CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Law and Order SVU Features USC Law Article on Criminal Responsibility

Fans of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” saw a familiar University of Southern California Law publication on the TV show’s season premier episode.

The episode – about a woman with dissociative identity disorder whom detectives suspect may have conspired with her sister to kill their parents – featured the spring 2001 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, titled “Symposium on Multiple Personality Disorder and Criminal Responsibility.” The issue featured articles by USC Law’s Elyn Saks, associate dean and the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences.

Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, the show’s lead characters, cite articles from the journal that discuss the legal responsibility of persons with multiple personalities and the legal traction that may be established. At one point, Stabler also holds up the journal to an inmate to ask if she has seen it before. [Mark Godsey]

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