A Harvard professor is lured back into the courtroom after 25 years to take the case of a young black man condemned to death for the horrific murder of a child.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Bobby Ferguson was [[GroinAttack castrated]] in jail by the other inmates for the rape and brutal murder of a young girl.
* FalseConfession: Blair Sullivan claims credits for Bobby Ferguson's crime.
* GroinAttack: Bobby Fergson was castrated in jail.
* RightForTheWrongReasons: Bobby Earl is convicted on false evidence, a confession extracted through torture and prejudice. He's still guilty.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Blair Sullivan has Bobby Ferguson kill his parents, in return for taking credit for the crime Bobby Ferguson commited.
* TragicVillain: It's implied that Bobby Earl wasn't actually responsible for the crime that got him castrated in prison; it's also implied that it was a combination of being castrated and denied any future after being kicked out of university is what made him snap.
* WouldHurtAChild: Bobby Fergson commited the rape and brutal murder of a young girl, and when let out tries to kill the young daughter of the law professor who helped him out of jail and his wife who prosecuted him.