This is based on the true story of how the justice system failed an ambitious, bright Syracuse man.
There once was a young man, I'll call him George. George is tall and dark and, with a hoodie, could easily fit into an urban stereotype but once he smiled or held a door for a little old lady that reaction quickly dissipated.
Unable to find work he found a variety of jobs, most part-time, but would always be available to shovel snow or mow the lawn for a nearby neighborhood woman's property. It wouldn't matter what the weather was like, if she or any of her friends needed anything done he'd gladly do it.
She got him involved in politics. Going door-to-door for a host of city candidates he learned about many parts of Syracuse he'd never seen since his family had no car. "Wow, this is a big house," he'd proclaim as he dumped another load of pamphlets in a ritzy Syracuse neighborhood.
Things were going well for George. He was meeting the right people. Not one to gab, he'd gently nod when introduced to some of the most recognizable political figures in Syracuse Democratic circles.
He was so good that a political party hired him to do some canvassing work in the middle of the most recent hotly contested mayor's race.
"Maybe this will lead to a full-time job somewhere," he thought.
Towards the end of the campaign George decided to go to visit a relative in a local housing project. On a bike and wearing a dark hoodie he could have been any kid racing home to play a video game or mix some beats on his computer.
With a freshly-printed paycheck in his back pocket (from the job he'd just left for the day), he started his bike ride. It wasn't long before he was stopped by the Syracuse Police and arrested for being party to a crime.