It has emerged that the Central Park Five, the black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of a horrific 1989 crime, received $3.9 million settlement from the New York State Court of Claims in 2016 in addition to the $41 million received in 2014.
The latest settlement was for the economic and emotional ruin the five men endured when they were incarcerated as teens for the 1989 rape and assault of a jogger in Central Park, according to the New York Daily News.
The men – Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise – served between six and 13 years in prison. They were later exonerated in 2002 when rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the attack, with DNA evidence supporting his claim.
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In 2014, the five men received a $41 million settlement from New York City, but it has now been discovered that, in addition to that payout, Korey Wise, the individual who served the longest prison time, also received $1.5 million from the state in 2016.
Former co-defendants Yusef Salaam and Kevin Richardson received $650,000, while Raymond Santana received $500,000 and Antron McCray received $600,000, the NY Daily News report said.
“I understand people say it’s a lot of money. The reality is there’s no amount of money that would adequately compensate them,” Jonathan Moore, one of the attorneys in both settlements said.
“They’ve suffered every day since 1989 and they’re still suffering.”
The Central Park Five case has become the subject of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix film “When They See Us.” Since its release last month, the former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, who was charged with handling the Central Park rape case, was forced to resign from her positions on several charity organizations and at Vassar College.
Fairstein, who criticized the movie, also lost her book deal with Dutton Publishing, after having written 16 New York Times Bestselling crime novels.
The movie has also gained wide attention due to connection to U.S. President Donald Trump.
“In the days after the 1989 crime, Trump took out a full-page ad in the New York Daily News with the headline, “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back the Police.” In the ad, Trump wrote ‘muggers and murders’ “should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes,”’ a report by TheWrap said.
When the five men received the $41 million settlement in 2014, Trump also reportedly called the settlement a “disgrace”, saying that “These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.”
Meanwhile, actor Michael B. Jordan, on June 7, presented the Central Park Five men with the courage award at the ACLU SoCal’s 25th Annual Luncheon in Los Angeles.
Jordan praised the men for their perseverance and courage during a luncheon in which the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California honoured Netflix’s series about their case.
Watch the official trailer of “When They See Us”: