The Law & Order Database

It's been almost two years since we told you about the Law & Order Database that Overthinking It was working on. But now they have finally finished up all the data from all 20 seasons of the show! The database results can be downloaded if you want to study them. Meanwhile, Overthinking It has some interesting graphs dealing with the disposition of cases on the various seasons, compared with real-life crime and with Neilsen ratings.

Over the entire run of the show, more than a third of all the episodes ended in Guilty verdicts, while another third ended in plea bargains. 80% of episodes ended in solid wins: either Guilty verdicts, plea bargains, or implied victories. That’s not too shabby, considering that the actual NYPD has a homicide clearance rate of about 50%. (Although you have to figure Law & Order isn’t meant to represent every case these detectives investigated; in 20 seasons, I don’t think there was a single murder that didn’t result in an arrest.)

Now are they going to start on SVU and Criminal Intent? Link

Also: Slate has graphs generated from the database information about which of your favorite characters were most successful in case disposition. Link

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