In The Name of the People

Network Premier: February 2, 2000


Jack (Richard Thomas) and Connie (Amy Madigan) Murphy have been eagerly awaiting justice for the murder of their daughter, Jenny, six years earlier. Jenny’s killer, John Burke (Scott Bakula), is behind bars anticipating final word on whether he will live or die.
Full of rage and yearning for closure for herself and other parents of murdered children, Connie presides over an activist group she founded call “Parents for Justice.” As anti-death-penalty advocates picket, Connie and her group rally for Burke’s execution. But as the execution date nears, Jack has a change of heart, further devastating his already faltering marriage.
Unbeknownst to Connie, Jack pays Burke a visit in jail in order to hear the truth about his daughter’s last hours. There, he finds one common bond between himself and Jenny’s killer – a father’s love for his child. Burke’s 13-year-old daughter, Lisa, whose mother is dead, lives with her grandmother, who is dying of heart failure. In just days, Burke will be executed, and his last wish is to know that his daughter will be in good hands. He tries to convince the Murphys to raise her.
First airs on CBS 2/2/00 at 9:00-11:00pm, ET/PT.

Dove Review

Content Description

Five or six expletives and four obscenities; intense subject matter includes parental grief over the loss of a daughter by a gunshot wound, and a man put to death by injection. The film deals with healing and forgiveness, but, at one point, the father claims he has given up on God. There is no indication that either of the parents has reconciled with their faith. So whatever forgiveness occurs, the producers are indicating that this ability to forgive such a heinous crime can be done without spiritual direction.


Company: CBS
Director: Peter Levin
Producer: Lisa Richardson
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 120 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Scott Bakula, Richard Thomas, and Amy Madigan.