Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Branded” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCU

Law & Order SVU added back the courtroom drama with the episode “Branded.” It also added their newest ADA, Jillian Hardwick, played by Melissa Sagemiller, an improvement over the ADAs from season 11. She also gets the best line of the season to date, when she comments - with an unintentional double entendre (and/or Freudian slip) - “I’m a big fan of your unit” which seemed pointed at Stabler. (I bet every woman (and probably some guys) who were watching this episode agreed that they too are big fans of the Special Victims Unit and also Stabler's, well, you know.) As I had enjoyed Melissa’s performances as a defense attorney in the TNT series “Raising the Bar,” I was very comfortable with her as the new SVU ADA. In her first outing, she managed to do what they all do – remind the detectives what she can and cannot legally do and serve as a roadblock. At least in this case, it appears that she took Benson’s repeated lecturing to heart and found a way to do the right thing with the case.

The only thing that left me unsatisfied is that I felt Camille needed some mandated medical treatment or counseling for her previous trauma, and I didn’t get the sense that anyone was pushing for it. Drugging and branding someone, regardless of the reason, is serious psycho stuff and that crime should not have been swept under the rug. I also found it a huge stretch that Camille would have that chance encounter with her own daughter years later, plus be able to recognize the similarities in her daughter's laughter with her own. But, while many crime shows use plot contrivances these days, I'm willing to look the other way on this one.

With the support of several great guest stars, the episode remained suspenseful throughout. While it became evident that each of the three men were being punished for their own involvement in a rape, finding out who would pay the biggest price for their crime was a question that carried through to the very end. I wasn’t bored for one minute watching “Branded.”

Here is the recap:

Bill Dixon (Michael Gladis) is found by his wife, laying stripped and bound on the kitchen floor. Later, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Fin (Ice-T) are on the scene. It does not appear the perp entered through the front door. Benson and Stabler speak with Dixon. They find the word “ruiner” carved into his chest.


Benson and Stabler are at the hospital to check on Dixon. He has broken ribs and the word was carved into his chest with a wire hanger, fire tipped by a blow torch. He was knocked out from behind using a ketamine injection and they found three dice and a metal timer in his rectum. (Ouch.) Stabler speaks with Bill and who has no idea why he was branded. He denies having an affair. Meanwhile, his wife tells Benson that Bill would never cheat on him and has no business rivals or problems with the law. Bill and his wife both wonder if it is Jonas Rothenberg, the president of the Crooked Pond Greenbelt Association, who tried to stop Bill from making snakeskin belts. Rothenberg felt Bill ruined everything he touched and once left a letter taped to their apartment door, somehow he got in to their building.

Later, Benson and Stabler speak with Rothenberg who explains how he got into the building. Rothenberg took Dixon to court over the cruelty he inflicts on animals. Rothenberg shows them an animal trap that looks like a coat hanger. Stabler gets a call while Rothenberg tells Benson he was at a lecture the night before. Stabler thanks him for his time, and then he tells Benson Fin may know how the perp got into Dixon’s building.

Back at Dixon’s building, Fin shows them a large package that was delivered to the super before the attack. It looks like the perp had himself delivered in the box, and the delivery company was Transfer To Go. Later, at Transfer To Go, they speak with Camille (Bess Rous) to get delivery information and it looks like the delivery order was hacked in to the system,

Back at SVU, TARU tech Morales (Joel de la Fuente) explains how difficult it was for the person to hack in and how hard it is to track where it came from. Fin tells them Rothenberg’s alibi checks out and there doesn’t seem to be evidence that Dixon was having an affair. Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) enters and tells them there is another victim.

At the apartment of Victor Ramos (Kevin Alejandro), as EMTs treat Ramos, Benson and Stabler arrive and see he is branded with the word “traitor.”

At SVU, Ramos explains what happened to him to Stabler. Ramos was drugged and knocked out, and he doesn’t know why he was branded, and he was also sexually assaulted with a candle. He knows of no one who is angry with him. His wife died of a brain tumor two years ago and he is dating a woman from his church and has never been a traitor to anyone. He does not know Bill Dixon.

Afterwards, Dr. Huang (BD Wong) tells Benson and Stabler that Ramos’ anguish is real. Huang thinks there is a connection and if Ramos and Dixon victimized their attacker together they would not admit to knowing each other but may at some point reach out to each other. He suggests tailing the victims. Since both victims have not seen Fin, they have Fin do the tailing. Fin watches and follows as Ramos gets into a cab, and meets up in another location with Dixon and another man outside Gammon Imports. The three men are arguing and Fin takes a video.
Back at SVU, Fin shows them the video and tells them what he saw. The third man is the importer himself, Alexander Gammon (Jason Wiles). Dixon seems to be telling Gammon that he is next. Cragen tells them to contact Gammon.

At Gammon’s apartment, he denies knowing the two men. They show him a photo of him talking to Dixon and Ramos, and then he admits it was s business discussion. He says he supplies Christmas gifts for Dixon’s high end clients and says Ramos speaks Spanish and also does accounting work. They tell Gammon he is the only connection between the two men.

Outside Gammon’s building, the detectives comment that they don’t buy Gammon’s story. But, as they walk the car, they see another large box, just like the one delivered to Dixon’s, being wheeled up to Gammon’s building.

Later, and back inside Gammon's building, Benson and Stabler watch the box sitting in another room from a video feed. They are there waiting a long time. Finally, the box opens from the inside and a person dressed all in black comes out. They watch as the person races up the stairs to Gammon’s apartment. As the person approaches who seems to be Gammon sitting in a chair, Stabler swings the chair around and points his gun at the intruder, Benson doing the same from behind. It’s a woman, and she lunges a syringe at Stabler, who stops her and gets her to drop it. It’s Camille from Transfer to Go. They arrest her.

With Camille Walter in the SVU interrogation room, Benson talks to Canmille about her past childhood and drug problems. She also notes that Camille has an exceptional IQ, but a psychiatrist said she hates authority figures. When Benson asks who Camille is, she says she is nobody and asks Benson if she is nobody too.

Stabler brings in Gammon, Dixon, and Ramos into the observation room and shows them Camille in the interrogation room. Gammon and Dixon say that she could not have done this because of her small stature, but Ramos says anything is possible, but still insists he was attacked by a man. Stabler says she went after them in order to brand them, and Dixon and Gammon says she is mentally ill. Ramos is silent. When the guys leave, Stabler tells Cragen that they did not ID Camille and none of their backgrounds show a connection to Camille. Cragen thinks they have her for the crimes and they are done. Later, Benson asks where they go from here, and ADA Jillian Hardwick (Melissa Sagemiller) enters and says nowhere, she can’t prosecute the case. Cragen introduces Hardwick to Benson and Stabler. She says she doesn’t have enough evidence. Looking at Stabler, she also says the DA poached her from the Brooklyn blue zone and she’s glad they did, adding, “I’m a big fan of your unit” (hold for snickering from viewers) and then adds “that came out wrong.” They explain that they have Camille when she tried to brand Stabler, plus evidence linking her to the other attacks. Hardwick says Camille’s cell phone has her at a midtown Macy’s and a Harlem Target at the first two attacks and debit card records back it up. They remind her she is a hacker and the guys could not ID her. Cragen reminds her about the attack at Gammon’s place and Hardwick says Gammon’s lawyer says Gammon does not want to press charges. When Benson says that those men made her do something that made Camille attack them, Huang enters and says he never thought he would hear Benson blame the victims. Huang thinks if she did attack those men they may find a clue in her method of assault - the branding. He thinks whatever happened to her, she may feel branded herself and she is suffering from suppressed anger and a catalyst brought it back to the surface. Sometimes people keep a physical reminder of their secret – a marker of sorts. Benson says not to release Camille just yet, and Stabler tells Hardwick to get them a search warrant. Cragen tells Hardwick “Welcome to Special Victims.”

At Camille’s apartment, the detectives search and Benson finds a report card and some old photos. There is a picture of a group of campers with one female camper’s face erased, and what looks like a young Alexander Gammon in the photo.
At Clean Air Camp, Mrs. Holmes tells the detectives that Gammon worked there one summer in 1996 and he was a jerk. She also recognizes Bill Dixon and Victor Ramos who also worked there. She says Camille came from abusive foster homes. There was no indication that Camille was molested or assaulted. She did recall one morning when she came to the dock and found Camille dazed and out of it and when she asked Camille what was wrong, she said “I’m nobody, who are you? Are you nobody too?” Benson seems to recall Camille saying those same words to her,

Back with Camille, still being held, Benson tells Camille she is not nobody. She tries to get Camille to open up about what happened at the camp. Camille tells her that Alexander said bunch of people were going off into the words to play games, and Victor and Bill were there. They led her into the woods, they were drunk, and told her it was a private party. She begins to cry. She explained that Alexander and Bill held her down and Alexander raped her, then Bill. She was bleeding. Victor didn’t want to but Alexander pushed him into it. Alexander told her if she told anyone he would deny it and who would believe the word of a nobody. She admits that she branded them so they would never forget, and then said she wished she could have branded Alexander with the word HELL because that’s where she was going to send him. Benson asks why she would have waited 14 years after the rape, and she says that a few weeks ago she was walking down central park south and heard a laugh, and it was exactly like she used to laugh and she knew it was her daughter. The rape got her pregnant. She could not bear to keep the baby, knowing that one of them was her father so she gave her up for adoption the day after she was born. Camille continues to sob.

Back at SVU, Benson goes over the record of the birth of Camille’s daughter in February of 1997 and that one of the men is the baby’s father. Hardwick is skeptical and Benson thinks the latter is easy to prove – they find the girl, take her DNA and see if it matches one of the three men. Hardwick reminds Benson the statute of limitation has passed on the rape. She also says Stabler’s suggestion of getting the men for obstruction will get quickly tossed too. She tells an incredulous Benson she has no choice but to prosecute Camille, they have Camille’s confession on tape. Benson is upset that Camille can go to prison for a post-traumatic effect from being gang raped, and the guys will walk away free. Hardwick testily tells Benson to bear in mind that she sodomized two men and branded them with a searing coat hanger. Benson tells her to bear in mind that Camille was raped, or is keeping her percentage up is too important. Hardwick tells Benson that Benson did her job, now it is time for her to do hers, no matter how much it hurts.
In court, the jury sees Camille’s video testimony, and when Hardwick asks for Benson to corroborate, Benson says Hardwick has not played the entire tape. Judge Andrews (Lindsay Crouse) tells the jury that she redacted portions of the tape that she deemed irrelevant to the case. When Benson says what Camille said is not irrelevant, Hardwick quickly says there are no further questions. When Benson continues to whine about it, the judge threatens Benson with a contempt citation and orders Benson’s last comments stricken from the records.

Dixon is on the stand and Hardwick questions him. He denies any contact with Camille at the camp and says Camille is insane. Camille’s attorney, Swift (David Alan Grier), asks why he is so sure it was Camille who did this since Dixon told the detectives he didn’t know her. Dixon says it’s because the police told him what she had done with the other men. Later, Gammon is on the stand, who describes Camille at camp as moody and sexually provocative. Camille stands up and calls him a liar. He says she used to loosen her bikini top so it would slip off in the lake and they could see her breasts. He said it was a school girl crush and he let her down gently. When Gammon starts talking about Camille’s father being a nut job, Camille gets irate and leaps up, calling Gammon a son of a bitch. She is restrained by Swift and the judge calls for order and tells the jury to disregard what Camille said. She then calls for a recess.
Outside the courthouse, Stabler approaches a waiting Ramos and tells him he should have heard the wild accusations that Camille made against him. Ramos said the girl is nuts and tells Stabler to leave him alone. Stabler says that Ramos is a decent guy and what Camille did to him was horrible but the other two are painting her with a black brush. He reminds Ramos of his own daughters who are the same age as Camille at the time of the rape.

On the stand, Ramos says the truth is complicated. Camille did have a crush on Alexander and wanted to hook up with him all summer but he has no idea why she went after him and Bill. Camille continues to shout out and the judge again warns her.

Later, in Hardwick’s office, Benson asks her if she is happy that she trashed Camille. Hardwick says her job is to win the case. Benson counters that her job is to be sure justice is done and convicting Camille is not justice and Hardwick turned Camille into a crazy slut. When Benson turns to walk out, Hardwick tells Benson since Benson is storming off, could she drop off a file for defense counsel that a friend gave to her. She tells her not to look at what’s inside which Benson of course does. With her back to Benson, Hardwick gives a glance and then tells Benson she’ll see her tomorrow. Benson looks stunned at the contents of the folder .

Back in court, the defense calls Hannah Milner (Odeya Rush) to the stand. Benson walks in with a young girl, and Camille whispers it is her. Gammon asks Hardwick who she is and Hardwick evasively says it is a defense witness. When asked, Hannah points out her parents in the gallery, and then says she was adopted. When asked about her biological parents, Hannah said that yesterday Swift found her and took her DNA for a test and then contacted her about her biological parents. She points out Camille as her biological mother. She goes on to point out her biological father, and at first it seems it might be Gammon, and he becomes even more upset and the judge orders him to sit down. But it’s Ramos who is Hannah’s biological father. Ramos says it is true, and then stands up and said she is his daughter and all three of them raped Camille, and as Gammon tells him to shut up, the judge demands order. As Ramos is being led out of the courtroom, he says Gammon has been paying them off for years and Gammon talked them into it. He adds that Gammon has raped other women and has paid them off to keep them quiet. Gammon says Ramos is crazy. Ramos continues to yell that Gammon is a rapist as he is being taken out of the courtroom. Gammon, looking uncomfortable, sits back down, and Hardwick has a satisfied smirk on her face.

In SVU interrogation, Stabler questions Gammon. He tells Gammon that Dixon and Ramos are going to do some time for perjury. He tells Gammon he is looking at a long bit. Gammon asks how they knew Ramos was the father, and Stabler says they matched the DNA against a coffee cup he tossed out and the DNA from blood work done at the hospital on the other two. Stabler shows him photos of two women who says Gammon was paying them for their silence. They are paying Gammon back and are pressing charges. The statute of limitations hasn’t run out on them. Gammon asks what happens now, and Stabler says “Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.”

In the observation room, Camille thanks Benson. Benson reminds her she still needs to see the judge about sentencing but on two minor counts of trespass, she should do OK. Benson takes Camille out to meet Hannah, who is waiting with Hardwick. Hannah wishes her good luck in court. Camille says she is sorry that this is the way they had to meet, but Hannah is not. They embrace and both are crying as we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

59 comments:

Jojo said...

I agree with you that Camille's crime shouldn't have been swept under the rug, it was very disturbed. It seems to be condoning people to take the law into their own hands, as well.

Every DA starts out rocky and that's been the problem with the revolving door of DAs that the unit seems to have had since Casey left. We get all these tension filled scenes between the unit and the DA and before it becomes smooth sailing, they leave.

By the way, was it mentioned by Sharon Stone's character left the unit? I mean, we knew she wasn't staying, but did they actually give a reason on the show?

Thanks for the recap and review ATL&O.

Josh Morton said...

Well Olivia (Hargitay) made a comment in last weeks SVU "Wet" that the ADAs come and go - I don
t really recall her saying why Stone's Marlowe left.

I'm just glad she (Sharon Stone) left.

I think Diane Neal should return before anyone else if Sagemiller's character bombs or leaves (like Greylek).

I think Stephanie March is done full time after her second time as ADA. She'll probably make a return in a guest star capacity - or so one can hope!

Has anyone noticed (two things) that Richard Belzer and Tamara Tunie seem to be in episodes minimal time or in every other episode with minimal lines?

And also that B.D. Wong is not in the 'cast gathering' in the opening sequence (They also took the dots out of his name too).

I also think that Camille got away with her crimes scott free-ish. I think they should have done 'Law & Order' the first 30 mins the cops/last 30 the new ADA. Instead of 40/20 (Cops/ADA). This episode was good but needed to go more in depth.

I'll give the episode some slack because it's the first time Chris Brancato has written for SVU.

Aside from "Bullseye" and "Wet" (12x02/12x05) this season has been great so far! I hope to see more 'SVU classic greatness'!

nygma619 said...

^^^^^

Personally I liked both of those episodes. Sure Wet may not have been as good as the first three of the season, but it was still good. I actually found Merchandise to be the season's weakest, but it was still decent.

Besides Josh, what needed to be done more of depth wise? The thing I like about SVU is that it's more flexible with the formula than the mothership was. Sometimes you'd get more of the courtroom, sometimes you'd get more of the police procedure.

B.D. Wong seems to appear on & off in the opening credits these days, it's weird, I'm not sure why.

I think Camille will get some mental help later on. It kind of goes without saying.

Word around the campfire (forgive me for THAT metaphor) is that Melissa Sagemiller is staying at an NYC hotel, and isn't planning to make a permanent move until it's clear on whether the character of Jillian Hardwick is well received or not.

Personally I found her likable enough, and I liked the scene where she was arguing with Olivia, unlike with Christine Lahti's character, I didn't get the sense that she came in 'swinging for the fences' looking to brand her territory (no pun intended). The only thing I would've liked to have seen more of was something that affected her in doing what she did with the case. Or at the very least a scene with her and Olivia where Olivia talks to her about the aftermath.

Maybe I missed something but what was in the folder?

Anyways another great episode to add to the list this season. And I look forward to seeing more of Jillian Hardwick this season. And hopefully she's well received.

My personal favorite line of the episode goes to Stabler, “Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.”

Rob said...

Is it Jillian or Gillian?

The folder had something to do with the missing daughter. She was playing sly so she could play dumb if it backfired on her. It was smart-ish.

Still disappointed Camille got a handwaved "Oh, you plead to two tresspassing charges... no judge will throw the book at you for that". On the best days of this show and the Mothership it would've been made clear that the law is the law and she broke it, however tragic her story might be.

I hope the new ADA sticks around, though. I can't pin it but she just felt so completely at ease. With Stone and Patton there was this obvious "Movie stars doing TV" thing where they clearly weren't used to working quite as quickly, dodgy line readings and a lack of chemistry.

Anonymous said...

Jo Marlowe has not been addressed this season. They do need to say what happened to her.
Casey Novak can not come back as an lawyer. She was disbarred, not suspended. She is out of the legal profession for good.
As for the new ADA, she started out well standing on firm legal ground by refusing to kowtow to Olivia's Rape Avenger stance. Unfortunately, she caved in the end and did the wrong thing. There should have been a scene with the judge and the lawyers where the judge ordered no mention of the alleged rape 14 years earlier. It was not relevant to the current case against Camille. Nor was the daughter relevant to the case. Had the trial been run according the law, Camille would have been convicted as she should have been. Being a rape victim is not a get out of jail free card.

Anonymous said...

I think they should bring back Casey Novack as a uniformed office who is working her way into a detective @ SVU....

Anonymous said...

I think they should bring back Casey Novack as a uniformed office who is working her way into a detective @ SVU....

Anonymous said...

I am still confused by the items left in the 2 men after the attacks. What is the signifigance? I found this episode to be lacking in story line. I think they should have saved this one for a special when they had a longer time slot or written it differently.

Tony said...

I thought Melissa Sagemiller was great last night. She was very natural. And she also had chemistry with the rest of the cast. She's a keeper.

But from what I've heard she's only signed on for 4 episodes so far. Hopefully TPTB see what they have and sign her full time.

Anonymous said...

I think the first times she used on guy #1 could have related to some games they played at camp? As far as the candle in the other guy, she may have just picked an available item. They never explained it. Camille was really nutty and needed mental help and they never pursued it. Otherwise a good episode.

Anonymous said...

It makes me a bit nervous to support the idea of "justice" trumping that of "law," but this was a case where Camille couldn't have gone to law simply because too much time had passed. So this was a case of "poetic justice," maybe? (She was quoting Emily Dickinson, after all.) As for ruling out the rape-related testimony, while judges generally rule that the prosecutor is not allowed to bring up past crimes against a defendant to avoid prejudicing the jury, I thought defendants are able to use almost anything in their own defense. Any lawyers out there?

About the objects she used on the men: I think they were simply whatever was readily available, nothing symbolic was intended. The first man was setting up for board games with the family, the dice and timer were there at hand.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 3:35
Camille had 9 years in which to report her rape. The 5 year statute of limitations was tolled until she was 18 and then started to run. Given her age at the time of her pregnancy, there would have been people asking how she got pregnant.
As for limitations on what the defense may present, there are rules of evidence that outline what is out of bounds. They are limited to evidence that is deemed relevant to the case at hand. One particular rule should have been brought up in pretrial motions. Dixon and Ramos were sexual assault victims and it is not generally permitted to bring up their past sexual history as part of the defense strategy. That alone should have been enough to prevent the subject from being raised during the victims' testimony.

Anonymous said...

"... it is not generally permitted to bring up their past sexual history as part of the defense strategy. That alone should have been enough to prevent the subject from being raised during the victims' testimony."

Even when the "past sexual history" is the rape of the present defendant? In a case like this, I can see the judge instructing the jury on the law - and the jury then going for jury nullification. It's these cases of where the law and justice (fairness, whatever) don't line up neatly that make the best stories - but I sincerely hope I never have to serve on a jury where such a case is being tried.

Anonymous said...

If you want to make sure defendants in sexual assault cases don't go free because their victims were judged on their past or current sexual choices then you have to protect everybody in that situation. It doesn't matter whether the rule protects a nun or a hooker. The fact that Gammon, Dixon and Ramos raped Camille 14 years earlier does not excuse her criminal behavior now.
If the facts were different and Camille had attacked her rapists after seeing them and having a flashback to the rape, then the defense could bring up the subject of the rape as part of a psych defense. The purpose of the testimony wouldn't be to show the victims got what they deserved but to explain why Camille wasn't responsible for her actions.
Regardless of what Neal Baer claims, it is very clear that there stopped being legal consultants for the show years ago.

Anonymous said...

Ok, nobody wants to live in a society where individuals are allowed to seek retribution on their own.

The problem here was that the evidence of the rape came out during the trial (just like in Perry Mason). If it had been known in advance, I bet none of the three would have wanted to go to trial, regardless of the admissibility of their prior behavior. In which case there would have been no story, of course.

nygma619 said...

"Casey Novak can not come back as an lawyer. She was disbarred, not suspended. She is out of the legal profession for good."

Disbarred attorney's have gotten their license to practice law back before, but whether she would want that we don't know.

"There should have been a scene with the judge and the lawyers where the judge ordered no mention of the alleged rape 14 years earlier. It was not relevant to the current case against Camille. Nor was the daughter relevant to the case. Had the trial been run according the law, Camille would have been convicted as she should have been. Being a rape victim is not a get out of jail free card."

Actually it was relevant to the case. Otherwise why ask the three guys how they know her (especially when they lied and said they didn't, earlier)? No ones saying she deserved to not go to jail, I think it's obvious she deserved jail time, the only issue on it is how far to go with it.

Also if I'm correct, the only way to ban the daughter being mentioned in court is if the prosecutor (Hardwick) could appeal it, maybe I'm wrong. HOWEVER the minute the prosecution started painting her as a slut in court, it was fair game for the defense to use ANYTHING that could prove their stories wrong.

nygma619 said...

Another thing, back in the episode Serendipity (Season 5), a judge told Casey and the defense attorney that they couldn't try the defendant on rape, but they could use the expired rape case to establish motive.

What this means is that, they couldn't get the three guys on the rape they commited but it could be used as a means to the jury on whether they think Camille should've been tried for her crimes. Sure the judge dismissed the rape, BUT like I said before, the minute they painted Camille as something she wasn't, any evidence to prove that wrong could be allowed.

Anonymous said...

"
The problem here was that the evidence of the rape came out during the trial (just like in Perry Mason). If it had been known in advance, I bet none of the three would have wanted to go to trial, regardless of the admissibility of their prior behavior. In which case there would have been no story, of course."

Actually the issue of the rape came up well before trial. It was not a surprise like Perry Mason used to do. It was the duty of the ADA to ask the judge before the trial began to preclude any and all evidence regarding it. Otherwise why would any sexual assault victim ever be willing to go to trial and have their sex life put on public display? That's why the rule prohibiting that evidence was made.
I think the story would have been better if the writers had paid attention to the law. the trial would still have gone on but Camille getting convicted. The police could still have gone after Gammon for the other rapes (if they had been reported). Dixon's wife would not have been happy when she heard Camille's story. Ramos would have had to deal with Hannah Milner. And the message from this episode would have been to urge sexual assault victims to promptly report the attacks.

Anonymous said...

"Disbarred attorney's have gotten their license to practice law back before, but whether she would want that we don't know.'

As long as Jack McCoy is DA, he will successfully block any attempt to allow Casey back. Even if he loses in the next election, his objection will continue to carry weight with the Bar Association.

"Actually it was relevant to the case. Otherwise why ask the three guys how they know her (especially when they lied and said they didn't, earlier)? No ones saying she deserved to not go to jail, I think it's obvious she deserved jail time, the only issue on it is how far to go with it."

What happened 14 years earlier was not relevant to the case. The victims are not on trial here. Even if Camille proved the rape happened, it's not a defense to her crimes.
If the judge had correctly allowed that all evidence of the rape was inadmissible, ADA Hardwick would not have asked how the victims knew her. She only asked because she knew the defense attorney would be asking if she didn't.

"Also if I'm correct, the only way to ban the daughter being mentioned in court is if the prosecutor (Hardwick) could appeal it, maybe I'm wrong."

I'm afraid you are wrong on this. Both sides have to submit a list of the witnesses they plan on calling before the trial starts. If one side calls a witness who is not on the lists, the other side has the right to object immediately. The side calling the witness then needs to explain to the judge why the witness should be allowed.
Here Hannah Milner should not have been permitted as a witness. She had no information about Camille attacking the victims. she did not provide any relevant information on a valid defense. And she had no personal knowledge about who were her birth parents. Her testimony on that subject was all hearsay and not admissible.

"HOWEVER the minute the prosecution started painting her as a slut in court, it was fair game for the defense to use ANYTHING that could prove their stories wrong."

I'm afraid you are wrong on this as well. Ignoring for the moment that none of this should have been brought up at trial, the defense is still limited in how it tries to rebut testimony. the defense would have had to call witnesses to prove Camille wasn't sexually active at that age. Calling the victims rapists does not challenge the testimony that Camille was a slut.
But it would be deemed a collateral matter not reverent to the case at hand. The judge should not have allowed the trial to go off course.

"Another thing, back in the episode Serendipity (Season 5), a judge told Casey and the defense attorney that they couldn't try the defendant on rape, but they could use the expired rape case to establish motive.What this means is that, they couldn't get the three guys on the rape they commited but it could be used as a means to the jury on whether they think Camille should've been tried for her crimes."

You are comparing two very different things.
In Serendipity, the judge agreed to allowed testimony about one uncharged crime to bolster the case of a similar crime against a defendant who was believed to have committed them both. In New York this is based on People v. Molineux where evidence of uncharged prior crimes can be admitted to establish motive, intent, modus operandi, identification or common plan.
That rule doesn't apply to witnesses. It only applies to defendants. If there was evidence that Camille had branded other men where the statute of limitations had expired, that the prosecution could seek to have admitted under Molineux.

Anonymous said...

"Actually the issue of the rape came up well before trial. It was not a surprise like Perry Mason used to do. "

Yes, the issue of the rape came up before the trial - it was the evidence in the form of the existence of the daughter and her DNA that I was referring to. Evidence that, had it been available before the start of the trial, would probably have kept the accusers from deciding to press charges, or agreeing to testify if the DA insisted on going ahead with a trial. I thought the accusers turning on each other in open court and one being dragged out shouting was very Perry Mason-ish, but I admit, it's been decades since I've seen the show.

nygma619 said...

"As long as Jack McCoy is DA, he will successfully block any attempt to allow Casey back. Even if he loses in the next election, his objection will continue to carry weight with the Bar Association."

I think we've seen cases in the past where Jack's bark is bigger than his bite (see his last SVU appearance).

"What happened 14 years earlier was not relevant to the case. The victims are not on trial here. Even if Camille proved the rape happened, it's not a defense to her crimes.
If the judge had correctly allowed that all evidence of the rape was inadmissible, ADA Hardwick would not have asked how the victims knew her. She only asked because she knew the defense attorney would be asking if she didn't."

The words "ruiner" & "traitor" weren't reasons to bring up what happened then? Why is her persona at camp okay to bring up, but what happened then isn't?

"I'm afraid you are wrong on this. Both sides have to submit a list of the witnesses they plan on calling before the trial starts. If one side calls a witness who is not on the lists, the other side has the right to object immediately. The side calling the witness then needs to explain to the judge why the witness should be allowed.
Here Hannah Milner should not have been permitted as a witness. She had no information about Camille attacking the victims. she did not provide any relevant information on a valid defense. And she had no personal knowledge about who were her birth parents. Her testimony on that subject was all hearsay and not admissible."

Well OBVIOUSLY, Hardwick didn't object, DID SHE?

"I'm afraid you are wrong on this as well. Ignoring for the moment that none of this should have been brought up at trial, the defense is still limited in how it tries to rebut testimony. the defense would have had to call witnesses to prove Camille wasn't sexually active at that age. Calling the victims rapists does not challenge the testimony that Camille was a slut.
But it would be deemed a collateral matter not reverent to the case at hand. The judge should not have allowed the trial to go off course."

Well she did, but that's not exactly a plot hole (more like a writers crutch). Judge's have strayed off course with cases MANY times in the Law & Order universe.
And maybe it doesn't change Camille's perception, but it adds to what the jury would perceive of the other three. It's possible the judge allowed it because of allowing what she allowed to begin with.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, the issue of the rape came up before the trial - it was the evidence in the form of the existence of the daughter and her DNA that I was referring to. Evidence that, had it been available before the start of the trial, would probably have kept the accusers from deciding to press charges, or agreeing to testify if the DA insisted on going ahead with a trial. I thought the accusers turning on each other in open court and one being dragged out shouting was very Perry Mason-ish, but I admit, it's been decades since I've seen the show."

It doesn't matter if the existence of the daughter came to light before the trial. It has no relevance to the case against Camille for assaulting the men. It would have been shameful for the ADA to have used it to prevent the victims from pressing charges or testifying. It was unethical for Hardwick to turn over illegally obtained evidence to the defense the way she did. Neither Dixon or Ramos gave permission for the blood that was taken by the hospital to be used for a DNA test. The DNA results and anything based on them is not admissible in court as the product of an illegal search.

Anonymous said...

"The words "ruiner" & "traitor" weren't reasons to bring up what happened then? Why is her persona at camp okay to bring up, but what happened then isn't?"

The words that were branded do not have to be explained by the prosecution as part of their case. The prosecution only has to prove that the defendant committed the acts that constitute the crime with the intent to commit them. Motive is not a required element for assault. And if the ADA didn't bring it up on direct examination, the defense can't bring it up on cross examination.
Camille's behavior at the camp was not relevant anymore than what happened there. None of it should have be placed in evidence. If the writer had done his job and researched the law, this mess of a trial would not have happened.

"Well OBVIOUSLY, Hardwick didn't object, DID SHE?"

She didn't but a competent ADA would have. Not knowing the law is a big problem with the current writers for SVU.

"Well she did, but that's not exactly a plot hole (more like a writers crutch). Judge's have strayed off course with cases MANY times in the Law & Order universe.
And maybe it doesn't change Camille's perception, but it adds to what the jury would perceive of the other three. It's possible the judge allowed it because of allowing what she allowed to begin with."

Again this is a big with the current writers for SVU. They do not ask what the law actually is before writing the scripts, or they chose to ignore reality and rewrite the law so they don't have to rewrite the script. Now they can take some creative license for the sake of time compression. But that does mean they should be making up the law as the writers want it to be. That is a real disservice to the real criminal justice system.

Anonymous said...

"It would have been shameful for the ADA to have used it to prevent the victims from pressing charges or testifying. "

The ADA is required to turn over all evidence to the defense prior to trial, isn't he/she? "Discovery" or something? Even if she wanted to try Camille for the branding? I'd assume that it would be the accusers who'd decide on their own it wasn't in their best interests to go forward.

"It was unethical for Hardwick to turn over illegally obtained evidence to the defense the way she did."

I'd think it'd be illegal not to.

"Neither Dixon or Ramos gave permission for the blood that was taken by the hospital to be used for a DNA test. The DNA results and anything based on them is not admissible in court as the product of an illegal search."

How many times have cops offered suspects a Coke so as to be able to get fingerprints or DNA? Sometimes it's as effective to let people know that evidence exists as to use it in court - kind of like the stage of "displaying the instruments" used by the Inquisition. Many times there was never any need to actually employ them.

In any case, the two branded rapists have the right to take Camille to civil court, right? It's not as though they have no recourse.

Anonymous said...

"The ADA is required to turn over all evidence to the defense prior to trial, isn't he/she? "Discovery" or something? Even if she wanted to try Camille for the branding? I'd assume that it would be the accusers who'd decide on their own it wasn't in their best interests to go forward."

Discovery is the correct term. But the ADA is not required to turn over ALL the evidence in a case. The evidence that must be turned over is the potentially exculpatory evidence. (Brady v. Maryland. Furthermore, the evidence would have to have been persuasive and produced reasonable doubt of guilt (US v. Agnus) For example, when the police get fingerprints from a crime scene, the report on those prints has to be turned over to the defense because it may show someone else was present. With that the defense can argue that unidentified person committed the crime.
Here the identification of the daughter and the DNA results is not exculpatory evidence. There is nothing in the folder that can help the defense. It is a completely collateral matter that is not relevant to the case at hand.
It is not up to the victims to decide whether to go forward with the case. A crime is committed against the state and it is the state's decision whether to proceed against the perpetrator. As a practical matter, the state is unlikely to proceed if the victim is not going to cooperate. It depends on the crime and all the evidence.

'I'd think it'd be illegal not to."

The purpose of suppressing evidence based on an illegal search is discourage the police from conducting them in the first place. That purpose would not be serves if the police or prosecutors could get the evidence in by giving it to someone else. But I am still looking for case law on point.

"How many times have cops offered suspects a Coke so as to be able to get fingerprints or DNA? Sometimes it's as effective to let people know that evidence exists as to use it in court - kind of like the stage of "displaying the instruments" used by the Inquisition. Many times there was never any need to actually employ them."

This is a different situation. Discarded Coke cans are fine as sources of evidence. But police seizure of blood samples given for medical treatment is not the same thing. It not only violates the reasonable expectation of privacy but it violates doctor-patient privilege. And SVU dealt with a similar question back in "Lust" when the police were not allowed to test for DNA when the suspect had donated blood.
Whether the Inquisition used instruments of torture or just just threatened to use them, any statements made would be coerced. That's not a road I want our police to go down.

"In any case, the two branded rapists have the right to take Camille to civil court, right? It's not as though they have no recourse."

So you are suggesting that any rape victim who has not led a completely innocent life should not go to the police to report the attack and have the assailant charged and tried because there is recourse to damages in civil court?

Anonymous said...

"So you are suggesting that any rape victim who has not led a completely innocent life should not go to the police to report the attack and have the assailant charged and tried because there is recourse to damages in civil court?"

Of course not - but engaging in the gang rape of a 14/15-year-old is a little different from having been indiscriminate in one's choice of (consensual) partners, don't you think? What is being protected here is a crime, not careless or unorthodox sexual behavior. She should have reported it earlier, you say - but when the result of the crime was an inability to stand up for herself? I still say that justice was done. (At least there isn't a statute of limitations on murder in this country as there is in some.)

Anonymous said...

"Of course not - but engaging in the gang rape of a 14/15-year-old is a little different from having been indiscriminate in one's choice of (consensual) partners, don't you think? What is being protected here is a crime, not careless or unorthodox sexual behavior. She should have reported it earlier, you say - but when the result of the crime was an inability to stand up for herself? I still say that justice was done. (At least there isn't a statute of limitations on murder in this country as there is in some.)"

Sorry but there is no difference. The rule barring the defense disclosure of a victim's sexual history does not distinguish types of sexual behavior or who the victim is. If you protect one, you have to protect them all. The same thing is true for the protection of free speech in the First Amendment. You may not like what the Neo-Nazis or the KKK have say, but you have to protect their right to say it. You may not like that the victims here committed rape 14 years earlier but they are still entitled to same protections as another other sexual assault victim when their assailant is on trial.
Justice was not done in this case.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at the just-published World Justice Project Index, which compares justice in countries by geographic location (No. Am. and Western Europe do best) and income level (high is best). The US is worst in its groups overall, and is particularly bad with respect to the subfactor "People do not resort to violence to redress grievances." So you're fighting a cultural preference to find a way to favor a sympathetic victim, it looks like. As for law being done, I'd say take it to the Supreme Court, except for who the Justices are these days.

Mike said...

I'm just upset that Camille didn't murder the bastards.

Anonymous said...

Mike - well, actually, now that you mention it ...

Rape shield laws don't seem to be quite as absolute as some people are implying. For example, in an article at http://www.militarylawyers.org/rape-shield-law.htm Greg McCormack says:
"This [rape shield law] is a most difficult area of criminal law and the subject of much controversy. Prosecutors and victim’s advocates argue that the Rape Shield Law should be strictly applied to “shield” any alleged victim of sexual assault from any inquiry by the defense attorney as to the sexual history or character of the victim. Defense attorneys on the other hand will argue that their client can not get a fair trial if all of the relevant evidence of the alleged victim’s sexual history is not presented before the court. The court must carefully weigh and balance the rights of the accused to due process of law against the rights of the alleged victim – a difficult task at best."

And this is not even considering whether the previous "history" was an attack on the present defendant.

In any case, the wording "A party seeking discovery of information concerning the plaintiff’s sexual conduct with persons other than the defendant..." (at http://www.politickernj.com/41885/diegnan-bill-provide-rape-shield-law-civil-cases-approved-assembly) indicates that the "shield" does not necessarily apply to previous relations between the defendant and the plaintiff. Especially - I'd assume - if the plaintiff had lied under oath about them. Wouldn't that be admissible (in the present case) to cast doubt on the reliability of the rapists' testimony? (If she'd asked for a lawyer from the beginning and had not confessed, all they could have gotten her for was B&E with a syringe, right?)

nygma619 said...

"Camille's behavior at the camp was not relevant anymore than what happened there. None of it should have be placed in evidence. If the writer had done his job and researched the law, this mess of a trial would not have happened."

A judge not making the right decision with what happens in a trial doesn't happen in real life?

"She didn't but a competent ADA would have. Not knowing the law is a big problem with the current writers for SVU."

That wasn't a case of not knowing the law. That was a case of her not caring what happened to her client. Competence wasn't an issue there.

"Again this is a big with the current writers for SVU. They do not ask what the law actually is before writing the scripts, or they chose to ignore reality and rewrite the law so they don't have to rewrite the script. Now they can take some creative license for the sake of time compression. But that does mean they should be making up the law as the writers want it to be. That is a real disservice to the real criminal justice system."

Um that's been a problem on the mothership for years as well, not just SVU. If you want to you can check a message I left in the Law and Order Season 20 premiere where I found an article that talked about that episode ignoring the law.


Also while we're on the subject of things that shouldn't have happened in the episode. Why was there not a lawyer present during Camille's confession with Olivia? Wasn't she not at interrogation at the precinct, and was in the slammer? And since the lawyer was not there, why didn't he make the arguement that the confession should've been thrown out, without a lawyer present, and was told in confidence to Olivia.
I get that a lawyer doesn't have to be present at interrogation for a confession until the defendant asks for one, or one appears on their behalf; but doesn't a lawyer have to be present if the defendant is in a prison of some sort and the interview IS RECORDED? Maybe I'm wrong about that, but that's the vibe I always got.

nygma619 said...

Never mind that last part, I found the answer; that an attorney doesn't have to be present until requested.

nygma619 said...

On another note, it's never stated what the reasoning for Camille and her attorney pleading not guilty was. Or maybe I missed that, did anybody catch it? All Things' was it ever stated?

nygma619 said...

"This is a different situation. Discarded Coke cans are fine as sources of evidence. But police seizure of blood samples given for medical treatment is not the same thing. It not only violates the reasonable expectation of privacy but it violates doctor-patient privilege. And SVU dealt with a similar question back in "Lust" when the police were not allowed to test for DNA when the suspect had donated blood."

It's possible that Hardwick might of gotten a warrant from a judge to be able to use their blood work for paternity testing OFF SCREEN. We know Jillian had results from paternity testing in the folder she gave to Olivia. We just don't know about the lengths she went to to get them.

Anonymous said...

"Rape shield laws don't seem to be quite as absolute as some people are implying. For example, in an article at http://www.militarylawyers.org/rape-shield-law.htm Greg McCormack says:
"This [rape shield law] is a most difficult area of criminal law and the subject of much controversy. Prosecutors and victim’s advocates argue that the Rape Shield Law should be strictly applied to “shield” any alleged victim of sexual assault from any inquiry by the defense attorney as to the sexual history or character of the victim. Defense attorneys on the other hand will argue that their client can not get a fair trial if all of the relevant evidence of the alleged victim’s sexual history is not presented before the court. The court must carefully weigh and balance the rights of the accused to due process of law against the rights of the alleged victim – a difficult task at best."

Nothing was said about the rape shield law being absolute. In fact
I gave an example where the judge could rule the evidence could be admitted for a limited purpose.

"And this is not even considering whether the previous "history" was an attack on the present defendant."

It still would not be relevant. Allowing testimony about the rape does not help Camille create a defense claim. Revenge is not a valid defense. And the testimony would be unreasonably prejudicial to the prosecution. We do not want juries finding defendants not guilty because they don't like the victims.

"In any case, the wording "A party seeking discovery of information concerning the plaintiff’s sexual conduct with persons other than the defendant..." (at http://www.politickernj.com/41885/diegnan-bill-provide-rape-shield-law-civil-cases-approved-assembly) indicates that the "shield" does not necessarily apply to previous relations between the defendant and the plaintiff. Especially - I'd assume - if the plaintiff had lied under oath about them. Wouldn't that be admissible (in the present case) to cast doubt on the reliability of the rapists' testimony?

The rape shield rule can prevent disclosure of any sexual relations between defendant and victim as well. Especially when it is a collateral matter, which is the case here.

"(If she'd asked for a lawyer from the beginning and had not confessed, all they could have gotten her for was B&E with a syringe, right?"

The charges would have been the same with or without the confession. Ther was plenty of evidence to link the first two attacks to the third.

Anonymous said...

"A judge not making the right decision with what happens in a trial doesn't happen in real life?"

Unfortunately real-life judges do make mistakes. But the appeals courts are there to catch mistakes that are pointed out to them so they are not made again. Television writers don't have those watchdogs so they need to be more careful about having their fictional judges not following the law.

"That wasn't a case of not knowing the law. That was a case of her not caring what happened to her client. Competence wasn't an issue there."

Competency is about more than just knowing the law. A competent ADA has to know her job which is speaking for the state and not the defense. Hardwick was not doing her job by undermining her case.

Anonymous said...

"On another note, it's never stated what the reasoning for Camille and her attorney pleading not guilty was. Or maybe I missed that, did anybody catch it? All Things' was it ever stated?"

There was no statement of a defense theory. Nor was there any mention of plea offer.

Anonymous said...

"It's possible that Hardwick might of gotten a warrant from a judge to be able to use their blood work for paternity testing OFF SCREEN. We know Jillian had results from paternity testing in the folder she gave to Olivia. We just don't know about the lengths she went to to get them."

We don't know Hardwick got whatever was in that folder. But getting a warrant for a doctor/hospital to hand over a patient's blood to be tests that do not relate to the case at hands is beyond being a stretch. There were no grounds for a such a warrant. And if Hardwick is willingly to lie under oath to a judge to get to issue a warrant, I don't want her as an ADA. That's not an idea any prosecutor's office needs to be put in the public's eye.

nygma619 said...

"Competency is about more than just knowing the law. A competent ADA has to know her job which is speaking for the state and not the defense. Hardwick was not doing her job by undermining her case."

Choosing to or not doesn't make one competent. Nor does being a yes man (woman?).

"We don't know Hardwick got whatever was in that folder. But getting a warrant for a doctor/hospital to hand over a patient's blood to be tests that do not relate to the case at hands is beyond being a stretch. There were no grounds for a such a warrant. And if Hardwick is willingly to lie under oath to a judge to get to issue a warrant, I don't want her as an ADA. That's not an idea any prosecutor's office needs to be put in the public's eye."

Yeah because a beloved ADA has NEVER lied before *cough* Cabot in Guilt **cough**. Again they should have shown why they were pleading not guilty. Not everything needs to be shown (like how they got the blood work, legally) but if the defense was like a plea of insanity (i.e. PTSD), that's something that should've been shown, because THEN you could go into proving that the rape might of happened and how it affected her in having a post traumatic reaction. It might not have kept her out of jail (and you couldn't get the three on the rape case), but it could have gotten her leniency. It's obvious the girl had issues.

And lucky for you you don't have to worry about a fictional ADA affecting anything publicly in REAL LIFE.

nygma619 said...

"The charges would have been the same with or without the confession. Ther was plenty of evidence to link the first two attacks to the third."

Considering she had hacked into a Macy's and a Target to leave fake receipts at those times, it might of taken a little work to get those charges to stay.

Anonymous said...

I think it was in this thread that a url for SVU episodes was offered. (If it was here, it's been deleted already.) I went to the site and looked around without watching anything, then ran a spyware protection program (after running it just yesterday): one virus and two nasty trojans.

All Things Law and Order said...

Thanks why I won't endorse any of those sites and when I see someone posting lnks to them, I delete them. While not all of them are untrustworthy, too many of them ARE!

Anonymous said...

I thought this episode was C+. Again, references to the DA but no specific mention of Jack McCoy. Annoying!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No reference to McCoy, plot points that could be cleared up with a couple of lines of dialogue - it could be that they just don't have the time any more. Running time on the two SVU shows I noted this year were only 41:10 (Locum) and 41:21 (Branded). Didn't these usually run for 43+ mins? They want to leave more time for ads, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

"Choosing to or not doesn't make one competent. Nor does being a yes man (woman?)."

Choosing not to do your job makes you incompetent at it. The job of an ADA is to prosecute people who commit crimes. It is not to help the defense get them off.

"Yeah because a beloved ADA has NEVER lied before *cough* Cabot in Guilt **cough**."

At least in Guilt Alex admitted that what she did was wrong. And she was taken to task for it.

"Again they should have shown why they were pleading not guilty."

Sometimes there is not why. The defense pleads not guilty and waits to see if the prosecution can make their case. But given the confession, it was surprising that no plea was offered.

"Not everything needs to be shown (like how they got the blood work, legally) but if the defense was like a plea of insanity (i.e. PTSD), that's something that should've been shown, because THEN you could go into proving that the rape might of happened and how it affected her in having a post traumatic reaction."

When something happens that changes the plot like the blood tests did, there needs to be some basis for it. Otherwise you get a huge gap in the plotline. And if that gap can't be filled, it makes the writing bad.
As to an insanity defense, I mentioned that possibility much farther up this page. But that would require a big change in the facts of the story. Too much time had passed between Camille's remembering what happened when she heard her daughter's laugh and the planned attacks on three different men.

"It might not have kept her out of jail (and you couldn't get the three on the rape case), but it could have gotten her leniency. It's obvious the girl had issues."

It wouldn't keep her out of jail if it worked. She would have gone to a mental hospital. That is what happens when you are found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

"And lucky for you you don't have to worry about a fictional ADA affecting anything publicly in REAL LIFE."

Unfortunately that is not true. Too many people think what they on television is accurate. This is especially true with shows like L&O and CSI. True to the point that at least one judge had to tell a jury not to watch those shows because he didn't want them to be influenced by them.

Anonymous said...

"Considering she had hacked into a Macy's and a Target to leave fake receipts at those times, it might of taken a little work to get those charges to stay."

It wouldn't take much work at all. The stores themselves wouldn't have receipts for the sales. There would only be the faked charges online. A quick check of the books would show the accounts wouldn't match. And Camille wouldn't show up on any surveillance tapes at the stores.

Anonymous said...

The role the DDA played in defending Camille shows what can happen when publicly-(well)-paid prosecutor is faced with a publicly-(poorly)-paid defense lawyer (even if the defense lawyer doesn't actually fall asleep in court). It was the defense lawyer in this case who should have looked into the facts of the rape, even if he couldn't bring up the matter in court. How many times have the prosecutors on the Law & Order franchise gone openly for the poorest member of a gang or conspiracy on the basis that this is the person least likely to be able to afford an aggressive defense? Justice may be blind, but she can hear the coins clink.

nygma619 said...

"Unfortunately that is not true. Too many people think what they on television is accurate. This is especially true with shows like L&O and CSI."

I said YOU don't have to worry about it, not ANYONE ELSE. Unless of course your paranoid about that sort of thing.

nygma619 said...

"Choosing not to do your job makes you incompetent at it. The job of an ADA is to prosecute people who commit crimes. It is not to help the defense get them off."

I'm so glad you think ONE EPISODE is enough to determine an ADA's competency. I think the word you might be looking for but don't know it, is corrupt.

Anonymous said...

"The role the DDA played in defending Camille shows what can happen when publicly-(well)-paid prosecutor is faced with a publicly-(poorly)-paid defense lawyer (even if the defense lawyer doesn't actually fall asleep in court). It was the defense lawyer in this case who should have looked into the facts of the rape, even if he couldn't bring up the matter in court. How many times have the prosecutors on the Law & Order franchise gone openly for the poorest member of a gang or conspiracy on the basis that this is the person least likely to be able to afford an aggressive defense? Justice may be blind, but she can hear the coins clink."

There is no DDA in the NYC courts. But you really needed to check your facts first. In a report released this month, the salary of a first year ADA in Manhattan was $50,000 and the salary of a first year public defender was $45,922.

Anonymous said...

"I said YOU don't have to worry about it, not ANYONE ELSE. Unless of course your paranoid about that sort of thing."

As someone who is a member of not one but two state bar associations, it is not paranoia to be concerned about bad portrayals of lawyers and the legal system on television. Explaining to clients that real life isn't like television is a real pain.

Anonymous said...

"I'm so glad you think ONE EPISODE is enough to determine an ADA's competency. I think the word you might be looking for but don't know it, is corrupt."

I am using the words I meant to use.
Incompetent: inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose, or lacking the qualities needed for effective action.
Your choice of words may also be correct but that remains to be seen.
Corrupt: morally degenerate and perverted, or characterized by improper conduct, or adulterated or debased by change from an original or correct condition.

nygma619 said...

"As someone who is a member of not one but two state bar associations, it is not paranoia to be concerned about bad portrayals of lawyers and the legal system on television. Explaining to clients that real life isn't like television is a real pain."

It's paranoia when you feel like you have an obligation to go to people who AREN'T your clients, and tell them how your more holier than thou, because you being a part of the legal system means you think you know EVERYTHING there is to know about the legal system.
But you forget that this is a tv show, and it doesn't go in to every minute detail, but it seems like to you if every detail isn't explained to you it means the writers are being lazy, even though viewers are more than capable of thinking how some of these things can work out for themselves. And just because some of these (I said some of these things, NOT ALL) don't work out in a way you'd consider to be legal or ethical doesn't make it a plot hole.

The only thing that should've been explained in my opinion is why the judge allowed the stories at camp to be told but NOT the rape story. But then again all the shows on the law and order franchise have been stretching the law for years. At most it's not exactly a plot hole all the time, most of the time it just smacks of writer convenience just because they would likely point out how something like this happens in real life.

Anonymous said...

"There is no DDA in the NYC courts. But you really needed to check your facts first. In a report released this month, the salary of a first year ADA in Manhattan was $50,000 and the salary of a first year public defender was $45,922."

Sorry - I've been trying to remember which city has DDA's and which, ADA's.

Good, the differential is not as great as I thought. But the difference between the pay of public defenders and prosecutors is not the problem. (Although why defenders are routinely paid less is a question - they have the same education loans to pay off.) The problem is the difference between the results obtained by a (modestly) paid public defender vs a (highly) paid - probably more experienced - private defender, both of them vs a (modestly) paid public prosecutor. L&O (in all its variations) has used this point in at least 3 episodes I can remember, and I have not seen all of them by a long shot.

daniel said...

Just saw this episode not long ago and thought it was ok. The new ADA seemed good, hopefully she sticks around the show needs a permanent ADA- thanks for the recap.

theohsowiseone said...

What bothers me is that the episode acted as if those guys were completely unaffected by being assaulted, and that someone was completely justified in sexually assaulting people from prior trauma. We've had an episode where Olivia ended up in a hostage situation where the shooter was an assault victim and the hostage was the supposed perp. Then, she tried to stop him from killing, here, everyone acts as if it's justified. Usually, I commend the show for doing things like that, for being controversial, but here, not one we already respected was on the other side of the argument.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, this episode took its storyline from the Swedish novel (and two film adaptations) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

In "Branded", a young woman takes revenge on the camp counselors who assaulted her by branding them with their crimes. She uses a talent for computer hacking to achieve her revenge.

In The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a young woman gets revenge on a parole officer who assaulted her by tattooing "I am a Rapist Pig" on his chest. A major part of her character is being a computer hacker.

In both works, the predators claim the woman is mentally ill to discredit her claims. They also dress much the same way.

I don't think this improves or diminishes the episode, but the similarities are clear, and no one else has mentioned it.

Megan Faustine said...

I'm Megan from IDNtimes. I would like to inform we're featuring your photos as part of our content. The credit's still yours. If you feel uncomfortable, please tell us at tania@idntimes.com.

Chris Zimmer said...

@Megan Faustine: I am sending you an email now. My content is copyrighted and you DO NOT have my permission to use ANY of my content. You can't just say you are using it an then tell me if I have an issue with it to email you. If you are using it already you are in violation of my copyright and unless you remove my content immediately, please expect legal action.