In 1989, 5 New York City teenagers were erroneously convicted and imprisoned for the brutal bludgeoning and rape of a Central Park jogger. The case of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Kharey Wise, brought many festering racial issues to the surface.
The improper way in which the Harlem teens were apprehended, interrogated, and branded as thugs who were out "wildin'," reeked of the painful maneuverings of a callous, racist judicial system and media machine.
In 2002, the teens- who were convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms- were exonerated. A convict confessed to the crime, and DNA evidence that was retained from the crime scene supported his proclamations.
In October, the 5 former defendants of the Central Park Jogger trial will be in court once again. This time they will be the plaintiffs in a civil suit. They are suing the city of New York for millions in punitive damages.
[SIDEBAR: In anticipation of the upcoming trial, I will post a series of entries dissecting the details of this case.]