Law & Order
Executioner

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Executioner

Yost and his Southern accent are up on the stand describing what happened to his son and grandkids, which is predictably awful. Yost fell apart afterward, but then after the execution went bad, he flipped out completely and became a drunk. Once he sobered up, he tried to talk to the doctor who did the procedure, hoping to get some peace. The road to peace was paved with stalking -- er, "research" -- and he found out about the New York conference and went up there. He admits that when Garrison wouldn't talk to him, he flipped out. He then confronted and killed Burns (after Burns didn't know what Yost was talking about, which enraged him), and that he didn't know it was the wrong guy until Lupo and Green came around and told him. He states that if he'd known the doctor at the hotel wasn't Garrison, none of this would have happened. Um, that's all well and good, sir, but it doesn't actually excuse the fact that you bashed another man's head in with a champagne bottle. The one part of his testimony that gets to Connie and Cutter, though, is that Yost left a note at the hotel for Garrison.

Back at the office, they discuss how they missed that completely since everyone was only looking for info about Burns. Their options are re-calling Garrison to ask if he ever got the note -- which Cutter doesn't want to do, in case that pushes the jury into pitying Yost -- or offering Yost first-degree manslaughter, which Cutter also doesn't want to do. Exasperated, Connie tells him he has to pick one since they can't keep it a secret, so he picks Garrison, who admits he got the note. Garrison admits that he gave the room to Burns and didn't tell the hotel to try to keep his identity a secret. He claims he had no idea his life was in danger. (Except I could swear that at the beginning of the episode, they said the room was registered to Burns. My head hurts.) Maggie points out that Burns died, then, because Garrison wouldn't speak to Yost. Well, yes. That, and the fact that your client was capable of murder. Her closing argument is that the horror of what happened and the snub from Garrison was reason for Yost to snap, and that it was Garrison's fault that Burns was in harm's way. She sets up Cutter perfectly to argue that of all people, Yost should know that he has to pay for the pain inflicted on Burns's family.

Clearly he finally strikes a chord, because at the jail, Maggie asks him to make a deal. Cutter blusters that he won't, but Connie starts to bargain. Appalled, Cutter pulls her aside. He says he's willing to risk losing, so she points out that even if they win, the judge wouldn't max out Yost's sentence. She asks if this is really about winning or if it's about Cutter's own stance on the death penalty. He stares holes into her face for a moment, then turns and offers Murder Two (instead of One) for fifteen to life, and Yost takes it immediately, on one condition -- that they stop Garrison so that no one else has to go through all this. Cutter agrees, we cut to black, and Dick Wolf rubs some lotion made from gold flecks and liquefied hundred-dollar bills into his skin.

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Law & Order

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