Alan Parker's look at capital punishment in the US. David Gale was a successful lecturer and head of the Philosophy department at Austin University, as well as an activist for the anti-capital punishment movement, Deathwatch. However, he loses everything when he is falsely accused of rape by one of his students, despite being exonerated. Several years later he finds himself on Death Row after being found guilty of the rape and murder of one of his best friends and fellow activist, Constance Harraway (Laura Linney). With only days before his execution, he agrees to an interview with journalist Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet), who, during the interview, decides the facts just don't seem to make any sense. Receiving an anonymous tip-off sets her further on the road to solving the mystery before Gale's death by execution and it becomes a race against time.