Charles Wilkerson’s life is pretty set. He has a beautiful and loving wife, Dana, and a delightful toddler son, Travis. However, life can change drastically in just the twinkling of an eye. Dana’s beaten and murdered body is discovered in their bedroom while he is at work. Travis witnesses the gruesome event and knows who the murderer is, but he is too young to testify in court. Besides, no one believes him anyway. Charles, as an African-American man married to a white wife, is immediately suspected by the local law enforcement authorities of the murder. Then follows a “perfect storm” of police racial bias and prosecutorial malfeasance, and the result is life imprisonment for Charles.
He spends over a quarter-century in prison until he is aided by the Innocence Project. Though the wheels of justice turn agonizingly slowly and the state will fight any attempt for exoneration tooth and nail, Charles is finally pronounced innocent. The real murderer is discovered, tried and sentenced. Charles tries to begin his life again as a free man.
The plot is a compilation and fictionalization of real-life situations of death-row inmates he mentored as spiritual counselor in the Florida State Prison. Charles’ story is similar to that of dozens of persons who have been wrongfully sentenced and imprisoned. Some, like Charles, are fortunate enough to receive expert legal assistance and are set free.