FOR THE PEOPLE was an American legal drama that aired for 13 episodes during 1965. The series follows the daily grind of a New York City Assistant District Attorney. The lead is played by William Shatner with a 24-year-old Jessica Walter as his wife. Howard Da Silva plays Shatner's boss while Lonny Chapman plays an investigator for the D.A.'s office. This episode is the 3rd of the production run.
This one starts with Shatner called to the site of a murder. A 71 year-old woman has been beaten to death in her apartment. The police, led by Detective Philip Bosco are poring over the scene looking for clues as to the killer. A young man (Jamie Sanchez) is soon grabbed up for questioning. Sanchez is a delivery boy for the local market. He was at the building during the time of death.
At the station, Sanchez denies having anything to do with the woman's death. He delivered some goods but said the woman was fine when he left. Shatner tells the cops they will have to let the boy go without further evidence. He then heads back to his office.
Detective Bosco calmly walks the kid into a file room for a little face-to-face conversation. A short time later, Shatner is summoned back to the precinct, where Mister Sanchez is now more than willing to admit to the murder. Shatner asks Bosco if he did a spot of rubber hosing. Bosco just tells Shatner that the kid has decided to come clean. The kid is arrested and charged.
The next day in court, Shatner is approached by Sanchez's defense lawyer (Diana Douglas). Douglas tells Shatner that the confession was coerced out of Sanchez by violence. Shatner has a doctor go over Sanchez and finds several large bruises. He has another talk with Detective Bosco about the confession. Bosco says he did not touch the kid. Shatner is not sure, he is however sure the kid is guilty.
Shatner talks the case over with his boss (Howard Da Silva). Da Silva tells him to continue with the case. The matter is up to the judge and jury, he says. In court, defense counsel Douglas pounds on the police witnesses about the confession. Douglas is particularly harsh on Detective Bosco. Doubt is raised with the judge etc and Sanchez is released.
Bosco says to Shatner that he had best hope that the next person Sanchez kills is not someone he knows. As Sanchez is set free, he winks at people in the gallery. The viewer knows that the kid is indeed guilty.
This is a pretty intense episode with excellent work from the entire cast and crew. Philip Bosco in particular is in top form. Bosco was on screen from 1952 to 2010. Diana Douglas, the former wife of Kirk (and mother of Michael) Douglas, is also excellent.
The director here is Stuart Rosenberg. Rosenberg started out in television before graduating to feature work. His big screen work includes BRUBAKER, THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN, THE DROWNING POOL, MURDER INC. and COOL HAND LUKE.
The series was shot on location in New York.