We know about the Central Park Five, but six were wrongfully accused—and one just got exonerated

We know about the Central Park Five, but six were wrongfully accused—and one just got exonerated

July 27, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

Former President Donald Trump took out a full-page ad in The New York Times and three other city newspapers calling for their deaths in 1989. “I want to hate these muggers and murderers,” he said in the ad. “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence.”

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What’s worse than his initial remarks is that Trump refused to apologize in June 2019. “You have people on both sides of that,” he said at the White House in remarks the Times covered. “They admitted their guilt.”

“If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city never should have settled that case — so we’ll leave it at that,” the former president added, referring to the prosecutor in the case.

We most definitely will not leave it at that.

Bragg stated the following in court while making the case for Lopez’s exoneration:

“Good afternoon, Your Honor. Alvin Bragg for the People. The People move to vacate the conviction and dismiss the indictment of Steven Lopez.

“Mr. Lopez was charged and pleaded guilty in the face of false statements, unreliable forensic analysis and immense external pressure.

“The People’s reinvestigation was completed by our Post-Conviction Justice Unit in collaboration with Mr. Lopez and his counsel.

“Your Honor has our written motion. I would respectfully highlight here two key issues. First, the People concluded that the hair sample comparisons used at the time of the incident were unreliable. Therefore, there remains no physical evidence connecting Mr. Lopez to the charged conduct.

“Second, the statements by the other young men at the time linking Mr. Lopez to the crime have since been recanted. Statements by some of these witnesses previously led to other vacated convictions arising from the same indictment.

“All of the factors taken together – as set forth in our motion papers – show what the people believe are unique circumstances, combined with Mr. Lopez’s youth, made his plea involuntary – and therefore unconstitutional.

“A conviction based on an unconstitutional plea cannot stand.

“Accordingly, the People of the State of New York, together with Mr. Lopez – through his counsel Mr. Renfroe – jointly move to vacate this conviction and to dismiss indictment number 4762/1989 against him.

“Thank you, Your Honor.”

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