This realistic yet fictional drama looks at crime and justice from a dual perspective. In the first half-hour, Detectives Joe Fontana and Edward Green investigate crimes and apprehend suspects under the supervision of their precinct lieutenant, Anita Van Buren. The focus shifts in the second half-hour to the criminal courts as Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy and Assistant District Attorney Borgia work within a complicated justice system to prosecute the accused under the guidance of District Attorney Arthur Branch.
Some cases may be simple, but most are multi-faceted. The investigations are challenging, prosecutions are complicated, and decisions about legal procedures and plea-bargaining are vexing. In the arduous and complex process of determining guilt and innocence, lives often hang in the balance.