Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Paul Clemens plays the real-life Peter Reilly, who in September of 1973 was charged with the mutilation and murder of his mother. The confused 18-year-old signs a confession after being told that he's flunked a lie detector test. Later renouncing the confession, Reilly demands a reopening of his case. The citizens of Peter's home town of Canaan, CT, who'd been willing to see the boy thrown in jail for life when the case first hit the papers, now rally around the youth, insisting that his constitutional rights have been violated. New evidence uncovered by a sympathetic detective enables Peter to press his case. Stefanie Powers plays Joan Barthel, the Canaan resident and free-lance journalist who chronicled Peter's bid for freedom. The made-for-TV A Death in Canaan was first telecast March 1, 1978.
coercion, confession-false, false-conviction, juvenile, murder, retrial, youth, mother, mutilation