A Heck Of A Guy Encore: How To Beat The Rap On Law & Order
NBC announced last week that Law & Order, a stalwart network series for the past 20 years, would be canceled after this season. In commemoration of this outstanding crime drama and in keeping with what was, during the era in which Law & Order began, the tradition of summer reruns, Heck Of A Guy, emboldened by the success of last week’s showcase of especially popular previously published posts, Wedding Toasts, Death Threats, Kink, Chuckles Eulogy, Pseudoscience Of Carcinogenic Omelets, offers a refurbished encore production of How To Beat The Rap On Law & Order, originally broadcast on HOAG March 9, 2006.
The premise for How To Beat The Rap On Law & Order is implicit in this passage:
The observant viewer will also note that, incredibly enough, the designated criminals on these dramas fall for those same interrogation techniques and legal maneuvers every week – even though these scenarios, with a full explication of the underlying strategies, have been repeatedly broadcast on TV, day and night, for years. Why do these otherwise wily, often brilliant individuals, who have the intrinsic advantage of a willingness to cheat, lie, and mislead and, one assumes, some aptitude for and experience with these skills, fall prey to the interrogators’ ancient, clichéd tricks?…
Well, I, for one, will be prepared. If, for example, the Rapture actually turns out to be that cataclysmic period when real life and television completely merge, as presaged by today’s reality shows, and I become a suspect on CSI, Joplin, I intend to be ready.
And, like Leonard Cohen, “I have stumbled on the answer, and I’m not the sort of chap who would keep this to himself…”1
A few excerpts are provided as an indication of the quality of advice the reader can expect:
6. Nor will I resort to the sarcastically intoned “Is that supposed to scare me?” after a cop or prosecutor has made an obviously scary threat. In any case, I suspect that Lennie et al, being detectives after all, might pick up a clue that I was frightened when I fainted, developed total body tremor, or became incontinent.
10. If I am a physician being charged with a crime, I will not
A. Pompously explain that I cannot cooperate with the investigation because I’m too busy saving lives
B. Dress in “a fancy Armani suit” (apparently a well known signal of criminal intent regardless of the suspect’s profession; well trimmed Van Dykes and goatees appear to be giveaways as well)
C. Practice in “a fancy Park Avenue office” (as a rule, cops hate it when suspects have fancy stuff)
D. Invoke doctor-patient confidentiality (which both signals guilt and antagonizes police and prosecutors)
19. I will hire, in advance, the smartest, most aggressive, most pragmatic, most cynical, and (especially) scariest lawyer in the system. I will carefully listen to my lawyer’s advice and will not instruct him or her, “You work for me; just do what I tell you,” “I don’t care what you think, it’s my life and I’m not taking the deal,” or “Put me on the stand; I’ll make the prosecutor look ridiculous.”
26. I will not change my story even if the officers or prosecutors introduce seemingly irrefutable facts that appear to contradict what I’ve said. Seemingly irrefutable facts that appear to contradict what I’ve said are the reason I hired the lawyer in Principle #19.
The complete post cn be found at How To Beat The Rap On Law & Order
- Leonard Cohen, Praha August 29, 2009 [↩]