Meet the Exonerees

Peter Reilly

State: Connecticut
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 09/28/1973
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 1973
Age When Exonerated: 21
Exonerated Date: 1976
Time Served: 3
Conviction: First Degree Manslaughter
False Confession: Yes
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

Peter Reilly was eighteen years old when he went to jail for murdering his own mother – a crime he did not commit. After spending twenty-five hours in interrogation, deprived of food and legal counsel, Reilly falsely confessed to the murder. Convinced of his innocence, the Falls Village community in Litchfield County, Connecticut, was up in arms, and helped to raise money and awareness while his conviction was being challenged. Celebrated playwright, Arthur Miller, supported Reilly's case by alerting the national media and calling attention to the case. Three years later, new evidence excluded Reilly from the scene of the crime, and prosecution dropped the case. Today, Reilly is petitioning the State of the Connecticut for DNA testing, which may clear his name once and for all and convince police to resume the investigation of his mother's murder.