Front Burner

The lessons of the Central Park Five

A Netflix miniseries has rekindled interest in the case of the Central Park Five, who became poster children for bias in the U.S. justice system and served decades in prison for a crime they did not commit. Filmmaker Sarah Burns on why the case is critically important today.
The Central Park Five tells the story of how five black and Latino teenagers were wrongly convicted of raping a Central Park jogger. (TIFF)
Listen to the full episode25:39

After being convicted of a brutal crime, the Central Park Five served decades for an offence they did not commit. Since their exoneration, the case has been covered in books and movies, including a new mini-series which debuted this week on Netflix. Filmmaker Sarah Burns made the definitive documentary on the men, and says the media frenzy around the case, and the rush to conclusion, shows a lot of what's wrong with the U.S. justice system. "This thing they went through affects them every day," says Burns. Despite reaching a civil settlement with the City of New York, she believes they can't live normal lives. "That changes things. But it doesn't erase what happened."

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