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Old 03-29-2013, 09:38 PM
 
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Has anyone seen this documentary film?

In short, back in 1989, in an infamous incident that I still remember, a young professional woman was jogging through Central Park in New York City. She was viciously attacked, assaulted, and than raped. In the process, her skull was fractured and eye was pushed out of its socket. Because of the circumstances of the assault, she had no memory of what had happened and could not identify a perpetrator.

The police arrested five Latino and African American youths. They were found in close proximity to where the victim was assaulted. After hours of interrogation, the five youths all "confessed" to the crime. Four were sent to juvenile facilities. One was tried as an adult and sentenced to prison. Four youths served approximately six years in youth correctional facilities. The one tried as an adult served twelve years in prison.

One pathetic detail that seems almost unforgivable is that the "confessions" given by the youths contradicted one another in critical details. They couldn't agree on the weapons used or which youth used them. This should have been a red flag that they were unreliable. Yet, the youths still went to jail.

In 2002, someone who was in prison for another sex offense confessed to the crime. DNA testing done confirmed that this was the individual who perpetrated the crime. All five of the youths initially arrested were exonerated of the crime--after they served their sentences.

This leads me to ask a series of questions that I hope you'll think about:

1. Why do such incidents occur?
2. Why do innocent people make false confessions?
3. How can we prevent the reoccurrence of such miscarriages of justice?
4. Should the state attempt to compensate people who are falsely accused and spend years in prison?

Innocence Blog: Six Years Later: The Central Park Jogger Case


The Central Park Five (2012) - IMDb
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:22 PM
 
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I do not like police interrogation methods. And suggest anyone ever being questioned about any crime, say only the truth, and if the conversation is longer than five minutes, lawyer up.

Never go to a police station for questioning and never take a lie detector test. Ever.

If police methods are reduced to bullying for confessions, they are not investigating correctly.

The officers in charge of the procedure should have been terminated, and their pensions withdrawn. Proceeds could be given to the unjustly accused, and they can pursue civil charges against the officers.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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Young people make confessions like these because they are basically told to by authority figures who tell them "things will go better for you if you say what I'm suggesting you say." They are just kids and do not understand what they are getting into.

Remember the two cops who took Jeff Dahmer's word for it that the drugged, naked, bleeding 14-year-old who escaped from his apartment was really his adult lover who ran out of the place after a spat? Remember what happened next? Those guys were fired for getting Konarek Sinthasomphone killed, but 2 years later they were reinstated with full benefits, as if they had been working as police those whole 2 years. The police simply are not accountable enough.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,213 posts, read 54,678,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I do not like police interrogation methods. And suggest anyone ever being questioned about any crime, say only the truth, and if the conversation is longer than five minutes, lawyer up.

Never go to a police station for questioning and never take a lie detector test. Ever.

If police methods are reduced to bullying for confessions, they are not investigating correctly.

The officers in charge of the procedure should have been terminated, and their pensions withdrawn. Proceeds could be given to the unjustly accused, and they can pursue civil charges against the officers.
I agree with this. Almost 20 years ago, I was on a jury for a murder trial. One thing that I learned from that trial was that, even if you have nothing to do with the crime, if you are interviewed by the police in relation to a crime, get a lawyer. They can take the most innocent thing you say and use it in court to make it seem like something you never meant just to make their case. I saw this tactic used on the girlfriend of the defendant (who, by way, WAS guilty). She was not accused of anything, just a witness, yet the prosecutor ripped her to shreds on the stand. It was pretty brutal.

The other thing I learned was that if you don't have any money and all you get is a public defender, you're sunk. One of the kids (aged 14) on the periphery of the crime probably would never have gone to prison for 15 years if his single, impoverished mother had been able to afford a lawyer.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:22 PM
 
Location: So Ca
15,805 posts, read 15,046,279 times
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Sad to think that people continue to be stereotyped by ethnicity.

"The Central Park jogger case set a record (and served as a symbol) for brutality–it was a violent rape in which the victim was also badly beaten, leading to a lengthy hospitalization.

Five teenagers, ranging in age from 14 to 16 years, who had been implicated in a separate series of muggings, were questioned about the rape. The boys were black; the victim was white. Some say that things began to go wrong right there–that the race factor trumped a search for the truth. The idea of a roving gang of black boys brutally beating and raping a white woman fit the schema of the public’s fear of African-Americans and of teenage gangs.

All of the boys made statements to the police, though not one of them admitted to actually having intercourse with the victim. The search for the perpetrator stopped."
The False Confessions in the Central Park Jogger Case Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:20 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,359,291 times
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I don't know enough abouit thew case to say why they originally thought it was a black person. The jogger herself had no memory of the crime so it couldn't have come from her. Does anyone know?
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