A promising young writer confesses to the murder and robbery of a cabbie and demands that he receive the death penalty.



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Episode credited cast:
Nelson Lambert
David Wike ...
Clay Warner
Ira Simpkis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marta Warner
Uniform Officer
Tony Michael Donnelly ...


A promising young writer confesses to the murder and robbery of a cabbie and demands that he receive the death penalty.

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Release Date:

2 April 2003 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was inspired by Jack Abbott, who wrote the acclaimed book In the Belly of the Beast while in prison. He was granted parole in 1981 then moved to New York City and became a star of the literary scene until he killed a waiter at a restaurant 6 weeks later. He returned to prison and committed suicide in 2002. See more »


Jack McCoy: [the defendant has asked for the death penalty] I don't know who was more shocked, Simpkis or me.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Yup, what fun is it hitting someone who won't hit back?
Jack McCoy: I never really thought of this as an exercise in fun, Arthur.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: [approaching] Brace yourself for professor Simpkins' motions.
Jack McCoy: A motion to quash the agreed-upon sentence.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: On the grounds that Warner isn't competent to negotiate on his own behalf.
Jack McCoy: He wants to die, so he's got to be crazy.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I've arranged for Skoda to examine him.
D.A. Arthur Branch: [to Jack] And you say ...
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User Reviews

Livre free or die
7 September 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It is only natural that humans will defend themselves against injuries and death - it is instinct; the animal side of us. People die for a variety of reasons like illness, injuries, for being there, organized conflict and plain stupidity... usually, the need to die isn't there, but the risks are.

However, how can a human want to die if he is not mentally inept, ill, defective, depressed, emotionally distressed/disturbed/irate or even intoxicated to stupor and is in good physical health? Or better, why?

This episode of Law & Order brings about a conflict between the free will to die (suicide for some) and the law's justification to sentence someone to death for the most unacceptable act - killing someone else for no reason but to kill.

Does the suspect what to die because he seeks glory or martyrdom, wants to avoid a more evil situation or simply has no will to live?

Does society have a say in one's will to die if the act involves only that same person?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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