Recap / Law And Order S 8 E 7 Blood

Karen Burdett dies in a fall from her balcony. Briscoe and Curtis initially suspect her husband: he had requested she give their baby up for adoption, but she wanted to contest it and get the baby back. The baby is black, yet Mr. Burdett appears to be white. However, the child has a rare genetic condition that could only be inherited from Burdett; he is the real father and is actually a white-passing African-American. The detectives discover Burdett planned to contest the adoption and come clean about his race, so he has no motive. Evidence now points to his ex-wife Frances Houston, who claims to have killed Karen accidentally.

The case now rests on whether Frances believed her actions were justified to protect her son from racism. Burdett testifies she divorced him because she found out he is black, and insisted the terms of the divorce prohibit him from telling anyone about his race. Ross further learns that if Burdett broke the terms, he'd be forced to take on sole custody of their son. Burdett won't testify to this, so their son doesn't have to know his own mother rejects him for being black. McCoy lies that Burdett would testify; and tricks Frances into a plea deal for manslaughter. He reasons that she probably prefers 8 years in jail over her 20-year marriage to a black man.

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