Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas. Briefly, a drifter (Randall Adams) ran out of gas in Texas and was picked up by a 16-year-old runaway (David Harris). Later that night, they drank some beer, smoked some marijuana, and went to the movies. Then, their stories diverge. Adams claims that he left for his motel, where he was staying with his brother, and went to sleep. Harris, however, says that they were stopped by police late that night and Adams suddenly shot the officer approaching their car. The film shows the audience the evidence gathered by the police, who were under extreme pressure to clear the case. It strongly makes a point that the circumstantial evidence was very flimsy. In fact, it becomes apparent that Harris was a much more likely suspect and was in the middle of a 'crime spree,' eventually ending up on Death Row himself for the later commission of other crimes. Morris implies that the D.A.'s and judge's desire for the death penalty in this case (which Harris would have been ineligible for, due to his youth), made Adams a scapegoat on which to pin this heinous crime.