Law & Order

Season 5 Episode 19

Cruel and Unusual

2
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 19, 1995 on NBC
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
40 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
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.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Art imitating Life?

    10


    Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton Massachusetts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtRGQRtwh2U
  • This episode was really hard to watch, but really f good.

    9.5
    I have a younger brother with autism and since I know so much about it, this episode was very hard for me to watch. It's amazing how far we've come in terms of knowledge about and treatment of autism in fifteen years. Back then, it was all about eliminating the symptoms of autism. Now, it's more important to modify the actual behavior to teach autistic children how to function in society.



    The "therapies" used on the children are nothing short of torture and what really made me angry is that the parents KNEW what was going on; they just thought if it made their lives easier, it was okay, even if in the long run it was bad for their children.



    In the end, justice was mostly served in terms of the "doctor," but the sad part is that (at least back then) there was still no way to help the kids.moreless
Jerry Orbach

Jerry Orbach

Det. Lennie Briscoe

Chris Noth

Chris Noth

Det. Mike Logan

S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita Van Buren

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

Exec. ADA Jack McCoy

Jill Hennessy

Jill Hennessy

ADA Claire Kincaid

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

DA Adam Schiff

Lawrence Pressman

Lawrence Pressman

Dr. Alan Colter

Guest Star

Sheila Tousey

Sheila Tousey

Mrs. Vilardi

Guest Star

Shawn Elliott

Shawn Elliott

Judge Joseph Rivera

Guest Star

Jeffrey DeMunn

Jeffrey DeMunn

Norman Rothenberg

Recurring Role

Carolyn McCormick

Carolyn McCormick

Dr. Elizabeth Olivet

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Asst. M.E. Rogers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • 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?

    • (To Mrs. Vilardi, about the 'buzz box' helmet.)
      Jack McCoy: If you've never seen it, how did you know it was red? You've seen it being used, haven't you? You've seen it used on Kevin Jeffries? On your son?

    • Mrs. Vilardi: Mr. McCoy. You're making them close the clinic. What about David? I can't take care of him. Can he go home with you now? I didn't think so.

  • 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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