Image

6:25 PM / Sunday May 22, 2022

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.

Image

 

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.

 

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

Commentary

OP-ED: The need for a change to Pennsylvania’s Compassionate Release Program 

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email By Barbara Chavous-Pennock In April, David Ohl of Spotlight PA wrote about the...

Oasis

Buddhist chaplains on the rise in US, offering broad appeal

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Rev. Jo Laurence, a Buddhist chaplain, poses for a photo on...

Diaspora

Alabama shipwreck holds key for kin of enslaved Africans

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Members of the team assessing the sunken wreckage of the last...

Sun Report

Fur Babies Rule! Discover the remarkable healing power of therapy cats

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT You’re probably familiar with therapy dogs visiting hospitals, schools, senior centers, and...

Go With The-Flo

Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Foundation awarded $1 million in scholarships to 100 members of the graduating class of 2022 of HBCUs

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Travis Scott  (Photo: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock) By Flo Anthony Mary...

Color Of Money

How to save on your internet or smartphone bill

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT The pandemic proved the importance of connectivity – to your family, friends,...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff