"God Bless the Child"
L&O, Episode 2.05
Production number: 67404
First aired: 22 October 1991
  {{{nNthProducedInSeries}}}th of 456 produced in L&O  
{{{nNthReleasedInSeries}}}th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1229 released in all  
Cerreta Logan Ted Driscoll God Bless The Child
Written By
David Black & Robert Stuart Nathan

Directed By
E.W. Swackhamer

A couple face trial after they deny medical help to their daughter because of religious beliefs and the child dies.


A couple faces trial after they deny medical help to their daughter based on their religious beliefs and their daughter dies of strep throat. Stone's prosecution hinges on whether or not the parents wanted to call for medical help. Things take a turn when the investigation uncovers another child that died under similar circumstances.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




Captain Cragen: So, you wanna send it to social services? It's your call.
Cerreta: The most we can get her for is endangering the welfare of a child.
Logan: No, no. What we get her for is manslaughter.
Captain Cragen: Whoa, Mike. Slow down. We don't get her for anything you don't prove she knew the kid was seriously ill.
Logan: All right. The housekeeper. What's her name? Uh, Amado. She knew damn well the kid was sick enough to get 2 cops.
Cerreta: Oh, that'll put the parents away for sure. She was fired. She'll say anything.
Logan: Getting fired? You think that's a reason to lie about the kid? [to the captain] You believe this?
Cerreta: Hey! What I think, what you think, what he thinks don't mean diddly-squat! Because in court, she's not a credible witness!
Logan: Credible?! The kid died!!
Captain Cragen: Well, well, what's this? Honeymoon over?

"Grandma fell down a flight of stairs. Daddy's beating up Mommy."
"Car Accident. Boiler explosion."
"Wanna move to a small town in Jersey? They got a nice police chief there."

- Phil Cerreta and Mike Logan

"They want to martyr themselves to religion, fine. They don't have the right to martyr their child."

- Benjamin Stone

"When my children are sick, I pray for their souls. For their bodies, I get a doctor."

- Cora Amado

"What do you think Judge Kurland will give them?"
"My guess? They won’t spend a night in jail."
"Then what the hell’s the point?"
"Well, it’s on the books, it got press. Maybe next week, next month, three years from now a parent will call a doctor ‘cause they remember this conviction. And a child won’t die. That’s the point."

- Paul Robinette and Benjamin Stone

"It never ceases to amaze me."
"To weed through a complicated legal minefield, get bad instructions from the judge, and still come up with the right verdict."

- Benjamin Stone and Paul Robinette

Background information and notes

  • This is actress Susan Blommaert's first appearance as Judge Rebecca Steinman.
  • This was Michelle Trachtenberg's first TV role, although, she went uncredited.
  • This episode shares similarities with the Alex Dale Morris case. Morris was 4-years-old in February 1989 when he began complaining of fever and congestion. The child was anointed with holy oil and the members of the Church's congregation prayed for Alex for 46 days. Even though a police officer, acting on an anonymous tip, had stopped by to check on the boy, everyone kept insisting he was fine. Alex died on April 15, 1989, of a lung infection that could have been easily cured by antibiotics.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Home of Ted and
Nancy Driscoll
99 West 77th Street
Thursday, June 28

Church of All Saints
585 West 80th
Tuesday, July 3

Supreme Court
Jury Selection
Wednesday, September 5

Supreme Court
Trial Part 43
Monday, September 10

5 6 7

Supreme Court
Trial Part 43
Friday, September 14

Chambers of Judge
Nelson Kurland
Wednesday, September 19

Supreme Court
Trial Part 43
Tuesday, September 25

Previous episode:
"God Bless the Child"
Law & Order
Season 2
Next episode:
Seasons 1234567891011121314151617181920
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.