Trailer Tuesday: new documentary about "The Central Park Five"

The lesson here is clear: if you are a minority without a lot of money and a prosecutor wants to put you in prison, you will be imprisoned.

The Central Park Five is the story of the five young men who were wrongfully convicted for the 1989 rape of a jogger in Central Park. It examines how the legal system's rush to judgment - fueled by a city racially divided and fearful of crime - resulted in false confessions and no reassessment of the charges as conflicting evidence came in. This left a brutal rapist on the streets and robbed five innocent kids of their youth, all of whom served out their full terms. District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, after directing a thorough re-investigation when the actual rapist came forward and confessed, and realizing his office's mistakes, joined with the defense to request that the convictions be vacated, which was instantly granted by Judge Charles Tejada.

Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories, an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.

The Central Park Five


  1. Hey, just to be clear:  If you’re not a minority and you don’t have a lot of money and a prosecutor wants to put you in prison, you will be imprisoned.  Three guys from West Memphis, Arkansas can tell you all about that.  And note that a lot of minorities with money (Chuck D, Ice-T, etc.) helped correct that injustice.  

    The biggest factor in whether one goes to prison for any given offense is one’s income level, overwhelmingly so.  It’s a disgrace which shouldn’t take a back seat to any other form of institutionalized prejudice, ever.

  2. Racial tensions, sure (Crown Heights, Tawana Brawley, etc,) but NYC was hardly “decaying” any more by the late 80s.

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