Lawyer Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) takes on the case of Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson). His daughter was raped and severely beaten and he has killed the two men responsible, because he could not get justice, since he and his girl are black, the perpetrators white and the location is the Deep South in the 60s. Brigance gets threatened, local KKK (led by Kiefer Sutherland) put a burning cross in his front yard, his wife (Ashley Judd) and kid have to leave town, and one of his assistants, Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock) gets kidnapped, tied up and left in the woods, only to be set free at the last minute by one of the KKK members, who feels things are going too far. Things are looking bad for Brigance and Hailey, because a key witness turns out to lack credibility, as he was once convicted for statutory rape, which is disclosed by the DA (Kevin Spacey). Brigance has no legal means left to win the case, so he decides to argue that the world would look differently upon this case if the races were reversed, which wins him the case, and Hailey his freedom. In the last scene Brigance and his wife go over to Hailey's house, so their daughters can play together.
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Best part of story, including ending:
The story is set in the sixties, but hasn't lost it's relevance yet.
Best scene in story:
Where local police officer (Chris Cooper) says Hailey should be released, despite the fact he shot him in the leg.
Opinion about the main character:
He is a courageous guy, who is willing to go the distance and ultimately puts things in the only perspective that counts: the human perspective.