Capital P
Oz episode
Oz 1-4.jpg
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 4
Directed by Darnell Martin
Written by Tom Fontana
Cinematography by Alex Zakrzewski
Edited by Sue Blainey
Production No. 104
Original Air Date July 28, 1997
Episode Guide
Previous
"God's Chillin'"
Next
"Straight Life"

"Capital P" is the fourth episode of the first season, and the fourth overall episode of the HBO television series Oz.

For a complete list of all episodes, see List of Oz episodes.

Theme[edit | edit source]

"There's this brother on death row somewheres, he checked in when he was 16. He sat there another 16 years while the courts and lawyers argued about this and that. While he waited he painted a mural on his wall. For all those years he painted, not letting a soul see what he was up to. Finally, when he was 32 and had spent more life on death row than in his mama's house, all his appeals were exhausted. He was about to die. As he was about to be let out for the final time, he finally unveiled his masterpiece. All there was were six words, "Death is certain. Life is not." The next day the hacks painted over it."
The Narrator[src]

The events and narration of this episode are centered around the subject of Capital Punishment. Governor Devlin reinstates the death penalty, and two inmates are condemned - Jefferson Keane for the killing of Julio Martinez, and Richard L'Italien for the murder of Jennifer Miller. Bob Rebadow also recounts the day of his execution in 1965.

Summary [edit | edit source]

Governor Devlin reinstates capital punishment with Keane being the first man executed. Tobias Beecher tries to redeem himself by trying to appeal on his behalf but Schillinger forces him to stop. O'Reily plays a double agent by being loyal to both sides to cover up his own dirty business. Alvarez finds sorrow and peace after the death of his son. Sister Peter Marie is fired for protesting against the death penalty but is rehired again.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Sister Peter Marie[edit | edit source]

After Governor Devlin makes a speech at a press conference regarding the upcoming execution of Jefferson Keane, Sister Peter Marie informs Warden Glynn that she's going to be joining the protesters of Keane's execution. Glynn asks Sister Pete to not join them or else he'd have to fire her. Sister Pete decides to join them anyway and Glynn fires her from Oz. Later, She is interviewed by reporters outside of Oz. Despite the protests, Keane's execution is carried out.

Meanwhile, Carlton Auerback replaces Sister Pete as the therapist in Oz. She later visits Father Mukada about him praying for Richard L'Italien at his execution. She asks Mukada how he can go along with the death penalty. Mukada tells her that if anyone deserves to die - it's L'Italien. Later, Sister Pete visits Glynn and requests her job back. Glynn welcomes her back, even though she is still against the death penalty.

Tobias Beecher[edit | edit source]

In Em City, various prisoners discuss Jefferson Keane's upcoming execution and Sister Peter Marie's dismissal. Tobias Beecher meets with Bob Rebadow and Beecher confirms that he is also against the death penalty. Rebadow also recounts the day of his execution, in which his life was saved by the blackout of 1965. He mentions that that was the day he met God. Later, Beecher visits Ryan O'Reily's cell and O'Reily asks him how his appeal is coming along. Beecher tells O'Reily that because of the number of witnesses to O'Reily's crime that he doesn't really have a chance. O'Reily then takes solace in the fact that he wasn't placed on death row like Keane, and that Keane should've let the Latinos kill him because that's what was supposed to happen. Beecher realises the set up on Keane. O'Reily threatens Beecher to not investigate further.

In the library, Beecher attains a transcript of Keane's trial. Later in Em City, Beecher asks Schillinger if he's heard anything about Keane possibly being set up. Schillinger confirms Beecher's suspicions, and even mentions that the COs have a videotape of the altercation between Keane and the Latinos. Beecher meets back up with Rebadow and tells him that he's going to tell McManus about the videotape, and try to represent Keane and appeal his conviction. Rebadow suggests speaking with Keane directly and finding out what really happened. Groves tells Beecher that he knows a way Beecher can have a talk with Keane. Beecher meets with McManus and requests to be placed in Protective Custody.

In Protective Custody, Beecher begins speaking with Keane through the vents. He asks Keane why he didn't tell his lawyers that he was set up. Keane explains that he feels that his death will put an end to the war with the Homeboys and the Italians, and that he finally feels like he is at peace. Beecher tells Keane that he's going to file an appeal on Keane's behalf because he feels that Keane deserves justice. Keane asks Beecher to not do it, but Beecher tells him that it's something that he has to do.

Later, in the library, Beecher meets with Rebadow and tells him that they need to attain the videotape. Suddenly, Schillinger joins Beecher and asks him what he is doing. Beecher lies and tells Schillinger that he is working on O'Reily's appeal, but Schillinger observes what Beecher is researching. He sees that Beecher is researching a case involving a stay of execution, then realises what Beecher is really up to. He forces Beecher to eat the pages of the report. Later, Officer Healy confronts Rebadow and warns him to stop investigating the existance of the videotape. In Em City, O'Reily confronts Beecher about him speaking with Keane even though he told him not to. Beecher tells O'Reily that he thought he could "get his balls back" if he saved Keane. Disappointed in his failure, Beecher asks O'Reily if he has any marijuana. O'Reily offers Beecher some heroin instead and Beecher gets high.

Kareem Said[edit | edit source]

Kareem Said meets with Warden Glynn and Father Mukada to request to serve as Jefferson Keane's minister at his execution. Glynn allows Said to attend Keane's execution, as long as Said doesn't try to start anything. In Em City, Said watches statements by the family members of Keane and Julio Martinez on television.

After hearing Martinez's mother, Helen, say that she wants Keane dead - Said collapses in faint. He is rushed to the hospital ward. Said is later visited by McManus in the hospital ward regarding Keane's intention of having his kidney transplanted to his sister. Later, after recovering, Said attends Keane's execution. He offers Keane his kufi on the way to the execution chamber.

Jefferson Keane[edit | edit source]

Later, after meeting with Tobias Beecher, Keane visits with his brother Billie. Tim McManus arrives at Keane's cell to inform him that his sister, Grace, is in the hospital with kidney failure and that she needs a transplant. Keane offers his kidney, and tells McManus to make sure he's able to donate it. McManus meets with Glynn, who tells him that Governor Devlin has said that he isn't going to grant Keane a stay of execution. McManus then meets with Mukada and convinces him to call in a favour from Cardinal Apgard.

Later, Devlin grants Keane a stay of execution following pressure from religious leaders, Cardinal Apgard and Sheikh Zahir Farar. Later, after his surgery, Keane is visited by his father, Cornelius, in the hospital. Keane asks Cornelius how Grace is doing, and he tells him that she's recovering faster than expected. Keane then asks Cornelius to reconcile with Billie before Wittlesey tells them that their time is up. Later, McManus brings some herbal tea to Keane in death row. Keane asks McManus why he is really there, and McManus apologises to him. Keane tells McManus that if he wants forgiveness that he forgives him.

Later, on the day of his execution, Keane converses with another death row inmate, Richard L'Italien. Suddenly, Warden Glynn and Said arrive at Keane's cell. Glynn asks Keane what he wants done with his belongings after his execution, then Keane is escorted to the execution chamber. On the way, Keane tells Said that the prison officials took his kufi, and that he didn't want to die without it. Said offers his, and places it on Keane's head. In the execution chamber, Keane is strapped onto the table as the administers prepare the lethal injection. In the viewing gallery, Glynn tells Keane that he may say whatever he wants. Keane speaks his last words, then is executed. Devlin addresses the press in the front lobby after Keane's execution, stating that 'justice has been served'.

Ryan O'Reily[edit | edit source]

In Em City, Joey D'Angelo speaks with Ryan O'Reily regarding O'Reily's bet on a baseball game. D'Angelo informs O'Reily that the team he bet on lost and he wants his money. O'Reily tells D'Angelo that he's good for it, but D'Angelo tells him that he wants his money now. Their argument escalates into a fight until Officer Wittlesey breaks it up.

Seeking revenge on D'Angelo, O'Reily meets with Simon Adebisi and Kenny Wangler. He tells them that D'Angelo was responsible for Keane being sent to death row and suggests that they make D'Angelo have an 'accident' in the kitchen. Later, Adebisi and Wangler beat and hospitalise D'Angelo. O'Reily then meets with Nino Schibetta and offers his assistance - in light of D'Angelo's hospitalisation. Schibetta takes O'Reily up on his offer and invites him into his organisation.

Miguel Alvarez[edit | edit source]

In the Hospital Ward, Donald Groves observes Joey D'Angelo, who is recovering from the beating the Homeboys gave him earlier. He dabs his fingertips on D'Angelo's forehead and then licks the blood away as he leaves. Father Mukada arrives to see Miguel Alvarez, who is recovering from the wounds that he inflicted upon himself earlier. Alvarez asks Mukada how his son is doing. Mukada tells him that he's not doing good, and that the doctors are considering taking him off of life support. He mentions that Maritza also thinks it's for the best too. Alvarez then demands to see his son and asks Mukada to help him.

Later, Mukada and McManus meet with Carlton Auerback. Mukada asks Auerback to grant Alvarez permission to leave Oz to see his son in the hospital, so Alvarez can see why the doctors want to disconnect the life support. Auerback denies them, but McManus decides to let Alvarez go anyway. Alvarez and Mukada arrive at Benchley Memorial and Alvarez sees the condition of his son. Later, Alvarez thanks Mukada for helping him see his son, and agrees that the doctors taking him off of life support was the best action.

McManus & Wittlesey[edit | edit source]

After meeting with his son, Jefferson, Cornelius Keane is accompanied through the halls by Diane Wittlesey. Cornelius stops at a window and begins crying. He mentions to Wittlesey that Keane is his oldest, so he has a special place in his heart. Meanwhile, Tim McManus meets with Dr. Gloria Nathan in the hospital ward. He asks her about the test results on Kareem Said. She tells him that everything looks fine on Said and that they're waiting for his MRI results.

McManus then asks Dr. Nathan out to dinner. Dr. Nathan declines McManus' offer, mentioning that she is needed at Keane's execution. Later, McManus joins Wittlesey at a window. They watch the protesters and counter-protesters outside. McManus asks Wittlesey out to dinner after being turned down by Dr. Nathan, and she accepts his offer. Later, at the same time as Keane's execution, McManus and Wittlesey have sex.

Death Row[edit | edit source]

After Jefferson Keane's execution, Warden Glynn visits Richard L'Italien, another condemned prisoner on death row, to inform him that Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist has refused to hear his appeal and that his execution is scheduled for the next day. L'Italien then confesses to Glynn that he murdered another person in Iowa - a woman named Dorothy Paine. Glynn tells L'Italien that he'd inform the authorities. Suddenly, L'Italien begins listing off several more murders that he committed - totalling at 39, all women.

Later, Father Mukada prays with L'Italien as he eats his last meal. L'Italien asks Mukada if he's ever eaten a food called 'bulls balls', which were served at Bohemian Grove - a resort exclusive to men. He tells Mukada that he used to dream about attending the Bohemian Grove until the Supreme Court forced them to let women become members. L'Italien then mentions that he should've asked for bulls balls for his last meal. Later, L'Italien is put to death via lethal injection.

Narrations[edit | edit source]

In America, we all have certain inalienable rights. Like the right to bear arms and the right to remain silent. But the state has the ultimate right. It can kill us. Due to popular demand, Governor James Devlin revived capital punishment. And he decided that Jefferson Keane, a man he doesn't know, a man he will never even meet, should be put to death. Should be put down like a rabid dog.

You swat a fly, step on an ant, squash a cockroach, you don't think much of it. In fact, killing the bug gives you a sense of accomplishment. Fucking ant was ruining your picnic! Cockroach was crawling through your kitchen cabinet. You put an end to their disgusting, miserable little lives and make a better world for everyone. Only for every one you kill, more appear. Bigger, uglier, meaner than before.

Hey, some say there are 5 stages of death. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. The moment when you say to yourself: "I'm gonna die and there ain't shit I can do about it." Oh yeah, in Oz, we know all about that. We know all about acceptance.

Clemency. That's a fancy word for mercy. You see, the governor can commute a death sentence. He has the power to just pick up the phone and say no. But to me, the only time the governor shows clemency, is when he don't make that call. Because life in prison without parole is a shitload worse than death. Death is parole. Death is the real mercy.

It's rare when you say goodbye to someone that you know it's the last time. You can try to say whatever it is you should have said before, or you can just hold on tight. Just hold on, hoping the moment will last you a lifetime.

Over 3,000 men and women are sitting on death row right now. Congress has denied state inmates access to federal courts. Congress has also eliminated financing to law officers for death row appeals. The states, themselves, are shortening the appeals process. In this country, there's now 1 execution every single week. There were more executions this year than any time since the '50's. And we all know how righteous the 50's were.

Prisoner number 97L641, Richard L'Italien. Convicted April 3, '97. Murder in the first degree. Sentence: Death.

First, the inmate's given sodium pentothal. The same anesthetic used in hospitals for major surgery. Then, a massive dose of pancuronium bromide. That paralyzes the diaphragm. Then, postassium chloride to stop the heart. Don't try this at home, kids.

There's this brother on death row somewheres, he checked in when he was 16. He sat there another 16 years while the courts and lawyers argued about this and that. While he waited, he painted a mural on his wall. For all those years, he painted, not letting a soul see what he was up to. Finally, when he was 32 and had spent more life on death row than in his mama's house, all his appeals were exhausted. He was about to die. As he was about to be let out for the final time, he finally unveiled his masterpiece. All there was, were 6 words. "Death is certain, life is not." The next day, the hacks painted over it. Peace out.

Deceased[edit | edit source]

For a full list of the deaths in Oz, see List of deaths in Oz.

Crime Flashbacks[edit | edit source]

For a full list of the crime flashbacks in Oz, see List of All Crime Flashbacks.

Production[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

Also Starring[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

With...[edit | edit source]

Uncredited[edit | edit source]

Transcript[edit | edit source]

Main article: Capital P/Transcript
Season 1 Episodes

1. "The Routine" - 2. "Visits, Conjugal and Otherwise" - 3. "God's Chillin'" - 4. "Capital P"
5. "Straight Life" - 6. "To Your Health" - 7. "Plan B" - 8. "A Game of Checkers"

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