Unfortunately for the real-life subjects of The Exonerated, the death penalty is exactly what they did not deserve. Portraying harrowingly narrow escapes from unjust execution, the powerful stories of six innocent death row inmates are related. We witness the gross failures of court justice, the painful incarceration as the convicted await that reprieve which is as uncertain as it is deserved and finally the freedom which is irrevocably scarred by their past ordeals.
Much of the strength of the play's message lies in its simplicity. A panel of actors sit across a harshly-lit stage and read from lecterns. Any sense of theatrical artifice is underplayed, so that the experience possesses a powerful sense of the genuine.