Law and Order
SVU, Episode 5.06
Production number: E4409
First aired: 28 October 2003
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
Stabler Benson Coerced.jpg
Written By
Jonathan Greene

Directed By
Jean de Segonzac


A homeless and schizophrenic man, desperate to see his son, kidnaps a different boy from his bed at night. After being attacked by the man, Detective Stabler begins to contemplate the factors that caused him to snap. This investigation exposes further crimes at an adult group home.


Five-year-old Adam Forbes is abducted by a schizophrenic man, Kevin Walker, who believes that Adam is his son Tate, who happens to actually be in the custody of Kevin's ex-wife Julia. During the kidnapping, Kevin stabs and kills a grocer named Lester Hale to prevent losing the boy. Following the arrest of Kevin and the successful rescue of Adam, Stabler gets into hot water when he deliberately pushes Kevin to the point of a psychotic break in the interrogation room, thus forcing Huang to medicate him, which puts Stabler's credibility at risk since, from this point on, any defense attorney for anyone arrested by Stabler can charge that he once coerced a mentally ill man to make a confession, implying that he might coerce a false confession from anyone he arrests.

Without telling her what Stabler did (because, as an officer of the court, she might be forced to enter it onto the record), Captain Cragen convinces Novak to save Stabler's skin by accepting a plea deal for Kevin, so that no one will be forced to testify about what Stabler did during a trial. However, when the judge acquits Kevin and announces that he will be sent to a psychiatric facility, Kevin is frantic, claiming that a woman named Martha Davis was killed there. Novak, having gone out on a limb to help Stabler, is none too pleased, and demands that Stabler find out what Kevin was talking about, threatening to report his action. Having no choice, Stabler digs deeper to prove whether Kevin's claims are true. Huang reveals that a friend of his at the health department helped him find the facility Kevin used to be a resident, Jackson Manor.

Eventually, Huang and Stabler are allowed to interview Kevin at Bellevue, where Stabler apologizes to Kevin for coercing him into giving the confession. Taking light to this, Kevin explains that Jackson Manor is committing fraud, and that it is profiting by neglecting its patients. He elaborates that because of both their actions and the lack thereof, Martha (who had been Kevin's next-door neighbor in the institution) died of a severe heat stroke. The facility fraudulently claims she committed suicide, and moreover, they deliberately cut off Kevin's medication and discharged him, to prevent the possibility of his testifying about what he saw.

Stabler and Benson visit Jackson Manor with a written consent signed by Kevin and his attorney. To their horror, they find the patients being horrendously neglected by the staff, and that a nurse indiscriminately dispensing their medication cannot even speak English. They also find in that the staff has kept Kevin's name in the facility's logs, despite knowing that Kevin has been out of Jackson Manor for a year. Now with proof of the facility's neglectfulness, Randall Haber, the head of the facility, is arrested for fraud. Also, his administrator is willing to testify that Haber ordered her to keep Kevin on the books to get his money from the state. Kevin, back on his medication and perfectly lucid, makes a deal with Novak to tesify against Haber, and Stabler provides an exhumation report stating that Martha Davis did actually die of severe heatstroke, because of the facility denying her air conditioning in her room without paying extra. Stabler also provides another report saying that Haber's deliberate withdrawal of Kevin's medication and Kevin's forced discharge is what led to a schizophrenic episode that Kevin suffered that caused the kidnapping. Thus, Haber is responsible for Kevin's actions, including the murder of Lester Hale. Facing charges of both murders and fraud, on the advice of his attorney, Haber is forced to accept a sentence of 15 years in prison rather than 25 years to life.

Kevin is reunited with Tate

Following the conviction of Haber, Kevin is given a stay in the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Hospital, where he will continue taking his medication and recover as part of the deal. Stabler pays a visit and reveals that Kevin's picture of Tate, along with everything else, was already thrown out by the Jackson Manor staff. However, Stabler has brought him a camera, and both Julia and Tate are also there to visit him, since Stabler wants to let them see how well Kevin is finally doing. Kevin shares a joyful moment with his son while Elliot watches satisfied.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



  • Stabler: It wasn't coercion!
  • Dr. Huang: You pushed Kevin into a psychotic rage so I would drug him so you could coerce his confession.
  • Stabler: I did what I had to do to save that boy.
  • Dr. Huang: Great. What are you gonna do next? Bash in people's skulls to make 'em talk?
  • Stabler: You know, your way, Adam wouldn't have been found until he was starved to death.
  • Captain Cragen: All right, that's enough, both of you! Did the medication hurt Kevin?
  • Dr. Huang: No.
  • Captain Cragen: Then what's the harm?
  • Dr. Huang: Unless the court forces him to, it's Kevin's choice whether to take it. We don't have the right to make that decision for him.
  • Stabler: Do me a favor. Stop treatin' this perp like he's your patient, alright?
  • Dr. Huang: He became my patient the second I gave him that injection!
  • Stabler: Then do me a favor; start thinkin' about the victims here. The kid he kidnapped, the two people he stabbed--they're your victims, Doc! Not Kevin!
  • Dr. Huang: You made Kevin a victim, and I'm gonna testify on his behalf if this goes to trial, which Kevin will win since you handed the defense its case!
  • Stabler: How'd I do that?
  • Dr. Huang: They're gonna make you say that he wasn't rational until he was medicated, which means he's not responsible for his actions before then! YOU GET IT NOW?!

  • Balthus: Your boss order you to try my client?
  • ADA Novak: No...that was my decision, but the District Attorney did sign off on it.
  • Balthus: Waste of time and money - Kevin's a lunatic...
  • ADA Novak: Your client kidnapped a five-year-old boy, murdered a man, and almost killed another who tried to stop him.
  • Balthus: And a jury will institutionalize him quicker than you can say "cascisti."

  • ADA Novak: I put my ass on the line for you when I pled Kevin out - now he's lucid, screaming about someone killing "Martha"...
  • Stabler: I'm telling you, I don't know who this Martha is--
  • ADA Novak: You better find out. If there's been another murder in this case, I'm holding you responsible, and your dirty little secret's going on the record!

  • Dr. Huang: The good adult homes help schizophrenics lead productive lives, but the bad ones, the flop houses, just provide minimum care while their owners line their pockets with government money.
  • Stabler: So instead of drugs for their patients they use the money to buy themselves a Mercedes.

  • Stabler: what was Martha Davis' cause of death?
  • Dr. Huang: Uh, suicide...
  • Stabler: Why did Kevin say she was murdered?
  • Dr. Huang: Let's ask him.

  • Dr. Huang: We know you were telling the truth about Martha in court.
  • Kevin: Um, I can't talk about that.
  • Stabler: Now why can't you talk about that?
  • Kevin: Because, they'll get me.
  • Dr. Huang: Who, the cascistis?
  • Kevin: No,, the people from the home.
  • Stabler: Look, Kevin, nobody from Jackson Manor can hurt you now. But if you're right, if they killed Martha, you know they're gonna do it to someone else, some time, unless we stop them. We need your help.

  • Kevin: They told me they didn't have any room for me, and I was gonna have to leave.
  • Balthus: Kevin, why didn't you tell anyone?
  • Kevin: Well, they said, if I did, what happened to Martha would happen to me.
  • Dr. Huang: Whoever runs Jackson Manor's as guilty of killing Lester as if he put the knife in himself.

  • Benson: You're under arrest for fraud.
  • Haber: You're making a mistake! My wife is on the City Council!
  • Stabler: Really? That's great! I'll tell you what: we're gonna make a phone call - see if she wants to join you when we parade your sorry ass in front of the TV cameras.

  • Stabler: You're now under arrest for the murders of Lester Hale and Martha Davis...
  • Haber: Murder?!? Martha Davis committed suicide!
  • Stabler: We exhumed her body - she died of severe heatstroke.
  • Kevin: Because you told them not to turn on her air conditioning!
  • Haber: A jury's gonna believe him?!? He murdered that grocer in cold blood!
  • Stabler: Which only happened because--you withheld his medication and kicked him out on the street; that makes you responsible for Lester Hale's death!

Background information and notes

  • Goof: When Benson and Stabler are walking Randall Haber out of Jackson Manor, the circle of the handcuffs can be seen clasped between Benson and Haber's hands. The cuffs are not actually around his wrists.
  • Goof: When Stabler takes the duct tape off of Adam's mouth, it is evident that there was a second piece of duct tape on the back so that it was not actually sticky.
  • ADA Casey Novak is seen in a batting cage, suggesting that she formerly played softball. This was hinted in the last episode, "Serendipity", when Elliot mentions that he played on the cops team and she jokingly mentioned she didn't recognize him without him being "covered in my dust".

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

NYPD Mobile
Command Center
Thursday, October 16

95th Street &
Columbus Avenue
Thursday, October 16

St. Catherine's Hospital
682 Amsterdam Avenue
Thursday, October 16

4 5 6

Office of
Assistant District Attorney
Casey Novak
Friday, October 17

Trial Part 35
Monday, October 20

Home of Julia Walker
Jersey City, New Jersey
Monday, October 20

7 8 9

Bellevue Prison Ward
Tuesday, October 21

Jackson Manor
Queens, New York
Tuesday, October 21

Psychiatric Facility
New Hampton, New York
Thursday, October 23

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