The death penalty has just been passed in New York and prosecutors must decide whether or not it is appropriate after an unlikely suspect murders an undercover police officer.



(created by), (as Morgan Gendal) | 2 more credits »


Airs Fri. Jul. 28, 5:00 AM on TNT



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jenny Sandig
Ted Quinlan
Leon B. Stevens ...
Judge Albert Parsons
Marcie Donner
Mary Byman
Joe Gonzalez ...
Sergeant Gilbert Gonzales


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the murder of an undercover policeman, Bobby Croft who worked in the Intelligence Division. He was investigating a phony antiques dealer, Ted Quinlan, who he thought was actually dealing heroin. There is little evidence against Quinlan but the investigation leads the to his accountant, Paul Sandig, who had hired an investigator to find out just who Croft was. The real debate isn't about Sandig's guilt but whether they should seek the the recently re-instated death penalty. They go forward and obtain a guilty verdict but the question then becomes whether New York's law is constitutional. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

18 October 1995 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Victor Garber and Lynne Thigpen previously costarred in the 1973 movie, Godspell (1973). See more »


The date of the sentencing hearing is February 11. The date the sentence is handed down is February 17. However, everyone from Jack, Claire, the defense, and even the jury forewoman is wearing the exact same clothes, right down to the jewelry, from six days previously. It's clear both scenes were shot the same day, then just had different dates added in. In addition, it states that February 17 is a Monday. That would make it President's Day, a Federal holiday, and court would not be in session. See more »


Claire Kincaid: They strap you down. They stick a needle in your arm and run poison through your veins. It's barbaric.
Jack McCoy: I wouldn't weep for Paul Sandig.
Claire Kincaid: Revenge is sweet, huh?
Jack McCoy: Yes, it is. It's a natural human instinct and there's no need to apologize for it.
Claire Kincaid: No, except for the fact that it's illegal.
Jack McCoy: That's exactly my point. There is no private right of action under the criminal justice system and so the state has obligation to mete out fitting punishment.
Claire Kincaid: And that's why we have prisons. Because life without ...
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User Reviews

Re-election on his mind
1 February 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The debate and use of the death penalty is the subject of this Law And Order show. Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt catch the case of an undercover cop who is found murdered, a whole revolver full of bullets emptied into him. As we know the death penalty is the remedy for the murder of a cop on duty. The question here for the detectives is whether whoever did it knew he was a cop as he was undercover. Drawing upon his vast experience with divorce lawyers Orbach provides the solution.

The perpetrator is a surprise, the detectives are concentrating on a wealthy antique importer who uses that as a cover for his heroin dealing. Everybody is surprised when the doer proves to be Victor Garber the man's accountant. Turns out he's deeper in the dealing than anyone could have realized.

This is New York and not Texas where the death penalty in real life has still not been applied. This causes great debate, a triangular debate between Sam Waterston, Jill Hennessy, and Steven Hill. As an elected official Hill also has his re-election on his mind. But more than political arguments are brought to bear.

One thing is clear to me. Garber really was being a jerk when he did this deed. He ought to die for being terminally stupid.

For those interested in the ethics of capital punishment this is a fine episode.

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