The film is based on the true story of Betty Anne Waters, an unemployed single mother who, with the help of attorney Barry Scheck from the Innocence Project, exonerated her wrongfully convicted brother. In order to do this she earned her GED, then her bachelor's, a master's in education, and eventually a law degree from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. She accomplished this while raising two boys alone and working as a waitress part-time. While in law school she began investigating her brother's case.
Kenneth Waters, her brother, was convicted of murdering Katharina Brow in Ayer, Massachusetts, in 1983 (the murder occurred in 1980). His sister Betty Anne located biological evidence and then worked with the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization devoted to overturning wrongful convictions, to obtain DNA testing on the evidence-- proving Waters' innocence and leading to his exoneration on June 19, 2001. Betty Anne Waters now lives in New England and continues her work in freeing wrongfully convicted criminals, as well as fighting for the rights of prison inmates.