A frustrated, over-stressed mother is charged with murder after starting a fire that killed her disabled son, but the case weighs heavy on Jack McCoy's conscience. Nora Lewin is introduced as DA Adam Schiff's replacement.
A father confesses to killing his son's hockey coach over playing time. His defense is that he should not be considered responsible for his actions because he suffers from a mental defect known as "sports rage."
The Manhattan DA's office tries a drug dealer for a murder that took place in the Bronx--a case where another man has been already been convicted of the crime by the Bronx DA's office and is serving time.
Briscoe and Green are suspicious of two FBI agents who provide an alibi for an Irish mobster suspected of murder. The case is further complicated by the murder of a witness and the emergence of the mobster's lookalike brother.
Jack tries to prove that a state senator and a mobster conspired to kill a journalist investigating voting irregularities. But connecting the dots is difficult without cooperation from the journalist's confidential source.