Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate a multiple homicide when several people in a laundry are stabbed to death. There is one survivor and she - and several others - identify a crack-head that hangs around many of the businesses on the same street. He's eventually identified as James Smith a schizophrenic who is off his meds. Smith is a lawyer who manages to obtain the court's approval to represent himself. The prosecution faces a dilemma knowing that while Smith might be quite presentable when taking his medication, he has in the past simply decided to stop at which time his mental health would rapidly deteriorate. The case is particularly difficult for ADA Claire Kincaid who had once agreed to a plea bargain with him. The families of the dead now blame her for the loss of their loved ones. Written by
Did You Know?
This episode was remade for Law & Order UK with the title "Defence". See more
When James Smith is being chased through the library, he knocks over a rack full of books. The books remain attached to the rack as it falls over. See more
Have you ever been on an anti-psychotic drug?
Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
I'm using every ounce of strength I have just to talk to you. I feel like I'm pawing through a wool blanket. I feel stiff, and like I'm half a mile behind everyone else. I get so damned tired. It takes so much effort, holding on to reality.
Remade as Law & Order: UK: Defence