Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Central Park 5 Awarded Additional $3.9M Settlement From New York for Wrongful Imprisonment

central park five
Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Ava DuVernay, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Antron McCay attend Netflix’x FYSEE event for “When They See Us” at Netflix FYSEE At Raleigh Studios on June 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
(Source: Getty Images North America)

*Two years after receiving a $41 million wrongful conviction payout from New York City, the Central Park Five collected an additional $3.9 million from the state.

The settlement was for the economic and emotional ruin the five men endured caused by their imprisonment as teens for the 1989 rape and assault of a jogger in Central Park, the New York Daily News reports. Their convictions were later overturned in 2002 after serial rapist Matias Reyes admitted to the attack and DNA evidence backed up his confession.

“I understand people say it’s a lot of money. The reality is there’s no amount of money that would adequately compensate them,” attorney Jonathan Moore told the publication. “They’ve suffered every day since 1989 and they’re still suffering.”

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The settlement gave plaintiffs Raymond Santana $500,000, Antron McCray $600,000, and Yusef Salaam and Kevin Richardson $650,000 each. Korey Wise received $1.5 million since he was imprisoned for the longest time.

The Central Park Five is the subject of Ava DuVernay’s new Netflix series, “When They See Us.” Since its release last month, the case’s prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, was forced to resign from a number of charity boards following backlash over the series, and has been dropped by her publisher Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The online campaign called #CancelLindaFairstein also forced Fairstein to shut down her social media accounts.

In related news, Michael B. Jordan presented the Central Park Five men with the courage award at the ACLU SoCal’s 25th Annual Luncheon in Los Angeles on Friday, June 7.

“It’s dangerous in America when you’re living in a black body,” Jordan said.

Jordan praised the men — Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — for their courage during the event in which the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California honored the Netflix’s series.

“The whole time that these men were incarcerated, they never changed their story,” he said. “They insisted of their innocence even as they did their time.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. CAN WE, THE BLACK COMMUNITY, STOP CALLING THEM “THE CENTRAL PARK 5.” It still makes them SOUND like a gang and they never were anything but beautiful Black and brown boys who were railroaded! #TheExonerated5 But I hope someone offers some counseling for all of these WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS that are unable to ever get back the time and the dignity stolen in prison. Some of these men are TRAUMATIZED in ways we never want to discuss.

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