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A FEW GOOD MAN

PRIMER ESCENA – ACEPTACION DE CULPA O NEGACION DE ESTA

INT. THE COURTROOM - DAY

DAWSON and DOWNEY are at the defense table, ROSS is his place.

KAFFEE walks in and joins JO and SAM at their table. Papers

are being passed back and forth between ROSS and the SERGEANT

AT AMS. Quiet activity.

The door in the back of the courtroom opens and RANDOLPH, a

marinecolonel, enters and takes his place at the bench. We

can HEAR the band in the background.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
All rise.

Everyone present in the courtroom stands.

RANDOLPH
Where are we?

SERGEANT AT ARMS

Docket number 411275. VR-5. United

States versus Lance Corporal Harold

W. Dawson and Private First Class

Loudon Downey. Defendants are charged

with Conspiracy to CommitMurder,

Murder in the First Degree, and

Conduct Unbecoming a United States

Marine.

RANDOLPH

Does defense wish to enter a plea?

KAFFEE stands.

KAFFEE
Yeah.
(pause)
They’re not guilty.

JO, SAM, ROSS, RANDOLPH... it’s hard to say who’s the most

surprised. It takes everything Jo’s got to suppress a smile.

The silence is broken by ROSS, who takes the two files, dropsthem into his briefcase, closes the lid, and snaps it shut.

RANDOLPH looks at KAFFEE and ROSS, then turns to the SERGEANT

AT ARMS.

RANDOLPH

Enter a plea of not guilty for the

defendants. We’ll adjourn until ten-

hundred, three weeks from today, at

which time this Court will reconvene

as a General Court-Martial.

He raps the gavel.

RANDOLPH walks out. ROSS walks up theaisle without a word

to anyone. The M.P.’s come to escort DAWSON and DOWNEY back

to their cell.

KAFFEE and JO and SAM are the only ones remaining. SAM is

looking at KAFFEE with question marks in his eyes.

KAFFEE
Why does a junior grade with six
months experience and a track record

for plea bargaining get assigned a

murder case?
(beat)
Would it be so that it never sees

theinside of a courtroom?

KAFFEE picks up his briefcase and begins heading toward the

door.

SEGUNDA ESCENA – PRIMER DIA DEL JUICIO

SERGEANT AT ARMS
All rise.
ROSS
Too late.

KAFFEE walks back to his table as

SERGEANT AT ARMS

All those having business with this

general court-martial, stand forward

and you shall be heard. Captain Julius

Alexander Randolph is presiding.God

save the United States of America.

RANDOLPH raps the gavel.

RANDOLPH without objection, the sworn confessions of the two

defendants have been read to the jury and entered into the

court record.

ROSS
No objection, your honor.
KAFFEE
No objection.

RANDOLPH

Is the Government prepared to make

an opening statement?

ROSS
(standing)
Yes sir.

ROSS walks to the jurybox.

ROSS
(continuing)
The facts of the case are this: At

midnight on August 6th, the defendants

went into the barracks room of their

platoon-mate, PFC William Santiago.

They woke him up, tied his arms and

legs with rope, and forced a rag

into his throat. A few minutes later,

a chemical reaction in Santiago’s

body called lactic acidosis caused

his lungs to beginbleeding. He
drowned in his own blood and was
pronounced dead at 32 minutes past

midnight. These are the facts of the

case. And they are undisputed. That’s

right. The story I just told you is

the exact same story you’re going to

hear from Corporal Dawson, and it’s

the exact same story you’re going to

hear from Private Downey. Furthermore,

the Government will alsodemonstrate

that the defendants soaked the rag

with poison, and entered Santiago’s

room with motive and intent to kill.

(beat)
Now, Lt. Kaffee, is gonna try to
pull off a little magic act, he’s

gonna try a little misdirection.
He’s going to astonish you with
stories of rituals and dazzle you

with official sounding terms like

Code Red. He might even cut into a

few officers for...
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