L&O, Episode 15.01
Production number: E5301
First aired: 22 September 2004
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Lawrence McNeil Paradigm
Teleplay By
Richard Sweren

Story By
Dick Wolf

Directed By
Matthew Penn


Green and his new partner, Joe Fontana, investigate the murder of an Iraq War veteran who has more incriminating Abu Ghraib prison photos. An Iraqi woman who is an American citizen is charged, but she claims to be a prisoner of war.


Main cast

Guest cast



Any Iraqi would rather be in a jail run by the Americans than a jail run by Saddam. The only mistake you made was not burning Abu Ghraib to the ground.

–Aziz, a Saddam-era Abu Ghraib survivor

Close your eyes and imagine this picture. Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard controls the streets of New York. They break into your house. They grab your son or your husband or your brother. They him to Riker's Island, where they accuse him of opposing the occupation of his own country. And then, after months of systematically humiliating, abusing and torturing him, they shove a broomstick up his rectum. Your religious leaders tell you to resist the occupation, to kill the invaders if you have the chance. And then... and then you find out that one of the guards who mistreated your loved one is living right around the corner and is gonna go back and do it again and again and again. Shouldn't you do whatever you can to stop him?

–The defense's closing argument

Lindsay Starr didn't deserve to die. She was no longer a soldier. She worked in a supermarket. She was lured into a deserted office and ambushed. And while Nadira Harrington's misfortunes might explain her actions, they can't excuse cold-blood retribution for the abuse of her brother. If Corporal Starr's conduct at Abu Ghraib exceeded military or international standards, we have, in our civil society, proceeds to redress those wrongs, if wrongs they be. Yes, the processes are slow, messy, uneven, but Nadira Harrington had choices to vote, to sue, to advocate for justice. Instead, she opted for blood feud, and the end product of blood feud is chaos. Our history books are rife with examples of religious zealots of all stripes --Christians, Muslims, Jews -- twisting their faith's fundamental morality to accommodate a personal or political agenda. Neither rationale justifies killing. A highest moral law in our culture is "Thou shalt no kill." And where we live, killing in the name of God, country, or brother is still called murder.

–The prosecution's closing arguments

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

713th Army Reserve Center
Long Island City, Queens
Wednesday, July 9

Top Shelf Market
Rego Park, Queens
Wednesday, July 9

Gowanus Auto Center
Flatbush, Brooklyn
Friday, July 11

4 5 6

Home of
Jeff & Nadira Harrington
Syosset, New York
Friday, July 11

Chambers of
Judge Walter Bradley
Monday, August 25

Supreme Court
Trial Part 43
Tuesday, September 9

7 8

Supreme Court
Trial Part 43
Wednesday, September 10

Supreme Court
Trial Part 43
Friday, September 12

Previous episode:
Law & Order
Season 15
Next episode:
"The Dead Wives Club"
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