The Sound of Music
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Charlie Crews served twelve years of a life sentence for a triple homicide he did not commit. During that time, Charlie lost everything he had - his wife, his friends, and his fellow cops.
Charlie Crews was a cop in prison. It would have been easier if they had sentenced him to death. Everyone wanted a piece of him, guards as well as inmates. Charlie was in the prison hospital more than he was out. In order to ensure his safety, it was decided that Charlie would serve the remainder of his sentence, the remainder of his life, in twenty-three hour a day lockdown. Twenty-three hours a day in a six by eight foot cell. Charlie lost his mind. He talked to the walls, to himself, to his wife who couldn't hear him. And always, he heard the voice in his head saying, "I didn't do it."
After two years in that locked box, though, guilt began to creep into Charlie. He began to wonder, "Did I do it?" If he was in this box being punished, he must have done something. Then during his one hour a day all alone in the isolated prison yard, he discovered a book lying on the ground - The Way of Zen. When he finally decided to pick it up, Charlie read the whole book in one sitting. He read it again the next day. Sometimes he read only one page a day, sometimes only one word. That book gave him himself back. He was here, in this cell. That was all he had but it was all he had. This was his life. It was then that Charlie requested a spot back in general population. If this was his life, he would live it in the presence of other human beings.
When Constance Griffiths came to see Charlie with the proposition of re-opening his case, of giving Charlie hope, Charlie told her there was no outside world to which he could return. There was only this place, and he was here, now. Please leave him alone. But Constance wouldn't do that. And finally Charlie consented to let her help him.
The first tests were negative for Charlie's DNA. The path to exoneration looked clear. Along with his Exoneration Plea, Constance had filed suit against the Los Angeles Police Department and the City of Los Angeles. They were both more than happy to pay cash in order to get the exoneration put behind them. But Charlie wanted more than cash; Charlie wanted his badge and gun back. He would have been a detective by now, so Constance got that for him as well.
Freedom nearly blinded Charlie Crews. It was as if he had to learn everything again. Constance helped him shop for a house, and he bought the first one he saw, big and new and empty. He also bought a car, a Bentley. He went to the doctor, the dentist, the beach, and, like a crutch he needed in order to walk, Constance was always by his side.
After the first month of freedom, Charlie found Ted Earley, whom he had taken under his wing in prison, alone and broke in a cheap motel. Charlie took Ted home with him and gave him a room above his garage. Although Ted can no longer handle money in publicly held companies, he can handle Charlie's settlement money, which he does. Maybe it's not a good idea to let a convicted felon handle your settlement money. But maybe it's not such a good idea to get attached to that money in the first place.
When Charlie returns to the force, he brings his prison knowledge with him. He now knows the law from both sides, as cop and con. He also understands that his version of Zen applies to being a cop. Charlie believes everything is connected - victims, bystanders, witnesses, even his new partner, Dani Reese, who has a wall at which Charlie insists on picking away, not only out of curiosity, but also because it's fun. Regardless, she is his partner, and Charlie will back her up one hundred percent.
But the badge and the newfound wealth can't change what Charlie has been through. His world is a different one than the rest of us see, because his world lacks social pretense. And although there is darkness in Charlie's story, darkness in Charlie's job, Charlie will never stop trying to find the light.