After surveillance cameras show a woman being pulled into a men's restroom, security alerts the SVU, who cannot locate the missing woman. The owner of the building, Richard Morgan, arrives on the scene with his chief councilor, Ingrid Block. Ingrid immediately shuts down Cragen's request to search the entire building for the missing woman. The detectives find the body in a basement dumpster.
Back at the station, the detectives try to piece together their case. Munch announces this crime has happened before, in 1987, when Nancy Pierce was found raped and murdered and left exactly the same condition, only two blocks away from the Richards' building. The suspect, Daniel Hardy, has been serving hard time at Sing Sing prison ever since.
Benson and Stabler interview Daniel in prison. He continues to say he did not murder Nancy Pierce. After Benson and Stabler find out their latest victim's name is Renee Simmons and she was a former secretary to Richard, they head back to question Daniel. He tells detectives that her ex-husband Matt has to be the one who killed her. Stabler and Fin head out to find Matt, but once they spot him, he runs.
Fin and Stabler catch up to Matt and bring him and his giant stash of marijuana back to the station. Matt claims he had nothing to do with his ex-wife's murder and instead blames her lover, Richard Morgan. Back at Sing Sing, Daniel points out the key witness in his 1987 murder case was Richard, who offered all circumstantial evidence to cops.
Benson and Stabler start digging around and find out Richard had relationships with both women. They bring him up on charges of fraud and embezzlement, hoping to buy time to also prove murder. While awaiting trial, Stabler and Benson question Richard's relationship with Nancy, in which he says Daniel Hardy is already serving time for that murder. Before Daniel walks away, Stabler assures him Richard will pay for his crimes.
As Richard and Ingrid head out of the station, gunshots are heard. Richard's lifeless body lies in the elevator, as Ingrid looks on coldly. Police arrest the shooter, an elderly victim of one of Richard's fraudulent schemes. Benson begins to question Ingrid on what she saw. Ingrid remains stoic and fixated on the morgue photos of Nancy and Renee in the background. Later on, Benson questions Ingrid further about Renee and Nancy.
Ingrid admits she always had suspicions of Richard's dealings, but held strict ground with the client/lawyer confidentiality. Ingrid denies ever knowing Richard was a killer. Benson urges Ingrid to help free Daniel but she stands by her confidentiality agreement with Richard, even if he's dead. Ingrid tearfully admits she knew about the murders that Richard committed.
With Ingrid's help, the detectives find the belt Richard used to strangle both women. Warner conducts DNA tests and finds all the evidence she needs for Cabot to prove Daniel's innocence. Later, Stabler and Ingrid go to Sing Sing to deliver Daniel the good news. Daniel discovers Ingrid helped the detectives prove Richard's guilt, but lashes out at her when he realizes she could have helped set him free 20 years ago.
At Daniel's hearing, the judge apologizes profusely for his wrongful imprisonment and immediately orders his release and his record be cleared. A very relieved Daniel thanks Cabot, Stabler and Benson for all their work on his case. Cabot wishes there was more she could do for Daniel and Stabler says there is. He stops Ingrid from leaving the courtroom and places her under arrest for being an accessory to murder.
Ingrid pleads with Stabler to understand why she couldn't divulge Richard's crimes, but he locks her up anyway. Meanwhile, Cragen and Cabot put Stabler through the ringer for not consulting anybody else when it came to Ingrid's arrest. Cabot informs Stabler that not even the district attorney agrees with Stabler's decision.
At Ingrid's hearing, Stabler tells the courts about both of Richard's crimes and how Ingrid could have prevented the second from happening as well as stopped an innocent man from going to prison. Ingrid cross-examines Stabler, starting with asking him who Victor Tate is. Cabot calls for an objection, but Judge Donnelly overrules.
Stabler admits that Victor Tate is a man wrongfully accused of rape, but due to the real assailant's suicide, Victor has been forced to complete his sentence. Stabler acknowledges that because he was only doing his job, an innocent man is still in prison. Ingrid accuses Stabler of using his own guilt over Tate's fate to justify arresting her.
While on the stand, Ingrid tells the jury how she was conflicted for over 20 years about breaking her oath and turning Richard in. But in the end, she vowed to stick to her oath. As Cabot cross-examines Ingrid, she points out that Ingrid wasn't so good at keeping her oath, since that's the reason why Ingrid is on trial to begin with. Ingrid breaks down and admits that Renee's murder is her fault.
After the court calls a recess, Stabler takes Cabot aside and admits he made a mistake arresting Ingrid. Cabot tells Stabler there is nothing she can do now and she's pretty sure the jury will come back with a conviction. Meanwhile, Stabler takes Daniel to the prison where Victor Tate is serving his time. Stabler tries to prove to Daniel that everybody makes mistakes, including Ingrid. He wants Daniel to see how Ingrid's hands were tied.
Cabot rests her case and Ingrid addresses the court. She says the prosecution has failed to prove without a reasonable doubt that she facilitated Renee's murder. Judge Donnelly takes the decision away from the jury and makes one herself. She berates Cabot for using the system of justice as means to a political end. Judge Donnelly declares Ingrid not guilty. Later, the detectives discover Ingrid informed Richard's shooter where he would be just hours before the shooting. Ingrid claims it was her own way of getting justice done.