Tommy Zeigler has been on death row for 42 years and for more than half that time, he’s been trying to convince the state of Florida to allow for DNA tests that might help exonerate him. But the state continually refuses. About 20 other men are in a similar situation, imprisoned in Florida since the 1970s or ’80s and arguing that it’s inherently unfair to deny them access to 21st century science. Leonora LaPeter Anton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, and photographer Cherie Diez have followed the case for years. In 2018, they traveled around Florida and into Georgia to interview dozens of people, some involved in the police work or prosecution, others who believe in Zeigler’s innocence.
Winter Garden, Fla., a rural town in central Florida, is rattled by the slayings at a furniture store, and the police investigation zeros in on Tommy Zeigler.