Scott Turow is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read several of his books, but mostly some while ago. I recently reviewed his non-fiction book about the death penalty, “Ultimate Punishment.” http://ethicalstl.org/blogs/review/reviewreviewreviewultimate-punishment-a-lawyers-reflections-on-dealing-with-the-death-penalty-2003/
The only really recognizable face in this movie is Tom Sellack, who plays detective Larry Starczek. One that kept haunting me is a fairly minor character named Collins Farwell is played by Shemar Moore. I knew I’d seen him somewhere before, and pretty sure he played a cop, but it was not until I looked this movie up on IMDB that I realized he was Detective Derek Morgan in the TV series, “Criminal Minds.”
What we know at the outset of this film is that three people were murdered in a diner, a woman and two men. A rather flimsy trail of evidence leads Starczek to a fence named Squirrel Gandalf (Glenn Plummer), and when Starczek confronts him, he admits he doesn’t know whether he did it or not. He was just that stoned. Starczek convinces him that he did, and he confesses.
Remember, this is just the beginning, not the end. He is sentenced to death, but when the appeals procedure gets down to the wire after seven years, the court appoints a successful corporate attorney named Arthur Raven (William H. Macy) to represent him. As Mr. Raven digs into the facts of the case, it becomes clear that there were a lot of problems with Squirrel’s conviction.
There are a couple of love stories complicating the issue here, one that was supposedly over long ago, and one that took both of the participants by surprise. I will say no more, except that the love stories are so well woven into the criminal investigation and court case that they are indeed relevant to the story, and indeed relevant to the outcome of the appeal.
And I’m not going to tell you that, either.
Statements in this review do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.