entertainment

'When They See Us' honors real Central Park 5 at Emmys

9 Comments
By MARK KENNEDY

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the five exonerated men... a rape they didn't commit in 1989

I haven't watched this movie but it simply isn't true that they were ever exonerated. The 5 were convicted in 1990, but when a 6th man confessed to participating in the rape decades later, the original 5 convictions were vacated. This is just standard operating procedure in the justice system to avoid the possibility that the 5 were sentenced for something that the jury would have pinned on the 6th man had his identity been known at the time of the trial. The vacating/squashing of a conviction is by no means an exoneration. It simply means that the first trial is rendered void, but the state is free to hold a re-trial.

The unique feature in this case was that since all 5 had served their original sentences, there was no justification for prosecutors to hold a re-trial and it never took place. So while it's true to say that these men haven't been convicted of rape in any court of law, it's also true to say that the case against them has never been properly heard by any court of law. Some people will say that we should apply the presumption of innocence, but the problem is that there will never be a trial where these men will face justice. Under such circumstances it seems like speculating about their guilt or innocence is fair game, because it's all that's left for us to do.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Trump still insists they are guilty. Brain degeneration or trolling?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a28038525/matias-reyes-central-park-five-jogger/

Matias Reyes is a serial rapist who confessed to committing the crime, alone. The other five men did not know him.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Matias Reyes is a serial rapist who confessed to committing the crime, alone.

This has never been independently proven or attested to in any way. We are just asked to take Matias Reyes at his word. The reality is that Reyes was a convicted rapist and serial killer who was serving a life sentence without any prospect of release. The statute of limitations on the central park jogger rape had also already expired by the date of his confession. He confessed after meeting one of the five while they were serving time in the same prison on other charges. He had nothing to lose by claiming that he acted alone and the other had everything to gain. That part of the confession should be treated with due skepticism.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

To clarify, when I say 'this*' I'm referring to the acting alone part of the confession. The DNA evidence clearly proves that he was there and raped the jogger.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

M3M3M3, perhaps before pontificating in a way that sounds like maybe the 5 boys originally railroaded were guilty, too, along with 6th guy, you should actually see the documentary. People less knowledgeable than you may mistakenly believe that not being found not guilty in court means there is still some question of their guilt. There is not.

I can not wrap my head around why you are skeptical that a known lone serial rapist committed the rape alone. Lone rapist don't suddenly make friends for a one off. Do you know anything about the physical evidence? Lack of multiple shoe prints at the scene etc.?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

being found not guilty in court means there is still some question of their guilt. There is not.

Sorry Taj, but you seem not to understand the distinction between having a conviction vacated and being found not guilty. The central park five were found guilty but their convictions were later set aside due to the possibility that they might have received a different or lesser sentence if the existence of Reyes was known to the jury. No retrial was ever held because there was no prospect of re-imprisoning people who had already served out the full extent of their sentences. Reyes was never prosecuted because the statute of limitations has expired.

you should actually see the documentary

I don't need to watch a fictionalised account of the events when I can read the actual transcripts and look at every piece of police evidence for myself.

http://interactive.nydailynews.com/project/central-park-five/original-investigation-and-prosecution/

Lone rapist don't suddenly make friends for a one off.

This seems like pure speculation and conjecture on your part. In terms of hard evidence, we know for sure is that all were in the park that night commiting other crimes and all confessed to some participation in the rape at some stage of the investigation.

Do you know anything about the physical evidence? Lack of multiple shoe prints at the scene etc.?

I don't recall any latent shoeprints being recovered from the scene, not even those belonging to Reyes or the victim. None are mentioned in the records or during the trial. If I recall correctly, the weather that night disturbed much of this sort of evidence.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Really arresting drama and an eye-opener for the few voices left who claim that institutional racism didn't play a a part in this debacle.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thank you M3M3M3 for your detailed and informed analysis of these issues.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

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