Limited Theatrical Release – Murder. With all the picturesque glamour of the 1940s, “The Pardon” recounts the unlikely true story of Toni Jo Henry (Jaime King), a woman tried three times and executed in Louisiana in 1942.
Surviving a legacy of childhood abuse, which lands her in the art deco brothels of the time, Toni Jo discovers love and happiness when she marries the dashing boxer Cowboy Henry (Jason Lewis). Cowboy is soon after sent to prison, leaving the bereft Toni Jo to embark on an ill-fated mission with Cowboy’s sometime partner Arkie (John Hawkes). A grisly murder and a series of sensational trials where she pleads her innocence instantly make the beautiful Toni Jo into a celebrity. Facing conviction after conviction, will she find true redemption in the face of the crimes for which she is accused?
“The Pardon” is a fascinating telling of the true story of Toni Jo Henry (Jaime King). She was part of a crime but wrongfully accused of murder. Abused as a child by her father and stepmother after her mother died, she ends up in a brothel where she meets Claude “Cowboy” Henry (Jason Lewis). They fall for each other and are later married. When Claude, a boxer, winds up in a match in Texas he is arrested for a past crime and sentenced to prison. Determined to free him, Toni Jo and a former associate of Claude’s named Arkie Burks (John Hawkes) plan a robbery so Toni Jo can get hold of some money to try to appeal the verdict against Claude. However, Arkie takes things to the extreme and when Toni Jo flags down a driver named J.P. to get his car, he winds up murdered by Arkie.
The blame falls on Toni Jo and with a prejudiced judge and jury, who liked J.P. very much, Toni Jo’s chances in court are not good. On top of this she is given two tax attorneys to defend her: Norman Anderson and Clement Moss. They do their best but lose the case and they immediately file an appeal. Good thing because Toni Jo is facing the death penalty. During this time a priest named Father Richard (T.J. Thyne) comes into her life and befriends her. She eventually turns to faith and she will need it. The second trial begins and Toni Jo’s attorneys fight for all they are worth. However, a key witness is deceitful. Will all hope be lost?
Based on a true story, this film carries a powerful message: trust God with your past and your present too, and rely on good friends. We are awarding “The Pardon” our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus. This true-life story is bound to keep your attention.