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Alicia takes on the case of a juvenile first offender, Terence Ramsay, who is charged with assault but claims he was bullied into at fight at school. She manages to negotiate a reduced plea with the prosecutor and no jail time but the judge in the case, Henry Baxter, inexplicably rejects the plea bargain and sentences the boy to 9 months incarceration. As Alicia looks into the judge's background, she finds a clear pattern in his sentencing - white offenders get probation while African-Americans always seem to get jail-time. A detailed analysis of other cases seems to show that the current pattern of sentencing is less than 2 years old so they set out find what may have happened to Judge Baxter to cause the change. Alicia's daughter finally makes a friend at school but runs into problems because of her Dad's past. Meanwhile, Diane is approached by representatives of the Democratic party trying to recruit her to run for a judgeship in the next elections. Her recruiters' reaction to her intervention in the Baxter situation isn't what she had hoped.