Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 7 Episode 12


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 03, 2006 on NBC

Episode Recap

A boy, Nathan Phelps, witnesses his mother's murder from a closet where he is hiding. During the investigation, he becomes close to Olivia. They eventually find out who killed Nathan's mother, a man named Ted Carthage who runs a charity and also has paid women and girls to have sex with him. They bring Carthage in for a line-up, but Nathan can't identify him.

Later, he's having lunch with Olivia at a restaurant across the street and he sees Carthage. He realizes that he's the man who killed his mother and runs across the busy street screaming at him. Olivia reaches him before he can do any harm, but later Nathan goes to the place where he works and kills him.

In court, Nathan's lawyer uses as a defense a study that shows that people who see gun violence are more than twice as likely to commit violence themselves. When she cross-examines Olivia, Olivia agrees that although seeing gun violence might not justify committing murder, it might explain it. Casey decides to agree to a plea bargain. They are in court about to agree to the plea bargain when a lawyer paid for by the National Gun Association serves them with a restraining order and ordering Casey, Nathan's attorney, and Judge Donnelly to be defendents in a civil case. The judge in the civil case orders an evidenciary hearing on the study. The man who did the study testifies, and the lawyer hired by the NGA then calls Nathan Phelpd to testify. Nathan's lawyer objects, but Judge Donnelly tells Casey to ask for a recess. During the recess, Judge Donnelly tells Nathan's lawyer to let him testify because it will violate his fifth ammendment right not to have to incriminate himself, and the criminal case will have to be dismissed. Nathan is called to testify and the NGA lawyer eventually makes him admit that he hates the man who killed his mother. Nathan's lawyer then asks for a mistrial. The judge in the civil case tells her that she can't ask for a mistrial because it's a hearing, not a trial. She then says that she was asking Judge Donnelly, not him. Judge Donnelly grants the mistrial and Casey asks for the hearing to be dismissed because if there's no trial, there's no need for an evidentiary hearing. The hearing is dismissed and Nathan doesn't have to go to jail and gets a foster family.