for the crew, but Wayne gave them to Andre because he wanted to keep an eye on the rest of his employees. On the way to the car, Andre passed by Kate and her friend, studying on the lawn. Kate’s friend, Barbie, flirted with him and went with him to get lunch. Now Barbie is being interviewed. Barbie tells Kat and Scotty that she tried to seduce Andre, but he didn’t go for it. She flashes back and describes how Kate and Andre talked about his drinking problem and Kate’s mother’s drinking problem. Barbie says she got Andre’s phone number from his pager and dared Kate to call him. Kate finally called Andre that night and, according to Barbie, he called right back. Jeffries confronts Andre about the call and he swears he never made any call. Mr. Lange comes to the station before the execution and reveals he heard the phone ring and Kate talk to someone on the phone. He says he never told the police about it because he didn’t want anybody saying that Kate brought it on herself. Jeffries talks to Andre just before the execution, and asks him to tell the truth before he dies. Andre maintains he is innocent. He is ready to receive the lethal injection when he flashes back one last time.

It is dark and he is holding a letter. He gets to the Lange’s front door and realizes it is open; he enters the house and hears noises in the kitchen. When he gets there, Kate is on the floor bleeding. She dies right in front of him. Andre’s last words to Jeffries are ”prove me innocent”. The next day, without a warrant, Jeffries goes to the evidence storage and finds Andre’s letter in Officer Norman’s belongings. He finally realizes Andre was telling the truth all along. They also find out Wayne, Andre’s boss, has been lying about his relationship with his own daughter, Faith. They track her down and question her about her father. She says she ran away after graduating from school because her father sexually abused her since she was thirteen years old. She recalls that he called her friends many times a day trying to find her after she left. One day, he simply stopped calling and she never heard from him again. When asked if she remembers when that was, Faith answers it was June '94. Lilly realizes it was the same month that Kate was killed.

The detctive Jeffries clocked complains to Sillman. Valens comes in with news about the phone records. Stillman blows off the detective. The phone records show that it was Wayne who called Kate that night, pretending to be Andre. Lilly and Jeffries confront Wayne about the call and he lies, saying she called thinking it was Andre, but he claims he told her it wasn’t. When the detectives say they know about Faith and what he did to her, Wayne breaks down and starts remembering Kate’s last night. Kate opened the door, thinking Andre was coming to talk to her but it was Wayne at the door. He got inside the house and followed Kate into the kitchen, calling her Faith. He says she shouldn't be calling ex-cons, men in the middle of the night not knowing where their mind can go. When Kate tried to escape from Wayne, he grabbed a knife and assaulted her. In the present, Jeffries shoves and arrests him. Lilly thanks Faith. The song Hallelujah by John Cale plays. Jeffries is reprimanded for punching ADA William Danner, getting support from Valens and Vera. Lilly sees Kate in the cold case vault. A newspaper shows a headline that ADA Danner is fired and he packs his things from his office. Jeffries, Kat, Lt. Stillman and Mr. Lange attend Andre’s funeral, where Jeffries catches a glimpse of Andre.

***second chances***

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Co-Starring

Notes

  • In a first for the series, this episode features a greatly abbreviated opening sequence, and the main cast is instead as the episode plays, along with the guest cast, something that will not be repeated until season seven's "Bullet".
  • On May 20, 2014, actor Michael Jace, who played Andre Tibbs, was arrested after he fatally shot his wife, April Jace. A jury subsequently convicted him of second-degree murder on May 31, 2016 and on June 10, 2016, sentenced him to 40 years to life in prison.

Music

  • Collective Soul "Shine"
  • G. Love & Special Sauce "This Ain't Living"
  • Duran Duran "Come Undone"
  • Dionne Farris "I Know"
  • Crash Test Dummies "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm"
  • Dave Matthews Band "Satellite"
  • Closing Song: John Cale "Hallelujah"

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