The System

False Confessions

Should a confession to a crime be enough to convict someone of a crime?

The American criminal justice system enforces our laws and keeps watch over us – but who is watching the system? Award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger examines the state of America’s criminal justice system.

Las Vegas detectives find a homeless man stabbed to death and a teenage girl confesses to the salacious crime.

In New York, a high school girl is brutally raped and murdered and one of her classmates confesses. But what if both suspects are innocent? Who would confess to a crime that they did not commit?

In this episode of The System, we look at two cases where convictions were reached almost entirely on the suspect’s confession and explore whether the system got it right.