Wrongly convicted prisoner Aaron Wallace finally got his day in court at the end of season one of US drama For Life, after training to be a lawyer and representing himself and other inmates while behind bars.
However, his joy at being granted a retrial was short-lived, as corrupt DA Maskins (Boris McGiver), the prosecutor who put him away, tried to force Aaron to accept a deal that meant he would remain a convicted felon, and be unable to practice law.
As the legal-cum-prison drama, which was inspired by the life of lawyer Isaac Wright Jr, comes to the UK after already being shown in the US, Wallace must make some tough decisions about his future.
"The dilemma Aaron is facing is whether to take a plea deal," explains British actor Nicholas Pinnock, who plays him. "It will get him out of prison and keep his best friend and wife out of trouble, but not exonerate him. But he doesn’t just want to get out of prison early, because he’s fighting for his innocence."
When Aaron finally does get out, adjusting to life in the outside world after nearly 10 years in prison takes some doing.
"You become habitual in your behaviour after being confined to a seven-foot-by-six-foot space," explains Pinnock, who’s best known for his roles in British TV series Marcella and Top Boy."‘It's like when people come out of the army, and have these patterns of behaviour that have been entrenched in them for so long. They are visible to others, but not so easy to see yourself."
In particular, there are certain things in everyday life, such as slamming doors, that cause Aaron to have disturbing flashbacks. "He's not used to hearing a siren or seeing flashing lights," says Pinnock,"‘and those things trigger the trauma that was caused when he first was arrested."
On top of all that, Aaron, who became a grandfather while he was inside, must adjust to life back in the family home after being away for so long, and rebuild his relationship with his wife Marie (Joy Bryant), who had a relationship with Aaron’s friend Darius while he was in jail.
"He hasn't been around his family for almost 10 years," says Pinnock. "So he’s living in a house and dealing with the domestic politics that he's faced with, as opposed to the prison politics that he's used to. So there are all these things that he's up against, as well as trying to be out in the real world and pursuing his need for defending social justice!"
Season 2 of For Life will air on Sky Witness and NOW Streaming service on 27 Sept. at 9pm. Season 1 is available to catch up now on Sky On-Demand and streaming service NOW.
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