Thursday, January 06, 2005

How Did L&O Miss This One?

Andrea Yates, the Texas fruitcake (my mother hates that term) who drowned her five children in a bathtub a few years ago, had her convictions and sentences overturned by a state appellate court. It seems that during the trial, evidence was presented that an episode of Law and Order that aired shortly before the children were killed showed a woman drowning her kids and "getting away with it" by pleading insanity. Yates was an avid L&O watcher, so the implication was that she got the idea from the show and was somehow faking her mental problems.

Except it never happened. After trial, defense lawyers contacted Dick Wolf's people who revealed that no L&O had ever featured that story line. The appellate court, confronted with obviously false evidence (the state agreed), really had no choice but to reverse. Oddly enough, the "evidence" first came up during defense cross-examination of a state witness. The state then picked up on it and ran with it, but this was not a case of the state fabricating evidence to secure a conviction (as the CNN story implies). You can read the opinion for yourself here.

The real story for me, however, is that there is some idea/scenario/plot that L&O and its various spin-offs hasn't done yet!

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