6 C
London
Friday, December 2, 2022

Sixth teen charged in Central Park Jogger case acquitted

Must read

Who is YouTuber GravyCatMan? How rich is he? Real name

What is GravyCatMan's real name? GravyCatMan, also known as GrumpyGravy, is said to have been born in the US, but has concealed his date of...

Kamaldeen Sulemana – Wiki, age, girlfriend, net worth, height, career

Kamaldeen Sulemanaborn 15 February 2002, and known as Kamaldeen, is a Ghanaian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Ligue 1 club Rennes...

The teen who was denied the chance to be with her father when he was executed says ‘the justice system failed me’

Khorry Ramey entered the state penitentiary in Bonne Terre, Missouri, Tuesday morning to visit her father, Kevin Johnson, for the last time. Prison guards...

Google testing end-to-end encryption for group chats in Messages app • londonbusinessblog.com

Google said today it is testing end-to-end encryption for RCS-based group chats on its Messages app — RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. ...
Shreya Christinahttps://londonbusinessblog.com
Shreya has been with londonbusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider londonbusinessblog.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

A forgotten Central Park Five co-defendant, who, like her, was charged with raping a jogger in a case that shocked New York City and the nation is expected to overturn a related conviction Monday.

The case against the Five — teenagers of color who were innocent of assaulting a white woman in 1989 but were convicted on false confessions provoked by police — continues to shape attitudes to racism in the criminal justice system, media outlets say and society write big. But the story of the sixth man – Steven Lopez – had previously been virtually ignored.

Mr. Lopez, who was arrested when he was 15, struck a deal with prosecutors two years later just before his trial to avoid the more serious charges of rape, instead pleading guilty to theft of a male jogger.

Like his peers, he went to prison; collectively, the group served nearly 45 years. Shortly after the true attacker in the 2002 Central Park rape was identified, authorities quashed the rape convictions against the five men. They have won a $41 million settlement from New York City and have become the subject of movies, books, and television shows.

But Mr Lopez, now 48, has received no settlement money or media attention, and his story is much less known.

His robbery conviction is expected to be thrown out Monday in a Manhattan courthouse. The waiver will be the first under Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, who swore during his two years on the campaign trail to support the work of the office’s wrongful sentencing unit.

A lawyer for Mr. Lopez declined to comment ahead of the hearing. It is not clear whether Mr Lopez has had any contact with the men now sometimes referred to as the acquitted five: Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam.

“We’re talking about the Central Park Five, the Exonerated Five, but there were six people on that charge,” Bragg said. “And the other five who were charged were released. And now it’s time to have Mr. Lopez’s charges dropped.”

Lopez was 15 when he was arrested and charged with the rape of the jogger, 28-year-old investment banker Trisha Meili. Mr. Lopez was also charged with the robbery of a male jogger in the park that same night, April 19, 1989.

According to the review of his case, conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Unit, Mr. Lopez had been arrested in Central Park after a series of assaults broke out, including that of the male jogger who was thrown to the ground and beaten. .

Police detained the teens at a police station for hours and hours, pushing them on details of what had happened in the park. The teens, who were aged between 14 and 16, said they blamed each other for the crime.

mr. Lopez spent about 20 hours in a cell before being questioned. His parents, who were not native English speakers, were present, but there were no translators. After nearly two and a half hours of interrogation, a detective wrote down a statement that Mr. Lopez and his father signed.

The statement placed Mr. Lopez at the scene of the attack on the male jogger. But despite aggressive interrogations, Mr. Lopez refused to say he had been involved in the attack on Ms. Meili.

While several of the other teens, who were questioned under similar compulsion, said Mr Lopez had committed crimes against both the male and female jogger, there was no forensic evidence linking him to the attack on the male jogger. However, forensic investigators have determined that a hair on Mr. Lopez’s clothing may belong to the female jogger. (It was later determined that the original study’s analysis of strands of hair was unreliable.)

Ms. Meili had been beaten up and left for dead. Details of the crime horrified New York City and ignited racial tensions. Mr Lopez and the other five boys were charged with rape. (Mrs. Meili remained anonymous for more than a decade after the attack before identifying herself; she has objected to the settlement and believes more than one person attacked her.)

The teens arrested that night, all black or Hispanic, were treated as symptoms of a city descending into crime-ridden chaos. They were convicted by the police, prosecutors, the media and a famous real estate developer, Donald J. Trump, who ran full-page advertisements in the city’s newspapers calling for the death penalty. They were often referred to as “beasts” or a “wolf pack”, as if they weren’t humans.

Their trials came the year before Rodney King’s brutal beatings, and many Americans at the time were ignorant of the extent of police misconduct and the coercive tactics that could lead to false confessions.

It was decided that the six teenagers accused of the rape would be tried in three separate proceedings. Mr McCray, Mr Salaam and Mr Santana were convicted on August 18, 1990. Mr. Richardson and Mr. Wise were convicted on December 11, 1990.

A month later, just as his trial was due to begin, prosecutors offered Mr. Lopez a plea deal in which he would plead guilty to first-degree robbery in exchange for dropping the rape charges. Mr. Lopez agreed and was sentenced to one and a half to four and a half years in state prison.

In February 2002, DNA evidence showed that an uncharged suspect, Matias Reyes, had assaulted the jogger. mr. Reyes, who was serving a prison sentence for a separate rape and murder, confessed to the crime.

That year, then-Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau switched to throw out the rape convictions over police chief’s objections. In the trial that followed the Central Park Five acquittal, it emerged that some of those willing to testify against Mr. Lopez denied their previous statements about his guilt. One of them said he didn’t mention Mr Lopez until after hearing the name from police detectives.

In 2014, the Central Park Five received $41 million from New York City. Once upon a time, the five teens had imagined to many people a city on the verge of spiraling out of control. But their story symbolized America’s overblown legal system, media credulity, and American society’s deep-seated racism toward black and brown youth.

Until Monday, Mr. Lopez had been a forgotten element in their story. He was not featured in Ken Burns’ 2012 documentary about the case, and no actor who played him appeared in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 television drama of the case, “When They See Us.”

Mr. Lopez’s story was ignored, in part because he pleaded guilty. (Another defendant, Michael Briscoe, pleaded guilty to assaulting a third jogger; his conviction still stands.) He served more than three years of his sentence and did not appeal his conviction.

Instead, nearly 20 years after the acquittals of his co-defendants, Mr. Lopez quietly re-introduced himself to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in February 2021, requesting that his conviction be reviewed. The following month, the office agreed and began reviewing the case.

On the trail, Mr. Bragg, who often talks about the experience of the Exonerated Five, made the revamped unit a central premise of his campaign, and upon taking office recruited Terri S. Rosenblatt, well known in New York legal circles for hair. working on criminal defense and civil rights cases, to lead it.

Ms Rosenblatt said Mr Lopez’s acquittal was notable as an example of something that happens all too often: an innocent defendant pleads guilty.

“We talk a lot about wrongful convictions, but there can also be IOUs that are wrongful,” she said. “And our understanding now of people falsely confessing translates to people sometimes even falsely admitting in court to a crime they didn’t commit.”

Bragg, who became the first district attorney in Black Manhattan in January, was a 15-year-old teenager living in Harlem when the Central Park case first made headlines. He recalled talking effortlessly about the young men’s experiences, saying that he had played basketball and had driven the bus past the same park where the events that led to their arrests had taken place.

Bragg was a friend of Ken Thompson, the first prosecutor in Black Brooklyn and who before his death in 2016 became known for the work of a unit that re-examined questionable convictions.

Such work was “a cornerstone of the administration of justice,” Bragg said. And he stressed that, in times of public concern about security — as was the case in 1989 and as it is again today — exemptions such as Mr Lopez’s could help restore confidence in the function of the justice system.

“I’m more than humbled to be in a position to really replicate that work,” he said.

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

Who is YouTuber GravyCatMan? How rich is he? Real name

What is GravyCatMan's real name? GravyCatMan, also known as GrumpyGravy, is said to have been born in the US, but has concealed his date of...

Kamaldeen Sulemana – Wiki, age, girlfriend, net worth, height, career

Kamaldeen Sulemanaborn 15 February 2002, and known as Kamaldeen, is a Ghanaian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Ligue 1 club Rennes...

The teen who was denied the chance to be with her father when he was executed says ‘the justice system failed me’

Khorry Ramey entered the state penitentiary in Bonne Terre, Missouri, Tuesday morning to visit her father, Kevin Johnson, for the last time. Prison guards...

Google testing end-to-end encryption for group chats in Messages app • londonbusinessblog.com

Google said today it is testing end-to-end encryption for RCS-based group chats on its Messages app — RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. ...

Hate speech is on the rise on Twitter under Elon Musk, reports show

Elon Musk claimed last week that "hate speech impressions" on Twitter had dropped by a third since he took over the company.But the overall...