Law & Order

Cruel and Unusual

Season 5, Ep 19, Aired 4/19/95
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  • Episode Description
  • The death of an autistic youth in custody reveals a multitude of unusual and possibly illegal therapies being used, but also parents reluctant to pursue a prosecution.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Jerry Orbach

    Det. Lennie Briscoe

  • Chris Noth

    Det. Mike Logan

  • S. Epatha Merkerson

    Lt. Anita Van Buren

  • Sam Waterston

    Exec. ADA Jack McCoy

  • Jill Hennessy

    ADA Claire Kincaid

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Art imitating Life?

    By TonyConnelly, Jun 21, 2012

  • This episode was really hard to watch, but really f good.

    By madeleine68, May 29, 2010

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Popcorn Seller: (Looks at the photo of the dead victim) Doesn't look too good. Lennie Briscoe: He wasn't feeling too well when we took the picture.

    • Jack McCoy: If you kick a dog enough he'll stop barking. He might even do tricks for you. But I don't know anyone who would call it humane.

    • Jack McCoy: He knew the therapy wasn't working, and instead of admitting he was wrong, he just turned up the voltage.

    • Jack McCoy: When they hear how much money he made torturing those kids with electrodes, how he almost killed the Davison girl, he'll be lucky if they don't string him up right there in the courtroom.

    • (Dr. Colter demonstrates electroshock therapy on Mike Logan.) Dr. Colter: And that's all there is to it. Mike Logan: That's ALL? I'd rather have my teeth drilled. You call that therapy?

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (2)

    • A real life 22-year-old autistic man, Vincent Milletich, from New York City, died in a Providence, Rhode Island, autism treatment facility almost ten years earlier (1985). He had been strapped to a sense-deprivation helmet that emitted static noises like this episode's "buzz box."

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Krutá léčba (Cruel Treatment)

    Allusions (1)

    • Jack McCoy: 'I was just following orders.' Where have I heard that before? 'I was just following orders' is also referred to as the Nuremburg defense. After the Second World War, many Nazis being tried for crimes related to the Holocaust defended themselves by saying that they were only following orders or that they didn't know the extent of the atrocities. This was usually an unsuccessful defense.

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