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The Central Park "wilding" boys

Watching that Ken Burns doc makes me wonder why they would just make up stories about attacking that woman? Low IQ? Apparently they were under the delusion that agreeing to everything would be their ticket home.

by Anonymousreply 5210/28/2013

They were under that delusion because the cops told them that. Do you remember being that age? You are all impulses with no conscious control over your thoughts, no logic, and certainly no understanding of the legal process. You go from thought to feeling to action in a moment. If you're in a bad situation, and someone says here's what you have to do to get out of it, you do it. You seem dumb and/or mean, OP.

by Anonymousreply 104/17/2013

Wonderful documentary. I remember when the assault happened and the outrage and venomous anger towards the four youths. But, I remember hearing very little when it was determined that the whole thing was a big clusterfuck. What is interesting is that the four defendants were taken into custody and denied access to their parents (even the minors) and were under the belief that they were in trouble for rolling a drunk (which they did). Then, hours later - it was about the vicious assault of the jogger. The cops, after wearing the boys down, said, basically, to each, " I know you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time... if you just tell me what X did, you can go right home." And each cracked and told the story that the cops fed. A case study in the power of pressure to elicit false confessions. I am a prosecutor and ever since I watch the doc., I look at all confession based cases with a much more cautious eye.

by Anonymousreply 204/17/2013

It has to be tough to teach children about cops. I'd want to tell them "never trust a cop", especially if they were non-white males, but then there would be that one time where they should. I wonder if teens today would be more savvy and get a lawyer or at least know not to ever admit to a crime they didn't commit.

by Anonymousreply 304/17/2013

The cops tell them they're looking at a life term.

"Confess and we'll go easy on you. Tell us what happened and we can make a deal with the DA's office. 'Cuz you're going down. We got witnesses. Your friends have already confessed and they said that you were the one who beat her senseless and nearly killed her. They said they begged you to stop, but you were like an animal. Is that what you did? Are ou the one who did that? Or did you maybe just hold her own while the others took turns? "

I have to say, it was disappointing to hear all of them talking about how "other people" were beating up homeless people, trying to pull a cyclist off his bike, etc. they were the ones who were doing those things. I wish they'd been honest enough to say that's hat they were doing and that's why they got caught by the police. They made it sound as if they were wide-eyed innocents in a trance watching all these "other people" doing this stuff.

by Anonymousreply 404/17/2013

Do the cops videotape all of their questioning or just parts of it? Can't a defense counsel use parts of the video where the cops are feeding information to the suspects?

by Anonymousreply 504/17/2013

It is generally considered standard procedure to record (audio and visual) all custodial interviews. However, sometimes, a good deal of information is exchanged prior to the suspect being "in custody" and thereby having their miranda protections activated.

by Anonymousreply 604/17/2013

People get worn down during questioning and give false confessions. Sometimes under the belief that they will be helping themselves. The fact that one would do something apparently dumb after many hours of interrogation is not a reflection on one's IQ. It is a reflection on the coercive and effective - though far from reliable - techniques used during long term police questioning.

by Anonymousreply 704/17/2013

The police are like CNN: they just want it now, true or not.

by Anonymousreply 804/17/2013

I remember reading an interview with a police officer where he talked about the advantage they have when questioning suspects. When in an interrogation room, oftentimes the only overriding thought people have is that they have to get out.

It's completely irrational, but all the human brain can focus on is that they're trapped in this room in a big building and there's no way out and they have to get out. After enough time, they'll do or say anything they have to in order to get out of the room.

by Anonymousreply 904/17/2013

They also prevent people from eating, drinking, peeing or smoking while trying to wheedle a confession out of them. "I'll tell me if you give me a cigarette. I'll tell you if you get me a coke."

by Anonymousreply 1004/17/2013

Is the Ken Burns documentary worth watching?

by Anonymousreply 1104/17/2013

If you are at a police station being questioned, you ask them, "Am I free to go?" You can be held for 24 hours but after that, they need to charge you in order to keep you in custody. So if you are not free to go, ask if you are being charged with a crime.

They wheedle confessions during that 24 hour period, before being charged. Because you don't read someone their Miranda rights unless they are being arrested and charged with a crime. So, during that 24 hour questioning time period, they don't need to remind you that anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court if law.

by Anonymousreply 1204/17/2013

Those who believe Amanda Knox "confessed" and implicated her boss right out of the blue, take heed. This is SOP for police around the world. It works very well with young people who are not used to being in custody of an authoritative government official (which cops are -- village, town, county, state or fed employees) without mommy or daddy or somebody who's on their side.

by Anonymousreply 1304/17/2013

EXCELLENT documentary. I find that PBS airs some of the finest television imaginable.

"The Central Park 5" has haunted me since watching it. It's a detailed study of how the perception of a crime (through the lens of race, gender, socio-economic status, and language) can completely alter the investigative and judicial process.

R4, is there evidence that implicates the boys in throwing rocks at cars, beating up a homeless man, pulling cyclists off their bikes, etc.? Or, were the boys just bystanders in a gang? I was wondering about that part myself.

by Anonymousreply 1404/17/2013

The stuff about Koch running around saying that anything other than a guilty verdict would be a failure of the justice system was chilling.

by Anonymousreply 1504/17/2013

And that part about Trump taking out the ad demanding reinstatement of the death penaly for a group of 14 year olds ... truly disgusting. He repulses me.

Pat Buchanan actually suggested a Central Park lynching for the defendants.

by Anonymousreply 1604/17/2013

Did they ever find out who was responsible for that horrific attack?

by Anonymousreply 1704/17/2013

[quote] The stuff about Koch running around saying that anything other than a guilty verdict would be a failure of the justice system was chilling

Ed Koch was a twisted, loathsome closet case. I will never call the 59th St/Queensborough bridge the Ed Koch bridge and I ask others not to do it.

by Anonymousreply 1804/17/2013

Try watching the docu, R17.

by Anonymousreply 1904/17/2013

[quote] Did they ever find out who was responsible for that horrific attack?

Years later the actual attacker confessed and his DNA was a match to DNA evidence from the scene.

by Anonymousreply 2004/17/2013

That piece of shit Fox News reporter Mike Sheehan made the arrest of Mateas Reyes, the deal culprit. Sheehan, a star-fucking NYPD cop, had Reyes DNA. Did he not run it through the system? Or did he run it through the system and get rid of the result when it showed the kids he put away were not guilty?

by Anonymousreply 2104/17/2013

Were they really doing DNA back in '89? I thought that all came about after the OJ trial.

by Anonymousreply 2204/17/2013

They had unidentified DNA from the crime scene.

by Anonymousreply 2304/17/2013

Is this on Netflix? Where can I watch?

by Anonymousreply 2404/17/2013

You can watch the show on PBS's website.

Keep in mind she was found in a mud puddle, in a muddy area. She almost bled out. The boys clothes had no mud or blood on them. How could they have held her down and raped her while she was bleeding (she'd been hit with a tree limb), and be wearing clean clothes?

by Anonymousreply 2504/17/2013

The path left behind from her body being dragged through the grass was also very narrow. If a group of people had raped and dragged her, I imagine that the swath of trampled grass would be much broader.

by Anonymousreply 2604/17/2013

Is this the new West Memphis Three?

by Anonymousreply 2704/17/2013

Did anyone in the following years confront Trump about the death penalty thing after they were found innocent?

by Anonymousreply 2804/17/2013

O

M

F

G

I just found out the real Central Park rapist was captured by police in the lobby of an apartment building in 1989. I remember the case well, since I lived across the street. A part-time doorman caught him. It was in all the papers at the time. He caught him in the lobby. A woman ran out of her apartment screaming and ran to the lobby with Mateas in pursuit. I had looked at apartments in that building when thy were for sale for $99,000 but didn't buy there because I felt it was creepy, dirty and unsafe.

Of course, at the time nobody knew he did the Central Park rape, but there was an East Side rapist on the loose.

by Anonymousreply 2904/17/2013

They may have committed other crimes that night, but there is no evidence linking them to a sexual assault/attempted murder. There is a difference.

by Anonymousreply 3204/17/2013

r25, I'm not defending LEOs here, but I think the assumption was that it could be a multiple party attack with people in different roles.

A few people could be lookouts, for example or not directly involved. Any mud could be scraped off to the point it could be explained by just being in the park generally.

Here's a NY Mag article from 2002 that's quite good.

by Anonymousreply 3304/17/2013

r22, there was no database, and the testing was rudimentary. You also needed a much larger sample than can be tested today.

Nothing I've read ever specifically says that the DNA could have been tested when it was found. (I've read about the case, but I didn't see whole CP5 doc. I'm not a fan of Ken Burns.)

Another point made at the article I linked at r33 was the way the police conducted interviews, specifically broad subject questioning.

by Anonymousreply 3404/17/2013

[quote] Can't a defense counsel use parts of the video where the cops are feeding information to the suspects?

Bwaaaaahhhhh. You think they tape that part? Get real. They feed them info and then rehearse it and THEN they tape it.

[quote] It is generally considered standard procedure to record (audio and visual) all custodial interviews.

No it is not. Though many police have begun to embrace the concept it is a fairly recent development. The defense bar has been fighting for decades to require by law that this be done. Less than half of the states require it in some fashion and to some degree through either legislation or their highest court rulings. Generally there are loopholes so the police can often get away with failure to do so, i.e., they can still use the unrecorded confession as evidence but I haven't seen a recent survey of jurisdictions so this may be improvingw.

In my jurisdiction we finally, finally got a law passed to record custodial interrogations but the US Attorney's Office and the police were able to insert loopholes in the legislation so it doesn't really have any teeth. You don't know how many videos I've seen with no sound for instance or just malfunctions. And how about talking to my client in the transport to the station or at the scene of the arrest?

The Central Park Five case is a disgrace. And, yes, it is beyond incompetent that they did not compare the DNA samples. And, yes, they had DNA capability in 1989. There was a well known (certainly to the police) serial rapist operating in the same area where the Central Park jogger was attacked and there had even been an attack 2 days before the Central Park incident.

The police knew the East Side Rapist had a specific MO and a specific type of target - both fit the Central Park jogger. They knew or should have known when the attack occurred becasue of the time the jogger left her apt and her usual route - she would have been at her attack place when the Central Park 5 were seen by witnesses n another location in the park.

There were a lot of guitly parties in this miscarriage of justice. Mike Sheehan was a detective working on both the East Side Rapist case and the jogger case at the same time. DA Linda Fairstein (more interested in getting ahead and making money) was in charge of these cases, and all the major parties including Morganthau and the trial prosecutor, Elizabeth Lederer, KNEW there was nothing to link these boys to the crime except these carefully fed and manipulated "confessions."

People should read about it - there's a lot more to it - and see the PBS show. It only touches on some of how it became a miscarriage if justice.

Everyone was so positive these boys were guilty as sin and they were all dead wrong. Koch's comments are awful. Another reason why I cringe when I read comments about trial junkies who think they know it all because they buy the government's case hook line and sinker. It is ALWAYS wrong to demonize defendants because it makes objectivity impossible.

So instead of just shutting up, doing the right and decent thing and compensating these boys - now men - for their stolen lives, the City of New York has been fighting their civil lawsuit now for ten years.

by Anonymousreply 3504/17/2013

Police took Reyes DNA after he was caught and then comparwd DNA in other rape cases where there had been unidentified DNA. The DNA in the Central Park rape case was unidentified. it did not match any of the suspects. They could easily have compared the unidentified park DNA with Reyes' DNA, but they didn't bother, since they'd sent a bunch of kids whose DNA didn't match off to prison.

Let me repeat -- there was not one bit of evidence that they raped her. Not a speck of blood on their clothing. No mud on their clothes. No hair or DNA from the suspects on the victim. No victim hair or DNA on the suspects. Nothing from a bloody, muddy, wet crime scene. Their clothes were dry.

by Anonymousreply 3604/17/2013

R30 and R31, both of you are disgusting apologists for the incompetence and maybe deliberate malfeasance of the police and prosecution. There may have been minor offenses being committed but had that been true it would still be completely beside the point. For the record all of them denied they had committed any offenses except one who admitted to gate jumping. And there was no evidence of other crimes anyway.

These boys were not a bunch of criminals or hoodlums. The media made it seem that way even making up the term "wilding" to make them seem like animals.

There was sufficient DNA to be tested at the time from both the East Side Rapist case and the Central Park 5 case. They had all the markers. It just wasn't done. Even though there were a few who questioned the case and thought it did seem like the serial rapist. One of the prosecutors felt the lack of evidence was a case killer and guess what happened to her? Linda Fairstein swooped in and managed to finagle the case away from her section - thus making her career after the loss in the Chambers case which was considered to have been lost by her since she couldn't get the conviction she wanted.

Now to cover their asses the police and some in the DA's office have offered a new speculative theory to make the Five still seem guilty and them right - a theory for which they have again NO EVIDENCE. And which flies in the face of the serial rapist's MO and the physical evidence.

by Anonymousreply 3704/17/2013

So does this documentary whitewash the kids completely? I want to see something realistic.

by Anonymousreply 3904/17/2013

I think it's a disgrace that police (across the nation, not just in NY) are allowed to lie to people they are questioning. They told one if he suspects that they had his fingerprints on the victim's clothing. In a case with more than one suspect, they tell each suspect that the other has implicated him/her in the crime and that the other suspect will get a lighter sentence unless the suspect "cooperates" with the investigation.

They use good cop/bad cop. "Listen, my partner thinks you're a psychopathic punk and so does the DA. I think you're not such a bad guy. I think you were a victim of circumstance. They want to send you away forever. But if you cooperate, I think we can work out a deal with the DA so maybe they give you 10 or 15 years and you get out sooner for good behavior. So let's say you were there and you saw what happened, but you weren't the only one who participated. Give us the other guys and tell us what they were doing and things will go easier for you. What's better, getting out in 7 years because you took a plea or going to jail for 25, 30 years because you refused to cooperate?"

by Anonymousreply 4004/18/2013

"And that part about Trump taking out the ad demanding reinstatement of the death penaly for a group of 14 year olds ... truly disgusting. He repulses me.

Pat Buchanan actually suggested a Central Park lynching for the defendants."

Thanks for giving me more reasons to hate these two guys!

"All of theese animals were guilty as sin and no whitewashing Ken Burns documentary will change that. We really do live in an Alice in Wonderland world. Up is down. Bad is good. And the guilty are innocent."

Are you retarded? DNA exonerated them.

by Anonymousreply 4104/18/2013

I think we have a culture where males are expected to lie ("Honey, do I look fat?" "Nooo"). The cops were telling them what they were sure happened, and the boys simply followed the lie.

Perhaps (as #33 intimated) there was some truth to it. They WERE in the park that night. Maybe they were just skeeved out at humping an unconscious, bloody woman- and ran.

The one boy's "chance meeting" in the TV lounge with the real rapist sounded a bit sketchy.

by Anonymousreply 4204/18/2013

"Maybe they were just skeeved out at humping an unconscious, bloody woman- and ran."

Their DNA was not at the scene.

DNA exonerated them and pointed to someone else.

Wow, it's sad how people still claim they MUST have done it. I guess people don't want to admit that cops and prosecutors can be wrong.

by Anonymousreply 4304/18/2013

It was a good doc. Of the "confessions" they obtained, they all differed on key aspects of the evidence. Who did what to whom, what instrument was used in the attack.

And that was [italic]with[/italic] info being fed to them by the cops. Again, the DNA they had did not match any of the boys.

But just doing a comparison of the statements the cops and especially the DA had to know that they were convicting the wrong people. There was just a tremendous amount of heat to charge and convict someone.

I thought they had gotten a big settlement (truly a case where one is deserved), I was surprised it has still not been settled.

Admit your wrongs and try to atone for the atrocity you created. So screwed up.

by Anonymousreply 4404/19/2013

Bloomberg should give each one of them some dough from his billions, shut down the civil suits and consider it a charitable donation.

by Anonymousreply 4504/20/2013

[quote][R22], there was no database, and the testing was rudimentary. You also needed a much larger sample than can be tested today.

Biology nerd: Polymerase Chain Reaction, which is the type of DNA testing that we're all familiar with thanks to Law & Order and CSI had actually been around for a few years when the attack happened. I don't know if there were have been large adoption of the technology around that time, but I think it's conceivable that a big city crime lab might have had it, and if not, New York isn't lacking in university labs that probably would have.

There's an older technique called Southern Blot that had been around since the mid-70s and was more likely what they would have been using.

by Anonymousreply 4604/21/2013

They may not have did this but there was a lot of other things they did and got away with. Why else would they confess?

by Anonymousreply 4704/21/2013

Because there are numerous cases of police using extreme tactics to obtain false confessions. Look what they did to Jesse Misskelly of the West Memphis Three, or Marty Tankleff in Long Island.

Oh, and one other thing all of those examples had in common with the Central Park Five: They were also minors.

by Anonymousreply 4804/21/2013

Just watched the Ken Burns doc on Netflix. Amazing that Koch agreed to appear on it, he must truly have had no conscience or any awareness that he did anything wrong at the time.

by Anonymousreply 4910/28/2013

Its really fucked up that cops are allowed to lie when questioning a suspect, but if the suspect lies, then they get to go to jail. It should be an even playing field.

by Anonymousreply 5010/28/2013

OP, false confessions are much more common than most people think.

by Anonymousreply 5110/28/2013

[quote]They may have been innocent of this crime but they weren't choir boys either and they likely would have committed crimes anyway.

Well then, what if we just executed all black males when they reach 13? Instead of wasting time on things like police work, trials & prison.

They're all just going there anyway, right? Why not save all that money because "everyone" knows they're not choir boys. You & Pat Buchanan & Donald Trump can be on the committee.

Also, people of color shouldn't be allowed to shop at upscale Manhattan department stores.

by Anonymousreply 5210/28/2013
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