College student Joe Talbert has a writing assignment to interview a stranger and write a brief biography. With deadlines looming, he heads to a nearby nursing home to find a subject and meets Carl Iverson. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran, who has been medically paroled after spending thirty years in prison for rape and murder. As he writes about Carl's life, Joe cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Along with his skeptical female neighbor, Joe throws himself into uncovering the truth.