Frendon Ibrahim Blythe is a prisoner of the "newly instituted, and almost fully automated Sac'm Justice System in a futuristic version of Sacramento, California. He is being tried for the murder of Officer Terrance Bernard and the assault of his partner, Omar LaTey. Blythe's brain is connected to the computer "judge" through a plastic tube attached to the base of his skull, which allows the System free access to the contents and physiology of his brain. The tube is part of Restraint Mobile Device 27, or RMD 27, an automated "guard." In eliminating human juries and judges, the Sac'm System has essentially created a stark justice system wherein it is impossible to claim justifiable homicide. Blythe must find a way to outwit his virtual judge in order to prove his innocence and avoid the death penalty, the automatic result of a murder charge in the Sac'm System.