Through one vivid example, SCENES OF A CRIME explores how modern – and currently legal – interrogation techniques (including lies, threats and psychological coercion) can produce confessions that may not be reliable. When Adrian Thomas walked into a Troy, NY police station about midnight in 2008, he didn’t know he was being video-recorded. His four-month-old baby lay brain dead in a pediatric ICU. The doctors suspected abuse, and Thomas was the main suspect. And so began a psychological battle: the detectives repeatedly lied to – and threatened – Thomas, saying that if he told them “what happened,” police would view it as an accident, without jail time. After dozens of denials (and many hours), Thomas confessed to throwing his son against a bed – just as detectives had demonstrated for him. Soon after, Thomas recanted, but then faced a huge task: proving his confession was false. The film includes perspectives of detectives, lawyers, witnesses, jurors – and the suspect himself. Medical evidence showed Thomas’s son was misdiagnosed: his “skull fracture” didn’t exist. And a defense interrogation expert found defects in the police methods – but prosecutors were able to block him from testifying in court. Ultimately jurors had to weigh defense arguments against the video-recorded spectacle of Thomas sparring with detectives, slowly walking a path toward confession and self-destruction.