America ReFramed

Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story

Season 05  Episode 7

Eddy Zheng came to America with his family when he was 12 years old. Then at the age of 16, he committed a horrible crime: home invasion and kidnapping. He was sent to San Quentin Maximum Security Prison, the youngest prisoner in the jail.

Zheng became a model prisoner, teaching himself to read and counseling at-risk youth. Year after year he hoped for parole, and when he was released after almost 20 years in prison, he wanted to work as a community leader. His plans fell apart when the family he'd attacked made it clear they still felt there was no place for Eddy in America; he was picked up by Homeland Security and headed for deportation.

But his supporters said Eddy had served his sentence and was reformed. "If he's not the epitome of rehabilitation," says one friend, "who is?" Will society, his family and his victims give him a second chance?