By EW Staff
Updated December 13, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
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Sitting on a stark black stage, a rotating cast — Gabriel Byrne, Aidan Quinn, and Mia Farrow were among the top-shelf talent I saw — enacts the testimonies of six inmates who’ve been found innocent after years on death row. A chronicle of their false arrests (prejudice, plain bad luck), prison time (horrific, tedious), and reentry into society (anxiety-filled, exhilarating), these anecdotes should incite absolute outrage and pack emotional force. But as stitched together by coauthors Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, they too often feel remote, their drama (and the writers’ noble intentions) blunted by chaotic crosscutting between tales and a tendency to go for a broad-stroke indictment of our justice system at the expense of telling detail — like the genuinely arresting story of the couple who used Japanese dictionaries to make their love letters unintelligible to prison censors.

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