L&O, Episode 18.08
Production number: 18003
First aired: 13 February 2008
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Lethem Illegal
Written By
William N. Fordes & David Slack

Directed By
Constantine Makris


A peaceful protester at an immigration rally is killed, and evidence indicates the police to blame. The case becomes a political nightmare for McCoy, who refuses to back down and is accused of pushing his own liberal agenda.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



Jack McCoy: Sometimes, somebody has to protect us from the protectors. I know. I've been there.
Josh Lethem: So...there it is. Some of us were wondering how long it'd take the real Jack McCoy to rear his shaggy, hippy liberal head. You know, when Arthur left, the Attorney General told me he wanted me sitting in that chair.
Jack McCoy: And the mayor wanted somebody else. But I was the guy next in line for the job. This way, everybody's hands are clean. And I don't have to grind anybody's axe.
Josh Lethem: Except your own.
Jack McCoy: Josh, I think you've said enough.
Josh Lethem: It's too much power for you, Jack. You can't be trusted.
Jack McCoy: If you really believe that you shouldn't be working for me. You can resign or I can fire you. Either way, clean out your desk tonight. You're done here.

Night law school. Like root canal with a dull drill.

–Michael Cutter

What an idiot! Where did I get the idea I could do this job without the politics and stay above the fray?

–Jack McCoy

The bottom line, Miss Sanders: Where there's a law, I will enforce it. Where there's a crime, I will prosecute it. And where there is a victim, I will speak for that victim. That's my bottom line.

–Jack McCoy

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

NYPD Holding Center
Pier 56, West 14th Street
Saturday, September 8

CITU Laboratory
NYPD Headquarters
Monday, September 10

Central Park
77th Street, West Side
Monday, September 10

4 5 6

Auxiliary Police
Precint 74, 106th Street
Tuesday, September 11

Supreme Court
Grand Jury Room
Wednesday, September 12

Vinetti's Restaurant
94 Chambers Street
Wednesday, September 12

7 8 9 10

Supreme Court
Motion Hearing
Tuesday, October 16

Supreme Court
Trial Part 53
Tuesday, November 6

Supreme Court
Trial Part 53
Monday, November 19

Supreme Court
Trial Part 53
Tuesday, November 20

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"Quit Claim"
Law & Order
Season 18
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