Crime boss Rusty Pirone (Armand Assante) is about to stand trial again and Daniel Graham (Gabriel Byrne) of the district attorney's office is determined this time to put him behind bars.
Pirone sends one of his henchmen, a burned-out ex-cop named Tommy Vesey (William Hurt), to threaten Valerie Alston (Joanne Whalley), a juror. Unless she cooperates by finding Pirone innocent and deadlocking the jury, Vesey intends to do harm to Valerie's young son.
Eleven jurors vote guilty. Valerie incurs the wrath of the others, who feel Pirone's guilt is obvious. One by one, though, she begins to persuade others to vote her way.
Pirone goes free. Graham is furious and, when he discovers Valerie's role in the verdict, he begins to pressure her. Valerie is adamant that she has done nothing wrong and feels that she has protected her son, but Pirone won't leave it at that. He forces himself sexually on her and continues to make veiled threats against her life.
Vesey's conscience gets the better of him and he intervenes in an attempt by Pirone's jealous woman, Wanda, to have Valerie killed. Vesey dies in the act of saving Valerie's life.
With nowhere else to turn, Valerie decides to seduce Pirone at his home, then kill him herself.