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A story told in flashback and narrarted by Paul Edgecomb, now living in an old-age home six decades after working as the head guard on Death Row at a Southen Prison named Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Travelling back to 1935, during the Great Depression, the former prison guard, Edgecomb, reflects on how he developed a poignant, unusual relationship with this one inmate, sentenced to Death Row, who may be innocent. The inmate, John Coffey, is an African-American man--convicted of the rape and murder of a pair of 9-year-old sisters--who awaits his death in this harsh prison. Coffey has strange powers, both mysterious and miraculous; and the creepy characters in the prison have their own views of his gifts... and of God's.