EXCLUSIVE: For Life executive producer Isaac Wright Jr. – the inspiration for the ABC series about a falsely imprisoned man – has closed a deal with St. Martin’s Press to publish his upcoming memoir Marked For Life in 2022.
Written by Wright with Jon Sternfeld, the book, which Deadline hears was snagged by St. Martin’s in a competitive situation, will chronicle how Isaac was falsely convicted of being a drug kingpin, a story that inspired the ABC series. For Life, which ended its second season in February, is on the bubble at the network.
The nonfiction book, says St. Martin’s, will detail how Wright learned the law in prison to help other inmates and ultimately freed himself after more than seven years behind bars, bringing down the corrupt prosecutor that framed him as well as the cops and judges who enabled it.
Marked For Life is expected to be the first of several books that extend beyond Wright Jr.’s own life and experience to address issues with our current criminal justice system.
The ABC legal drama series For Life is a fictionalized legal and family drama inspired by Wright’s life. The show’s protagonist Aaron Wallace, portrayed by Nicholas Pinnock, becomes a lawyer while in prison, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has honored the series as one of the recipients of its 14th Television Academy Honors recognizing exceptional television programs and their producers who have used powerful and innovative storytelling to advance social change.
A lawyer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Wright was falsely accused and convicted of being a drug kingpin in 1991, and sentenced to life in prison plus 72 years on other drug convictions. He represented himself at trial and appeal, and after seven years in prison prevailed. In 1996, he was released from prison with all charges against him dropped and the case ultimately dismissed.
Once out of prison, he pursued a law degree, earning a bachelor’s degree in 2002, a doctorate in law in 2007, and passed the New Jersey Bar the following year. His expectations for a legal career were delayed when New Jersey’s Bar Committee on Character held up his bar admission for a nine-year investigation. The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered his admission to the bar on September 26, 2017.
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