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On April 20, 1989, Trisha Meili was found in Central Park unconscious, badly beaten, raped and partially clothed.  The NYPD then rounded up several young men who happened to be in the area at that time.   Although there was a lack of DNA, no eyewitnesses and conflicting confessions, Kevin Richardson (14), Raymond Santana (14), Yusef Salaam (15), Antron McCray (15) and Korey Wise (16) were found guilty of rape in a jury trial and sent to prison. They were soon to become known as the “Central Park 5″ (CP5).

The CP5 spent years in prison before the real perpetrator confessed and their sentences were vacated in 2002.

Last April, noted documentarian Ken Burns debuted his Central Park Five documentary on PBS. The documentary delved into the tactics used to coerce the CP5, as well as nterviews from the five men, footage and newspaper clippings from that time.  According to filmmaker Ken Burns, who made a documentary on the Central Park Five case, New York Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio plans to settle the $250M civil suit filed by the men known as the “Central Park Five”.

“Bill de Blasio, the mayor-elect, has agreed to settle this case,” Burns told the Huffington Post on Tuesday, “and though this is justice delayed way too long, and that is justice denied, [they] will not only be exonerated … but they will have justice, they will see some closure, they will be able to be made whole.”

The civil suit the CP5 have filed is worth $250 million dollars. The next hearing on the case, that was set before de Blasio’s comments, was scheduled for January 21, but  a Manhattan federal judge put the lawsuit on hold, so new city Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter could reach a settlement with the Central Park 5.

Not everyone is too pleased to hear about the men getting a settlement.

The New York Post recently penned an “unnamed” editorial citing their reasons as to why a settlement would a “miscarriage of justice”.

From The New York Post:

A panel headed by famed anti-corruption prosecutor Michael Armstrong concluded that the five had “more likely than not” participated in the jogger attack — and certainly engaged in a violent series of “wilding” assaults in Central Park that night that left two other persons seriously injured.

Moreover, the trial jury knew that no DNA evidence connected them to the crime. Indeed, they’d also been told another unknown assailant had taken part in the attack. And Reyes, who was never questioned under oath before the convictions were tossed, reportedly told a fellow inmate that “a group of kids” had attacked the jogger before he came along.

The five, teenagers at the time, were convicted largely on the strength of their graphic and detailed confessions, which they later recanted but which were captured on videotape in the presence of their parents or guardians. Some repeated their confessions years later at parole hearings. And even Morgenthau himself concluded that, contrary to the five’s later allegations, there had been no coercion or misconduct in the way their confessions had been obtained.

Ken Burns turned the case into a cause célèbre with his advocacy film on the case (his daughter had worked for the lawyers for the accused). The City Council also tried to up the ante by honoring the five.

Against this public pressure, The Post stood virtually alone in opposing both the hasty overturning of their convictions and in making a huge cash settlement.

They may well have been innocent of the Central Park jogger rape. But these are no innocent victims. And they don’t deserve the keys to the city treasury.

It’s a shame that a newspaper is willing to stand behind what really was a “miscarriage of justice”, that allowed the CP5 to be jailed for years.

 

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  • Aria Wilson

    Oh Lord…this Rupert Murdoch-owned rag isn’t worth the bandwidth or paper it is printed on. Nothing but Fox News in digital and paper form.

    And of course, like every other extreme-right enterprise…when they are presented with facts that go against their incorrect arguments….they double down on those incorrect arguments. Their readers are quite happy remaining ignorant and validated in their little bubbles.

    It is senseless to argue with them.

    The old folks say the only one more foolish than the fool is the one that argues with them. They would believe these men are guilty…even if Jesus himself came down and told them they were not. Fools all.

    WE know the truth…and hopefully they can get restitution.

  • nononsense57

    I recently saw this Ken Burns documentary on Netflix and I strongly recommend it. It was so thought-provoking and made me really angry. The Central Park Jogger story was huge here in NYC when I was a kid-I remember it clearly.

    Tricia Meile is a victim of Matias Reyes, and I’m glad that she is doing much better. But the boys were victims of Matias Reyes, too. What happened and is continuing to happen with the Central Park 5 is emblematic of the lengths institutions-in this case, the justice system, police, and the media-will go to cover their asses and not take ownership of their errors, often at the expense of the wrongly accused ESPECIALLY if they are Black.

    The NY Post’s justification is that they “probably did something that night anyway”. Whether or not that’s true is irrelevant here. Other crimes did occur in Central Park that night, but what matters is that these boys were stripped of their youth and their opportunity to contribute to society because they were accused, wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for raping Ms. Meile that night, when all facts, INCLUDING lack of irrefutable DNA evidence, point to the contrary.

    They will never get those years back. Even though money can never buy back time, for the time they lost, they should be compensated. I really hope Mayor DeBlasio does the right thing.

  • Vin Rizzo

    Progressive Dems like Bill DiBlasio never saw a problem that they could not solve by throwing the taxpayers $$ at it,, and the $250M will come out of the tax $$ collected from people like Former Mayor Bloomberg who DiBlasio is slowly chasing out of our great city.

    He is quickly accomplishing his goal of 1 city not 2, by lowering the standard of services to the rich and giving away their $$ to the poor. Go Figa!

    • vintage3000

      “who DiBlasio is slowly chasing out of our great city.”

      They are following the trails of people who can no longer afford to live in NYC under Bloomberg’s 12 years as mayor for the wealthy. And let’s not forget all the Black and Latino people who SHOULD HAVE been profiled, according to your hero.

      And your ilk translates city resources being used in areas other than the upper East Side as “lowering standards of services to the rich” .

    • Lynne

      So let this be a lesson to you, Vin Rizzo: Injustice can be very expensive.

  • truuuuth

    can anyone figure out what sentences vacated means. try looking it up

  • Juice

    These 5 were not innocent.they received a sentence they deserved.