|←||L&O, Episode 3.07||→|
|Production number: 68008|
First aired: 11 November 1992
| Written By|
René Balcer & Hall Powell
A Greek jeweler store owner kills two robbers and claims self-defense, but his true motives are quickly revealed.
21-year-old Garland Booker is found dead in a car. His brother, 27-year-old Cecil, is found several feet away.
A Greek jewelry store owner, George Costas, admits to shooting them in self defense during a robbery. A surveillance tape presented to the DA shows that Costas shot the men while they were still locked in the doorway, "like fish in a barrel." He then followed the men outside and continued shooting Garland while he was in the car.
The investigation digs up another incident in New Jersey where Costas killed another man attempting to rob his store. Stone determines that Costas is a vigilante, and charges him with murder.
Costas is found guilty of killing Garland Booker.
- Paul Sorvino as Sergeant Phil Cerreta
- Chris Noth as Detective Mike Logan
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen
- Michael Moriarty as Executive A.D.A. Benjamin Stone
- Richard Brooks as A.D.A. Paul Robinette
- Steven Hill as D.A. Adam Schiff
- Christine Farrell as Forensics Technician Arlene Shrier
- David Lipman as Judge Morris Torledsky
- Robert Coffin as Court Clerk
- Adam Arkin as George Costas
- Paul Butler as Judge Edmond Francis
- Marissa Chibas as Christina Costas
- Ron Rifkin as Alex Drakos
- Frank Savino as Nick Fortas
- Robert Hirschfeld as Abrams
- Jon Manfrellotti as Detective Morelli
- Johnnie Mae as Laticia Ramis
- Ron Brice as Marvin Welles
- Peter Yoshida as Joon Rhee
- Florence Anglin as Mrs. Pinsker
- Mick O'Rourke as Matt Donegan
- Wai Ching Ho as Mrs. Rhee
- Paul Schulze as Garfield
- Philip LeStrange as McDowell
- Lou Martini Jr. as Crime Scene Unit Policeman
- "Well, so much for the thousand words. Better hope the picture speaks for itself."
- – Paul Robinette
- Donald Cragen: Well what about his story, does it walk and talk?
- Phil Cerreta: Limp and an accent, but after what he’s been through, you can expect this guy to be a little fuzzy on the details.
- Donald Cragen: Okay, work the store, maybe the 'i's will dot themselves.
- Nick Fortas: In Greece, they got weapons laws up the ying-yang.
- Mike Logan: Nice to know we live in a civilized country.
- "Costas is getting more play than Zapruder."
- – Adam Schiff
- Benjamin Stone: If we let him walk, we’re endorsing an armed populace that metes out justice as they see fit.
- Adam Schiff: We try him and lose, the same message with our credibility as an appetizer.
Background information and notes
- The episode title "Self Defense" is a reference to the claim made by George Costas that he was merely defending himself and his property when he shot two black robbers.
Episode scene cards
Judge Edmond Francis
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| "Self Defense"|
Law & Order
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"Prince of Darkness"