Law and Order
"False-Hearted Judges"
CI, Episode 4.23
Production number: E5426
First aired: 25 May 2005
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1271 released in all  
Eames False-Hearted Judges.jpg
Teleplay By
Diana Son

Story By
Diana Son & René Balcer

Directed By
Jean de Segonzac

Detectives Goren and Eames investigate the murder of a prominent New York family court judge, whose entire family was attacked.


The detectives' investigation leads them to father-and-son duo Lloyd Wilkes and Eric Wilkes. Lloyd wants revenge on the judge, who years ago granted his ex-wife full custody of their son.

Wilkes' ex-wife is missing, records of her having disappeared after the trial. Goren and Eames realized that Lloyd had searched for his son for years and finally found him. Together they are plotting to murder the judges they believe had wronged them.

Goren and Eames find and arrest a suspicious boy, Eric Wilkes, and hold him in jail. Goren and Eames taunt him as he is being released and given his backpack back. Upon further investigation, Goren and Eames find out that Wilkes' ex-wife had changed her and her son's name and moved to a different state. Looking at Eric's birth records they also realized that the boy who claims to be Eric is not Eric.

Running his DNA, reveals he is a runaway named Clay Turner. One of the judges that was murdered was the one who sent Tunner to a foster home in the same area that Lloyd was said to have been. More reports revealed that the real Eric and his mother died three years ago in a car accident.

When Lloyd arrives to pick up Eric/Turner, Goren plays on Lloyd's desire to find his real son. He tells him that his ex-wife is dead, but his son is still alive. Lloyd is about to leave with Turner, but the detectives said that Turner can not leave since he is an underaged runaway. Lloyd tells Turner to stay in jail for a while and he'll come back for him.

Goren and Eames' plan is to turn father and son against each other. They previously learned from a witness that had seen Turner waiting in a parking lot for Wilkes to pick him up a few days ago. When Wilkes was late, Turner began to panic and believe his father had abandoned him.

Turner becomes outraged at his father for insisting he stay and reveal to the detectives that it was them who murdered the judges.


Main cast

Guest cast


  • Tom DeLay
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Habeas Corpus


Judge Freeman: Wilkes has declared war on the judiciary, who knows how many others are in this with him. We won't be sitting ducks!
Ron Carver: So your answer is to conspire to suspend his right of habeas corpus?
Judge Freeman: Get off your high-horse, Mr. Carver, even Lincoln suspended habeas corpus.
Ron Carver: Am I supposed to fall to my knees at the mention of the "Great Emancipator?" Even great men go too far, your honor.

Alexandra Eames: Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt.

Ron Carver: Mr. Brownfeld wants to meet... too bad my dashiki's at the dry cleaners.

Alexandra Eames: We take littering pretty seriously around here.

Detective Langdon: Judge Barton asked us to re-evaluate her surveillance. We've been monitoring Brownfeld's group; there were no further threats, no chatter. We took a calculated risk.
Ron Carver: You need a new calculator.

Background information and notes

  • In this episode, Detective Alexandra Eames makes a remark about Tom DeLay. DeLay was outraged over the season finale of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and accused NBC of "deliberate misuse" of his name. "This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse," said DeLay in a letter to NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker. NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly denied that the content of the show was meant as political commentary. "The script line involved an exasperated detective bedeviled by a lack of clues, making a sarcastic comment about the futility of looking for a suspect when no specific description existed," he said.[1]
  • Actress Stella Maeve makes an appearance as a different character, her second in four episodes. She had earlier guest-starred in the episode "No Exit".


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