The tragic court case that forever altered the course of American jurisprudence is dramatized for the screen in this courtroom docudrama starring Timothy Hutton, David Straithairn, Leelee Sobieski, Anthomy Mack and Bill Sage. The year is 1931, and nine black hobos have been accused of raping two white women on an Alabama freight train. The accused, who all range in age from twelve to twenty-three, are quickly sentenced to death in the electric chair by an all-white jury fueled by racism and vengeance. But as news of the convictions spreads, something remarkable happens: the plight of the so-called Scottsboro Boys inadvertently ends up fueling the fires of socialism across the globe and the case is quickly appealed to the United States Supreme Court. As each of the nine defendants prepare for their retrials in a Decatur, Alabama courtroom, self-assured New York defense attorney Samuel Liebowitz (Hutton) accepts the formidable task of representing the accused in the trial that will hold an entire nation spellbound.