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2002-12-20

Central Park 5 Are Cleared! Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Throws Out the Convictions of the Five African-American and Latino Young Men Who Were Imprisoned for Up to 12 Years

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Manhattan state Supreme Court Charles Tejada yesterday threw out the convictions of the five young African-American and Latino men who were imprisoned in the famous Central Park Jogger case.

Whoops and cheers erupted from supporters and family members. One person yelled, 'Reparations!', another called out "Black power!"

The ruling comes two weeks after the Manhattan DA asked the judge to vacate the convictions ­ and more than a decade after the five were originally found guilty. Each boy spent up to 13 years in prison.

Serial rapist Matias Reyes admitted earlier this year he alone raped and nearly beat the Central Park Jogger to death on the night of April 19, 1989. DNA testing matched his claim.

The Central Park Five gave videotaped confessions. But their testimony was deeply flawed. At times they were wrong on when, where and how the attack took place. Nonetheless two different juries convicted the men on a variety of charges including attempted murder and rape.

Tape:

  • Angela Cuffie, sister of Kevin Richardson, 12/19/02.
  • Deloris Wise, mother of Kharey Wise, 12/19/02.
  • Linda McCray, mother of Antron McCray, 12/19/02.
  • Raymond Santana, Sr., father of Raymond Santana, Jr., 12/19/02.
  • Sharonne Salaam, mother of Yusef Salaam, 12/19/02.

Guests:

  • Roger Wareham, co-counsel for the Central Park Five.
  • Yusef Salaam, his conviction in the Central Park Jogger case was overturned on Thursday.
  • Myron Beldock, attorney for Yusef Salaam.

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