My wife, Nancy, has long been a big fan of the original Law and Order, the 20-year-old NBC drama that was cancelled today.
Personally, I’ve always had mixed emotions. The pristine professional ethics of the L&O prosecutors set a high standard for real-world DA’s, but I haven’t seen that much moral hand-wringing from folks like Terry McEachern (Tulia), Brett Grayson (Lafayette), Reed Walters (Jena), or Doug Evans (Winona) that I have encountered over the past decade.
Naturally, the mission of Friends of Justice brings us into contact with the worst offenders . . . but still.
Law and Order almost always featured wealthy, socially prominent, white perps. If this was a realistic portrayal of life in your typical DAs office the prisons would be crammed with rich white guys. Sadly, the folks under suspicion on Law and Order rarely experience the tender ministrations of the criminal justice system.
Was political correctness the culprit? Perhaps.
Most mainstream Americans get their understanding of the criminal justice system from TV because they have little real life experience with law and order. The egalitarian, ethically punctilious justice system portrayed on Law and Order gave the impression that all was well in justice land. Would that it were so.