As the DA's office tries to prosecute a teenage sniper who killed four people, prosecutors discover that he was abducted from his real family as a child and emotionally abused by the man he was living with.

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Herman Capshaw
Lisa Emery ...
Meg Lafferty
Hope Chernov ...
Maggie Barkman
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Justin Capshaw
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Jennie Lafferty
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Borough Commander Clarke
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Deputy Stanley
Derek Argobright ...
Policeman #2
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As the DA's office tries to prosecute a teenage sniper who killed four people, prosecutors discover that he was abducted from his real family as a child and emotionally abused by the man he was living with.

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14 May 2003 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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[last lines]
Jack McCoy: There's always a chance Justin could be rehabilitated, Arthur.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Four dead? I don't think he's earned that chance. And I also think my senior prosecutor should agree with it.
Jack McCoy: I do.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: But...?
Jack McCoy: I'm a father.
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Connections

Featured in 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2004) See more »

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Creating Sympathy for the Defendent
12 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

My second of two favorite Law and Order episodes is this one concerning a group of random sniper shootings. As the plot develops three innocent people were killed in order to mask the killing of one man. The man in question was the supervisor of the perpetrator's father as our intrepid detectives Briscoe and Green arrest this nerdy looking nearsighted kid for the murder.

But there's a whole lot more. Turns out the suspect was in fact someone kidnapped from his family years ago and he's bonded with his kidnapper. Reunited with his mother and sister he rejects them.

The trial leads to some agonizing moments for the DA's staff. Fred Dalton Thompson wants the book thrown at him. Sam Waterston does his job. But there are a few times he does have sympathy with who he prosecutes and this is one of them. Elizabeth Rohm for once sides with Thompson.

The outstanding quality of this episode is made possible by the performance of Sebastian Stan as young Justin Capshaw. You are like a 13th member of the jury and his performance creates in you what the jury is feeling.

Waterston loses this case as he sometimes does. Sebastian Stan is sentenced to a mental facility because of the sympathy created for him.

Justice sometimes ain't so easy and no one in this episode was spared any tragedy.


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