Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:14 PM
graham4anything (11,464 posts)
Recently posters here wrote- "No one pleads guilty who isn't. No one resigns who isn't guilty" ...
On a couple of different threads lately, one about Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and on the gun threads where I argue anti-gun, anti-NRA to the gun groupies
twice I ran into that wrong argument.
They said No one quits their postion who isn't guilty. And No one pleads guilty if they are not guilty.
Well, reading the Friday newspapers, I was reminded by a new movie that indeed shows how not one, not two, BUT FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE all pleaded in separate pleas, Guilty, yet later all five were found to be 100% innocent of anything to do with that incident in the first place.
The movie is directed by Ken Burns, and is a real life documentary.
CENTRAL PARK FIVE (the crime of the century).
And for those that may not remember this story, engrained in the minds of most New Yorkers when it happened in 1989, a beautiful young woman was jogging in New York's Central Park.
This story was one of the clearest stories about racism in America, the lynching (proverbially of four Black kids and one Hispanic kid) and how police acting 100% wrong.
(and I wonder if then was now, if OWS would sneeringly refer to her as one of the 1%).
She herself wrote a book under her name, and speaks out under her name, so her name is mentioned within).
from wiki-the free use encyclopedia online-(and footnotes are available at the link)-
The Central Park Jogger case involved the assault and rape of a female jogger in New York City's Central Park on April 19, 1989. Five juvenile males—four black and one Hispanic—were tried and convicted for the crime. The convictions were vacated in 2002 when another man claimed to have committed the crime alone and DNA evidence confirmed his involvement in the rape.
Trisha Meili (born June 24, 1960) was the victim often described in the media as the Central Park Jogger. Born and raised in Paramus, New Jersey and Pittsburgh, Meili was a Phi Beta Kappa economics major at Wellesley College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts. She later earned a Master of Arts from Yale University, and a Master of Business Administration from Yale School of Management. She worked at the Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers. Meili was referred to simply as the "Central Park Jogger" in most media accounts of the incident. However, local television stations did release her name in the days immediately following the attack, and two newspapers aimed at the African-American community, The City Sun and the Amsterdam News, and radio station WLIB continued to do so as the case progressed. In 2003, Meili confirmed her identity to the media, published a memoir entitled I Am the Central Park Jogger, and began a career as an inspirational speaker
On April 19, 1989, the slightly-built 28-year-old investment banker was violently assaulted while jogging in New York City's Central Park. She was raped and beaten almost to death. When found about four hours later, she was suffering from severe hypothermia and blood loss from multiple lacerations and internal bleeding, and her skull had been fractured so badly that her left eye was removed from the socket. The initial medical prognosis was that she would die or, at best, remain in a permanent coma due to her injuries. Remarkably, she largely recovered, with some lingering disabilities related to balance and loss of vision. As a result of the severe trauma, she had no memory of the attack or of any events up to an hour preceding the assault.
The crime, one of 3,254 rapes reported in New York City that year, was unique in the level of public outrage it provoked. New York Governor Mario Cuomo told the New York Post, "This is the ultimate shriek of alarm."
According to a police investigation, the culprits were gangs of teenagers who would assault strangers as part of an activity that became known as "wilding". New York City detectives said the word was used by the suspects themselves to describe their actions to police.
This account has been disputed by other journalists, who say that it originated in a police detective's misunderstanding of the suspects' use of the phrase "doing the wild thing", lyrics from Tone Lōc's hit song "Wild Thing". April 19 was known to have been a night when such a gang attack occurred, in which the suspects had entered the park in Harlem with over 30 acquaintances. Contrary to normal police procedure, which stipulates that the names of suspects under the age of sixteen are also to be withheld, the names of the juveniles arrested in this case were released to the press before any of them had been formally arraigned or indicted, including one 14-year-old who was ultimately not charged. The mainstream media's decision to print the names, photos, and addresses of the juvenile suspects while withholding Meili's identity was cited by the editors of the City Sun and the Amsterdam News to explain their own continued use of Meili's name in their coverage of the story. While many teenage suspects were identified (or identified themselves) as participants in the Central Park assaults that night — although not necessarily in the attack on Meili — only five, known later as the Central Park Five, were brought to trial.
All five were convicted in 1990. Four of the juveniles charged — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Kharey Wise — officially confessed to the crime, and each implicated the others. A fifth suspect, Yusef Salaam, made verbal admissions, but refused to sign a confession or make one on videotape. Salaam was, however, implicated by all of the other four and convicted. Salaam's supporters and attorneys charged on appeal that he had been held by police without access to parents or guardians, but as the majority appellate court decision noted, that was because Salaam had initially lied to police in claiming to be 16, and had backed up his claim with a transit pass that indeed (falsely, as it turned out) said that he was 16. If a suspect has reached 16 years of age, his parents or guardians no longer have a right to accompany him during police questioning, or to refuse to permit him to answer any questions. When Salaam informed police of his true age, police permitted his mother to be present.
ConfessionsAlthough the suspects (except Salaam) had confessed on videotape in the presence of a parent or guardian, they retracted their statements within weeks, claiming that they had been intimidated, lied to, and coerced into making false confessions. The detectives had indeed used ruses to convince the suspects to confess, with Salaam confessing to having been present only after he was told that fingerprints were found on the victim's clothing. While the confessions themselves were videotaped, the hours of interrogation that preceded the confessions were not.
No DNA evidence tied the suspects to the crime, so the prosecution's case rested almost entirely on the confessions. In fact, analysis indicated that the DNA collected at the crime scene did not match any of the suspects — and that the crime scene DNA had all come from a single, as yet unknown person.
One of the suspects' supporters, Reverend Calvin O. Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, told the New York Times, "The first thing you do in the United States of America when a white woman is raped is round up a bunch of black youths, and I think that's what happened here."
Convictions vacatedIn 2002, another man's confession, plus DNA evidence confirming his crime, led the district attorney's office to recommend vacating the convictions of the teenagers originally accused and sentenced to prison. In 2002, convicted rapist and murderer Matias Reyes, serving a life sentence for other crimes but not, at that point, associated by the police with the attack on Meili, declared that he had committed the assault when he was 17, and that he had acted alone. The DNA evidence confirmed his participation in the crime and identified him as the sole contributor of the semen found in and on the victim "to a factor of one in 6,000,000,000 people". Supporters of the five defendants again claimed their confessions had been coerced. An examination of the inconsistencies between their confessions led the prosecutor to question the veracity of the confessions. District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau's office wrote:
"A comparison of the statements reveals troubling discrepancies. ... The accounts given by the five defendants differed from one another on the specific details of virtually every major aspect of the crime — who initiated the attack, who knocked the victim down, who undressed her, who struck her, who held her, who raped her, what weapons were used in the course of the assault, and when in the sequence of events the attack took place. ... In many other respects the defendants' statements were not corroborated by, consistent with, or explanatory of objective, independent evidence. And some of what they said was simply contrary to established fact."
Based on Reyes' confession, the DNA evidence, and the questionable confessions, Morgenthau recommended that the convictions be vacated. In light of the "extraordinary circumstances" of the case, the prosecutor recommended that the court vacate not only the convictions related to the assault and rape of Meili, but also those for the other crimes to which the defendants had confessed. The rationale was that the defendants' confessions to the other crimes were made at the same time, and in the same statements, as those related to the attack on Meili. Had the newly discovered evidence been available at the original trials, it might have made the juries question whether any part of the defendants' confessions were trustworthy. Morgenthau's recommendation to vacate the convictions was strongly opposed by Linda Fairstein, who had overseen the original prosecution but had since left the District Attorney's office. The five defendants' convictions were vacated by New York Supreme Court Justice Charles J. Tejada on December 19, 2002. As Morgenthau recommended, Tejada's order vacated the convictions for all the crimes of which the defendants had been convicted.
Despite the analysis conducted by the District Attorney's office, New York City detectives maintained that the defendants had "most likely" been Reyes' accomplices in the assault and rape of Meili. Members of the medical crew who treated her stated her injuries were not consistent with Reyes' claim of how he acted alone. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly complained that Morgenthau's staff had denied his detectives access to "important evidence" needed to conduct a thorough investigation. This claim notwithstanding, no indictments, convictions or disciplinary actions were ever taken against District Attorney's office staff members. All of the defendants had completed their prison sentences at the time of Tejada's order, which only had the effect of clearing their names. However one defendant, Santana, remained in jail, convicted of a later, unrelated crime, although his attorney said that his sentence in that case had been extended because of his conviction in the Meili attack. All five were removed from New York State's sex offender registry.
In 2003, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana Jr., and Antron McCray sued the city for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress. As of late 2009, the suit is yet to be settled.
In 2009, filmmaker Ken Burns announced plans to make a film about the case, which he compared to the Scottsboro Boys case. He refers to the convicted as the "Central Park Five". The film premiered in May 2012. In October 2012, New York City subpoenaed the production company for access to the original footage. The City is refusing to settle the suits, citing the "confessions that withstood intense scrutiny, in full and fair pretrial hearings and at two lengthy public trials
11 replies, 1184 views
Recently posters here wrote- "No one pleads guilty who isn't. No one resigns who isn't guilty" ... (Original post)
|Joe Shlabotnik||Nov 2012||#6|
Response to graham4anything (Original post)
Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:21 PM
brewens (4,172 posts)
1. John Grisham gives a great account of how cops can get a confession in his book
"An Innocent Man". You think it can't happen to you and you're probably right, if your a middle class white person. If you're a minority in a high crime area, your odds of something like that happening increase exponentially.
Response to graham4anything (Original post)
Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:42 PM
dogknob (2,008 posts)
3. I was convicted of a misdemeanor nobody ever gets charged with...
...it's one of those "deals" you take when you only have the budget for a public pretender.
Response to dogknob (Reply #3)
Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:20 PM
white_wolf (5,795 posts)
7. Not all public defenders are bad... I'm considering it.
Last edited Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:55 PM - Edit history (1)
Though, student loan debt may very well make that impossible. The main problem with most public defenders is the simple fact that they are extremely overworked. I just recently read about an article that pointed out that in Florida a busy lawyer might take a 100 cases a year. The average public defender in the same state has 550 felony cases or 610 misdemeanor cases a year to deal with.
Response to graham4anything (Original post)
Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:01 PM
cali (104,598 posts)
5. no, no one said that. they said quite specifically
that Jesse Jackson Jr is making a plea deal and resigning because he is guilty. This is not a poor teenage but a powerful man. Of course people plead guilty when they're not, but your argument that Jesse Jackson Jr has been framed and is innocent doesn't have any legs on which to stand.
Response to graham4anything (Original post)
Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:24 PM
WilliamPitt (58,134 posts)
8. "(and I wonder if then was now, if OWS would sneeringly refer to her as one of the 1%)"
So full of shit I can smell it from here.
Your agenda is showing, Failbot.