In post 9/11 America, on Oct. 24th 2001 (TEN24) an innocent man (Harry) is framed for murder by a rookie cop (Scott) who has responded to a silent, but false alarm of a robbery in progress at a hotel. Harry arrives at the hotel to pick up his wife (Kathleen) and is immediately drawn into a police stand off situation where Scott and his senior partner (John) have everyone from the hotel lobby on the ground at gun point, except Kathleen, who refuses to lay on the ground. Scott and John have been told that it ís a false alarm by the hotel manager, but they have come, 9/11 pumped up, and they aren’t going to leave empty handed. Harry is told to get on the ground, he refuses to comply and stands with Kathleen to protect her.
John jumps Harry, cuffs him and drags him to an out of view alcove saying “I am going to teach you some respect” as he beats Harry over the head with his gun. Harry breaks loose and runs for a door, John takes aim, the door opens, a guest steps out as John fires, the guest falls dead at Harry’s feet. John runs to Harry and they begin to struggle over the gun. Scott hears the shot and runs to the alcove. John is struggling with Harry who is fighting for his life. Scott aims at Harry, his gun jams, John hits Harry with a crushing blow and his gun flies out of his hand and lands at Scott’s feet. Scott picks the gun up, fires, and kills John as Harry falls to the ground unconscious. Scott then puts John’s gun in Harry’s hand just as backup arrives and he then tells them that Harry got John’s gun away from him in a struggle and shot John and the guest who witnessed it.
Harry awakens in the hospital with no memory of the entire incident and is charged with two counts of murder and one count of domestic terrorism for killing John, a police officer. A want to be governor, State Attorney (Churchill) gives Scott orders to do what he has to to make sure Harry is convicted, and Scott goes so far as to kill (Lori) who he thinks is the only witness to the truth. Harry is convicted and sentenced to be executed.
Kathleen suffers all manner of humiliation and emotional, physical, and financial distress, from strangers, family and friends as she fights for Harry to be freed. A cop (Louis) who was at the scene and knows Scott well feels there is something badly wrong with the case, but he is asked to stay out of it by his wife (Cindy) and Churchill. Louis finishes his legal education and becomes a lawyer. Harry asks Kathleen, “How can you be so sure I didn’t do it when I don’t even know if I did?” Kathleen answers, “because I love you, and I know you better than you know yourself.” Kathleen, desperate in the very last days of Harry’s life, begs Louis to help, saying “you know something is wrong” He hesitantly dives in, then steps away, then at the very last minute comes back in and finds another witness (Danny) who is mentally challenged or so everyone thinks. Danny is hidden away in a mental hospital by Churchill, Scott and Danny’s parents to prevent him from helping.
Absolutely heart exploding last goodbyes are said and a death watch begins. Suddenly Louis gets a last rush of conscience, he can’t give up. Danny talked of a tape he took from his job when he was fired. He worked across the parking lot from the hotel. The tape may show the shootings.The governor gets ready to make the last call, Harry will not be spared, Louis and his interns feverishly dig at an old rubbish dump at Danny’s house where his parents threw out his belongings, Kathleen prepares to leave Harry for the last time. Harry says to her, “loving you has been everything, now walk out of here proud, don’t let them see you cry and don’t look back.”
“I’ve got a tape!” is screamed by one and heard by all at the dump. The governor, at a farewell banquet at a hotel, looks scared about death as he prepares to pick up the phone, Louis and Danny enter hotel, hijack the TV and play the tape on the big screen. The Governor has the officer Scott arrested and fires Churchill and picks up the phone again in earnest.
Meanwhile, Kathleen and Harry’s daughter, April, sit and stare at the mantel clock Harry made years before, it strikes midnight, they never gave up, they now give in and fall into each others arms and cry from their very soul. He is gone they know, somehow they have gone with him. But…Flashing police lights light up the yard, a knock on the door, a State Trooper enters, then Louis, Kathleen and April think it ís over, they are emotionally wasted, they are barely alive, then Harry steps from the shadow of the night and walks through the door. It is over.
FADE TO BLACK © 2019 Verde Group Films, Inc