Strengthening Their Case - Law & Order
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A bunch of reporters bother an app developer who is getting divorced. A reputation manager tries to handle the situation. He tells her privately that she is the cause of this problem and she should do her job.

Next thing you know, the woman is found dead. Her name is Dana Clarkson. She is 43 and lives alone. She was strangled and put up a fight. Killed sometime last night. The body was found on the laundromat stairs when they opened. Her phone is missing but nothing else is. Her business card is found.

The cops question the app developer who says that Dana got a text and got out of the car. A lo of people hated her. His crazy STBex crashed the party and threw a glass at Dana and threatened to kill her.

Cause of death was mechanical asphyxiation, probably with a high-end scarft. The driver has backed up the developer's story. The ex-wife hates on Dana on social media and was accused of assaulting her assistant last year.

Gabby Zanford is questioned. She says everyone hated Dana. She says Dana planted fake stories about her. Shaw finds a bloody fabric. Gabby is arrested.

Gabby insists she didn't do it. Cosgrove says when the DNA comes back it will be too late. Gabby says the blood is hers. She shows them that she has been cutting her arm. She's been self-harming since she was a teenager, and after the separation she felt very alone. Forensics backs up her story and she is released.

The forensics shows the killer is a man. Dana's assistant says Dana had an unrecorded lunch and then came back and asked for the non-emergency number for the police.

Dana's lunch date is an old friend who is gay or he would have married her. He says an ex of Dana's was stalking her.

The cops interview the new suspect, Peter Royce. He says they lived together on paper. They broke it off amicably. Cosgrove says Dana was in the ER twice. Peter denies having hurt her.  He says he hasn't spoken to her since the height of the pandemic. Cosgrove says phone records say otherwise. A woman, presumably Peter's wife, shows up and the cops go. Shaw thinks they should get a search warrant.  Cosgrove finds a scarf that could be the murder weapon in the bushes. Peter comes out and asks why they are still here. Cosgrove tells him to come with them.

Peter denies having seen the scarf or hurt Dana. He says she needed money. He lied to the cops because he didn't want his new wife to know. He denies killing her. If he did, would he be stupid enough to leave the scarf in plain sight?

The cops find out that Dana had financial problems and that her credit card was frozen after someone charged $3700 at a fancy restaurant while she was in the cab. The restauranter refuses to tell them anything but they get it out of him that Grace Pollard paid for dinner. Pollard refuses to cooperate and says she won't even say if she's not talking about attorney/client privilege.

Dixon says Pollard is a hero who did a lot for women's rights and got date rape as a felony codified into law.

Security footage identifies the suspect anyway. The cops search his apartment and find a bunch of passports with fake names.They also find Dana's bank account info. Dana's friend comes down the block and starts running when he sees the cops. They lose him in a parking garage but a car alarm starts going off. The guy tries to attack the cops and is arrested.

The bailiff lists a billion aliases for Pierre, whose real name is Devon Miller. The DA's office wants to remand him as he is a flight risk. The defense attorney says the murder weapon was found elsewhere. (Why is this being discussed during arraignment?) Bail is set at 1 million dollars and the defendant pays it.

Vi and Maroun check Miller's social media. He has four dating profiles. Vi is glad she doesn't date anymore. Maroun has a hard time meeting people. Dixon has several exes. Anyway, she thinks Miller has conned a ton of women.

Maroun finds the victims are not willing to testify and she says subpoenaing them won't help. They'll insist they weren't duped. However, they have a clear motive.  She gets a text that Miller fired his lawyer and plans to represent himself.

Price and Maroun object in the judge's chambers. They want a stand-by lawyer. Miller says he went to Columbia Law School.  He was expelled but knows the Sixth Amendment. The judge allows him to act as his own lawyer.

In court, Price says that Miller preyed on rich women who were insecure about having financial problems. But Dana was going to expose him and confronted him so he killed her.  Miller acts humble and says be patient with me. He says he loved Dana so let's not pretend she's nothing but a piece of evidence. He tries to suggest Zanford or Pefer killed her. He says it's the prosecutor's job to figure out who killed Dana and he fabricated a case full of holes and is depriving Dana of justice.

Miller objects to Shaw testifying. The judge says since Miller is a pro se defendant he has to give him latitude and will excuse the jury for an evidentiary hearing.

Shaw testifies in front of just the judge. Miller claims he was ambushed and makes up stories but the judge sides with the defendant because there is no video proof.

McCoy says Price can still prove his case. Price says that the case is too weak and the judge could dismiss it. McCoy says link Miller to the weapon. If the fabric is rare, only a handful of stores sell it. Find out who bought it for him.

Maroun talks to Pollard. She has proof she bought the scarf. Pollard claims it was a client gift. Maroun knows that's BS. Pollard says she will claim privilege, take the fifth, refuse to cooperate. Maroun says Pollard has done great work for women's rights and is the only one who can stand up for a woman who died. Pollard says her detractors want to undermine her. Maroun says people will understand. Looking for companionship doesn't make her weak. Pollard says if you believe in the women I helped don't put me on the witness stand.

McCoy thinks Pollard should be eager to help. Price thinks it's ego. Maroun says it's about legacy. She thinks they should offer a plea. She says men back from scandals and women don't. McCoy says Pollard has to testify regardless.

Pollard tries to object on the stand and the judge isn't having it.  She admits she was in a relationship with Miller for 10 months and he owes her $200k. She admits she gave him the scarf and he had it when Dana was killed.

Miller stands up and says she was in his brownstone the night of the murder. Price's objection is overruled. He says she heard Dana at his door. Price gets him to step back. Miller tries to claim that Pollard killed Dana. Miller claims he has a tape.

The tape is a sex tape. Miller claims it puts Pollard at the scene of the crime. The judge wants to see it. It shows Miller being dominant when Dana showed up. The judge grants the request despite being disgusted.

Pollard doesn't want Price to ask the judge to surpress the tape. She says this will ruin her reputation. It will be her undoing. Maroun reminds her that she has encouraged other women to stand up for herself and now it's her turn.

Miller plays the tape and claims that Pollard was livid. Pollard denies it. On redirect, Maroun asks questions to help her stand up for herself and her right to be a sexual being.  She also denies killing Dana. She says Miller left with the scarf and when he came back he was disheveled and had a tall glass of whiskey. She has everything to lose so why would she lie?

Miller is shocked the jury finds him guilty.

Maroun thanks Polalrd for her courage but Pollard is upset because a tabloid is making fun of her.

Maroun turns Price down for a drink because she has a date.

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Law & Order Season 22 Episode 7 Quotes

Cosgrove: Her assistant accused her of assault last year.
Violet: Well, last night she was assaulting martinis. Look at this.

Cosgrove: She was a crisis manager.
Shaw: Some things you can't fix.