The town of Flodden is in an uproar when a pretty student is found dead on Confederate Memorial Day, but District Attorney Griffin (Claude Rains) sees it as an opportunity. Thinking the case could propel him into the U.S. Senate, he begins an extensive smear campaign against the girl's teacher, Robert Hale (Edward Norris), an outsider who hails from New York. Despite only circumstantial evidence, Hale is convicted, and locals threaten vigilante justice if he isn't executed.
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