What applied to American collusion with Chile in 1973 clearly has ramifications for George W. Bush's admitted use of torture, incarceration of known innocent persons, and unauthorized war in Iraq. When he leaves office, he can amd should be put on trial.
So profound are the questions that were raised in this 2000 episode that in 2008 they clearly apply to George W. Bush, who admits that he ordered torture of certain persons abroad, kept prisoners at Guantanamo in the knowledge that they were innocent, and made a decision to go to war in Iraq without proper Congressional or UN authorization that has resulted in the deaths of more than 4000 American soldiers and thousands more Iraqi civilians. "Vaya Con Dios" may apply to Chile, but a replay in 2008 raises consciousness of the fact that when Bush leaves office, he is no longer immune from criminal liability and can be subject to indictment, arrest, prosecution, and conviction for the capital crime of murder, according to Vincent Bugliosi's "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" (2008). My "George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration's Liability for 269 War Crimes" (2008) provides other basis for prosecution in American as well as foreign courts, particularly torture and other violations of the Geneva, Hague, and other international conventions on the law of warfare.
A college student is killed during the overthrow of Pinochet in Chile in '73. The boy's father is accidentally killed while investigating his son's death.
As in many Law & Order episodes, the original crime is almost an after thought. The perpetrator is quickly dealt with in a plea bargain, the meat of the story comes from why the crime happened - the Colonel who supposedly ordered the student killed. But should the Manhattan DA prosecute a crime committed in a foreign country, even if the conspiracy reached all the way to NYC?
This episode combines the investigation and legal aspects that this series is known for, but this episode shines in the legal arena. The riveting court room scenes are there as expected, but there is the unexpected as well.
In a series that isn't known for character development, we get an interesting peak into McCoy's past - he says the dead college student could have been him. There is also more screen time for DA Schiff's character than usual - we see how he deals with the federal government and the trial judge with dry humor.
The series often frames the conflict in the form of the court room battle and disagreements among the regular cast. In this episode, the conflict is also with the federal government, which sees the case as setting dangerous foreign policy precedent.
To top off the episode, the case is argued before the Supreme Court, and the episode ends before we find out the court's decision - something else to think about after watching this thought provoking episode.
Person found dead on stairway. Got things from salvation army. Man believed that the govt. killed his son. Son was tortured and shot. Naval Intellegence and Chillians tortured and murdered his son. Cernal knew about the whole murder and torture. Beath him to death with a few other people. he was very big hearted man. NID interrogated him. Man says that he saw Jason and he had been beaten by the CID also tortured another man. Found the cernal quilty of all charges. Just because he had kidney failure doens't mean he gets away with this whole murder because he's still in America.
This is just a very well written and well acted episode by probably the best cast/characters (Briscoe, Green, Van Buren, McCoy, Carmichael, Schiff) of the entire run of the show in my opinion. The Supreme Court part and the ending are my favorite parts. It was a great episode for Schiff as his last, (even if it didn't tie up his story). The story is "ripped from the headlines" of the Charles Horman case for the 10th season finale. Joe Morton as Leon Chiles and Rebecca Schull as Mrs. Whitman are two standout guest performances. I do wish I knew what the decision was!
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