Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The recent, highly publicized arrest of a longtime fugitive from American justice was the evident source of this 2003 Law & Order episode. It all begins with a jewelry-store robbery in which the owner is killed and a customer (Mandy Patinkin) is wounded. A suspect is brought into court, only to be dismissed when the surviving victim fails to show up to testify -- and with good reason: The missing witness is none other than a notorious political activist, who had fled the U.S. years earlier to avoid a murder rap of his own. The question: Can a man who was tried and convicted in absentia still be sent to prison on the basis of the original trial -- or do the detectives and the lawyers have to reopen a case in which most of the evidence is cold and many of the original participants are dead?