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False Confessions: Reexamining the Central Park Five

Posted by Seth Chazin | Jul 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

False Confessions: Reexamining the Central Park Five

In 1989 a white female jogger was brutally attacked in New York City's Central Park. National media coverage and public outrage focused on five black and Latino teenagers who were caught in the unforgiving gears of the criminal justice system. The teenagers all admitted to the rape and beating and served prison sentences of six to thirteen years.

In 2002, however, a shocking turn of events brought this case back to life when another man confessed to crime, and was later verified as the sole rapist through DNA testing. The convictions of the Central Park Five were overturned following this revelation, but many were left wondering how it was possible that those teenagers admitted to a crime they did not commit.

A new documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns explores the disturbing ability and willingness of police to psychologically manipulate people into confessing to things they have not done.

Learn more about Central Park Five here.

About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 30 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.


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“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson