CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 9 Episode 21

If I Had A Hammer...

1
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Apr 23, 2009 on CBS
AIRED:
9.2
out of 10
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6

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Episode Summary

Catherine looks into one of her first cases as a CSI when a man claims that the verdict was influenced by faulty forensics.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Finally

    8.5
    Finally a very good and well written episode after a bad couple of disappointing and dumb episodes. I really enjoyed it, also because it was quite Catherine-centered, and I really love her character. Let's hope they will keep up going this way.
  • Catherine has to look at an old case, which brings up things from her past.

    8.5
    In this episode of CSI, the following happens. We open with a prisoner being granted a new trail, after he was sent to prison over 18 years before for murder. The CSI on the case was Catherine, and it was her first solo case. And so Catherine judgement on the case is being called into question and so everything from the case is now being re-tested.

    Since the prisoner was convicted due to only one piece of key evidence, he is calling for this piece of evidence to be thrown out. This is due to the fingerprints on it being only a 5 point match, which today wouldn't be enough to convict someone on. When Catherine re-runs the prints from the rock, it matches that of the prisoners. Soon Catherine discovers a hammer in a nearby tree, which has been there since the murder and so it appears as though they have found the murder weapon. They find prints on the hammer, which are in blood, but when the prints are run, they don't match the prisoner's prints. Soon the prisoner admits that his prints are on the rock, as he used it to break into the victims house to rob him, but when he found the dead body on the floor, he made a run for it. He had already broken into 2 other houses that same night. Soon the team track down one of his friends, who they believe may have been involved in the murder. We soon learn that they weren't just friends, but actually boyfriend and girlfriend. She got pregnant by him and they were stealing to get money to move away. Soon they can prove that her prints are on the hammer. She then learns from Brass that anyone involved in the case will be sent to prison, for life, whether or not they swung the hammer. She confesses that the prisoner killed him with the hammer and that she simply walked in after the murder had taken place. He says that he wanted a new trial, as he wanted a fair trial; even though he knew he was guilty. He also admits that he is angry with Sabrina, his girlfriend at the time, as she never went to visit him and he didn't even know what happened to the baby she was pregnant with at the time.moreless
  • Time will not help..

    8.2
    Old case is brought back to life and Cathrine have to prove that she got it right on the first time but there are doubts, evidence what can be seen in two ways and some mysterious prints what do not belong to the suspect.



    I think it was great episode - the way Cathrine had tons on luck - finding the hammer and then that piece of class. The whole thing with Cathrine.. doubting herself and the evidence.. the story about her and her husband days back and the way it could have affect her life.



    So, I think it was good one.moreless
  • Catherine is forced to look into one of her first cases. A man Catherine helped put away for life for first degree murder in 1991 demands a new trial claiming that the evidence collected in the case was unlawful.moreless

    8.0
    For reasons unknown, I was unable to choose a classification for this episode. If I could that classification would be "exactly why I watch this series." Everything about this episode worked. From the acting, to the writing, to the compelling storyline, things worked well to create a very good episode. Another positive thing is how this episode took an old plot device (An incarcerated man swearing he is innocent.)and took it in a new direction. One final positive note is how well the team stood behind Catherine and worked together to prove she had it right the first time. Terrific.moreless
  • Being Responsible...

    8.0
    I curious at the concept of re-visiting Catherine's first case 18 years ago. I loved how there was a focus on the improvement technology and techniques since the case was first investigated. I really respected Catherine's ability to consider that she may be wrong and even more for her willingness to explore the possibility. But true to form the team rallied to find the truth. As you could have predicted keeping Kent in jail was as easy as expected but I never expected the twist with the ex-girlfriend being an accomplice. I LOVED the hammer in the tree, as Catherine said you wouldn't have believed it unless you saw it.moreless
Henry Thomas

Henry Thomas

Jeremy Kent

Guest Star

Charlotte Ross

Charlotte Ross

Sabrina Owen

Guest Star

Adolphus Ambrose Ward

Adolphus Ambrose Ward

Thomas Harrott

Guest Star

David Berman

David Berman

David Phillips

Recurring Role

Liz Vassey

Liz Vassey

Wendy Simms

Recurring Role

Archie Kao

Archie Kao

Archie Johnson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: "The Rampart Casino fire" is mentioned as happening on the same night in 1991 as the crime in this episode. The Rampart actually opened in July of 1999, or eight years later.

    • Catherine was pregnant while processing the crime scene back in '91. Which suggests that Lindsey was either born in 1991 or 1992, making her about 17ish now.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Catherine: Let me lay our case that we have against you and your accomplice. Due to the granting of your new trial, the lab reopened your case. We found the murder weapon. A claw hammer, and we found your print on the base handle of that hammer, and we found your accomplice's print in blood on the body of that handle. We've identified your accomplice as Sabrina Owen, formerly Sabrina Latay, your girlfriend at the time of the murder. And she's made a full statement implicating you as the killer of Thomas Harrit.
      Jeremy: You're frickin' lying to me.
      Catherine: These are copies of all pertinent documents as well as a transcript of Ms. Owen's sworn confession.
      Jeremy (reading from the confession): 'I saw the old man on the floor, Jeremy was standing over him, holding a hammer, he was already dead.' I can't believe that she would do this to me.
      Catherine: Yeah, you protected her for 18 years and she sold you out in five minutes.
      Jeremy: I kept my mouth shut so my kid would have a mother. Everything I've done, I did for them.
      Catherine: Why did you ask for a new trial? You had to have known that we might find out about Sabrina.
      Jeremy: No, I didn't, not after all this time.
      Catherine: Then why?
      Jeremy: Because I'm entitled to a fair trial!
      Catherine: But you're still guilty. ... There's more than that, I mean, you've been in here for 18 years, she's been out there with your kid, living a normal life. I think you just got tired of having to pay for the crime all by yourself.
      Jeremy: All I think about in here is that kid who has no idea I even exist. Sabrina never visited me once, she never wrote, she never sent a photo of my... girl or boy, I don't even-- I don't even know a name!
      Catherine: Your son's name is Tyler.
      Jeremy: Did Sabrina cut a deal?
      Catherine: No deal. She's been charged, she'll stand trial.
      Jeremy: So she'll testify against me?
      Catherine: That's up to the DA.
      Jeremy: Well, you tell the DA to make sure that happens.
      Catherine: ... You're hoping that your son will be there.
      Jeremy: It might be the only chance in my life that I have to see him. That's not right.
      Catherine: Maybe not. ... But, you had a choice, Thomas Harrit didn't. I'm saving my sympathy for him.

    • Catherine: If there was an accomplice, why didn't Kent give him up?
      Greg: Because sometimes there's honor amoung thieves. If he knew he was going down, why drag someone else down with him?
      Nick: Ah, I don't know about that. If any of these guys thought that they could cut a deal, they'd roll over on their mother.
      Langston: I think you're both right. People are motivated by self-interest. But there are certain human bonds that trump even or most basic instincts. Love. Blood. Fear.
      Riley: Right, there's people I love but, I wouldn't go to prison for any of them. My money's on fear.
      Greg: So what would Kent have to be afraid of? He wasn't connected to a gang or organized crime.
      Nick: What about his family?
      Catherine: He was living on his own. His closest relative was his uncle.
      Langston: Sometimes your friends are your family. Did you check the prison visitor log?
      Catherine: The DA said that he's never had any visitors.
      Greg: Kent never made it to college, most of his friends are probably from high school.
      Riley: Okay, I'll call the high school, get his yearbook, see if any of his old teachers still work there.
      Nick: We find the accomplice, we find the truth.

    • Catherine: Jim. Thanks for coming by.
      Brass: Sure, you bet. ... So, we're all just passengers on the time train.
      Catherine (laughs): Boy, you got that right.
      Brass: So, you hit a snag.
      Catherine: Well, Jeremy Kent now admits that he was at the Harrit house.
      Brass: And when he got there the old man was already dead? I call that perp-fiction.
      Catherine: The problem is that his story is consistent with the new evidence, I have yet to disclose.
      Brass: Oh, come on, Catherine. You know, I had this guy pegged as the bad guy the minute I laid eyes on him 18 years ago, and so did you.
      Catherine (sighs): What if he's telling the truth? Wrong place, wrong time.
      Brass: Oh, you gotta tune that out. That's all bull. All that matters is what you got on him. Now, these guys lie, because what? Because they're good at it, and because they're hiding something and the thing they're hiding is usually the thing that makes them guilty.
      Catherine: A million years ago, back when Eddie and I first started dating, we uh, went to a party and um... we drank our fair share, and it was time to leave, and he tosses me the keys because I'm the responsible one. So, you know, I'm driving and he starts singing this stupid song, which I've completely blanked from my memory, and one moment I'm just laughing hysterically and... the next he grabbed the wheel from my hands because I almost ran over a man. And... In that moment, my life would've changed completely, because of a bad decision. So, I... What makes me any different than Jeremy Kent?
      Brass: You know, Eddie was right. You are the responsible one, and if you had hit that guy, you would've called the cops because you would've taken responsibility for your actions. Now, Jeremy Kent is a jailhouse lawyer, he's a scumbag. His freedom, his whole life depends on getting you to doubt yourself. Don't let him live rent free in your head. (Catherine smiles)

    • Catherine: I re-examined the rock, enhanced the fingerprint and photoed it, and this time around I found several, highly unique points of comparison, including this happy face pattern, which is an exact match to your print.
      D.A: And that print puts you at the crime scene. You were there. You killed Thomas Harrit.
      Catherine: Mr. Kent, if there's another explanation, other than the obvious, now would be a good time to come clean.
      Jeremy (motions to his prison outfit): Once you're wearing these, nobody believes anything that you have to say.
      Catherine: Try me.
      Jeremy: I was there, but I didn't kill the guy. I needed to make some fast money, I broke into those other two houses. I picked them because it looked like nobody was at home. The old man's house was my third stop, when I went inside, there was a body on the floor, I got the hell out of there.
      D.A: Well, why not just call 911?
      Jeremy: Uh, yeah 'Hello, I just broke into a house, and I found a dead body on the floor. Oh, yeah, yeah I'll just wait right here for you.' I-I was a reckless punk and I messed up, big time, I broke the law, but I did not kill that old man. Somebody else did that.
      D.A: Why didn't you mention this 18 years ago?
      Jeremy: Because my lawyer advised me not to admit that I was at the scene of the crime. It was the only honest piece of advice he gave me.
      Catherine: You know what would give your story more crediblity? If you could ID the other suspect.
      Jeremy: Lady, if I would've seen them, that woulda been the first thing out of my mouth. But whoever killed Harrit was long gone by the time I got there.
      Catherine: We're done here.
      Jeremy: Oh, yeah, sure. I mean, why would you admit to a mistake that cost me the last 18 years of my life? ... All I wanted is my life back. Is that asking too much?

    • Ecklie: When Kent discovers that you found the murder weapon with someone else's print's on it, he's gonna fast-track himself to an acquittal.
      Catherine: We have the print on the rock. Which still puts him at the scene.
      Ecklie: But Kent's print aren't on the hammer.
      Catherine: Well, clearly there's an accomplice, who probably committed the murder.
      Ecklie: Yeah, who we still need to identify.
      Catherine: Obviously.
      Ecklie: Well, pre-trial's in 48 hours, and you're gonna have to reveal the prints. It would be nice if Kent gave us a name.
      Catherine: Yeah, well why would he? He's kept a secret for 18 years.
      Ecklie: Then ask without asking. Sweat him with the rock evidence.

    • Catherine: Did you get any usable prints of the hammer?
      Nick: Yeah, two. Neither one of them matches Jeremy Kent.
      Catherine: What?
      Nick: Yeah, I did a visual comparison, Mandy peer reviewed. I'm sorry, Catherine. It just... It isn't him.

    • Hodges: According to Wendy, the blood on the murder weapon was from Thomas Harrit. It's all coming together.
      Catherine: Just give me the results.
      Hodges: I get it, you're a little touchy because you missed something the first time. Murder weapon, which was your whole case, but as of now, Catherine Willows, you are a rock star.
      Catherine: Am I going to be able to explain this to the jury?
      Hodges: You know, I'm available for court testimony if needed. Now, first I chemically tested the metal part of the hammer and found feric oxide, while not specific it does indicate that the hammer was exposed to the elements for a long period of time. Next, I document the growth of the tree around the hammer, using photos from the original crime scene and the photos that you took today. Quercus agrifolia or desert oak, grows about 6 to 8 inches a year, which means that your tree probably grew about 9 feet in 18 years. A bark collar grew around the hammer during that period of time, which confirms the hammer was in the tree for many years. And therefore no one can accuse you of planting it, pardon the pun. Unfortunately the scientific probably of getting a viable print or DNA is a completely separate issue. But, I'll back you.
      Catherine: Good to know.

    • Catherine: Ray, I've seen some crazy stuff in my day, but this has gotta take the prize.
      Langston: Smoking hammer in a tree. You remember how tall this tree was back in '91?
      Catherine: I think it was just below the roof line.
      Langston: Jury's never gonna believe this unless we document the hell out of it.
      Catherine: So, let's go back and get the video camera and the chainsaw.

    • Langston: ... Maybe he tossed the weapon.
      Catherine: Well, I searched the yard and I went back the next day and searched it again and... (looks up) The first thing Grissom taught me, people never look up.

    • Catherine: Hey, we got a big problem.
      Ecklie: Bigger than crime is up, and our budget is down?
      Catherine: Jeremy Kent is filing a motion to throw out the only physical evidence linking him to the crime scene.
      Ecklie: Ah, the infamous rock, huh?
      Catherine: Yeah. ADA says that it could be up to the judge.
      Ecklie: Well, was your ridge structure faded or broken? How strong are your points of identification?
      Catherine: Well, strong enough to confirm, ID, and get a conviction.
      Ecklie: Catherine...
      Catherine: Okay, it wasn't a road map. It was a difficult comparison
      Ecklie: Then let's not take a chance on losing this.
      Catherine: Oh, I know, I know. Go back to the rock.

    • Riley (running ALS over the blood stained carpet): What does that look like to you?
      Wendy: A giant sperm cell. Maybe a big comma.

    • Jeremy Kent: At the time you investigated the Harrit murder, how long had you been employed by Las Vegas PD?
      Catherine: 18 months.
      Jeremy Kent: Oh, that's all? Prior to the Thomas Harrit murder, you always worked under a supervisor.
      Catherine: Yes.
      Jeremy Kent: So this case was your first unsupervised investigation?
      Catherine: It was my first solo case, but all my case work was reviewed by my supervisor.
      Jeremy Kent: Well, regardless, it was in your best interest to get a conviction.
      Catherine: I don't deal in convictions, that's for the jury.
      Jeremy Kent: Still, worked out pretty good for you. Better than it did for me.
      Catherine: Is that a question?
      Jeremy Kent: (scoffs) Sorry if I'm wasting you time here, it's just that I've been in here for 18 years for something I didn't do, so all I got is time. You know, I met a drug dealer in here who knew your husband Eddie Willows, apparently he was a very good customer. I heard he died, my condolences.
      Catherine: I'm sorry, what was the question?
      Jeremy Kent: Were you taking any drugs, legal or illegal at the time that your processing this crime scene?
      Catherine: No.
      Jeremy Kent: Was it because you were pregnant? How is your daughter?
      Catherine: How is that relevant?
      Jeremy Kent: Oh, I'm laying a foundation. That's how we refer to it in the legal community. Now, having a child is a life altering experience. Did your pregnancy influence your judgment?
      Catherine: No.
      Jeremy Kent: So your condition didn't impose any limits on the chemicals you could use while processing the crime scene?
      Catherine: No, all the evidence I collected was bagged and tagged and all the test were conducted by the experts.
      Jeremy Kent: Who, like yourself are all employees of the Las Vegas Police Department, and therefore inclined to give their employer the answers they want. I don't trust your lab results.
      Catherine: Which why you can exercise your right to hire the expert of your choosing to re-examine the evidence.
      Jeremy Kent: Right, at my own expense. You see, I haven't earned that much money in the last 18 years.

    • Doc Robbins: Sam Barnard conducted the autopsy. Minimal documentation, listed COD as intracranial hemorrhaging.
      Langston: Can we call Dr. Barnard for a consult?
      Doc Robbins: Passed away in '98. Loved chili dogs, but his arteries didn't.

    • Langston: So all you had was, an eyewitness that was a half mile away, testimony from Jeremy Kent's ex cell mate and a single fingerprint from a rock.
      Catherine: Back then, it was enough.
      Ecklie (walks up): Got it figured out? Legal just put this on my desk. (hands Catherine an envelope)
      Catherine (opens it): I've been subpoenaed by Jeremy Kent. He's requesting a pre-trial conference.
      Nick: Yeah, he probably wants to talk to ya about how he got life based on a rock.

    • Langston: Old man, half deaf, half blind. Mr. Harrit wasn't a threat. There was no need to kill him.
      Catherine: I always thought that, that tipped the jury.

    • Jeremy Kent (voiceover): I never did get to tell my side of the story. I was accused of a crime I did not commit. I was held without bail at the East Clark County Detention Center awaiting trial. I'd never been to jail before. It's not a place you wanna be. The prosecution called on my cell mate to testify against me. He told them that I had confessed to the murder of Thomas Harrit. It was a lie. In exchange for his testimony, my cell mate got a suspended sentence. I wanted to take the stand, but my public defender told me it was a bad idea and I trusted him. I thought jail was hell, then I got to the state pen., I've been there for 18 years. After being denied parole in 2000, I began studying the law. I figured that if nobody was gonna help me, I had to do it myself and I discovered that there were a lot of other innocent men, like me, in prison. There were new ways to prove that. Two years ago, I ran into my cell mate again, and he revealed to me that the testimony against me had been my lawyer's idea. That's when I discovered that, we had the same lawyer. The late Benjamin Tripp Esquire.

    • Catherine (voiceover): It was 1991, the night of the Rampart casino fire. My first solo. The victim, Thomas Harrit called 911 to report an intruder in his house. He was 91 years old and he lived alone. The first officer on the scene found him down on the floor, blunt force trauma to the head. A rock was used to break a window, and that appeared to be the point of entry. The state supreme court has granted Jeremy Kent a new trial, the standards of documentation have changed substantial since '91 so, we're going to re-examine all my old evidence.

    • Riley: Let me guess. You still go through your high school yearbooks.
      Greg: And you don't?
      Riley: I can't. I burned them. It was very cathartic.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Kladivo na kriminalisty (Hammer On Criminalists)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: June 14, 2009 on Channel 9
      Norway: June 16, 2009 on TVNorge
      Slovakia: August 9, 2009 on JOJ
      Sweden: October 26, 2009 on Kanal 5
      Finland: January 6, 2010 on MTV3
      Spain: February 9, 2010 on AXN
      Germany: May 20, 2010 on RTL
      Czech Republic: May 27, 2010 on TV Nova

    • Pre-production title name of Case of the Mistaken Identity.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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