Recap / Law And Order S 16 E 6 Birthright

Two young boys walk home from school, teasing each other about skipping school and about the girls they have curses on. They arrive at a donut stand, but the vendor, Sam Register, isn't there.

"Hold up. Where's the dude?"

The other boy sees something, and the two run over into a small park to find Register's body. One of the boys rolls him over to see that the front of his shirt is bloody.

An officer tells the detectives Register's name and that he was stabbed multiple times. A CSU worker says that the man died about two hours previous. Register has at least nine stab wounds, and his wallet and valuables are missing. The CSU man wonders if it was a robbery gone bad, but Green says that he doubts this — botched muggings might lead to someone being stabbed once or twice, but not nine times. This, Fontana continues, was a personal vendetta.

Register's widow cries when she hears the news.

"Forty-eight years… and he still called me his beautiful bride."
—Mrs. Register

She doesn't think that Sam drank, gambled, or owed anyone money. When asked about enemies, she says that Sam would sometimes correct the local youths when he saw them acting inappropriately (in his view). For instance, he would tell boys with low-hanging pants to pull their pants up, and he would call the police if he saw teenagers vandalizing property. She doesn't have any names of the people Sam turned in.

"Just walk around the block and take your pick!"
—Mrs. Register

Fontana gets a call, and the detectives leaves.

At All China Foods, the grocer (named Mr. Hu) tells Green and Fontana that he saw a young black woman run past his shop with blood on her shirt at about 6:45. Hu then abruptly tries to terminate the interview and go inside his store, but Fontana stops him. Fontana asks if Hu had ever seen the girl before, but Hu claims not to remember. Green gets mad and says they can camp out outside the store until Hu is more helpful. Hu admits that he's afraid of reprisals; the woman might have friends who could wreck his shop. Fontana promises that he'll have protection. Hu's wife Chu comes out, and the two talk in Chinese. After a moment, Mr. Hu says that he had to chase the woman out to stop her from shoplifting a few times, and Chu adds that she has a small child, and that the woman came into the store with a customer named Lillie Sands. Hu says that Sands is a regular customer, and he begs the detectives not to tell Sands that the Hus pointed the detectives at her.

At her apartment, holding a small child, Lillie says that the suspect sounds like Traci, her granddaughter.

"What did she do now?"
"Has she been in trouble before?"
"Since she learned how to walk."
—Traci Sands and Joe Fontana

Lillie, holding a baby named Sarah, says that Traci used to live with her after she had her baby, but she threw Traci out when Traci refused to give up drugs. The two detectives see another kid, this one a little older, on the bed, but Lillie says that this child (Damian) isn't Traci's but is rather her other great-grandchild.Damian's mother is in the armed forces in Iraq, so Lillie cares for him. Fontana asks where Traci's baby is, and Lillie says that Traci wouldn't let Lillie raise her child (named Keesha), even though Traci is still on drugs. Green says they want to ask Traci some questions, which rouses Lillie's ire.

"I don't care how handsome you think you are, young man, don't lie to me. I know how this goes."
—Lillie Sands

Green apologizes, but insists that they have to find Traci. Lillie says that Traci lives with her drug-addicted mother in Jefferson Gardens.

Althea Sands, looking frazzled, opens her apartment door to see the detectives. When Fontana asks if she's Traci's mother, Althea quickly says that she doesn't have money for bail. When Fontana says that they haven't arrested Traci, Althea says that Traci is elsewhere and goes to shut the door. Fontana stops her, and Althea wants to know what's going on. The detectives won't tell her, and she continues to claim not to know where Traci is. All she knows, she says, is that after Keesha was taken away by Child Services, Traci left Althea's place. This happened two weeks ago and aggravated Althea, who was counting on Keesha's welfare allotment to help pay the bills.

Outside, Fontana expresses frustration.

"You need a license to drive a car, but they'll let anybody have kids."
—Joe Fontana

The detectives decide to look at the Sands file at Child Services.

A worker at the Department of Child Services says that Traci was abused as a child, and abused Keesha in turn. Traci had battered Keesha repeatedly, eventually drawing the notice of her neighbors, who reported her to Child Services. The Department finally got a court order to remove Keesha from Traci's care, only to find out that Traci had just poured boiling water on Keesha. Green examines photographs detailing Keesha's resulting injuries.

"Apparently, she was crying too much."
—Child Services worker

Fontana, reading the file, notes that Sam Register was the one who reported Traci. The worker is stunned to learn that Register died, and when asked about Traci's whereabouts, says that she was with her boyfriend Paz when she was last served papers. Later, the police break in Paz's door and Fontana and Green go to arrest Paz and Traci. Green quickly gets Paz on the floor, but Traci runs to a window and kicks Fontana away. Paz cheers for her as the two struggle, but Traci — screaming that she'll kill Fontana — is quickly subdued. Both Paz and Traci are led out.

In an interrogation room, Traci is yelling for a glass of water. In the vestibule, Green reads Traci's long rap sheet, which includes numerous assault charges. Van Buren says that they still don't have solid evidence against Traci for killing Register, but then a downcast Fontana comes in, saying that bloody clothes were found at Paz's apartment. The clothes, he adds, are being looked at by forensic technicians. Then he brandishes his jacket, which is ripped.

"Will you look at this, huh? Tailor made. I expect to be reimbursed."
—Joe Fontana

Van Buren muses that Traci has serious problems. Fontana dismisses this, saying that Traci is just a drug addict.

"You go call your tailor. And I'll take the interview."
—Anita Van Buren

Traci again yells for water.

"I'm dyin' in here!"
—Traci Sands

Van Buren enters and tells Traci that a witness (Hu) saw her at the crime scene, and that Register's wallet was found in Paz's apartment. Traci asks why the police aren't interrogating Paz, then, and Van Buren responds that they found her bloody clothes too. She also states Traci's motive — this was the day that welfare checks arrived, but Traci didn't get one because Register had Traci's child taken away by the state. Traci says she doesn't need the check and could have another baby regardless. Van Buren just tells her that the blood on her clothes is a type match for Register's, and further testing will surely prove that it's Register's blood, so Traci had better confess if she wants to help herself.

"You got about a minute to convince me you're worth the help, or I'm gonna send your baby-makin' behind to Sing-Sing for life."
"I ain't afraid a you."
"No? You should be."
—Anita Van Buren and Traci Sands

The two glare at each other. Van Buren criticizes her for abusing her own child and for blaming Register for her problems. Traci screams at her to shut up, but she won't. Traci insists that Register had it coming, but realizes this makes her sound guilty and so belatedly states that she didn't hurt him.

"Pitiful. I think it's time you made a statement."
"Get me a lawyer."
—Anita Van Buren and Traci Sands

Van Buren tells Borgia that DNA confirms that the blood on Traci's shirt was Register's, so Traci is definitely the killer. Borgia promises that Traci will get a 25-year sentence. Van Buren worries that she'll come out even worse than she already is, but Borgia doesn't care.

"She blew her last chance when she murdered Sam Register."
—Alexandra Borgia

Then Van Buren gets a phone call which surprises her. The two detectives go to the holding cell area, where they find Traci, dead. The officer on duty says she complained of pain all night, but everyone thought she was faking. Fontana comments that they know they were wrong.

Van Buren, on the phone, says that Traci died of some kind of anemia. She waves the detectives in and says that a statement will be issued soon. Hanging up, she says that Internal Affairs wants to talk to everyone. Green complains that Traci was fine when they brought her in, and Fontana questions what they were supposed to do.

"She asks for a glass of water and we're supposed to recognize that as death throes?"
—Joe Fontana

Van Buren asks what's going on, and Green says that Rodgers is ready with a report but wants Van Buren to be there too.

Rodgers tells the others that she's ruling the death a possible homicide. Traci Sands died of sickle-cell syndrome (which is less serious than sickle-cell anemia, and almost never fatal). However, the autopsy revealed heavy scarring in Traci's uterus and an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control. The IUD carried a drug, benecrene, which is a cut-rate sterility drug often used in the developing world. Traci was sterilized. Furthermore, benecrene causes anemia. Given to someone with sickle syndrome, it can kill them.

"Whoever sterilized Traci Sands caused her death."
—Elizabeth Rodgers

Van Buren says the should find Traci's doctor.

A teacher says that she knew Traci would die young, but not that she'd die like this. She doesn't know of any recent medical procedures that Traci had. She directs the cops to a clinic, Operation Remedy. At the clinic, an assistant named Savannah Watson says that Traci was under the care of Nurse Gloria Rhodes, who helps a lot of the people at the clinic. Rhodes founded the clinic. At that moment, Rhodes overhears the conversation and comes in, saying that she always took care of Traci. She agrees to be interviewed.

Rhodes says that Traci needed a lot of help — she was psychologically messed up from drugs and abuse. She asks how and why Traci died. When asked about her last treatment of Traci, Rhodes says that Traci developed gonorrhea about six months prior, so she (Rhodes) proscribed antibiotics. When asked about benacreme, Rhodes says that she doesn't use it.

"We don't do that here; it's not FDA approved."
—Gloria Rhodes

When asked if the clinic does sterilizations, she says that the clinic provides birth control, including referrals for safe forms of sterilization. Green asks if Rhodes supports sterilization, and Rhodes says that she does support giving women choices. She says that the women who enter her clinic have hard lives and limited resources, so being sterilized to eliminate the risk of unplanned pregnancies should be an option open to them.

Back at the precinct, Fontana doesn't understand why Rhodes would use benecrene when there are other legal methods of sterilization available to those who want them. Van Buren wonders if maybe Traci didn't want to be sterilized. Fontana is skeptical.

"Forgive me for asking, Lieutenant, but how does the nurse put this thing in Traci without Traci noticing it?"
—Joe Fontana

Van Buren guesses that Traci might have thought she was just having a routine medical exam, and says that, if this is true, Rhodes is guilty of a lot more than just using an unapproved medical procedure. Green enters and tells the others that Rhodes' clinic, Operation Remedy, gets large contributions from a medical charity, The Center for Population and Hygiene, that supports sterilizations. Van Buren reads a press release from the charity, which says that, without fertility control, America will be overrun by waves of immigrants and their children and then will descend into anarchy. Another officer comes in, saying that the IUD was traced to a medical supplier in Trenton.

The worker at the supply company doesn't know what the IU Ds are used for, but he ships thousands to Asia every month.

"Do you know anything about this drug, benecrene?"
"I know baseball, beer, and IU Ds, buddy. That's it."
—Ed Green and the worker

Traci's IUD was shipped to the Center for Population and Hygiene.

A worker at the Center says that they support twenty-five clinics, including Operation Remedy, one of their greatest operations. Green asks if Operation Remedy is so great because they endorse sterilizations, so the agent downplays the press release advocating sterilizations of immigrants.

"The only cause we advance is providing safe, free medical care to those who need it most."
—Center employee

Fontana sees a photo of a group of medical workers in a rural area, and the Center employee says that it was taken in Vietnam, where some of their employees go to provide medical treatment. These treatments include vaccinations, dental care, and, the employee reluctantly admits, sterilizations. She says that the latter is an often requested service by female patients. Fontana asks if they use benecrene, and the employee admits that they do — it's a single-procedure service, with no surgery required, and few complications. Green says that benecrene is also cheap, which the employee acknowledges.

"That oughta help stop the flood of immigrants."
—Ed Green

The employee says that 600,000 women die in childbirth every year in the impoverished countries that the Center sends doctors to.

"For them, birth control is lifesaving."
—Center employee

The employee knows Rhodes.

Green and Fontana tell Van Buren that Rhodes spends two weeks annually on medical missions with the Center. Traci's IUD was from a lot used in Cambodia; Rhodes was there on one of the Center's trips.

"Looks like she brought home a souvenir."
—Anita Van Buren

Fontana guesses that Rhodes might have sterilized more than one person in New York. Van Buren wants Rhodes brought in.

In interrogation, Rhodes denies even treating Traci in the last six months, saying that her records will bear it out. Fontana says that they checked Traci's belongings and found antibiotics; Traci had gonorrhea, and the antibiotics were provided by Rhodes. Rhodes guesses that Traci stole her prescription pad, but Green shows a copy of the prescription that the detectives got at the pharmacy. The handwriting isn't Traci's. Fontana urges Rhodes to confess, saying that she tried to help Traci but Traci died. Rhodes says that she wants her lawyer.

Listening outside, Borgia tells Van Buren that they don't have enough to charge Rhodes.

"Excuse me?"
—Anita Van Buren

Unless they can prove that Rhodes knew about Traci's sickle syndrome, Rhodes is only guilty of malpractice, not anything criminal. Van Buren says that Rhodes scarred and burned Traci's uterus, and killed her with a drug. Borgia sighs, then authorizes Rhodes' arrest. Van Buren enters the room and has Rhodes arrested, though she doesn't name a charge.

In court, Borgia is stopped by Paul Robinette. They greet, with Borgia saying that she has Robinette's old office, and Robinette joking about their difference in ages.

"Tell Jack McCoy hello for me."
—Paul Robinette

The two approach their tables as the bailiff reads the docket. Judge John Gordon asks for a plea. Robinette says that they shouldn't be there; all Rhodes did was perform a medical procedure. Gordon ignores this, and Robinette pleads his client not guilty. Borgia wants Rhodes remanded, since Rhodes travels outside the country and has rich donor friends. Robinette argues that Rhodes is a trusted medical professional who has lived in New York her whole life. Borgia brings up Rhodes' crime. Gordon becomes annoyed.

"Alright, the press has heard you both."
—John Gordon

Bail is set at $200,000, and Rhodes is told to surrender her passport.

In his office, Branch sums up the case as a white nurse using unapproved drugs to sterilize a black woman who had sickle syndrome. He asks if he's missing anything, and McCoy says that Traci was the primary suspect in Register's death, was convicted of many crimes already, and had her child taken by the state due to abuse. Branch verifies that they're charging the nurse with second-degree manslaughter. McCoy agrees, saying that Rhodes recklessly caused Traci's death. It's not a solid case, he warns, but if they can prove that Rhodes knew about Traci's sickle syndrome, they'll be able to convict.

"Lotta ifs."
—Arthur Branch

McCoy says they could try a lesser charge such as reckless endangerment. Branch points out that this would be a terrible political decision — the office would look like it was going soft on a white woman accused of sterilizing a black woman. He won't let McCoy use a lesser charge. He tells them to find someone who can tell them what Rhodes knew.

Talking to Borgia, Watson says that Rhodes is a good person who works in impossible conditions. Borgia asks if Watson agrees with Rhodes sterilizing Traci, but Watson will not answer. Borgia then asks if Rhodes knew about Traci's sickle syndrome. Watson doesn't know, or recall Rhodes asking. She also won't answer when Borgia asks if Traci wanted to be sterilized. Borgia then says that Watson is still on probation and so must cooperate with the police. Watson says she knows, and is clean of drugs now. Borgia just responds that, if Watson lies, she (Borgia) will have to file charges to revoke her probation. Watson asks if she'd really do that, and Borgia says she would. Watson then says that Traci wasn't the first girl that Rhodes sterilized.

Later, Borgia tells McCoy that Rhodes performed the same procedure on five other young women. None of them have died, but some had bad complications. Rhodes blamed the symptoms on yeast infections, but the symptoms are consistent with those caused by benecrene. There's no proof, as Rhodes didn't file any paperwork. McCoy asks if race was a factor in who Rhodes sterilized, and Borgia responds that the only commonality was that all the women had records of child abuse. McCoy says that this is basically eugenics — Rhodes is sterilizing those she feels are unfit to reproduce. Borgia says that she thought eugenics ended in Nazi Germany, but McCoy responds that California performed force sterilizations up through 1963. He wants the other girls found, but Borgia responds that the detectives already did that. Of the five others, one is dead, one moved out of state, and two are in prison. The last, Isabella Perez, is still in Queens.

Perez tells Borgia that she's a changed person. She's sober, hasn't been arrested in years, and attends school and church. She's also engaged. Borgia congratulates her, then asks what Perez thinks about Rhodes. Perez says that Rhodes helped her turn her life around. Perez, when asked, recalls that she passed out about two years previous and was treated by Rhodes. The problem, according to Rhodes, was an infection. Rhodes didn't take her to the Emergency Room because Perez had no money. Borgia asks if Perez will allow one of their doctors to look at her.

Borgia tells Branch that Perez was sterilized with Benecrene. So did at least two of the other girls. McCoy argues that this implies that Traci probably didn't consent to the operation.

"Sterilizing one girl's terrible. Sterilizing five is a mission statement! Up the charge to murder!"
—Arthur Branch

McCoy doesn't think they can convict — he's worried that some of the jurors will support Rhodes' attempts at eugenics. Borgia is skeptical.

"Jack, please. No sane person is going to agree with what she did."
—Alexandra Borgia

McCoy cites a case from about fifteen years prior when a judge ordered an abusive mother to go on contraception as a condition for parole. A year earlier, someone promoted coerced contraception as a method to reduce the number of black, lower-class people. Even Oliver Wendell Holmes, the great jurist, supported it. Borgia says that Holmes' pro-eugenics decision is derided by every reputable law school, but McCoy says his point is that even a brilliant jurist was swayed by eugenics arguments, so a juror might be too.

"All Robinette has to do is convince one juror that this nurse did the right thing."
"Well, you'll have to convince 'em all of the truth. This is murder."
—Jack McCoy and Arthur Branch

In court, with Judge Carla Solomon presiding, a Dr. Robert Horton testifies that he performed Benecrene sterilizations while working with the Center in Cambodia. He worked with Rhodes there.. Eventually, Horton stopped performing sterilizations, so Rhodes took over performing those procedures. He stopped, he says, because he learned that it could be carcinogenic (which is why it's unapproved in America).

"If it's not safe enough for Americans, why is it okay for Cambodians?"
—Robert Horton

He told Rhodes about this, but Rhodes did not stop.

Robinette asks Horton how many sterilizations Rhodes performed in Cambodia. She performed 200, with no deaths that Horton is aware of. Horton hasn't killed anyone by giving them Benecrene either. Robinette asks if, in Horton's experience, Benecrene is then quite safe. Horton points out that 'not lethal' isn't the same thing as 'safe.' Robinette disagrees, saying that hundreds of people had the procedure, but no one died. Horton argues that they got lucky; none of their patients had sickle syndrome. Robinette spins this to try to vindicate Rhodes, saying that Horton essentially admitted that, if a doctor doesn't know that a patient has sickle syndrome, he or she wouldn't have any reason to think that Benecrene would kill said patient. Horton has to say that he agrees with that.

Outside, McCoy says that they need someone who can testify that Rhodes knew about Traci's sickle syndrome. Borgia doesn't believe such a person exists. McCoy asks about records, but Borgia couldn't find any. McCoy says all they can do is call Perez and hope that the jury assumes that Rhodes asked Traci the same questions Rhodes asked Perez. Borgia says that Perez doesn't want to go on the stand; she wanted to start a family, so learning that she was sterilized has shaken her. McCoy says that Perez should be even more reluctant to let Rhodes get away with what she did.

Perez testifies that Rhodes asked her if she had sickle syndrome or sickle cell anemia. She also says that Rhodes told her that she was just going to get a pap smear. After leaving, Perez became ill. Rhodes had to remove something from Perez's body, although Perez didn't know what it was. Rhodes told her later that she asked Rhodes if she could still have babies, but Rhodes blew her off.

"She told me, 'you're young. Straighten out your life before you worry about that.' She lied right to my face."
—Isabella Perez

McCoy has Perez say that Rhodes never told her why she chose to sterilize her specifically. He then asks about Perez's criminal record; Perez had been convicted several times of drug possession and solicitation. However, she hasn't been arrested in the last three years, she says, and attends college.

Robinette has Perez admit that she was convicted of solicitation four times. He asks if Perez has ever had gonorrhea; McCoy objects. Robinette says that gonorrhea could explain Perez's sterility, but McCoy says that it will demonize Perez. Solomon overrules the objection, but warns Robinette to be careful. Perez reluctantly admits to having had gonorrhea. Robinette asks if she had chlamydia, another sexually transmitted disease. Perez tries to claim that she doesn't remember, but Robinette lists the date when she was diagnosed. Perez protests that she isn't there to talk about her STDs, but Robinette asks again. Perez becomes irate and tells Robinette to be quiet.

"Shut your mouth!"
—Isabella Perez

She demands to know why Robinette is on Rhodes' side. She then addresses the jury.

"She did this to me. She took away my babies!"
—Isabella Perez

Next, she turns to Rhodes.

"'Straighten out my life', bitch? For what? I can't have babies!… you're gonna pay, bitch, you're gonna pay! You're gonna pay for this!"
—Isabella Perez

She bursts into tears as the bailiffs come over. McCoy sits down, looking pensive.

Branch tells the other lawyers that their key witness just self-destructed. Borgia is hopeful that Perez's emotions could buy the prosecution some sympathy, but McCoy worries that she scared some people into agreeing with Rhodes. McCoy wants to offer a plea, and Robinette has agreed to second-degree manslaughter (the original charge). Branch says this won't cut it.

"I know you've already condemned her to NOW, the NAACP, and half of New York, but—"
"It's not about politics, Jack! I'm outraged!"
—Jack McCoy and Arthur Branch

Branch says that the legal system is how society vents its outrage on criminals; the alternative is vigilante justice. McCoy says he doesn't want to see Rhodes get off with no jail time.

"Then don't let her."
—Arthur Branch

Rhodes says, while testifying, that Traci was lost, frightened, had a drug addiction and a criminal record, and had abused her first child horribly. She claims that Traci approached her, begging to be sterilized so that she wouldn't have another child and abuse him or her, and Rhodes agreed.

"I thought I was doing her, and her potential unborn children, a favor."
—Gloria Rhodes

She says that she used Benecrene because Traci feared surgery, and other non-surgical methods were impermanent. Based on Rhodes' experience, she says, Benecrene was safe. Robinette asks if Rhodes asked Traci about having sickle syndrome, and Rhodes says that she did, but Traci denied having it.

McCoy points out that the FDA hasn't approved Benecrene sterilization, but Rhodes says that the FDA could have decided not to approve it for reasons besides safety. When asked if she knows about studies showing evidence that Benecrene causes cancer, she says that she knows of studies that say it doesn't. McCoy, annoyed, asks when Rhodes learned that Traci had sickle syndrome; Rhodes says she only learned after Traci died. She insists that Traci had been diagnosed as a child but the records had never been forwarded to Operation Remedy. Borgia frowns at this, then goes to write something down. McCoy continues, emphasizing that Rhodes is saying that Traci lied to her about not having sickle syndrome. Rhodes says that Traci must have just wanted the procedure very badly.

"After you made it clear that Benecrene could kill a person in her condition, she chose to lie and put her own life at risk?"
—Jack McCoy

Rhodes just says that Traci was in such a bad position that it seemed clear. McCoy asks who it seemed clear to — Rhodes, perhaps? Rhodes says that anyone capable of sympathy would understand Traci's decision.

"When you see how Traci tortured her own daughter, you know it should never be allowed to happen again."
—Gloria Rhodes

Rhodes still insists, though, that Traci asked for the procedure.

Outside, McCoy frets that the jury bought Rhodes' testimony. Borgia asks if they have anything to impeach her with, and McCoy says they do, but they need a rebuttal witness. Borgia says they use Lillie Sands, who told them that Traci wanted more children.

"Why would someone who wouldn't take the pill agree to sterilization?"
—Alexandra Borgia

McCoy wants Lillie found.

Lillie says she doesn't want to testify, but Borgia threatens to get a subpoena. She wants Lillie to testify that Traci wanted more children. Lillie protests that she just wants to put the disaster behind her. Borgia says that, were her granddaughter killed, she'd want the truth to come out, but Lillie says that Traci wasn't Borgia's granddaughter.

"And sometimes the truth, especially up here, ain't so pretty."
—Lillie Sands

Borgia yells that Rhodes killed Traci, but Lillie says that Rhodes, Watson, and all the other workers at the clinic were just trying to help. Borgia asks her to clarify, but Lillie just says that Operation Remedy workers are good people who are just trying to help. She walks away.

Borgia next goes to see Watson, surprising her. Borgia asks if Watson lied to her. Watson denies it. Borgia points out that Watson claimed that Traci came to the clinic alone (which Watson again says is true), but Lillie Sands somehow knew who Watson was. Watson says that Lillie comes in sometimes, but Borgia doesn't believe it.

"Don't lie to me, Savannah!"
—Alexandra Borgia

Watson invites Borgia inside. She admits that Lille came to the clinic a few days before Traci, and that she (Lillie) talked with Rhodes. Borgia demands to know what they talked about.

Borgia and McCoy show Lillie sign-in logs at the clinic verifying that Lillie was there, but didn't receive any treatment. Lillie refuses to discuss what they talked about, saying that, if she gets in trouble, her children (Sarah and Damian) will be left abandoned and alone.

"No one else cares if they live or die."
—Lillie Sands

McCoy promises Lille immunity for her testimony. Lillie tells McCoy to understand that he's not just making a deal with Lillie, but is making a promise to Damian and Sarah.

"Tell the truth and you won't go to jail. You have my word."
—Jack McCoy

Lillie testifies that she asked Rhodes to sterilize Traci. She says that she couldn't get Traci to give up drugs or sex, and doctors wouldn't give Traci Norplant without Traci's permission.

"I asked her… I asked her to make it so that Traci could never have kids."
—Lillie Sands

She says that Traci was her mistake and her fault; she blames herself from not saving Traci from Althea. She wanted to break the cycle of abuse, so she had Traci sterilized. Lillie also says that she told Rhodes about Traci's sickle syndrome, but that Rhodes said she could still safely give Traci the IUD.

Outside, McCoy and Borgia agree that Lille was convincing. McCoy says that, to be safe, they need to include second-degree manslaughter in the jury instructions. Borgia says that Robinette objected. McCoy is surprised, since he said he'd take that as a plea.

Robinette says that McCoy is trying to hedge his bets, even though he made the case political by filing a murder indictment. McCoy says they've met all the elements for manslaughter, but Solomon says she doesn't think McCoy should get to have it both ways. McCoy says that the law allows this, but Solomon argues that this isn't necessarily true, and she's inclined to side with Robinette.

"When the Nazis sent my father to Dachau, it was because people who knew it was wrong didn't get mad enough to stop it."
—Carla Solomon

McCoy says that, even though he wants the jury to believe that Rhodes is evil, they shouldn't have to believe that Rhodes is Joseph Mengele to convict her. Solomon sits back and says that McCoy is right, and she'll side with him on the motion. Later, in court, Rhodes is found not guilty of murder, but is convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

As court is dismissed, Robinette tells McCoy and Borgia that they'll appeal. McCoy says that they're filing charges relating to the other girls that Rhodes sterilized. Rhodes says that McCoy doesn't understand how badly Traci and the other girls abused their babies.

"The world doesn't need another Traci Sands."
"We found evidence that you performed at least twenty other forced sterilizations, Miss Rhodes. What the world doesn't need is you."
—Gloria Rhodes and Jack McCoy

Rhodes is led away.

At a bar, McCoy asks why Robinette took the case. Robinette says that he could give reasons such as Rhodes' good work with Operation Remedy, or the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty,' but the truth is, he thought the defense deserved a hearing.

"Tell me your job wouldn't be easier if people like Traci Sands were never born."
—Paul Robinette

McCoy says that he can't say that, but Robinette points out that he already implied it when he said that Rhodes wasn't as bad as Mengele. Robinette muses that a lot of people, including McCoy feel that Rhodes did the right thing.

"That deserves a defense."
—Paul Robinette