I'm watching an old episode of the TV show Law & Order, and just heard several of the lawyers in the DA's office state as fact that it is not illegal for a parent to sell their child (specifically: to a drug dealer to settle debts and obtain drug-credit).

That seems obviously false, but I'm skeptical that the writers would say something so obviously false. It makes me wonder if there's something I'm missing.

I would like to ask what is the truth. I'm not asking about the writers or the show, but about the actual laws that were in effect at the time and place depicted in the show: New York City in the '90s (my post would provide specifics).

Is that kind of question welcome here?


1 Answer 1


Sure, that's a fine question for this site.

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    Would you extend this to similar situations in other police procedural fiction? For example, would you accept a question based on a line from The Andy Griffith Show as a legitimate question about 1960's North Carolina law? If I found an old Batman comic from 1954 where Batman quips, "Well, Robin, civilians torturing suspects to extract a confession is only legal in Gotham and in Orlando, Florida", would it be acceptable for me to ask whether such torture was really legal in Orlando in 1954? Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 17:25
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    @RobertColumbia I’m sure you made up both those examples. Even so, if you want to ask those questions, feel free. You don’t need a reason.
    – Dale M Mod
    Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 20:04

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