Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Trade - S9-E18

Question: How and when did Avery fall in love with P.J.?

Show generally

Question: Why does Oliver Gates come up with ridiculous reasons for the people he defends whenever they commit murder? In the episode "Hate", Sean Webster was killing Muslims and Oliver claims that his hatred was genetic but, it was found out that Sean had been raised to hate Muslims after his dad left his mom and married a muslim. In the episode "Game" a guy is murdering people the exact same way that's done in a video game when it's clear the suspect is using the video game as a scapegoat for his crimes.

Answer: His clients are guilty and won't take a plea. He's using desperate defenses in hopes of swaying a juror or two. Also makes for better television. "Temporary insanity" isn't nearly as compelling as "the video games made me do it."

Brian Katcher

Spousal Privilege - S16-E8

Question: Why was A.J. only charged with reckless endangerment? The video showed him punching Paula in the back when she's climbing the stairwell, getting punched in the face by A.J. and then being dragged away unconscious. Shouldn't he have been charged with either aggravated assault or assault and battery instead considering how violent he was?

Answer: I didn't see the show so I don't know the details. A general answer would be because a reckless endangerment charge is easier to prove "beyond a Reasonable Doubt" in court and get a conviction. This charge would not require the prosecutor to prove intent, which would be required for proving aggravated or simple assault. Also, if there were no visible injuries, it is difficult to show bodily injury. Just because the reckless endangerment charge was specifically mentioned, it does not necessarily mean there were not other charges filed. Police often make multiple charges, like lesser-included offenses, so that the defendant's act will fall under one of them if the legal requirements are not met for the others, if they are not sure of the best charge to make (the district attorney knows and can decide), or to have something to plea bargain with.


Persona - S10-E8

Question: While gathering evidence against Brent, it's discovered that Linnie was really Caroline Cresswell and that she killed her first husband in self-defense. Since she started using an alias after she escaped, would her marriage to her second husband Jonah be legal?

Answer: The marriage would be deemed fraudulent, since she did not use her real name.

Rooftop - S3-E4

Question: In this episode, they try to take the suspect's DNA but he says he's a Jehovah's witness so they don't take it. Why can't you take DNA from a Jehovah's witness?

Answer: It was a misconception about Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs. Only blood transfusions are discouraged in their beliefs, medically.

Zebras - S10-E22

Question: Detective Stabler accused Stuckey of being selfish. In what way was Stuckey being selfish? He made a mistake, apologized for it and promised to make things right.

Answer: He doesn't like Stuckey. He's an arrogant, loudmouthed nerd, who thinks crime scenes are a game. He thinks he's Gus Grissom from C.S.I.

Trade - S9-E18

Question: How could Jenna not be pregnant at the time that the blackmail started?

Answer: Jenna may have said she was pregnant, doesn't mean she was. Another from her to keep the money rolling in from both father and son. At the trial, Dr. Warner said that the son was shooting blanks, his sperm was funky.

Hammered - S11-E4

Question: Why would a mistrial be declared if the DVD of the murder being committed showed Dalton's face? Wouldn't this show that he is guilty of murder?

Answer: Because the DVD wasn't actual footage of the crime. It was a CGI re-enactment. However, 2 versions were made. The one meant for trial and one where Dalton's face was photoshopped onto the CGI killer. A.D.A. Paxton put the wrong DVD in and the jury saw a Dalton as the killer, which was declared prosecutorial misconduct and the video tainted the jury.


Answer: There is no evidence he did beyond the words of a woman crazy enough to murder her daughter.


Head - S5-E25

Question: Assuming the mother's not arrested despite assaulting the teacher, shouldn't her son be removed from her home given how horrible a drunkard she is and could abuse him?


Answer: Whether or not she was arrested, the court could order an evaluation regarding her fitness as a parent, require counseling, anger management courses, alcohol rehab and AA meetings, be under CPS supervision, etc.

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Show generally

Question: This is a two-part question. 1. In one episode, the SVU team must get a man to confess to committing several murders and if they can't after 24 hours, they have no choice but to let him go. What is the name of this episode? 2. During the interrogation, the man gets up in Detective Stablers face and screams, "I'm a murderer! I'm a murderer! I kill people! What are you gonna do about that?" That sounded like a Confession to me, so why wasn't he immediately arrested?

Answer: 1- It's probably "Rage" from season 6, though there are several similar episodes. 2 - I could go to the police and say I'm a murderer, but without details, it's not really any use. They knew he was just playing with them and wanted to taunt Stabler.


Show generally

Question: In a mistrial, most DA's have to decide if it is a do over. But in this show they have some dismissals in the mist of a trial and they can't be retried because of double jeopardy. Is this really a fact?


Answer: It would best to cite a specific episode; however, a dismissal is not the same thing as a mistrial by legal definitions. A case may be dismissed with or without prejudice. A case dismissed with prejudice would prevent a retrial on the grounds of double jeopardy. When this happens, the judge is basically saying he or she has heard enough to make a final decision and the case is over. Dismissals without prejudice and mistrials that the defendant consents to can be retried (generally it's the defendant's lawyer that will move for a mistrial for one reason or another).


Answer: Yes, once a jury is sworn in and impaneled, jeopardy attaches. So if a trial is ended for any reason, the accused cannot be tried again. Downum v. United States (1963), Crist v. Bretz (1978), Martinez v. Ilinois (2014).


A mistrial can allow the defendant to be re-tried in many cases.


A mistrial is not a dismissal. Since the jury has not reached a verdict, the trial has not ended.


Which is literally what I already said. But you stated if the trial is ended for any reason. A mistrial does end the trial, but not necessarily end jeopardy.


Show generally

Question: Why did they let Benson adopt? Given she's single and has a dangerous job wouldn't this be carefully scrutinized? After all, she could end up dead, thus the boy goes back into the system.


Answer: As this particular adoption case the judge presiding over it personally knew Olivia; that can make all the difference in the process as most adoptions are presided by judges who do not know the person and are going solely off how they look on paper as to whether or not it can be approved. This was likely the case of when Olivia mentioned she had previously been turned down for adoption. With Noah not being a healthy infant, the judge would not want to be too picky with who can adopt him as unhealthy infants have a high risk of never being adopted. With the judge personally knowing Olivia, that would help seal her confidence that even in the event of Olivia's death Olivia would have already made sure it would be pre-arranged for Noah to be cared for rather than put back in the system.

Show generally

Question: Does anybody know if they're using only New York law in the show? In California and many other states you can talk to a minor without his parents.

Answer: While it isn't technically illegal to talk to a child without his parents (or a lawyer), doing it stands a good chance of getting anything learned from the conversation inadmissible due to the possibility of undue influence. So most police agencies don't do it.


Show generally

Question: Has anybody noticed that many of the perps or victims at some point become policemen, DAs or detectives? They also rotate actors if you notice in season 15 episode 1 Surrender Benson, the serial rapist William Lewis is also the stepfather in season 8 episode 15 Haystack. Throughout the 21 seasons you can see the same actors taking on different roles acting in a child as one and then when they grow up seeing them as a grown up in another season and many becoming detectives or some sort of law enforcement.


Answer: Was there a specific question other than have we noticed? This is very common in the Law and Order franchise, as well as many other long running dramas that use multiple actors. The late, great Jerry Orbach from the original series started out as a defense attorney.


Answer: Same reason for her actions in the entire episode. She wasn't thinking straight. She recently had brain surgery, her husband left her, she lost her step-son, and now she finds out she's pregnant with a minor's child. All put together spells recipe for an emotional breakdown where no-one can be expected to think straight.

Wrath - S3-E2

Continuity mistake: Benson visits Stabler at his home to confronts him about the FBI detail he has ordered to protect her. They talk outside and then Benson is seen walking away. The next shot shows a side shot of Benson approaching him again in silence but mouthing words to him. (00:49:00)

More mistakes in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Born Psychopath - S14-E19

Dr. Huang: I'm conflicted about labeling a ten year old a psychopath. But...
Don Cragen: "But"?
Dr. Huang: I've had a chill like that two times in my life. With death row serial killers.

More quotes from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Trivia: Rafael Barba is the show's first regular ADA since Alex Cabot's departure, and the show's first male ADA.

Cubs Fan

More trivia for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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