Jack McCoy and his new assistant, Jamie Ross, get off to a rocky start together as they try to prosecute a carjacking/murder suspect after the judge excludes a cassette tape that could prove his guilt.


(as Ed Sherin)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
George Martin ...
Abe Mercer
Cyndi Cartagena ...
Anna Galvez
Marcy Fletcher Wrightman
Lawrence Arancio ...
Ian Rankin
Ted Kazanoff ...
Judge Daniel Scarletti
Víctor Sierra ...
Fernando Salva
Tiffany Fraser ...
Susan Bayer
Divina Cook ...
Mrs. Galvez


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the murder of Maureen Rankin who is found on a deserted tract of land. She died from a blow to the head though death was not instantaneous. The police believe she was the victim of a carjacking. They track the car and arrest the carjacker but a key piece of evidence is ruled inadmissible and his new assistant, Jamie Ross, is all for transferring the case to Federal jurisdiction when the death penalty will apply. The DA's office is batting zero after the judge in the case rules a second key piece of evidence inadmissible. It's left to McCoy to start playing hardball with the carjacker's fiancée if they want to have any hope of getting a conviction. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

18 September 1996 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The tape that was found is central to the plot, but it was not found in the tape recorder in the victim's purse. It was found days later, mashed into the mud at the crime scene. The recording goes right up until the time the victim is killed. When was it taken out of the tape recorder? The victim couldn't have done it. If the killer knew about it, he'd have taken the whole thing, not taken out the tape and thrown it away. See more »


[about ADA Claire Kincaid's death]
Jack McCoy: You know, before it happened... she wanted to quit. I talked her out of it.
Det. Lennie Briscoe: Yeah, well... I could have kept walking past that bar.
See more »


Referenced in Law & Order: Showtime (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Standard of values
30 March 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Carey Lowell made her debut with Law And Order in this episode where Sam Waterston is still mourning the death of Jill Hennessy. DA Steven Hill orders that he have a second chair on this current case which initially looks like a slam dunk.

I mean that during the course of the investigation Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt uncover an audio tape of the crime. The victim actually taped her own murder, she was a teacher who taught night school and to some really sleazy characters. That should have convicted the perpetrator right there.

But he has a good criminal defense attorney in George Martin who with a former partner Louise Sorel really nails down the technicalities.

The motive for the crime itself is truly frightening. The perpetrator Victor Sierra has promised his Barrio princess sweetheart a car and he just didn't have enough money to buy one. The princess is Cyndi Cartagena and she really steals this episode. That a woman got killed apparently means nothing to her, she loves her guy and is mad that she can't keep the car. Her standard of values is frightening.

It's a rocky partnership that Waterston and Lowell get off to.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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