In Ayer, Massachusetts, the siblings Betty Anne and Kenneth 'Kenny' Waters are very close to each other and they are neglected by their single mother and prostitute Elizabeth Waters. In their come of age, Kenny is a troublemaker with a baby daughter hated by the local police department and Betty Anne gets married and has two sons. When their neighbor is stabbed to death, the police officer Nancy Taylor that has hatred for Kenny, arrests him and he is sent to court for trial. Kenny and Betty Anne can not afford to hire a lawyer and Kenny is defended by a public defender. He is sentenced to life without probation, based on the evidence of his blood type and the testimony of his girlfriends Brenda Marsh and Roseanna Perry. When Kenny tries to commit suicide in prison, his sister tells him that she will complete her elementary school and high-school to go to law school to reopen his case and overturn his sentence.