Season 17 - Episode 9: Deadlock

Law & Order

Sorry, this episode is not currently available to watch on Demand 5.

Find out why

Leon Vorgitch was being escorted to court for an appeal hearing when he slipped his handcuffs and stabbed both his guards. At the scene of the crime, Green tells Cassady and Van Buren that he was involved in the case that put Vorgitch on death row – the murder of five people in a burger bar. “They changed the law before they got the needle in him,” Green fumes, angry that the murderer lived to kill again.

Green and Cassady set off to interrogate Vorgitch’s friends and family about his whereabouts. His mother has not seen him for eight years. “He murdered five people,” she laments. “Can you imagine knowing you brought a monster into the world?”

Meanwhile, a former cellmate of Vorgitch leads them to an illegal gun dealer, but the fugitive has killed him and is now armed. The police worry that Vorgitch is out for revenge against people who testified against him. However, when they question his best friend they learn that he escaped to see his mother, who has cancer. Green and Cassady catch up with him at the hospital. “He just wanted me to forgive him, but I wouldn’t,” his mother tells them.

Green chases Vorgitch into a nearby school, where he takes a classroom of girls hostage. As the police surround the building they hear gunfire from inside. They break into the classroom to discover that Vorgitch has shot five of the children. “You can’t shoot me,” he smirks. “I’m unarmed.” Green trains his gun on the ruthless killer and struggles not to pull the trigger.

As the case proceeds, the latest massacre puts the DA’s office in a difficult position, as the death penalty in New York state has been suspended due to a legal deadlock. “Either we decline to prosecute Vorgitch or we waste three months on a murder trial with nothing at stake,” reflects McCoy. “No trial for eight dead,” says Rubirosa in disbelief. “We owe the families.” Meanwhile, a politician uses the question mark that hangs over the death penalty to whip up a media storm.

McCoy tries to convince the courts to circumvent the state legislature and overturn the deadlock on the death penalty purely for his case. “What’s the point of having the death penalty if we’re afraid to use it?” he asks the court, but his attempt to change the law is blocked. The case is plunged deeper into controversy when the father of one of the dead schoolgirls takes the law into his own hands and shoots Vorgitch dead.

The politician campaigning for the return of the death penalty becomes the father’s defence lawyer and gets him to plead guilty to manslaughter. This forces the DA’s office to charge him with murder. “You’re playing politics with your client’s defence,” McCoy accuses the politician. In a trial charged with moral ambiguity, public outrage and political opportunism, McCoy face the unenviable task of prosecuting a grieving father. Can he preserve the integrity of the law while also serving justice?

More episodes

Next

Previous

All episodes 

Comments (5)

  • Karen

    over 2 years ago

    Karen

    Can someone please give an account of the 13th victim? There were 5 original, 2 cops, the FAT guy, & 4 children. That adds up to 12 people, I watched it last night and this morning and I can't figure it out. This is the first time I've been stumped.

  • Mr Mortgage

    3 years ago

    Mr Mortgage

    Yes, Paul, what they need to do is give us cheery stories that show the lighter side of the work of the New York homicide bureau.

  • Paul

    3 years ago

    Paul

    That episode was so sad.

  • Venetian1

    3 years ago

    Venetian1

    Great episode .. right conclusion

  • shygirl16

    3 years ago

    shygirl16

    wow what a horrible person who could kill 13 people and not get the death sentance i want vote to have it brought back

Blank_avatar