Detectives Lenny Briscoe and Ray Curtis investigate a baby kidnapping when Leah Coleman reports that a Perto Rican man took her child, Rachel, out of her stroller. Curtis decides to spend a day with Leah retracing her steps in the hope she may remember something important. In a quiet moment in her church, she tells him that she smothered her baby with a pillow and then incinerated her remains. McCoy thinks he has an open and shut case and is doubly pleased when he learns that a relatively inexperienced public defender, Ross Fineman, has been assigned her case. He's somewhat taken aback with Fineman's proposed defense and his outrageous attempt at manipulating the jury. Written by
Did You Know?
This is based on a landmark legal case Brewer v Williams in which a police officer "mentions" that he hopes the child's body is found so she can have a "Christian burial." This statement invoked an impromptu confession from the child's mother. This became a US Supreme Court case about Miranda warnings (of right to counsel and right to not incriminate oneself) and the validity of confessions outside of formal interrogation proceedings. A later landmark Supreme Court case, Rhode Island v Innis addressed similar issues and shares key facts with this episode. See more
References The Oprah Winfrey Show