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"Law & Order" Pro Se (1996)

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Don't you care about the people you killed?

Author: lastliberal from United States
4 September 2008

I always like the shows with Lenny Briscoe (Jerry Orbach). He manages to come up with the most sarcastic quips in his investigations.

There are two themes running through this episode.

First the diagnosis of schizophrenia and the fact that many with that disease do not take their medication regularly.

Secondly, the overwhelming amount of cases handles by a District Attorney's office and the necessity to plead out to keep the courts from being clogged. That is what led the defendant, James Smith, played admirably by Denis O'Hare (Michael Clayton, A Mighty Heart) to be on the streets.

Jack (Sam Waterston) and Claire (Jill Hennessy) manage to get justice done despite the efforts of the D.A. Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) to just make it all go away.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

One of the best episodes ever.

Author: azisser from United States
27 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've watched all the Law & Order episodes multiple times over the years, and this is one of the very best. Denis O'Hare's performance is gut wrenching. One of the best character actors around.

He plays homeless schizophrenic who commits horrific crime while off his medications. Turns out he was once a talented attorney, so ends up defending himself, once he is back on medications. His performance is heartbreaking, and as all Law and Orders, deals with relevant societal and legal issues.

O'Hare can't be seen in numerous other episodes over the years. Always delivers outstanding and nuanced performances.

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Might have made a great mouthpiece

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
7 February 2015

Three people are run through with a long and sharp instrument either a sword or a bayonet according to Medical Examiner Leslie Hendrix who between all the Law And Order franchise series probably has the record for appearances. Her doctor Rodgers certainly kept busy almost as much as a real Medical Examiner.

The crimes took place in a second hand clothing store and the owner and two workers were killed and a customer critically wounded. After a false start Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt get the right guy and it's a homeless schizophrenic played by Denis O'Hare.

O'Hare's a sad case and a great reason that mentally ill people should be locked up and not sent out among us with a supply of meds. When they don't take them things like a triple homicide have been known to happen.

In fact something less drastic happened once before and Jill Hennessy plea bargained him out the door.

O'Hare before he showed symptoms of his illness was a promising law student. Going Pro Se, representing himself he does a pretty good job of it. Might have made a great mouthpiece.

In the end though just what is it he wins if he's successful?

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