Law and Order/Season 20

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Law & Order (1990–2010) is a long-running police procedural and courtroom drama television series, created by Dick Wolf.

Memo From the Dark Side [20.01][edit]

Franklin: I didn't invent the right of sovereigns, Mr. Cutter. I simply defined it.
Cutter: The right to do what they want with unlawful combatants.
Franklin: Yes.
Cutter: Unlawful combatants like the American militia after King George declared them rebels?
Franklin: Yes, like that.
Cutter: So, you would defend the brutal treatment of American prisoners by the British during the Revolutionary War?
Franklin: From a legal standpoint, yes.
Cutter: Mr. Franklin, what is it about this country that you don't get?

Cutter: You know, that day, eight years ago, we could see the towers burn from Adam's window.
McCoy: I remember.
Cutter: Part of me says, "I don't care what you do to these detainees. I don't want to know. Just protect us."
McCoy: The problem is, now we do know.
Cutter: Yeah. I'm not sure that makes a difference.

Just a Girl in the World [20.02][edit]

Lupo: We're impounding your car for unpaid parking tickets. You know what? We're impounding your sandals, too.

Cutter: Little Orphan Annie doesn't have anything on you, Miss Kim.

Great Satan [20.03][edit]

Speight: [of the charges against her clients] It's a daisy chain, your honor. They're going to end up connecting my clients to Kevin Bacon.

Sameer: I lied because I want to stay here, because this is the place that I love. But when I became an American citizen, I took an oath: "I will support and defend the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic." And that's what I'm doing now, even if it means I will stop being a citizen and be sent away, and America will go on without me.

Reality Bites [20.04][edit]

Lt. Van Buren: So, when do I get to see my detectives on TV?
Bernard: Lupo didn't wanna be on camera.
Lupo: Bad beard day.
Lt. Van Buren: [smiling] I wasn't gonna say anything.

[Connie is being followed by a camera crew]
Cutter: You having fun?
Connie: I am gonna kill you and then I’m gonna kill McCoy.
Cutter: On camera?
Connie: I don’t…I don’t care! I’d be better off in prison! Where are you?
Cutter: Uh, I’m in the courthouse. [watches her across the street] You almost here?
Connie: Yeah. Uh-huh. [angry] Except first I have to tell my friend the CAMERA what’s going on!
Cutter: What are you gonna say?
Connie: [exasperated sigh] Don’t worry, just the party line.

Dignity [20.05][edit]

Connie: I grew up thinking that Roe v. Wade was gospel and that a woman's right to privacy was inviolate. But after hearing that woman on the stand talking about her baby dying in her arms... I don't know. I don't know where my privacy ends and another person's dignity begins.

Cutter: [after uncharacteristically pausing while delivering his closing argument] We're dealing with an issue here that goes to the very mystery of our existence. What is life? When does it begin? At conception? At viability? At birth? And, in good faith, we seek guidance from our moral leaders. From scientists. You know, we want so much to do the right thing. You know, the... the just thing. We want reason and empathy to lead us to an answer. And... and we struggle so much to find that answer. Why? Because... because despite all our differences, we are joined in one belief. That every life is special and unique and imbued with inalienable rights. And that belief compels us to reject the violence... and the unreasoned chaos that Wayne Grogan's act represents.

Human Flesh Search Engine [20.06][edit]

Bonnie: [of Maxwell] That son of a bitch. He pulled my top off at a photo shoot at the St. Patrick's Day parade. No warning, just "oops, you're naked".
Bernard: And that was more than what you bargained for.
Bonnie: My job description didn't say, "Get raped by leprechauns".

[Bernard answers his phone]
Bernard: Bernard. [pause] Who is this? [pause] Screw you! [hangs up]
Lt. Van Buren: I'm guessing that wasn't your mother.
Bernard: Somebody called me a Nazi. You know, an hour ago, somebody called and said I needed to go on a diet.
Lupo: Maybe that was your mother.

Cutter: I'll book some time for the grand jury.
McCoy: What for? The woman's insane.
Cutter: Not for her. Did you see the file on
McCoy: That place on the World Wide Web?
Connie: Actually, they don't call it that anymore.
McCoy: I'm sorry, should I have said "wireless telegraph"?

Boy Gone Astray [20.07][edit]

McCoy: So, the Vela cartel killed Nina Wilshire because she was in a song that extolled the virtues of a rival cartel.
Bernard: It's called "talking smack with a semiautomatic".

[Rafe refuses to testify after being intimidated by the cartel]
Connie: Tell the judge we need more time. We can reach him.
Cutter: He's already been reached.

Doped [20.08][edit]

Lupo: [about the killer's motive] It's either personal, professional, or... mineral.

McCoy: Brenda Sawyer was gathering data about your miracle drug until she was killed by a rogue employee. But why am I telling you something you already know?
Austin: I don't know what Marshall did or didn't do, but I do know that Lextenda is an effective product.
McCoy: Brenda Sawyer thought otherwise - that you were selling false hope to desperate people at a thousand bucks a day, doing it by co-opting doctors with time shares and tropical vacations, that it's a rigged game.
Austin: Don't get self-righteous on me, Jack. If corporations didn't make profits, where would politicians like you be?
McCoy: You're right, and it stinks. There are too many officeholders in the health industry's pockets. It's one of the reasons we can't pass a decent health care bill in this country. And, oh, by the way... [hands him a check] It's a certified check reimbursing your campaign contribution.
Austin: What do you want me to do?
McCoy: Grow a conscience.

For the Defense [20.09][edit]

Woll: [eyes Connie as she leaves] You, too, Mike?
Cutter: Me, what?
Woll: Come on, she is still hot as hell.
Cutter: What are you talking about?
Woll: Just do it. I did.

Cutter: Woll claims that he and Connie had... a sexual relationship. He did everything but show me the dirty pictures.
McCoy: Did you ask her?
Cutter: No. Even that would be crossing the line. I don’t have sex with people that I work with and I don’t ask them about their sex lives. We’re supposed to be smarter than that here, aren’t we? I mean, who’d put themselves in a situation like that?
McCoy: You mean besides me?
Cutter: It is worse for a woman, Jack. Sleeping with the teacher, sleeping with the boss, it demeans them, and a calls into question everything they have accomplish.
McCoy: So, she deserves extra credit for stepping forward, doesn't she? I assume you still find her competent?
Cutter: Of course I do. We're colleagues, we're not lovers... [McCoy looks surprised with this "confession"] ... and that is the way it's supposed to be.

Shotgun [20.10][edit]

Purcell: Well, the cards weren't going my way. Guy with hole aces sitting on the nuts burned me for eight grand. Duane fronted me a loan.
Bernard: He was playing loan shark?
Purcell: He was working for one. Got me $8,000. The vig was one point a week. I paid him back a few days before he got killed. Dudes, I swear, I'm just a guy who sucks at poker.

Lt. Van Buren: "Have a nice day." I'll have a nice day when I'm cured.

McCoy: Since when is it liberal bias to stand up for human dignity and human life, for fairness under the law? You should reexamine your own values, Mr. Pewls, before you start questioning mine.

[Harkavy has been acquitted of three counts of murder and is getting a big cash settlement]
Bernard: Looks like you got what you wanted.
Harkavy: I didn't want it, not like this. It just fell in my lap.
Bernard: But I know you felt bad about it, and you had a chance to come clean. You didn't.
Harkavy: What do you know about anything? Talk to me in 40 years.

Fed [20.11][edit]

Cutter: We can't kick Gans, but we still can't charge him.
Lt. Van Buren: Well, pardon my detectives for doing their job. And by the way, we already have 2 murder suspects. Good ones.
Cutter: Not good enough.
Lt. Van Buren: Exactly what do you want from us?
Cutter: Clarity.
Lt. Van Buren: Clarity. Mr. Cutter, exactly how long have you been an ADA? Since when do you get evidentiary clarity in a murder case handed to you on a silver platter? [opens her office door and gestures for him to leave] I think we're done here for today.

McCoy: I have to attend a panel on violent crime. It would be nice if we were solving it instead of just talking about it.

Blackmail [20.12][edit]

Bernard: [about Carville] You ever watch her show?
Lupo: Sure, when I'm not knitting booties for my cat.

Baron: What kind of blackmailer asks for payment by check?
Cutter: A dumb one.

Steel-Eyed Death [20.13][edit]

Lt. Van Buren: Without the beards, you guys look 5 years younger.
Bernard: [to Lupo] Which makes you about 12.

Justin: Go screw yourself, okay? Screw the police! Screw the Morgans! Screw all 53 states!

Boy on Fire [20.14][edit]

[After the discovery of Ramirez's body]
Lupo: School ID to Sunrise Academy. It's a few blocks that way. One of those charter schools.
Bernard: Trying to help kids in the lousy neighborhoods. Give them a better education to break the cycle of violence.
Lupo: Looks like they've got a little ways to go.

Principal Woodside: Yes, I've heard about the murder, everyone's talking about it.
Bernard: Anyone talking about who did it?
Principal Woodside: Most of these kids worship at the Church of Don't Snitch.

Principal Woodside: Charter schools, magnet schools, they take all our best students, and then we're blamed for having the worst. Kids from poverty, from broken families, a hundred years of neglect and we have to get them ready for college with just a few hours a day. Some charter school that gets 20 million dollars from Bill Gates and they get a few students into Dartmouth, it makes front page news. You want to know what the real success stories are? When a student from Aaron Burr who couldn't even read in the ninth grade manages to graduate and get a job in an auto-parts store instead of becoming a drug dealer. That's a success story, our success story. But no one cares. No one wants to hear about it.

[After Principal Woodside is arrested]
McCoy: Grand larceny? What did she steal?
Cutter: Well, how about a decent education for her students? Their integrity, their potential?
McCoy: I don't think there's a law against stealing potential.

Brilliant Disguise [20.15][edit]

[Detectives examine a dead woman found under a room service cart]
Bernard: American cheese and chocolate milk. Must be off the children's menu.
Lupo: Pretty girl like this, I wonder whose menu she was on.

Connie: [about Conway] Now that he has a taste for violence, how likely is he to stop?
Dr. Skoda: How about, "Not bloody likely"?

Innocence [20.16][edit]

Cedric: I didn't kill no gay dude!
Lupo: It's beneath you. Straight guys never have a problem with two girls together, huh? It's kinda hot. But two guys... it's the ass thing, right?
Bernard: Does that skeev you, Cedric? Imagining what two guys do together? The ins, the outs, what goes where?
Cedric: [defensively] Doesn't bother me.
Lupo: Oh, 'cause maybe he likes it. Is that it? Maybe that's why you were downtown. Lookin' for a little taste. Somethin' on the down-low.
Bernard: You like a nice ass?
Cedric: Shut up! You shut up! I ain't no fag!

Stuber: So what do you got?
Cutter: Man one, 20 years.
Cedric: Screw that!
Ryan: Come on, Mike, you can do better than that.
Cutter: If he's gonna blow trial, the minimum is 15 years.
Connie: Everyone in this room knows he won't get less than 25 to life after a conviction for a hate crime.
Cedric: You know what? I'm sick of this hate crime crap! It's not like he was a black guy. [to Connie] Or a spic!
Cutter: Our offer just went up to 25.
Ryan: Mike...
Cutter: Go to trial if you don't like it.
Ryan: How about our motion for dismissal? How about your law license?
Cutter: You can have my license! It'll free me up to testify about the hate speech your client spewed in here. And after he's convicted of murder in state court, I'll walk across to the U.S. Attorney's office and have your client prosecuted for violating the Matthew Shepard Act. [to Cedric] Hate murder against gays is a federal offense now. Are you ready to do back-to-back life sentences, Mr. Stuber? You will die in jail!
Cedric: [whispers to Ryan] Is that true?
Ryan: Uh, h -he'll take the 20 years you originally offered.
Cutter: It's 25 or nothing. Now or never, Mr. Stuber.
Cedric: Is this Fed thing for real?
Ryan: Yes, I'm afraid so.
Cedric: I'll take the 25. That guy's nuts, you know that?
Ryan: [looking sadly at Cutter] Yeah, I do.

Four Cops Shot [20.17][edit]

Captain: I'm not sure your lieutenant shares our attitude toward cop killers.
Lt. Van Buren: Cop killers, we all feel the same about. Playing God, I'm not so sure.
Captain: I know you've been sick, Lieutenant, and I'm sorry about that. But, uh, maybe it's effecting your judgment.
Lt. Van Buren: [angry but controlled] I certainly hope so.

McCoy: Looks like you may be facing a lynch mob in the courtroom.
Cutter: Can you blame them? Maybe we should hand this one off to the Feds. The U.S. Attorney would lap this up.
Connie: The U.S. Attorney would execute his own mother to show what a hardass he is.

[Lupo and Bernard are searching Hi-Top's messy room]
Bernard: Hi-Top isn't much of a housekeeper.
Lupo: Well, you know, the single crackhead lifestyle...

Brazil [20.18][edit]

[Lupo and Bernard are watching a tape of Dr. Silva fainting]
Bernard: Look at that. He was bleeding before he went down.
Lupo: Bleeding like that from a stroke?
Paramedic Larson: Not from a stroke. I've never seen anything like this before.
Lupo: We have. It's called homicide-itis.

McCoy: Two guilty pleas. You look like someone ran over your dog.
Cutter: Well, I won, but Nicole Shoemaker lost. She'll grow up with a father and grandfather in prison, under the care of a mom whose selfishness set this whole tragedy in motion.
Connie: That's why I never went into family law. That's where all the heartbreak is.
McCoy: Heartbreak is everywhere in this job. As you both know. Take consolation in getting the right result. It's a good day's work.
Cutter: Yeah, but not a good day.

Crashers [20.19][edit]

[Lt. Van Buren is researching cancer treatments in the middle of the night]
Frank: It's late. Why don't you knock off for the night?
Lt. Van Buren: You're right. I'm making myself crazy. Making you crazy.
Frank: You do, you know. In a good way. You want to go lie down? I mean, we could just... lie down.
Lt. Van Buren: I know it's been a while.
Frank: The doctor gave you the okay, right? We'll go slow.
Lt. Van Buren: I don't want to go slow. I want to let you rip off my clothes. I want to shut my eyes. I want my old body back.

Cutter: Camille agreed to plead guilty to man 1. 12 years. Andrea took 5 years as an accessory.
Connie: Senator Peterson announced that he is not resigning. He's standing by his wife.
McCoy: Too little, too late.

The Taxman Cometh [20.20][edit]

Cutter: My first accountant serial killer.

Connie: Your former lover's testimony will tell us what really happened.
Catherine: Really. And what do your former lovers have to say about you?

Immortal [20.21][edit]

Lupo: Hey. You OK? We're sorry, we didn't mean to cause trouble with your boss.
Mia: He's always like that. He's such a...
Lupo: Private dick?

[An African-American suspect claims that white doctors are stealing his family members' blood]
Lupo: White people stealing blood?
Bernard: Yeah, time to bring out the garlic and silver bullets.

Love Eternal [20.22][edit]

Connie: They'd rather let a murderer go free than give their wives a fair share of their assets.
Cutter: Yeah. Makes me appreciate being single.

Lawyer: Mrs. Di Napoli pleads not guilty.
Marielle: Ah, no. She pleads not possible.
Judge Lee: Excuse me?
Marielle: How can you murder your own heart?
Connie: The actual charge, your honor, is murdering her husband.
Marielle: How can you murder your own soul?
Judge Lee: Stick around. You'll see.

Rubber Room [20.23][edit]

Lupo: Johnny's apartment was clean. No weapons. No trace of explosives. A "love to watcher". He's not a doer.
Lt. Van Buren: Then find the doer.
Bernard: The car in the video was a silver Civic, any one of 5 model years. Tens of thousands in the state.
Lupo: It's like fishing for a needle in the ocean. Old Chinese saying.
Lt. Van Buren: Just do it. Old American saying.

[McCoy tries to persuade a reluctant witness to tell the police about a former teacher who is planning to shoot up a school]
McCoy: Ms. Scott, I'm Jack McCoy, the District Attorney. We need you to talk to us.
Kralik: I know you know what a subpeona is.
McCoy: Just how far up your ass is your head? A member of your union is threatening to shoot up a school!
Kralik: [sarcastically] Really? I find it hard to believe that any teacher could be pushed over the edge. What do you think did it, Mr. McCoy? Was it being micro-managed by the Department of Education, or having all of the responsibility and none of the authority? Or is it having to dig into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies? Or maybe it's being abused and assaulted daily by students and their parents!
McCoy: You get no argument from me there. But if your obstruction allows a massacre to happen, I will crucify you, Mr. Kralik. I will charge you with negligent homicide, and after you're convicted, I'll resign my job and represent the victims in a wrongful death suit against you and the union. By the time I'm done, you'll be finished. So my advice to you is GET OUTTA MY WAY!!

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