A little structurally wonky (although not without purpose), this true crime tale holds up quite well. And, in a better world, Franklyn Seales would have been singled out for his turn here at least as much if not more so than James Woods was for his.
This does a very good job of treating crime the way far too films ever do, as a dispiriting and emotionally wrenching experience for everyone involved. The sheer act of murder demeans the entire system, and it's a wonder any legal framework can ever really effectively function in the face of it, to say nothing of the prison system that profits from it.
A surprisingly clear-eyed perspective on the whole jaundiced infrastructure, which has only grown worse and more insidious since the era depicted here. It also makes a almost incongruously humane argument against the death penalty as well. Pretty remarkable, exceedingly complex stuff.