It’s often said that criminal court isn’t about what someone did but what the prosecutors can prove.
On Law & Order Season 22 Episode 7, Price nearly lost his case because the defendant was a con artist manipulating the judge, telling outlandish lies, and getting evidence thrown out for no real reason.
He’d also manipulated a star witness, making her afraid to testify, and her fears turned out to be accurate.
Mark Feuerstein’s name in the credits meant he was likely playing the bad guy. Although he is best known for Royal Pains, Feuerstein played a plastic surgeon with a murderous streak on Law & Order: SVU Season 20 Episode 11.
Besides, crime dramas love casting actors as villains who are well-known for playing a good guy.
I believed him when his character, Miller, first claimed to be Dana’s gay friend. I thought I was mistaken about him being the bad guy this time.
Nope. He was a sociopathic con artist with a skill for lying, and he proved that during the courtroom scenes in the second half of the hour.
Miller was so good at manipulating the judge that it made me angry. That judge should have seen through the games Miller was playing, but he never did.
He didn’t listen to the ADAs when they explained all the reasons Miller shouldn’t be allowed to represent himself without a real lawyer sitting second chair, and that mistake opened the door for Miller to engage in all sorts of mischief.
Miller got the opportunity to challenge Shaw’s place on the witness list because, as a non-lawyer, he didn’t know that it was too late to ask to suppress evidence. Why did the judge allow that when the reason he agreed to allow Miller to represent himself pro se was that Miller supposedly had some law education?
The judge then compounded that mistake by agreeing Shaw’s testimony should be thrown out without proof of wrongdoing. He claimed that the cops had the burden of proof here, but that made no sense.
Miller was the one making accusations here. He said Shaw denied his right to an attorney and beat him up; his say-so shouldn’t be enough evidence.
Shaw has had law training, too, so he should have known to record all questioning sessions with witnesses in case anything bizarre happened. But the judge shouldn’t have fallen for lies simply because there wasn’t a video disproving them.
The judge also had no business admitting that sex tape into evidence. It only proved that Pollard was with Miller when Dana showed up. It didn’t prove that she killed Dana or even show evidence that she’d lost her temper.
Plus, it was unfair surprise, as Price pointed out.
The judge allowed Miller to manipulate him into completely senseless rulings. Are we sure Miller didn’t have something on him?
Miller’s antics were only the sideshow. The real story was the shame his victims felt, especially Pollard.
Pollard had already made enemies by standing up for the rights of survivors.
Understandably, she didn’t want to give them any ammunition. But Maroun was right that her stance was hypocritical.
You have made a career out of encouraging other women to stand up for themselves. Now that it’s your turn, you’re just going to look the other way?
Maroun understood why Pollard didn’t want to testify and that it might be more challenging for her to bounce back than it would be for a man. But she also knew that Pollard could stand up for a woman who was dead by coming forward.
Although the tabloids had a field day after Miller and the judge humiliated Pollard, her reputation might have taken a worse hit if she’d refused to testify.
What would happen to her credibility with survivors if it came out that she had the opportunity to stand up against a man who preyed on vulnerable women and decided it was more important to protect her reputation?
To be clear, no woman is ever obligated to come forward after being abused. But when someone has made a career out of helping women stand up for themselves, it’s harder to reconcile that with the decision not to do it in her own life.
Pollard was so strong on the stand that I’d hoped she felt good about her decision and wouldn’t care what people said about her.
Unfortunately, when she saw the tabloid headline, she was angry all over again.
I hope the women she’s helped and those who admire her rallied around her after the credits rolled. That headline shouldn’t change what she’s done for survivors.
This also would have been a perfect time for a crossover appearance, as Benson is probably one of those women who admires Pollard. And nobody gives a pep talk to an upset survivor like Benson!
Despite this annoying outcome, I was glad that Pollard testified. I especially liked that she stood up for her right to be a sexual being.
It doesn’t matter if she likes to be dominated in the bedroom; her consensual encounters have nothing to do with her advocacy for women who are being abused.
Furthermore, too many people think women aren’t allowed to have sexual desires, so she took a strong stand in line with the advocacy she has devoted her life to.
It’s too bad that she couldn’t see it that way. She undoubtedly had faced derision and nasty comments in the press when she was advocating for others; if she’d seen this testimony as part of her advocacy, maybe she’d feel differently about the nonsense in the tabloids.
Sound off, Law & Order fanatics! Do you think Pollard’s career is in ruins now? Was the DA’s office right to make her testify? And why do you think that judge let Miller call the shots?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know! And don’t forget you can watch Law & Order online.
Law & Order airs on NBC on Thursdays at 8 PM EST / PST.