Law and Order

Teenage Wasteland

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"Teenage Wasteland"
L&O, Episode 11.12
Production number: E1315
First aired: 7 February 2001
  {{{nNthProducedInSeries}}}th of 456 produced in L&O  
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Mitch Regan
Written By
Barry Schindel & Aaron Zelman

Directed By
Constantine Makris

Plot Edit

After a group of teenagers are arrested for the murder of a Chinese restaurant owner, the DA must decide whether or not to seek the death penalty against the eldest teenager of the group.

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Quotes Edit

"Hey, check it out. Here comes Sergeant Slaughter."
Lennie Briscoe spotting Marvin Warner
"Charge him with murder. A person doesn't lose the back of his skull unless his killer intends him to."
Jack McCoy
Lewin: Which should be the standard to take the life of a teenager?
Carmichael: Where I come from, it's when what a person's done is so vicious, so cruel, he forfeits the right to get any older.
Lewin: Where I come from, a person can't forfeit that right. We can only take it from him.

"My decision today continues this office's tradition of objectively applying the laws of this state to the cases it's charged with prosecuting in this great city. Ours is an island but we are not untouched by the national debate or its dictates concerning the death penalty. That being said, my decision goes against my personal feelings, but as District Attorney, I took an oath to uphold the law which includes applying the death penalty fairly with due process of law. To do otherwise would be to substitute my own judgment for the judgment of those the people elected to make such decisions. Accordingly, I am forced to conclude that notice to the court of our intention to seek the death penalty in the case of the People v. Mitch Reagan is appropriate."
Nora Lewin to the press
"With any luck, we'll be able to strap him to a gurney before he's 21. God help us all.''"
Nora Lewin

Background information and notes Edit

  • The story was inspired by the Jin-Sheng Liu case, in which a Chinese deliveryman was lured to his death by five Queens teenagers. None of the teenagers were charged above murder in the second degree, and therefore none were facing the death penalty.

Episode scene cardsEdit

1 2 3

Forensics Lab
One Police Plaza
Monday, November 22

Apartment Of
Carol Warner
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Wednesday, November 24

Chambers Of
Judge Marilyn Haynes
Appellate Division
Tuesday, December 14

4 5 6

District Attorney's Office
Conference Room
Wednesday, December 22

Supreme Court
Trial Part 78
Tuesday, January 25

Chambers Of
Judge Walter Schreiber
Tuesday, January 25


Supreme Court
Trial Part 78
Wednesday, January 26

Previous episode:
"Sunday in the Park with Jorge"
"Teenage Wasteland"
Law & Order
Season 11
Next episode:
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