Law & Order (1990–2010)
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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.


Jace Alexander


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

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Benjamin Bratt ... Rey Curtis
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Maria Tucci ... Helen Brolin
Lynne Thigpen ... Judge Ida Boucher
Barbara Garrick ... Jenny Sandig
Gareth Williams ... Ted Quinlan
Victor Garber ... Paul Sandig
Leon B. Stevens Leon B. Stevens ... Judge Albert Parsons
Marianne Hagan ... Marcie Donner
Adina Porter ... Mary Byman
Joe Gonzalez 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

18 October 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Amy Hohn has played four different characters over the course of the series: 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 »


Ted Quinlan: Now, you here to buy or just browsing?
Lennie Briscoe: Was Bobby Cassidy one of your regular customers?
Ted Quinlan: A punk. Wanted me to unload some cheap VCRs.
Lennie Briscoe: So you offered him some smack instead, huh?
Ted Quinlan: I offered him a Queen Anne chair.
Rey Curtis: What you do say we cut the crap here? His name wasn't Cassidy, it was Croft and he was on the job. He's dead now and that pisses us off extra special, you catching on?
Ted Quinlan: A cop? No way he could afford the Queen Anne.
See more »

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User Reviews

Re-election on his mind
1 February 2015 | by bkoganbingSee 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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