The film revolves around the murder of a police officer in Dallas Police, Robert W Wood. In that cases, a man named Randal Dale Adams was convicted and sentenced to death for the crime he did not commit. The film is a collection of evidences that prove Adams' innocence.
Morris was working in a dangerous middle ground between the traditional documentary and the fictional feature film, and his merging of various techniques paid off in a film of singular uniqueness in both its aesthetic approach and its real-world impact.
Furthering its genre irregularity, it employs no narration to guide the viewer, and each shot is carefully static and composed. Its central scene, even, is a fabricated element in what is largely a non-fiction film.