The exonerated 'Central Park Five' settle with New York City for $40 million

The exonerated 'Central Park Five' settle with New York City for $40 million
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

These five: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam, were falsely convicted of the 1989 beating and rape of a jogger in Central Park. Now middle-aged, they were between 14 and 16 when they were arrested, and their trial has since become infamous as an example of systematic bigotry throughout the criminal justice system and the media. Confessions were coerced from children in an atmosphere of frenzied racial hysteria, and clear indications that the five were not involved were ignored. They were exonerated in 2002 on DNA evidence and a confession from another man, Matias Reyes.

Since that time, they've been fighting New York City on a civil rights case. Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought the case for years, insisting the city had acted appropriately, but new mayor Bill de Blasio has apparently followed through on his promise to put this case to rest. The $40 million settlement makes for roughly $1 million for each year the men spent in prison.

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Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. His work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post.