Validating the Evidence - Law & Order
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Some guy listens to music while getting 2k out of an ATM. Unsurprisingly, he comes face to face with a gun as soon as he gets the money.

The cops are called to the scene. The man is dead. His name is Evan Marks and is the CEO of VenZip, a money app that eliminates the need for cash. Shaw uses it, Riley never would. Anyway, the cops wonder why he was at the ATM when his brand is all about making cash obsolete.

The cops find out that Marks took out 2k right before the shooting. Dixon asks about James Sawyer, Marks' partner. Sawyer is blaming the NYPD and saying violent crime is out of control and the cops are to blame.

Violent has a partial print - Blake Hughes/G-Ticket, a rapper with a rap sheet for robbery and aggravated assault.

The cops go to talk to G-Ticket, who runs away and struggles when Riley tackles him. Shaw finds 2k in cash in his pocket.

The suspect claims he and Marks were friends and Marks wanted to buy drugs off of him last night (though he claims he's not a dealer anymore) He wanted to get momney to produce his album. He insists that he didn't kill him. He saw Evan arguing with some guy and the other guy shot Evan. He went to check on him but he was dead so he took his stuff. He's not proud of it but studio time is expensive so... he says Evan and the other dude were fighting over a woman. The other guy said Evan turned the woman against him and Evan said she didn't need the guyu anymore.

The cops question a woman named Lacey Stevens who says she knew Marks forever and sometimes they slept together but they weren't dating.  A guy shows up with lunch He says he is Craig Walsh and asks if this is about Evan. He says Evan officiated their wedding. They ask him where he was and he says he wants a lawyer so they take him to the precinct.

Shaw says Walsh didn't get home til 4 AM. However, he and Lacey have an open marriage so he doesn't care whether she sleeps with him. He says they were at a party with Evan, an underground scene called the Lifestyle. They had a party at the office. Guests had to sign an NDA. It's a safe space for people to expand their mind. He admits that they were using drugs. Evan went to buy more drugs and necer came back. Someone saw cops on the street and they all ran away. The lawyer says the point is Walsh was in the office when Marks was shot on the street. Shaw says he needs to prove that.

Walsh gives them video he shot. That's his alibi.

Violent has learned that Marks was interested in a girl named Eva. They don't know who she is and decide to talk to the woman who organized the party.

The woman, Brooke, is a "psychedelic doula." SHe says she doesn't provide drugs or take them herself. All she does is make arrangements for people with similar auras to get together. She says earlier that day Evan and James had a fight and James punched the wall. James is uptight and doesn't approve of the Lifestyle.

James is upset that his plane has been grounded. He is antagonistic to the cops and accuses them of grounding the plane. He says the fight was about the party but he had nothing to do with what happened. Evan was his best friend. He claims he's not skipping town -- he's going to mmet with crisis PR and says he flew back from DC this morning.  He rev eals that Eva is the name of an AI software program Evan has been developing.

Eva stands for Electronic Virtual Assistant.  A tech says that Eva is self-learning and advanced quickly, and they can't track the algorithms she's using to evolve. Shaw is shocked to learn there are no regulations about this. Eva can do the programmers' jobs. Marks had fired 200 employees and replaced them with EVA.

Shaw says that the former chief programmer, Ben Stafford, was not on the list for the party and came to the office that night. Also he had posted that Evan was a plague that needed to be eradicated.

Ben insists he was just blowing off steam and wasn't at the office that night. The cops find a gun in the dumpster and arrests Ben. Ballistics match the gun. Ben wants his medication. Riley says they have no proof that he has a prescription for Adderall. He says it helps him think straight. They can't give him more than aspirin. Shaw says come on, you're not a bad guy. Ben says he bought the gun to scare Evan and wanted everyone to get their jobs back. He felt it wasn't fair that people lost their jobs and Evan was partying. He followe dhim to the ATM and shot him. He says he's sorry. He didn't mean to. A lawyer shows up and says don't say another word. Stafford is arrested for murder.

At arraignment for some reason, Mauroun goes over the evidence as part of her claim that he's a flight risk. His lawyer claims false confession under duress. She wants ROR and gets 1 million. Also she's made a motion to suppress the confession.

Her argument is that he was addicted to Adderall and they wouldn't give him the drug. Price says they can't give an illegal drug to a suspect. The judge agrees that the defendant thought he would get Adderall if he confessed.

McCoy wonders if the case is viable. Price thinks so but McCoy warns him that Stafford is more sympathetic than Evan because he was the working class guy who got fired. Make Marks human if you want to win this case.

Sawyer claims on the stand that Stafford created EVA and used her to do his work for him while he got paid to do nothing. HE rpeorts that Stafford threatened Evan.

The defense attorney asks if things were good between Sawyer and Marks. She has emails between him and the board showing that he was not happy with Evan. He was trying to make sure Evan wasn't able to push him out of the company. However he didn't have the board's support. She says now that Evan is dead, Sawyer is the CEO. Price objects to her claim that Sawyer hired someone to kill Marks.

Sawyer blames Nolan. He also claims that he has no idea how Stafford managed to get his hands on those emails. Nolan wants to call Riley next. Samantha thinks the defense showed a perfectly plausible alternative suspect.

Riley testifies.

The defense asks about security cameras. Marks had them turned off. The gun had been wiped clean of prints. That's all from the defense. On redirect Nolan points out that only tenants had access to the cumpster.

Stafford takes the stand and claims Sawyer is setting him up. He complains that he had to take Adderall to keep up with his workload and James wanted him to create AI to do the engineers' work and fired him and blamed him when others were fired. He claims he was at home and never fired a gun. He's sure someone cloned his keycard and that Sawyer knew where he lived and threw away the gun. He's innocent and being set up.

Nolan questions Stafford who claims that he is the perfect patsy because of the threats he made. Billionaires like Marks and Sawyer are monsters who use hard-working people as pawns.

Sawyer claims he has security footage of the ATM where Evan was murdered. The video shows Ben Stafford shooting Evan.

Nolan says something is bugging him. He says Stafford is left handed but the shooter in the video is right-handed. He is also very skeptical of this perfect evidence showing up at the last second. Samantha says that doesn't prove anything. Nolan says no but it could be a deep fake.

Violet says the results are inconclusive.  She can't see Stafford's hands well enough to see if they are AI generated.

Samantha says she has verified that the camera exists but she can't prove when it was installed. McCoy asks can they win without the video? Nolan doesn't know. McCoy says let the defense challenge the video. It's up to the judge whether to accept the video. Nolan says but we are telling the jury we believe it's real. They'll never get any more convictions if the defense is allowed to use deepfakes or potential deepfakes. McCoy says the truth is that Stafford is guilty so they have to use the video.

Stafford claims that isn't him. It must be a deepfake. He says he's left-handed.  He says AI can do this. Nolan says your  key card was cloned, the murder weapon was planted, and the security video was created out of thin air to frame you??? Ben begs the jury to believe him.

Stafford is found guilty.

Price doesn't like this. What happens next time, or the time after that?



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Law & Order Season 23 Episode 2 Quotes

Hughes: I didn't shoot him! Look, when I got there Evan was arguing with some other dude. I didn't want to get involved so I stood back. Then the gun went off.
Shaw: So how did you end up with his 2k an dhis watch?
Hughes: After the shooting, I went to check on Evan but he was already dead.
Shaw: So you're telling me you robbed your dead friend?
Hughes: Look, I'm not proud of it, but studio time is expensive.

Riley: What a way to start the day, huh?
Shaw: I'm not sure it's actually started yet.
Riley: Not a morning person?
Shaw: I love a morning. 4 AM, still last night.