Pretty amazing doc about five wrongfully convicted teenage boys. They were accused of raping and mangling a young woman that was jogging in central park one night in 1989. She almost died from the incident too but was able to recover. Unfortunately she couldn’t remember anything about the event so she couldn’t help the boys out.
This story is heartbreaking as all hell and also incredibly frustrating because the American justice system completely failed here. All of the major components (the cops, the lawyers and the jury) didn’t prevent the wrong people from going to jail for seven and thirteen years. You would think and hope that this bullshit would’ve been stopped at some point before getting too far but that didn’t happen. Even in the face of DNA evidence that didn’t match up with any of the boys’ the assistant DA still went through with prosecuting them.
The Central Park Five case is the same thing that happened to the West Memphis Three (the Paradise Lost trilogy is excellent by the way). They were all scapegoats in crimes they had absolutely nothing to do with. It’s incredibly tragic and depressing to see innocent folks getting their lives taken away from them, especially at such young ages (like 14). But they’re powerful stories that need to be told so we don’t make the same mistakes again.
It’ll be interesting to see if Ken Burns does more of these crime docs in the future. He nailed this one and I’d love to see more.