When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal. But when extremists outside Clanton – including the KKK – hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton. As tensions mount, Hailey hires the inexperienced Jake Brigance to defend him. It’s the kind of case that could make a young lawyer’s career. But it’s also the kind of case that could get a young lawyer killed.