The New York Times likes it. Roger Ebert says
It demonstrates how a movie can confront a grave and controversial issue in our society and see it fairly, from all sides, not take any shortcuts, and move the audience to a great emotional experience without unfair manipulation. What is remarkable is that the film is also all the other things a movie should be: absorbing, surprising, technically superb and worth talking about for a long time afterward.
Salon.com compares it with another film saying,
While John Schlesinger's "An Eye for an Eye" presents Hollywood's same old good vs. evil universe, Tim Robbins' "Dead Man Walking" triumphs by rejecting easy moral conclusions