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The Central Park Five

ISBN: 9780307266149 | 0307266141
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Knopf
Pub. Date: 5/17/2011

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A riveting, in-depth account of one of New York City#x19;s most notorious crimes. On April 20, 1989, the barely alive body of a woman is discovered in Central Park, her skull so badly smashed that nearly 80 percent of her blood has spilled onto the ground. Within days five black and Latino teenagers confess to her rape and beating. The ensuing media frenzy and hysterical public reaction is extraordinary. The young men are tried as adults and convicted of rape, despite the fact that the teens quickly recant their inconsistent and inaccurate confessions and that no blood or DNA tests tie any of them to the victim. They serve their complete sentences before another man, serial rapist Matias Reyes, confesses to the crime and is connected to it by DNA testing. Intertwining the stories of these five young men, the police officers, the district attorneys, the victim, and Matias Reyes, Sarah Burns attempts to understand the forces that made both the crime and its prosecution possible. Most dramatically, she gives us a portrait of a city already beset by violence and deepening rifts between races and classes, whose law enforcement, government, social organizations, and media were undermining the very rights of the individuals they were designed to safeguard and protect.


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