This show began its journey over the summer of 2000, when married authors Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen traveled across the United States, interviewing 40 of the (then) 89 former death row prisoners. They went as far south as Texas and Miami, as far north as Chicago and just about everywhere in between to meet the people whose stories appear in The Exonerated. The interviewees were from vastly different ethnic, religious and educational backgrounds. Their views on the world varied greatly. The only thing they had in common was that all 40 had been sentenced to death, spent anywhere from 2 to 22 years on death row and were subsequently found innocent and freed by the state.