Law & Order (1990–2010)
2 user

Myth of Fingerprints 

A fingerprint analyst's error put an innocent man in prison. Detectives discover that this may not have been the only error she has made in favor of prosecutors.


David Platt


Dick Wolf (created by), Terri Kopp (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Jesse L. Martin ... Detective Ed Green
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy
Elisabeth Röhm ... A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn
Dianne Wiest ... Interim D.A. Nora Lewin
Diana Scarwid ... Lisa Russo
Jeremy Davidson ... Luke Campbell
James Colby ... Bobby Campbell
David Green David Green ... FBI Agent Foster
Lenny Venito ... Detective Wade
Tara Bast ... Brenda Warren (as Stacey Leigh Ivey)
Joe Maruzzo ... Glenn Edwards
Adam Mucci ... Terry Fullmer
Leslie Hendrix ... Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers


While investigating the murder of an ex-con leads to the revelation that a man who was convicted of a crime ten years ago might be innocent. And it turns out that Van Buren was the lead investigator. They eventually learn that the tech,who said that the fingerprints were that of the suspect, has been deliberately claiming prints sent to her for identification, were positive when in fact they were inconclusive. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

14 November 2001 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Based on the case of Joyce Gilchrist, an Oklahoma City forensic chemist who was found to have falsified forensic evidence in order to help prosecutors obtain convictions, sending dozens of innocent men and women to prison, and leading to the execution of at least one man who was later fully exonerated. Her evidence led in part to twenty-three people being sentenced to death, twelve of whom have been executed. See more »


During the opening credit sequence while Medical Examiner Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers is explaining the victim's cause of death with Detectives Brisco and Green, she states that there were "blood splatters on the TV set." A professional like Dr. Rodgers would know that the correct terminology would be "blood spatters." See more »


FBI Agent Foster: I found seven false positives out of the 20 that I tested.
Serena Southerlyn: It's over a third.
FBI Agent Foster: Statistically, it's impossible that she just kept making that many mistakes. And it gets worse.
Serena Southerlyn: How?
FBI Agent Foster: The original forensics team recovered over a dozen partial prints from inside the car where the victim had been shot. Now, fortunately, those prints were kept in a file at another location. At the time, this examiner declared them all unidentifiable. That wasn't true.
See more »


References The Myth of Fingerprints (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

You ask yourself is it right that I'm in here and you're not? Guard!
13 November 2017 | by CeccacciPaolo1977See all my reviews

Two girls looking like streetwalkers were walking in a hallway to pay a visit to a man who hung around with one of them. She got the key and after getting into the apartment she found her boyfriend dead on the ground. The murder weapon was a TV-set and Briscoe sent it right away to forensic to match the prints. The victim was a lowlife with records for assaults and drug possession. His former girlfriend (Abigail Lopez) was angry at him because he didn't give her a dime for alimony (they've got a son together) and that led to a dispute outside the courtroom with her new fiancée. But it's not the right pattern to follow: the victim was a police informant and some inmates could have held a grudge against him. After locking up the right perp, motive cause detectives to dig in previous murders where forensic played a crucial role, usually mistaken the report: someone has to pay.

Anita Van Buren feels herself guilty of a mistake she made in the past. Briscoe supports her telling she put always the right perp behind bars and once in the lifetime everyone could get wrong: I think she really wanted to resign before talking to him, great Lenny!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed