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I'm going to bring the whole f-cking diseased corrupt temple down on your head. It's going to be biblical.
~ Clyde Shelton to Nick Rice.
Sit down, 'cause you're gonna be busy.
~ Clyde Shelton to Nick Rice.

Clyde Alexander Shelton is the titular main protagonist in the 2009 thriller film Law Abiding Citizen. He is a former family man who murdered several "evil" police officers and criminals in an attempt to get rid of the justice system's corruption.

He was portrayed by Gerard Butler, who also portrayed Set in Gods of Egypt, The Phantom of the Opera in the 2004 film adaptation, Count Dracula in Dracula 2000 and Attila in the 2001 miniseries of the same name.


Clyde Shelton was an engineer, inventor, former contractor for the Department of Defense and family man, he was married and had a daughter, both of whom he loved deeply. However, his perfect life was tragically cut short when a criminal named Clarence Darby and his accomplice Rupert Ames broke into Shelton's house, restrained him, and murdered his wife and daughter in front of his eyes. Though the two were caught, prosecutor Nick Rice (the protagonist of the film) was forced to make a deal with Darby; let Darby off with only a few years of prison time while Ames was to be executed, since the evidence is not strong enough to make a full conviction against Darby and that Rice doesn't want to risk lowering his 99% conviction rate if he loses. Shelton blames Rice for his family's killer escaping justice, and begins planning gruesome revenge against him and the entire justice system.

Ten years later, he kidnaps and savagely murders Darby and sabotages Ames' execution to make his quick and painless death much longer and excruciating. He is caught and arrested, but still manages to murder the entire police team responsible for Darby's commuted sentence, all from within his jail cell. After the loss of many of Rice's associates (including his closest friend Sarah Lowell), Rice beats Shelton, who furiously points out that he wouldn't have gone mad if Rice tried to convict Darby in the first place. However, Rice furiously points out that even if he did try to, they still would have lost and Darby might have gone free. Shelton counters that Rice only cared about his conviction rate back then and that he would have accepted it if Rice tried but failed.

With only Rice remaining after several more of his aides (including District Attorney Jonas Cantrell) are killed by a drone built by Shelton, the latter attempts to finish his master plan by using a secret tunnel to get into his base and plant a bomb in City Hall, hoping to kill the Mayor, her aides and everyone else in the building. However, Rice (who becomes the new District Attorney) later finds out that Shelton had deliberately got himself to be put into solitary confinement so that he can sneak out to his lair, which may explain how he had committed the murders.

After secretly returning to his cell, Shelton is surprised to see Rice waiting for him, having found out about his plan. Rice then tells Shelton about the effects of one's decisions that will affect the lives of others. At that point, Shelton offers to strike another deal, but Rice refuses and states that he'll never make deals with murderers again, complimenting Clyde for teaching him that. Rice warns him to not do anything he will regret, but Shelton's cell phone is ready to be dialed to activate the City Hall bomb. When Shelton dials the phone, Rice leaves immediately. Shelton realizes too late that Rice has moved the bomb to his cell, which is now sealed. Despite realizing that he lost, Shelton takes solace in the fact that he finally taught Rice a lesson never to make deals with criminals anymore as he holds his daughter's bracelet, accepting his fate as he perishes to his death in the explosion.


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