Law & Order: Season 13, Episode 24

Smoke (21 May 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 59 users  
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The child of a popular comic dies after he is reportedly thrown out of a window during a fire. However, the investigation also uncovers allegations that the comic molested an 11-year-old boy years earlier.



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Title: Smoke (21 May 2003)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Monty Bender
Sammy Mireles
John Mireles
Larry Miller
Lucy Mireles (as Lisa Lisa)
Fred (as Mark H. Dold)


The child of a popular comic dies after he is reportedly thrown out of a window during a fire. However, the investigation also uncovers allegations that the comic molested an 11-year-old boy years earlier.

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Release Date:

21 May 2003 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


D.A. Arthur Branch: These parents traded one boy for another.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: But they're both still alive.
Jack McCoy: We're prosecutors, Serena, not social workers.
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User Reviews

the punishment doesn't seem to justify the effort
29 February 2008 | by (Southern Nevada) – See all my reviews

I'm not a lawyer however I have been reading the New York Penal Law, NYPL; don't ask, I'm just weird like that. (You can find NY laws, as well as those of several other states, here:

Monty the comic (i.e. the thinly Michael Jackson character) molests Sammy Mireles 5 years before when the boy was 11.

McCoy prosecutes his parents with Conspiracy to commit Sexual Abuse in the first degree because they've been taking payments from an out-of-court settlement. Without getting into the plot any further, my question is rather, the law.

According to NYPL section 160.35, Sexual Abuse in the 1st is a "D" felony. Under NY Law the maximum sentence is 7 years in prison.

As I read the conspiracy statutes, Sammy's parents would be facing Conspiracy in the 5th Degree (NYPL 105.05). This is an "A" misdemeanor, that is the maximum sentence is 1 year in county jail.

IF the crime had been a B or C felony (with maximum sentences of 15 and 25 yrs respectively), then the Conspiracy would be that of the 4th Degree, an "E" felony. "E" felonies in NY state carrying a max sentence of 4 yrs in the Gray Bar Hotel, with mandatory parole after 32 months (with good behavior, automatic time off, etc).

It's a little hard to believe that McCoy would pursue (and Arthur sign off on) a trial that, as I read it, would get the parents a maximum of 12 months in county jail! (As probably loss of custody of their minor son.) But the stakes just aren't that high. The way I read the text of the laws in question, a trial would have never happened. It would have certainly been pled down to one misdemeanor or another.

It just wouldn't be worth the effort of a full-blown trial, especially when no-one (even the molester, Monty, since the statute of limitations had "tolled", as lawyers put it) would ever see the inside of a prison cell.

IF YOU ARE A LAWYER, pls drop me an email @NJ_Pman(at)yahoo(dot)com and let me know if/how I'm wrong; or if I'm right.

It's a good episode, compellingly written. I felt my stomach back-flip when McCoy proves that Sammy's parents had literally pimped him out. It's good drama but it doesn't seem any more faithful to the actual laws of New York that, say, "Gladiator" is to actual Roman history.

Lisa Lisa (for those of you too young to remember her in her salad days when the phrase "and Cult Jam" always followed her name) in particular puts in a fine performance.

Serena does some of her bleeding heart tap-dancing (of the kind that Arthur fires her for). McCoy won, which, often seems to be more important to him than anything else. Arthur had politics uppermost in his mind. But the law is always political!

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