Linda Fairstein's claims "When they see us", Netflix Doc is wrong in WSJ Op-Ed



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Linda Fairstein

New York Daily News ArchiveGetty Images

Deal with a Netflix series game When they see us, Attorney Linda Fairstein was dropped by her long-time book publisher and resigned from boards of directors of various non-profit organizations. She now claims that the boys known as Central Park Five – Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise – were not completely innocent, though they were exonerated after the serial release of rapist Matias Reyes, confessed to the attack on the Central Park jogger in 2002 and DNA confirmed his testimony.

After being exonerated, the men sued New York City for court action, racial discrimination and emotional distress in 2014, winning a $ 41 million wrongful conviction. And then, two years later, they received $ 3.9 million in another settlement with the state. And yet, Fairstein continues to try to link men to the crime of three decades, as well as to other attacks that would have occurred in the park that night.

She writes in a the Wall Street newspaper op-ed:

The confession, the DNA correspondence and the statements of Mr. Reyes, claiming that he acted alone, required that the rape charges against the five men be set aside. I agree with this decision and I always do it. But the other charges, for crimes against other victims, should not have been released. None of what Mr. Reyes said has exonerated these five attacks. And there was certainly more than enough evidence to support these convictions of first degree aggression, robbery, riot and others.

This is not the first time since the exemption that Fairstein has taken this position. In 2002, she told the New Yorker: "I think Reyes ran with this pack of kids.He stayed longer when the others left.He finished the assault.I do not think anyone present during the interrogation think of a participant issue, not only in the other attacks of the night, but in the attack of the jogger ".

But the lawyer who represented Richardson, Santana, McCray and Salaam in two settlements against the city after the five men had been exonerated, explains how the new investigation of the case proved that Fairstein's claims were false.

The FYSEE event of Netflix for "When they see us"

Director Ava DuVernay with Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Antron McCray at the film's premiere When they see us

David LivingstonGetty Images

"We know that Matias Reyes committed the crime because his DNA confirmed it.When the prosecutor re-examined the case, they concluded that he was acting alone.First, it was its mode of operation for its nine rapes and murders committed in this part of New York in the winter and spring of 1989, "Jonathan Moore tells me. "By definition, these statements are false and the question they do not want to answer – Fairstein, all the detectives – throughout this story is how did these children get the information that was in their statements? And the only answer is that's why the city paid $ 41 million to settle the case because they knew they were going to lose because of it. "

In his editorial, Fairstein also tries to connect Richardson, Santana, McCray, Salaam and Wise to other attacks in the park that night. But Moore says the five men denied any involvement in these incidents.

"They had these black and brown children in the compound, then they found that woman's body in the park brutally beaten, sadistically assaulted and, without a wink, they assume that those who the only ones who are 14 years old, 15 years old -year-old boys, "says Moore. "It's a bias. [Fairstein] does not want to admit that she had this bias. Most prosecutors and prosecutors in all these wrongful conviction cases refuse to admit that they could have made a mistake. "

The series describes Fairstein, interpreted by Felicity Huffman, as immediately convinced of the guilt of the boys, despite any material evidence linking them to the crime scene. And that shows that she is leading the investigation, which resulted in false confessions from four of the five boys.

"This op-ed is a classic example of tunnel vision: none of the Five's DNAs were found on the jogger, despite confessions that they forced her to have forced sex," said Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions. an expert on false confessions, tells me. "On the other hand, the DNA of Matias Reyes was found on his sock.And despite an exhaustive investigation of 11 months, the Manhattan Attorney's Office was not able to identify the slightest Reyes was also able to accurately describe and describe the crime scene, while the Five's confessions contained many erroneous basic facts, such as the location of the attack. "

Netflix and Fairstein did not respond to my requests for comment. DuVernay told The Daily Beast that she had contacted Fairstein during the production of the series, but the former prosecutor had asked for the scenario approval. And in a interview with NPRDuVernay said of the prosecution: "The city never apologized, it was arranged, and no one on the prosecution side apologized. remained faithful to the fact that even though the real man had come out and had Even all of this material evidence come from him, were associated with the victim and that it was actually him, and he alone, these people still refuse to recognize that they – without making a mistake – lied.

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