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The constitution will be televised

America’s longest-running and most influential prime-time television drama is an unlikely export triumph, writes Joy Lo Dico: a hymn to the constitution and to dreams of justice

By Joy Lo Dico   December 2009

Law & Order’s Jack McCoy: an American archetype, defending his country’s soul

Jack McCoy, in customary grey jacket, his salt-and-pepper eyebrows beetled in concentration, stands at the back of a New York courtroom—one he prowled as chief prosecutor for fifteen years. Recently promoted to New York district attorney, he now watches as the new assistant DA steps up to defend justice. In this case, a hockey mom stands accused of reckless manslaughter for encouraging her teenage sons to chase with baseball bats a black gang who had stolen their basketball. The father of one of the gang drew his…

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