An 80-year-old man is accused of killing the man who stole his identity and caused him to lose his home. However, the defendant's son wants him declared incompetent to stand trial.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Benjamin ...
Lonnie Jackson
Aaron Miller
Carl Gordon ...
Horace Worthington
Dr. Paul Jackson
Mrs. Hitchens
Andee Mae Haley


Detectives Lennie Briscoe and Ed Green investigate the murder of a man by the name of Lonnie Jackson. As they look into the man's history, several facts simply don't add up. It begins to make sense when they figure out that the dead man had in fact stolen the real Lonnie Jackson's identity by using information he found on him on the Internet. He then proceeded to sell Lonnie's house. The real Lonnie is an 80 year-old African-American who worked hard all of his life and who suddenly finds himself homeless and is ashamed of the situation he now finds himself in. He's alienated from his son, Dr. Paul Jackson, who hires his father a lawyer who seeks to have Lonnie declared incompetent and therefore unable to be prosecuted. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

5 November 2003 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lonnie Jackson's full name is Langford Louis Jackson. See more »


Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: Do you know what a Pyrrhic victory is, Mr Jackson?
Lonnie Jackson: I'm not really sure.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: That's when you win but you really lose. Like this hearing: if I win, I get to say that you're competent, in which case, I get to go into another courtroom and try to prove that you did something I know you did, but at the same time I can't prove.
Lonnie Jackson: So why don't we just call it a day?
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: It's what they call going through the motions, it's what I get paid for. So will you bear with me?
Lonnie Jackson: Sure.
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Remade as Law & Order: UK: Pride (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

His life's legacy
6 January 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I remember when my mother passed away and my brother and I sold the family estate in Brooklyn that this was her legacy to her two surviving children. It turned out to be and I could truly sympathize with Paul Benjamin who had it yanked out from under him by both the times and a greedy Yuppie who wanted to keep up the lifestyle he'd grown accustomed to.

Jerry Orbach and Jesse Martin get assigned the investigation of the homicide of a computer graphics designer found stabbed to death in his home. Turns out that he had been faking going to work for several months. He had been laid off but there seemed no appreciable tightening of the belts.

What this man had done is stolen the identity of Paul Benjamin and elderly man in Harlem with a paid in full brownstone, put a second mortgage, defaulted it, and then used the money in a secret account and withdrew it bit by bit. As for Benjamin his house was taken from him and sold at auction. This investigation was mostly following a paper trail, but Briscoe and Green come up with Benjamin.

This was one of the saddest Law And Order episodes ever done. This man who is a World War II veteran whose house was just dispossessed out from under him. When he found out who was responsible he did the deed. I'm not sure I wouldn't have done the deed myself in the same spot.

Sam Waterston is ready to cut Benjamin some considerable slack. Benjamin's lawyers are Roscoe Lee Browne and Lorraine Toussaint and she made a long heralded return as Shambala Green who used to spar in court with Michael Moriarty back in the series early days. Given his age and circumstance it's the easiest thing in the world to have him plead temporary insanity and diminished capacity.

But Benjamin is full of pride and he'd rather go to jail than have a finding of any kind of insanity due to age. Interestingly enough he had certainly enough marbles to do his own investigation and seek out the man responsible for his predicament. An argument that could have been raised by Waterston but wasn't.

Quite a conundrum to be sure, but Benjamin won't back down.

And quite a few issues about old age are raised here as well. Nice episode dominated by Paul Benjamin as old, but proud.

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