Image

5:22 AM / Sunday September 27, 2020

18 Apr 2013

The Central Park Five–Heartbreaking documentary revisiting rush to judgment airs on PBS on April 16th

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
April 18, 2013 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: The Central Park Five today in 2011 from left: Antron McCray, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana at DOC NYC — at SVA Theatre.

 

Review by Kam Williams

 

Around 9 PM on April 19, 1989, a 28 year-old, female jogger was brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead in a wooded area of Central Park located off the beaten path. Because she was an investment banker with an Ivy League pedigree, the NYPD felt the pressure to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime ASAP.

 

Within hours, cops had extracted confessions from Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, Jr., teenagers who had been denied their right to an attorney. Although none of the five had ever been arrested before, they were all convicted of rape and attempted murder on the strength of those incriminating admissions alone.

 

Part of the explanation for the legal lynching was that the victim was a wealthy white woman while the accused were poor black kids from Harlem. The press was all too willing to exploit the hot button issues of color and class, and the media sensationalized the case’s lurid details, coining the term “wilding” to describe the alleged behavior of the defendants.

 

Image

Real estate magnate Donald Trump even took out full-page ads in every New York City daily newspaper, calling for the death penalty and saying that the boys “should be executed for their crimes.” In the face of the vigilante-like demand for vengeance, no one seemed concerned that the suspects’ DNA failed to match the only semen found at the scene.

 

Sadly, they were only exonerated in 2002 after having completely served sentences ranging from 6 to 13 years when Matias Reyes, a serial rapist whose DNA was a match, confessed to the crime because of his guilty conscience. This gross miscarriage of justice is recounted in The Central Park Five, a riveting documentary co-directed by the father-daughter team of Ken and Sarah Burns, along with her husband, David McMahon.

 

The film features reams of archival footage, including videotapes of the framed quintet’s coerced confessions. Mixed in are present-day reflections by them, their lawyers, and relatives, as well as by politicians, prosecutors and other pivotal players.

 

A heartbreaking expose’ about a rush to judgment which ruined five, innocent young lives. 

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 119 minutes

Distributor: PBS/Sundance Selects 

 

To see a trailer for The Central Park Five, visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN-qE6-qq60 

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Style

Fall home decor trends: Comforting hues, flexible design

September 17, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Kim Cook New York-based designer Glenn Gissler painted this New York loft...

Entertainment

Emmy winners highlight push for social justice

September 25, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Beth harris ASSOCIATED PRESS  LOS ANGELES — Regina King and Uzo Aduba...

Stateside

NAACP issues statement on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September 25, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson  (Photo/naacp.org) The NAACP family is...

Sports

Deion Sanders set to become Jackson State’s football coach

September 25, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Deion Sanders  (Photo: DFree / Shutterstock) ASSOCIATED PRESS  JACKSON, Miss.— Hall...

Seniors

Know the facts about pulmonary fibrosis

September 17, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a progressive and debilitating disease that leads to...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of September 27

September 25, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: It’s been tough with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn at odds...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff