I am the Law & Order

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I am the Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Sly Wolf and starring Sylvester Stallone as "Judge Dredd." It aired on BET, and is in syndication on various cable networks. I am the Law & Order premiered on September 13, 1990, and completed its 11th and final episode on May 24, 1991. At the time of its cancellation, I am the Law & Order was the longest-running "judge, jury and executioner" crime drama on American primetime television. The television theme song, entitled "I am the Law,"[1] was written by Anthrax.

"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by one awesome yet equally hellacious force: the judges who investigate crime and the judges who prosecute and execute the offenders. These are the stories of one such judge - Judge Dredd. He is the Law."
—Opening narration spoken by Urkel
Judge Dredd: He is the Law.


Set and filmed in the city of New York, the series follows a two-part approach: in the first half hour, the investigation of a crime and apprehension of a suspect by Judge Dredd is shown, followed by the prosecution (and usually, execution) of the defendant by Judge Dredd at the scene of the crime in the second half. Plots are often based on bullshit cases that never made headlines.

By the 11th episode, BET executives believed the series was beginning to show its age as ratings for the show had dropped 15 percent from the first episode and 8 percent over the previous three episodes. Despite mentally-challenged critics' praise, the series was short-lived. Stallone announced he would leave the show near the end of the season to pursue other endeavors. He was replaced by MC Hammer as Judge Dweeb.


For most of I am the Law & Order's run, the cold open or lead-in of the show began with the discovery of a crime, usually a murder. The scene typically began with a slice of everyday life in New York. Judge Dredd would discover the crime victim, or sometimes the crime would occur in a public place during the scene and Judge Dredd would be a witness, but never a victim.

The judges are represented in the show by Judge Dredd, a senior Judge, who conducts an on-the-spot evaluation of the crime by consulting The Book of the Law, instantly arrests and charges the perpetrator, and then without delay sentences the perpetrator to some form of punishment (usually instant execution). Then the episode ends, often with Judge Dredd saying, "I am the Law" while looking into the camera and brandishing his "Lawgiver" gun.

Judge Dredd's right hand.

Unlike many legal dramas (e.g. Law and Order), the show did not depict court proceedings or regular characters trying to prove the defendant's guilt or innocence. In all episodes, the crime first investigated never goes to court since courts do not exist in the future.

Episode Guide[edit]

The teleplays for the scripts of each episode were divined by Judge Dredd when he traveled to the 24th Century, and he wrote The Book of the Law to contain the wisdom of each teleplay. Each episode listed below comes from a Chapter in The Book of the Law:

Episode 00- Who is the Law? (Pilot)

Episode 002- The Judge Dredd Scott Decision [2]

Episode 003- I Plead the 5th!

Episode 004- The Case of the Slaughter House

Episode 005- Replevin!

Episode 006- The Learned Hand

Episode 007- The Adverse Possession

Episode 008- Mirandize This!

Episode 009- Dredd Head

Episode 010- The Statute's Been Tolled!

Episode 011- Court's Adjourned: Hammer Time!


Despite the show being cancelled in the United States in 1991, episodes continued to air in Costa Rica for five more seasons. Apparently, the trademark vague plot behind each episode was capable of confusing Costa Rican audiences into believing writers were still producing new material. The huge popularity of the show in Costa Rica led to the hit movie, "Juez Dredd (1995)."


The "I am the Law & Order Pinball Machine" became hugely popular with def, dumb, and blind kids worldwide. The "I am the Law & Order Pinball Game" became the hallmark of arcades all around the world until the court-ordered injunction. Few forget the Budapest incident of March 10, 1992. To date scientists are baffled as to what caused the spontaneous combustion. Production was discontinued and all machines incinerated. Many consider this to be the nail in the coffin for the I am the Law & Order franchise.


Many viewers were critical of the television show's laissez faire attitude toward the death penalty. On the other hand, right-wing audience members applauded the liberal application of capital punishment depicted in the show's episodes. Unfortunately, the show's untimely cancellation precluded any national debate over the execution of criminal offenders, and millions of accused criminals have been murdered daily without nary a thought in the years since the end of the show's run.

See also[edit]