A woman is charged with murdering her sister, but prosecutors learn that the defendant is actually the other sister--who assumed the real victim's identity. Meanwhile, the judge becomes hostile to the prosecution during the trial.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Judge Nathan Marks
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Lt. Jeffrey London
Alan Manson ...
Chief Administrative Judge
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Lucy Sullivan
Dicky Fine ...
Perkles
Chet Carlin ...
Mr. Wilkins
Cordell Stahl ...
Hopper

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Storyline

Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the death of a young woman whose nude body is found in an office building elevator. She is eventually identified as Lucy Sullivan by her sister Joanne who is visiting from Indiana. Fingerprints and a report from New Jersey police reveal that Lucy and her husband were con artists who had recently been scamming casinos. The police develop the theory that Lucy may have been on the run from the mob but when they catch Joanna in an outright lie, they believe she murdered her sister. It's going to be a difficult case to prove as the judge, Nathan Marks, seems only interested in two things: ruling the DA's evidence inadmissible and making sexually suggestive comments to ADA Jamie Ross. Then there's also the simple matter of mistaken identity. Written by garykmcd

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25 September 1996 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lieutenant Van Buren tells Briscoe and Curtis they have two weeks to identify the dead girl before she gets sent to Potter's field. A potter's field, paupers' grave or common grave is a term for a place for the burial of unknown or indigent people. Hart Island is the location of a 101-acre (0.41 km2) potter's field for New York City, the largest tax-funded cemetery in the world. Burials on Hart Island began shortly after the American Civil War. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where judge is questioning Ross in the defendant's apartment, the defense attorney Gillum is first shown behind McCoy's right shoulder, by the window. In the next shot, Gillum is standing behind McCoy's left shoulder. In the next, Gillum is next to the window again. See more »

Quotes

A.D.A. Jamie Ross: I think we'll convince Judge Marks...
Jack McCoy: Nathan Marks?
A.D.A. Jamie Ross: Luck of the draw.
D.A. Adam Schiff: Make sure your airbags are working.
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User Reviews

 
Complex plot; simple-minded judge.
1 November 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

There are really two things going on in this episode. A young woman has murdered her own sister and assumed her identity. It takes a while for Briscoe and Curtis to figure this out. It came as a surprise to me too.

The trial becomes a legal shambles because the judge -- a fine performance by Jerry Adler -- started off as an idealist but his sensibilities have declined into narcissism. He begins by making salacious remarks to Carey Lowell, about her silk blouse, and asking her how it feels to leave a man's apartment at eight in the morning without having had breakfast. More important, he interferes with Waterston's interrogation of witnesses, always in favor of the defense, and when Waterston objects, the judge has him arrested, cuffed, and put in a cell with three other guys, one of them a murderer. Justice prevails though.

I rather like stories in which the bureaucracy slips a gear and something goes wrong. That's known as verisimilitude. A professor of mine used to illustrate the need for bureaucratic "slippage", as he called it, by telling the true story of his Army service in Europe during World War II. He was a captain in the infantry and was ordered to set up a machine gun position at a certain location on the map. The position faced nothing more than a blank cliff from which no attack could possibly come. Jack pointed out to the major that the map was inaccurate, that this was a matter of life and death, and that the company might be slaughtered. The major agreed. The map might be wrong and the orders possibly suicidal, but the position goes HERE -- period.

This judge is a real lulu. Everything has become fair game for him. He takes dissidence personally. And I also approve of the way the script handles Waterston's time in the cell. When the DA visits him in jail, Waterston casually introduces his cell mates, using the title of "Mister" for each of the criminals.


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