Law & Order

Season 12 Episode 7

Myth of Fingerprints

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Nov 14, 2001 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
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  • One of the best of the entire series!

    This episode is still in my opinion one of the very best episodes of the entire series, and probably the best episode of the Serena years (even if this episode was one of those with a rushed script because of threatened strikes at the time it was written in 2001). It was a showcase for S. Epatha Merkenson, who in this episode demonstrated her acting ability as Van Buren struggled with the fact that case that led to her being promoted wound up being one where the forensics expert, who was a friend of Anita's wound up deliberately messing with the forensics that resulted in two men being falsely convicted, with one of those men being murdered while in prison.
  • A case of a man mistakenly sent to jail comes back to haunt Lt. Van Buren.

    Most episodes of Law & Order don't fully use their major characters. While the actors do their best to portray their characters emotions, usually they don't have much material to play around with.

    However this episode is well written - especially for the Van Buren character. The story becomes a quest by Van Buren to find out why a person she convicted ages ago could possibly be innocent. She finds out that the fingerprint expert (Russo) could have lied in court to ensure a conviction - which led to Van Buren's promotion. This becomes worse when Van Buren realises that Russo could have lied many times. S. Epatha Merkerson is great as she shows her character's shock in the longtime friend lying in court and wonders if she 'subconsciously' asked Russo to do this. She also wonders how others will perceive her in her current role in the police station. An episode rises above the average when the answers are not black-and-white. Well done to all.
  • Myth Of Fingerprints

    Womans boyfriend got murdered. Middle of sharing punche to turso uniform man said he did not have anything to do with his child. So basically he was just a sperm donor. Man admits he did not pay child support. Says he paid not a cent this whole time the child needed the money. Mother never took him to court for the money for child support. They had a confidential informant. Mans brother says he was working night shift on his other job. Man states that at the time of the crime his allabi did in fact hold up and he was not at the crime scene.
  • Lt. VanBuren's career rise might be based on a false conviction due to inaccurate forensic evidence, which sent 2 innocent men to prison for murder.

    This riveting episode confirmed my own personal bias against the death penalty. When even the experts are human and prone to human frailties (bribery, frustration, pettiness, etc.) how can we put another's very life in their hands?

    Two men went to prison on life sentences for a crime of which they were innocent, and one died in a prison murder. They were convicted because of the forensic lab supervisor's personal vendetta against criminals. She falsely claimed fingerprint evidence, and not only in this case. The real murderer basicly got away with it thanks to this false testimony.

    This episode not only shook my faith in forensics, it also seems to shake Lt. Van Buren's faith in herself and her own expertise.

    Great episode.