A former prisoner exonerated on murder charges kills another man. He claims he wouldn't have done it if he wasn't wrongfully imprisoned in the first place, so prosecutors must prove that he had a prior history of criminal behavior.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Michael Bolger ...
Kenneth Daniels
David Little ...
Jeffrey Bowerman
Detective Adams


Vendetta Detectives Lennie Briscoe and Ed Green investigate the death of Brendan Donner, a New York City baseball fan who went after a still-in-play foul ball during a crucial game. He's been hounded by irate fans ever since and it even led to the break up of his marriage. Someone broke a liquor over his head in a bar and fingerprints lead them to Walter Grimes, someone who was released from from prison just three months ago. Grimes had been released after 20 years in prison when DNA exonerated from the crime for which he had been convicted. There's little doubt that he committed the crime but his defense lawyer Rodney Fallon argues that it was his lengthy incarceration, for a crime he did not commit that conditioned him to be violent. McCoy tells the detectives to look into Grimes past for any criminal activity and they start with the crime for which he spent 20 years in jail. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 April 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The murder victim is based on notorious Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman. Bartman was vilified by many people after he interfered with Cubs outfielder Moises Alou, who was trying to catch a foul ball in game six of the 2003 National League Championship Series. The Cubs were winning the game at the time, but eventually lost. Many Cubs fans blame Bartman's actions for the Cubs losing the game and not reaching the World Series. See more »


After the defendant is arrested for the bar murder after holding the woman hostage, it is observed he was remanded with no problem. Later at a bail hearing for another murder, this is completely overlooked as if he were eligible for bail, and he is not wearing inmate clothing. See more »


Judge Michael Schneider: What prosecutor wouldn't love a peek at a defendant's juvie record? But if I unsealed it in every case, the seal would have no meaning.
Serena Southerlyn: This isn't a typical case. Mr. Grimes' defense puts his juvenile record directly at issue. He claims he had no criminal tendencies before he went to prison.
Judge Michael Schneider: So you want to look at his juvenile record, assuming that he has one, to determine if that's true.
[Serena nods]
Judge Michael Schneider: I'll tell you what. I'll review the file in camera. If I find anything relevant, I'll make it ...
See more »


References Mister Magoo (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

Sing Sing: Not A Rose Garden.
10 October 2011 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A man recently released from the pen after many years bashes another guy's head in during a bar room brawl. His lawyer -- a kind of Barry Schenk -- claims that if the killer hadn't spent so much time in the slams he wouldn't have developed this violent reflex.

The case gets complicated when it develops that the defendant was framed for the earlier crime by a cop who wanted to see justice done. In other words, the defendant seems guilty of the murder only because he was unjustly sent up the river years earlier. Survival in Sing Sing depends on the ability to quickly defend one's self without thinking. Therefore, how can it be his fault? It's an interesting question. The writers weasel out of answering it by exposing the defendant's history of violence prior to his conviction for the earlier crime. In fact, they pin the guilt on him for a pre-pen murder.

It would be more interesting if the guy's pre-Sing Sing past had been pristine, but it would have been a tougher job for the writers to handle, with no satisfyingly neat ending in the offing.

The writers probably didn't know this but social psychologists studying what's called "personal space" -- that is, the invisible sheath around our bodies that we consider our own territory -- is larger in prison inmates than among civilians. If anyone wants to bother looking up this study of the "body buffer zone", the author is A. F. Kinzel and the article appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1970.

The cop who framed the defendant would be an interesting subject for a story himself, but I won't get into it here.

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