History Series / LawandOrder

8th Feb '17 7:19:18 PM Titus88
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* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In the first few seasons it wasn't unusual for none of the main characters to appear until after the credits. One season three episode ("Consultation") in particular has a lengthy ER scene where doctors attempt to revive the victim for a full minute with none of the show's regular cast in sight.
24th Jan '17 9:59:18 AM talltalltree
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** In another Season 1 episode, "Out of the Half-Light", the rape of an African-American girl by white cops turns into a witch-hunt against the judicial system after an ambitious Congressman gets involved. It turns out that [[spoiler:the girl was never raped; she lied about it knowing this was the only way her strictly religious father would allow her to have an abortion.]]
15th Jan '17 9:39:40 AM nombretomado
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** "His Hour Upon The Stage", for example, is a line from a famous {{Macbeth}} soliloquy about people's lives being devoid of meaning, comparable to actors in a play. In the episode, a producer's body is found ''five years after he was killed'' by [[spoiler: an actress who used him and his play production company to advance her career and as a front to sell drugs, and killed him when he got wind of the plot. Stone lampshades the fact that she viewed the victim as an actor on her stage]].

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** "His Hour Upon The Stage", for example, is a line from a famous {{Macbeth}} ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' soliloquy about people's lives being devoid of meaning, comparable to actors in a play. In the episode, a producer's body is found ''five years after he was killed'' by [[spoiler: an actress who used him and his play production company to advance her career and as a front to sell drugs, and killed him when he got wind of the plot. Stone lampshades the fact that she viewed the victim as an actor on her stage]].
20th Dec '16 6:56:46 PM Titus88
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** A couple of episodes, "Aftershock", "Bad Girl", feature executions when in reality the state of New York hasn't executed anyone since 1963, though the death penalty was on the books there at the time.
30th Oct '16 11:29:24 AM nombretomado
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** Creator/AdultSwim also parodied this in a commercial announcing thirty or so ''HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' spinoffs.

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** Creator/AdultSwim also parodied this in a commercial announcing thirty or so ''HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' spinoffs.
26th Oct '16 6:10:02 PM DustSnitch
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*SmokingGunControl: Frequently, the important evidence usually does exist, but legal mistakes in handling it means it can't be admitted in court.
** Often beaten into the ground by the various L&O franchises, where ''multiple'' pieces of evidence are tossed for various (occasionally contradictory) reasons. The worst offender was arguably the ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' season 8 finale, "Screwed" where more or less ALL the evidence against the defendant was tossed because of a corrupt cop at the evidence room tipping the defense off to "questionable practices" in gaining the evidence, then "losing" the rest.
** This was often [[AvertedTrope averted]] in the very early days of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' "Prime." There would be some ambiguity back then about whether some defendants were actually guilty. Eventually either the producers or the audience decided they wanted certainty, so after, say, season three the cops always find damning evidence that gets thrown out of court.
19th Oct '16 8:05:25 AM hullflyer
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* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: 95% of pre or in-trial fact finding would be done by investigators (of the type Lenny Briscoe was on ''Trial By Jury''), not the [=DAs=] themselves. Alson, in-trial pleas or deals would be extremely rare. Once the trial starts, the state would have little incentive not to go for the maximum penalty; the time and resources for the trial have already been allocated.

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* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: 95% of pre or in-trial fact finding would be done by investigators (of the type Lenny Briscoe was on ''Trial By Jury''), not the [=DAs=] themselves. Alson, Also, in-trial pleas or deals would be extremely rare. Once the trial starts, the state would have little incentive not to go for the maximum penalty; the time and resources for the trial have already been allocated.
28th Sep '16 1:30:23 PM dmcreif
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***Not only that, but the time-lines of trials seem to be rushed and take place within days of the crime. Most of the cases on this series are homicides, with a few rapes and kidnappings thrown in. These cases, if not plea bargained, are seldom heard in less than a year after the event.


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**The detectives are shown to be working that weeks case give 100% of their time and attention to it. It's more common for detectives to have many active cases going at any one time, and may devote a few minutes or hours to several over the course of a single day.
**When the Detectives want to "bring in" or "pick up" someone for questioning are usually located instantly. That might work if they had a consistent schedule they followed faithfully every day, but there are few people who do that. Also, many of the people they are looking for are homeless or otherwise itinerant, and even they don't know where they will be tomorrow.
**When witness or suspects are brought to the station and interrogated sometimes it's pretty clear they didn't want to come. If there is no probable cause for an arrest or an active arrest warrant, the police can't make you go anywhere against your will. Once in a while, a wealthy or educated person will assert this, but mostly the cops just walk up to people, put the cuffs on them, and place them in the car.
**Sometimes, detectives are shown picking up a weapon with a handkerchief or by inserting a pencil in the barrel. Both of which are forensic no-nos as the handkerchief might contaminate possible DNA evidence, and the pencil would destroy microscopic markings inside the barrel, making it difficult to match the weapon to slugs retrieved from a victim's body or a crime scene. Instead, one expert recommends holding a weapon in place with gloved fingertips and sliding a thin, stiff sheet of plastic beneath it.
**When the detectives are interviewing someone or working a crime scene, they are never seen taking notes. Real detectives are constantly taking notes. The notes are so important that they are occasionally booked into evidence to ensure the originals will be available for review before trial.
**In real life the same group of police officers working with the same group of prosecutors in one year is highly unlikely. Also the same could be said of the police and prosecutors getting through 22-24 cases per year.
**In a few episodes, Lennie Briscoe will approach a drug dealer whom he will know has information valuable to the case, but the dealer will usually play dumb so Briscoe and his partner will frisks the dealer and find drugs, the cuffs come out and the dealer will spill his guts. This action is called the squeeze and the way it's done is illegal. The proper procedure is that after finding the drugs the police are supposed to arrest the dealer and bring him to the D.A's office for a plea-for-information deal. As only the D.A's have the authority to put the squeeze on as they will need proof of evidence in case the dealer's testimony is needed in a court of Law.
19th Sep '16 12:44:05 AM Freezer
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* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: 95% of pre or in-trial fact finding would be done by investigators (of the type Lenny Briscoe was on ''Trial By Jury''), not the [=DAs=] themselves.

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* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: 95% of pre or in-trial fact finding would be done by investigators (of the type Lenny Briscoe was on ''Trial By Jury''), not the [=DAs=] themselves. Alson, in-trial pleas or deals would be extremely rare. Once the trial starts, the state would have little incentive not to go for the maximum penalty; the time and resources for the trial have already been allocated.
31st Aug '16 3:26:09 PM DustSnitch
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* {{Horrible Hollywood}}: Taken to almost reflective levels in "Everybody Loves Raimando's", where Hollywood's romanticized portrayal of Italian mob families (TheGodfather is cited as being guilty of this) directly results in [[spoiler: a mob boss ordering a hit on the producer of such a film]].

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* {{Horrible Hollywood}}: HorribleHollywood: Taken to almost reflective levels in "Everybody Loves Raimando's", where Hollywood's romanticized portrayal of Italian mob families (TheGodfather is cited as being guilty of this) directly results in [[spoiler: a mob boss ordering a hit on the producer of such a film]].
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