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S01.E08: Lily's Law 2017.04.09

When a female juror on Stone's case against a gangbanger winds up dead, the team believes she was murdered because of her guilty vote. They later learn that she committed suicide - driven to it by the cyber harassment of her former boyfriend. Stone goes after him for murder.

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One of the best episodes of Chicago Justice yet, by far. Very fascinating legal case, which is what the show should be. The guy was a piece of shit and deserved punishment, but it wasn't murder, and the judge was right to overturn the verdict because the jury did base their verdict on emotion and not on the facts and the law, Stone shouldn't have dropped the lesser charges of stalking and harassment. It was interesting to see Stone try to "make new law", his dad frequently did the same on L&O, much more so than Jack McCoy, so it was interesting to see Peter Stone follow in his father's footsteps in that way. Jefferies was right though, if he wanted to change the law, he should petition the legislature or make a run for office. 

I liked seeing more of Mark Jefferies tonight, he is an interesting character who has been underused. 

I didn't have as much of an issue with Dawson and Nagel investigating, since the victim was a jury member on a trial and the DA wanted to be involved. Please stop shoving Nagel's custody battle down our throat though, I'm sick of it already and she is just becoming unlikable. 

Valdez is more and more unlikable in every episode, she is hands down the worst actor that has ever been on a Dick Wolf show, worse than Detective Beauty Queen from L&O and I didn't think that was possible. Her acting in the scene where she tried to appear outraged at the actions of the ex husband when asked by Stone, just watch her facial expression, it caused me to laugh out loud, hard. It was worse than acting in a high school theatre performance. And what was with her rant about how she doesn't need a boyfriend or kids and liked to screw random men, it was very forced, just like Nagel's custody issues, and making both women antagonistic towards men and acting unprofessional ( in Valdez's case, screwing a judge and anyone else apparently, and in Nagel's constantly letting her custody battle get in the way of her job ) doesn't make them strong women or whatever. This show needs less personal stuff, not more, on L&O the personal stuff was almost always subtle and came up during the case as an afterthought almost, here it is being forced. And please just get rid of Valdez, all she does is smirk and she can't act her way out of a paper bag. At least her screen time has been minimal lately.

The one thing I would've liked more of is courtroom scenes and legal stuff, they should've cut the pointless chase scene and discovered the suicide quicker and then had more time for legal stuff and courtroom stuff. Overall this is a decent show, it just needs some smoother and improved writing and for Pete's sake please ditch Valdez

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This episode made me like Valdez more than I had previously - yay for a tv show giving us a happily childfree character! (It does not make one antagonistic towards men to not want kids and settle down, just for the record.) Though she does seem to be one of those annoying vegetarians who has to preach anti-meat rhetoric at anyone daring to eat meat in her presence. I do like that both Stone and Dawson just shrug that off, though :D

I personally think the show is doing a good job of balancing cases with small bits of personal details. I do want to know more about these characters if I'm going to invest emotionally in this show; a couple short scenes here and there throughout isn't derailing the action.

Found it sort of amusing again how there were some parallels here on CJ with recent episodes of SVU - and with CJ handling them much better, of course. Here with the attempted prosecution of a crime when there really wasn't an actual law on the books to support the case (similar to "Imposter" where Benson bullied Barba into bringing rape charges against th fake college recruiter). At least here we saw Stone actually doing something after the verdict to try to make legislative change.

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5 hours ago, Xeliou66 said:

One of the best episodes of Chicago Justice yet, by far. Very fascinating legal case, which is what the show should be. The guy was a piece of shit and deserved punishment, but it wasn't murder, and the judge was right to overturn the verdict because the jury did base their verdict on emotion and not on the facts and the law, 

Jury Nullification - in my TV experience - cannot be overturned if tampering is not involved...grounds for appeal to the Supreme Court of Fiction? 

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14 minutes ago, paigow said:

Jury Nullification - in my TV experience - cannot be overturned if tampering is not involved...grounds for appeal to the Supreme Court of Fiction? 

Jury nullification and judges overturning convictions while Mr Stone(s)/McCoy/Cutter glare at him have a long history in the L&O verse. The case is done unless politically the US Attorney can make a case but no cops or minority status in the perp or victim was invovled here.

5 hours ago, Xeliou66 said:

One of the best episodes of Chicago Justice yet, by far. Very fascinating legal case, which is what the show should be. The guy was a piece of shit and deserved punishment, but it wasn't murder, and the judge was right to overturn the verdict because the jury did base their verdict on emotion and not on the facts and the law, Stone shouldn't have dropped the lesser charges of stalking and harassment. It was interesting to see Stone try to "make new law", his dad frequently did the same on L&O, much more so than Jack McCoy, so it was interesting to see Peter Stone follow in his father's footsteps in that way. Jefferies was right though, if he wanted to change the law, he should petition the legislature or make a run for office. 

I liked seeing more of Mark Jefferies tonight, he is an interesting character who has been underused. 

I didn't have as much of an issue with Dawson and Nagel investigating, since the victim was a jury member on a trial and the DA wanted to be involved. Please stop shoving Nagel's custody battle down our throat though, I'm sick of it already and she is just becoming unlikable. 

Valdez is more and more unlikable in every episode, she is hands down the worst actor that has ever been on a Dick Wolf show, worse than Detective Beauty Queen from L&O and I didn't think that was possible. Her acting in the scene where she tried to appear outraged at the actions of the ex husband when asked by Stone, just watch her facial expression, it caused me to laugh out loud, hard. It was worse than acting in a high school theatre performance. And what was with her rant about how she doesn't need a boyfriend or kids and liked to screw random men, it was very forced, just like Nagel's custody issues, and making both women antagonistic towards men and acting unprofessional ( in Valdez's case, screwing a judge and anyone else apparently, and in Nagel's constantly letting her custody battle get in the way of her job ) doesn't make them strong women or whatever. This show needs less personal stuff, not more, on L&O the personal stuff was almost always subtle and came up during the case as an afterthought almost, here it is being forced. And please just get rid of Valdez, all she does is smirk and she can't act her way out of a paper bag. At least her screen time has been minimal lately.

The one thing I would've liked more of is courtroom scenes and legal stuff, they should've cut the pointless chase scene and discovered the suicide quicker and then had more time for legal stuff and courtroom stuff. Overall this is a decent show, it just needs some smoother and improved writing and for Pete's sake please ditch Valdez

Watching Valdez and Nagle's car talk, especially after seeing the wife of the victims sister I was expected a paraphrase of the infamous "its because I'm a lesbian" what are you slow. Unless Valdez is going to be a (real life) Jack Ryan in the future.

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A judge can throw out a jury verdict in certain cases where the judge thinks that the law wasn't followed. 

1 hour ago, sockii said:

This episode made me like Valdez more than I had previously - yay for a tv show giving us a happily childfree character! (It does not make one antagonistic towards men to not want kids and settle down, just for the record.) Though she does seem to be one of those annoying vegetarians who has to preach anti-meat rhetoric at anyone daring to eat meat in her presence. I do like that both Stone and Dawson just shrug that off, though :D

I personally think the show is doing a good job of balancing cases with small bits of personal details. I do want to know more about these characters if I'm going to invest emotionally in this show; a couple short scenes here and there throughout isn't derailing the action

Valdez not wanting to marry or have kids doesn't make her antagonistic towards men, I have no problem with that and I agree that women don't need kids or a husband to be happy, once again it was mainly the actress and her delivery of the lines and the way she plays the character that makes her seem very antagonistic towards men, a better actress could make the character likable, right now she is just a wooden pretty face who seems like a feminist caricature/parody. Truly a terrible actress, just watch her facial expression in the scene where Stone asks her what she thinks she be done and she tries to express outrage at the guy's actions, her acting is really bad. 

I was almost expecting a lesbian revelation as well from Valdez in the car scene with Nagel, the thought did cross my mind.

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I'm still stuck early in the episode at a piece of clothing being put somewhere in "the bullpen" (which I thought was going to be about Stone being a MLB pitcher for the Chicago Cubs) when someone wins his or her first case. What? Was there a point to that tidbit? And why did Stone drop the other two charges? And why didn't they settle this case anyway before putting the kid on the stand like they would have on L&O? And was dead juror clutching duct-tape in her purple puffy coat both in the judge's chambers and when she ran out of the courtroom? And quit making Nagle's stupid personal life part of this show.

Edited by MakeMeLaugh.
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21 minutes ago, MakeMeLaugh said:

I'm still stuck early in the episode at a piece of clothing being put somewhere in "the bullpen" (which I thought was going to be about Stone being a MLB pitcher for the Chicago Cubs) when someone wins his or her first case. What? Was there a point to that tidbit? And why did Stone drop the other two charges? And why didn't they settle this case anyway before putting the kid on the stand like they would have on L&O? And was dead juror clutching duct-tape in her purple puffy coat both in the judge's chambers and when she ran out of the courtroom? And quit making Nagle's stupid personal life part of this show.

They used to show the Executive ADA debating with the DA/SA about going all or nothing in pushing a murder charge so that the jury wouldn't have the option of making their own equivalent to a plea bargain amongst themselves 

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Decent episode, but in reality I don't think the case would have ever made it to trial.  He was guilty of being a despicable low life and possibly child abuse, but that is it.  Don't understand all the Valdez hate.  She's a single, ambitious, rising attorney who doesn't want a husband or kids.  Everyone gets to decide what path is right for them.

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I agree that it's doubtful the case would have gone forward. When Stone went for 1st Degree Murder my reaction was "what are you thinking?" It seems impossible to establish a direct causal connection between his harassing machinations and her suicide. I have no sympathy for the father (Clark was his name?) and he should have been convicted of something, but murder was way too much of a reach.

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I understand that Valdez is played by the weakest actor in the cast, but she honestly doesn't annoy me. Yes, it's clear she was chosen for her looks, but she's adequate for the role.

It's really too bad that the showrunners feel every episode must center around murder. Even when they had a clear-cut stalking and harassment case, they still had to shoehorn it into murder. There were any number of other directions they could have gone. But I guess Dick Wolf wants his murder show, so that's what we're going to get. As soon as the verdict was reached and the judge banged her gavel, I knew she was going to set aside the verdict. She was right to do so. This was a manslaughter case at best, and I think Stone is going way too far to try to amend the first degree murder statute.

I was also expecting to see something about the perp having his life ruined as a result of the trial. He's a high-powered CEO of some sort, and his behavior was put on display for all to see in a high profile trial. Come on, writers. Join the 21st century and show us the social media backlash.

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1 hour ago, Xantar said:

and I think Stone is going way too far to try to amend the first degree murder statute.

Was it specifically stated he was trying to change the first degree murder statue?  I got the impression he was trying to get the law in general changed to include driving someone to suicide.  Like maybe under involuntary manslaughter or something. 

I don't hate any of the characters, but of the five, only Stone and Jefferies have any real on screen presence. 

I too was expecting Valdez to say she was a lesbian. 

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Valdez didn't bug me with her no husband, no kids goals. I think it is refreshing to see a straight woman portrayed on TV who isn't interested in either. 

However, if they are going to make her some sort of evangelical vegan, she will quickly wear on me. I understand that she and Stone seem to have a friendly working relationship, but harassing your boss about his lunch is a quick way to not get promoted. 

As for the case of the week, I think they really highlighted some hubris on Stone's side. He really shouldn't have dropped the lesser charges, as he stated at the end of the episode. But he is supposed to be an experienced and seasoned attorney, how did he even make that mistake to start with?

And i do wish they would try to cast somebody as a defense attorney who isn't a completely awful, smug scumbag like the woman in this episode. And pretty much every other episode to date. There have to be at least a few who are normal human beings, I would hope!

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I actually liked how Stone tried to prove murder in this one, while it was a stretch, anyone who watched L&O knows that sometimes they stretched the law because they wanted to try to get justice and it always makes for an interesting case. Stone should've kept the lesser charges but I think he thought the jury would just convict on those and not on the more severe counts. The judge did the right thing by throwing out the verdict, the jury acted on emotion and not on the law. 

I don't have a problem with Valdez not wanting kids or a committed relationship, I like to see them break the stereotype of a woman having to have kids or her life isn't complete, my problem was with the horrendous delivery by the actress, she delivered the lines in such an angry, aggressive manner that it seemed like she was like "how dare you think I want any kids or am in a relationship", she delivered the lines like she was trying to do a parody impression of a radical feminist. She's just an awful, wooden actress who has no talent besides her looks and her only way of showing emotion is smirking. Just watch the scene where she expresses outrage over the defendants actions, and watch her facial expression. It's truly laughable she's so bad. Valdez would be fine if they got an actress who had more talent than someone in a high school theater production. I'm sick of her spewing her vegetarian stuff as well, stop being so pushy. 

There were some writing oddities, such as the clothes in the bullpen line ( totally pointless and I thought it was going to be a baseball story as well ) and the juror clutching duct tape or whatever, and I'm sick of the Nagel custody battle being shoved down our throats as well. I wish they had had more legal scenes and less of that pointless stuff, but I did like that we saw more of Mark Jefferies tonight.

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11 hours ago, CaptainTightpants said:

And i do wish they would try to cast somebody as a defense attorney who isn't a completely awful, smug scumbag like the woman in this episode. And pretty much every other episode to date. There have to be at least a few who are normal human beings, I would hope!

The original "Law and Order" had some interesting defense attorneys, some of whom were recurring characters. The one that most comes to mind is Danielle Melnick, played by Tovah Feldshuh, who was a friend of ADA Jack McCoy and the viewers could look forward to seeing them oppose each other in the courtroom. I noticed that this actress and her character has appeared on this show, now as a judge.

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I agree with xantar about the whole murder issue being the Show's only crime. This case was actually pretty stupid imo--Stone felt guilty because he kept the juror (although the judge did that, not him) so went looking for something to try the ex-husband for, to assuage his guilt. If she hadn't been a juror, he would not have pursued this. Plus Show was hopping on the antibullying bandwagon. There are a lot more pressing crimes in Chicago that need pursuing, and some of them aren't even murder but are still interesting. 

I don't think the exhusband's business was big enough to be affected by any bad publicity (plus he won so there's that)--it sounded like a startup that written a couple of successful apps. He was barely one-dimensional, so pretty lazy writing, Show. His lawyer was actually more believable than most we've seen here. 

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13 hours ago, CaptainTightpants said:

And i do wish they would try to cast somebody as a defense attorney who isn't a completely awful, smug scumbag like the woman in this episode. And pretty much every other episode to date. There have to be at least a few who are normal human beings, I would hope!

In a previous episode, they had a defense attorney who was kind of smug in the courtroom and during plea negotations but actually seemed to have a cordial relationship with Peter Stone. After it was all over, the episode ended with them having a drink in a bar. Lawyers can be funny about how they sling all kinds of stuff at each other in the courtroom but understand in the end that it's not personal.

That being said, I wouldn't mind having Diane Melnick show up. She was awesome.

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Would you call this a first loss for Stone? I wish he'd lose a case for sure. 

This was an okay episode but wish they'd get rid of that Nagel storyline for sure. 

I think they guy could have gotten at least manslaughter but I bet he attacked Sam as well. When the judge started to speak, I had this crazy thought that it would be overturned and it was. 

I would have thought Dawson should have arrested that jerk for dragging his son like that. 

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I agree, Dawson should've arrested that jerk for assault. He was dragging his son and then shoved Dawson. 

I was glad to see an ending where Stone didn't win as well, nice change of pace, I hope for a not guilty verdict as well at some point. 

"Diane" ( her name is Danielle ) Melnick has already shown up as a judge, totally unexplained. They didn't even acknowledge who she was or that she had ever been on TV or how she wound up in Chicago, you wouldn't have known that she had ever been on TV before if you hadn't read her name plate and recognized. 

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7 hours ago, Xeliou66 said:

I agree, Dawson should've arrested that jerk for assault. He was dragging his son and then shoved Dawson. 

I was glad to see an ending where Stone didn't win as well, nice change of pace, I hope for a not guilty verdict as well at some point. 

"Diane" ( her name is Danielle ) Melnick has already shown up as a judge, totally unexplained. They didn't even acknowledge who she was or that she had ever been on TV or how she wound up in Chicago, you wouldn't have known that she had ever been on TV before if you hadn't read her name plate and recognized. 

With the reuse of actors in the franchise including the 27th's detective squad Lieutenant now being a hospital administrator until that judge is identified canon wise we can't say for sure she is Judge Melnick and not just the actor Tovah Feldshuh being done a solid when promotion department went further than the show runner

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She was identified as "Judge Melnick" by the nameplate on the bench, I think it's safe to assume she's meant to be the same character as the defense attorney on the original "Law and Order". Dick Wolf's shows have done this before. Carey Lowell as Jamie Ross made guest appearances as a defense attorney on "Law and Order" after stepping away from her regular role as ADA. And she appeared as a judge, I think it was on "Trial by Jury".

I do wonder a bit how Tovah Feldshuh came to Chicago to play the role. I've always understood her to be a New Yorker to the bone, and that her first passion is the live stage rather than TV. I suppose actors like everyone else can travel anywhere to do their job, but I wonder if she will be a recurring character on this Chicago show.

Edited by watcher1006. Reason: Corrected spelling of CAREY LOWELL's name. Long time since I wrote about her!
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6 hours ago, watcher1006 said:

She was identified as "Judge Melnick" by the nameplate on the bench, I think it's safe to assume she's meant to be the same character as the defense attorney on the original "Law and Order". Dick Wolf's shows have done this before. Carrie Lowell as Jamie Ross made guest appearances as a defense attorney on "Law and Order" after stepping away from her regular role as ADA. And she appeared as a judge, I think it was on "Trial by Jury".

Yeah, Jamie Ross was a judge on L&O: Trial By Jury. (What can I say, I have the set!) Melnick also appeared - unnamed, but playing her shark lawyer self - on the finale of L&O: CI, too. So Danielle Melnick has made the rounds! Dick Wolf must really like Tovah Feldshuh!

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If Nagle has to be written out due to the custody battle, her replacement should be Bobby Goren.... 

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3 minutes ago, paigow said:

If Nagle has to be written out due to the custody battle, her replacement should be Bobby Goren.... 

I miss Bobby. Not sure he'd fit here, though. That, and as much as I loved the L&O franchise (at least CI/Mothership), as this is another franchise, it needs to start developing its own characters well instead of borrowing from Wolf's past glory. If these writers can't do it, find some that can.

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Goren predates Negan as a speechifying contortionist...Capture that Sunday night AMC demographic...Stone will be plea bargaining all day because nobody wants to spend time in "The Box" with Goren....

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Yeah the writers need to create new characters instead of trying to re-create L&O with its former characters and moving them to Chicago. While I like how Peter Stone is Ben Stone's son and I loved seeing Robinette again, but the shows characters need to come in to their own and not rely on the glory of the mothership to survive. When a mothership characters does appear I would appreciate an explanation ( for example Danielle Melnick ) at least we got an explanation for Paul Robinette. As for right now this show needs improved writing, there are lots of weird writing points in each episode, and get rid of Valdez and drop Nagel's custody battle as well. 

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