Law & Order: Season 6, Episode 23

Aftershock (22 May 1996)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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After witnessing an inmate's execution, McCoy, Kincaid, Briscoe, and Curtis react in different and extreme ways.



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Airs Wed. Jul. 01, 11:00 PM on WE


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mac Geller
Cathy Briscoe (as Jennifer Bill)
Reds Carpenter
Madison Arnold ...
Leonard Jensen
Paul Austin ...
Sean Daugherty


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis along with ADAs McCoy and Kincaid travel to Attica to witness the execution of a man they arrested and convicted. The execution has a deep effect on all of them. Claire Kincaid has always been against the death penalty and is now thinking of quitting the law altogether. McCoy goes to a neighborhood bar a reminisces about his father, not all of which involves pleasant memories. The happily married Curtis spends the afternoon with an attractive young woman. One of Lennie Briscoe's daughters picks the wrong time to try and have a heart to heart with her estranged father. Lennie falls off the wagon. For one of them, the night ends in tragedy. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

22 May 1996 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is Jill Hennessy's final appearance on the show. See more »


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Remade as Law & Order: UK: Tremors (2013) See more »


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User Reviews

Getting away from reality
7 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As an indictment, or at least a reflection, of capital punishment this episode doesn't wash.

The idea of angst-ridden cops and boozed-up prosecuting attorney's wallowing in soul-searching bouts of self-recrimination over their involvement in an execution is just about the most laughable thing one could imagine.

Despite the series's perspective L & O is very liberal in much of its subject matter once it gets away from the meat and potatoes style material that makes up much its content. This episode is a case in point where the writers imposed their standards or viewpoints on characters who, in the real world, wouldn't have cared less about the imposition of a sentence many in the law enforcement community whole-heartedly agree with.

I happen to be opposed to capital punishment, but I have family and friends working in the law enforcement community who constantly deal with all the worst elements of society and see a side of life that most of us thankfully don't have to become involved with. They can hardly be blamed under the circumstances for developing very cynical and hard-line views, particularly given the violence they're so often required to deal with. Ask most cops to render a view on capital punishment and the vast majority would nod their approval without a second's thought. I'd hazard a guess and say most attorney's working for a DA's office would feel the same way as well.

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