Cold Case: Season 3, Episode 20

Death Penalty: Final Appeal (16 Apr. 2006)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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A corrupt cop's suicide leads to new questions about an old murder, challenging Detective Jeffries' belief that the man on death row for the crime is guilty -- and also putting Jeffries on a collision course with an arrogant ADA.



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddie Bowz ...
Terry Mike Lange - 1994 / 2006
Ada William Danner
Michael Cavalieri ...
Joey Norman
Barbie Yen
Kate Lange - 1994
Warden (as Weston I. Nathanson)


A corrupt cop's suicide leads to new questions about an old murder, challenging Detective Jeffries' belief that the man on death row for the crime is guilty -- and also putting Jeffries on a collision course with an arrogant ADA.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Release Date:

16 April 2006 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kate Lange was murdered on June 4, 1994. See more »


Written by Ed Roland
Performed by Collective Soul
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User Reviews

Dead man walking
17 February 2010 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

As the story begins Kate Lange and her father, Terry, are seen moving to a new home. Kate is unhappy with the arrangement. She misses her mother terribly. Her father explains his wife can't be with them because she is in a mental institution where if all goes well, she will be helped, but unfortunately, the reunion between mother and daughter will not take place because Kate is raped and murder that night in the new house.

Andre Tibbs, one of the man helping the Langes with the moving, is a former convict. His boss, Wayne Nelson, explains to Mr. Lange he likes to give former prisoners a break so they can go straight. As Tibbs is taking a heavy mirror upstairs, he is offered help from Lange, and in refusing, Andre drops it, breaking it. Wayne is furious and fires Tibbs on the spot.

When Kate is found, Andrew Tibbs become a suspect because the police found drops of Kate's blood on his shoes. Because Andre Tibbs is a former con, all the circumstantial evidence point he killed the young girl. He is convicted of the crime and he is given the death sentence.

Detective Jeffreys recalls his involvement with the case, as he learns that in three days Tibbs will be executed. He goes back to talk to Andre, who swears he didn't do it. Jeffreys begins to see how he can help, but he is too late. Tibbs is given a lethal injection and dies. Jeffreys, who is not totally convinced of Tibbs' guilt starts an investigation that eventually unmasks the real killer based on a name Kate told Tibbs when he found her bleeding in her kitchen.

This is one of the most dramatic cases we have seen in the program. The only problem we have is one of credibility. In cases of impending death of inmates on death row, all possible alternatives are used by lawyers involved in the case. No one waits to go investigating again three days before a condemned man is scheduled to be put to death, as the writer, Sean Whitesell would like us to believe. Andre Tibbs had convincing arguments to reverse his own death, yet he only tells it to Jeffreys, who finds himself impotent to do anything, only three days prior to the execution, a terrible error in judgment on his part.

The death penalty should be abolished because it has been proved so many innocent people have died because, as it is the case of Andre Tibbs, his own ignorance, and an adamant D.A. have built a case against the only man that has been accused of the murder. No one takes the time to really investigate, although as proved, again and again, condemned men facing death can prolong their executions for years, something Mr. Whitesell doesn't even give it a thought and has Tibbs dying for dramatic purposes as shown on this episode. If Tibbs felt sure he didn't kill Kate, why wait to get Jeffreys' help with only a short time in which to prove his innocence?

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