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"Misconception"
L&O, Episode 2.06
Production number: 67410
First aired: 29 October 1991
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1229 released in all  
Schiff Misconception
Teleplay By
Michael S. Chernuchin

Story By
Michael S. Chernuchin & Michael Duggan

Directed By
Daniel Sackheim

The beating of a young pregnant woman leads to a miscarriage.

Plot

After being mugged, pregnant legal secretary Amy Newhouse has a miscarriage. Logan and Cerreta suspect that the mugging was not random, and that someone -- perhaps Amy, perhaps her boyfriend, cab driver Chris Baylor, or perhaps her boss, attorney David Alcott -- wanted the unborn baby dead. The problem: Can the D.A.'s office argue that the killing of an unborn baby qualifies as a murder?

Cast

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

References

References

Quotes

"You want a jury to ignore the evidence."
"No, Chris and Amy want the jury to look at the law. I’ll get the jury to look at Chris and Amy."
"The law’s supposed to be a shield, not a sword. They’re despicable, yes. But by letter of the law they’re not guilty."
"The legislature could never have conceived of anything like this, but wrong should not win by technicalities. You know that yourself."
"Get these bastards off the street. "

- Adam Schiff and Benjamin Stone


"Hey, summer of ’82, I hacked part-time to pay tuition. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I’d get lonely, I’d park my cab in front of Janey Meyer’s house, leave the meter running, go inside, take care of business, pay the fare myself."
"Which would amount to what, about $2, $3?"
"Like going to Jersey and back!"

- Mike Logan and Phil Cerreta


"I wouldn’t mess with me if I were you, Chris. By the time you see a dime, it won’t be worth a nickel."

- Elaine Cowan


"Is this jealousy I'm hearing?"
"It's nausea. Ambulance chasing always brings that out in me."


"The public is all over us when a known killer walks on a techicality. I just flipped the coin. I let the jury use a technicality to convict."

- Ben Stone

Background information and notes

  • The episode is based on the Maria Flores case. In March 1991, at San Diego, California, Flores had just cashed a $378 welfare check in when Robert Davis approached her and demanded her money. Flores, who was pregnant at the time, refused to give up her cash, and Davis fired a bullet into her chest. Flores survived the shooting but her fetus, less than six months old, died from a combination of blood loss to the placenta and asphyxiation caused by Flores' own blood loss, low blood pressure, and shock. During Davis' trial, fetal experts testified that the fetus was 22 to 25 weeks old. They disagreed over whether it could have survived outside the womb, but none put the chance of survival greater than 50%. Superior Court Judge Michael Wellington, over the objections of the defense, told the jury that a "fetus is viable when it has achieved the capability for independent existence; that is, when it is possible for it to survive the trauma of birth although with artificial medical aid." The standard jury instruction defined a viable fetus as one probably capable of living outside the womb, a definition that would have been more favorable to Davis. The jury convicted Davis of fetal homicide, but indicated that it was not convinced he knew Flores was pregnant. She weighed 192 pounds when she was not pregnant and stood at 5'1". The case would go on to set a precedent in all other murder cases involving fetal homicide.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

The Summit Hill Club
2543 6th Avenue
Thursday, June 21

Supreme Court
Trial Part 48
Monday, August 6

Office of Dr. Gluck
4925 5th Avenue
Tuesday, September 4

4 5 6

Office of Chief Assistant
District Attorney
Benjamin Stone
Friday, September 14

Supreme Court
Trial Part 42
Tuesday, October 2

Supreme Court
Trial Part 42
Thursday, October 4


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"God Bless the Child"
"Misconception"
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