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01/06/2005 Archived Entry: "Law & Order"
Posted by CKL @ 09:43 AM PST

Is the first time that a verdict has been overturned by an episode guide?

A Texas appeals court in Houston on Thursday ordered a new trial for Andrea Yates, the woman who confessed to drowning her five children in a bathtub, citing the false testimony of a prosecution witness...

The Texas First Court of Appeals ruled that the conviction should be reversed because an expert witness for the state, Dr. Park Dietz, presented false testimony when he said Yates may have been influenced by an episode of the "Law & Order" television program. No such episode had ever aired.

Yates, now 40, apparently was a fan of the show and watched regularly.

The doctor, who worked as consultant for the NBC program, testified during Yates' trial that there was an episode dealing with a woman suffering from postpartum depression who drowned her children in the bathtub and was ruled to be insane.

He suggested that Yates may have been inspired to kill her children because of the show.

In its appeals, the defense said it contacted the producers of the show, who said such an episode was never shown.

-- CNN

I'm sure alt.tv.law-and-order will be buzzing with discussion about this in a day or two, after they finish mourning the late, great Jerry Orbach.

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