Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019

Journal Title




In 1989 a young white woman running through New York’s Central Park was seized, brutally beaten, raped, and dumped in a ravine. Miraculously, she survived, despite extensive injuries and a complete loss of memory. Five black and brown teenagers from Harlem, labeled the Central Park Five, were quickly apprehended and, after twenty-four hours of questioning without legal counsel, confessed to the crime. Although they were all minors, some as young as fourteen, the New York Police Department publicly released their names. Angry demands for punishment filled the local and national media. In subsequent trials, all five were found guilty and swallowed up by the New York prison system. However, they were innocent.