Novice attorney Rick Hayes begins a new job, and is initially given a clemency case. It's the case of Cindy Liggett, a woman on death row, having been convicted of first degree murder. As he works with his client and the case investigation, the two become good friends. Her death by lethal injection moves ever closer, though, as Hayes character, played by Rob Morrow, seeks to get government intervention.
Sharon Stone plays the condemned in this film, where the basic stance is anti-death penalty. Hayes argues that Liggett, as a teen a dozen years earlier, and high on crack, was under the influence of the drug when she participated in a particularly violent double murder. The attorney maintains that his client has completely changed as a person, as she grew into adulthood. Stone's character definitely exudes presence and stellar quality in this hard bitten role. Her actions in the present and recent future do indeed, seem to exhibit a major character change.
Last Dance, 1996, as directed by Bruce Beresford, is especially intense and riveting. The action and exposition is seen through the eyes of Hayes, who sees Liggett as also having been under the influence twelve years earlier, of a dominant and brutal male, when the crime was committed.
Cindy and the inmates present a fairly calm demeanor within the prison as they read, write letters, draw, and engage in needlepoint. However, on the outside, the world around them is starkly more corrupt. It becomes obvious that Cindy's clemency outcome looks pretty negative and will be largely determined by the good old boy local political-law enforcement system. Rick is dedicated to his client, though, as he fights for her against the Governor and his chief aide, who is also Rick's brother. This film, is complete with drama, suspense, and raw emotion, as it makes its statement against capital punishment.