December 05, 2002

Decison Day, Part III

(Probably) My last update on the case today —

Newsday: DA Drops All Convictions in Jogger Case

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau today asked a judge to toss out all the convictions against the five men in the Central Park jogger case.

"It's a great victory ... We're happy," said Roger Wareham, who represents three of the five men. He said "this is a case of historic importance" and he hopes it will trigger changes in the criminal justice system.

When the decision was released shortly after 1 p.m. a cheer went up among the protestors who had been marching in front of the Lower Manhattan courthouse since early this morning demanding justice.

Loudly chanting and carrying signs that read, "Justice For Central Park 5," and "Overturn Convictions," about 60 demonstrators braved a snowstorm to press their case today.

Court TV: Prosecutors expect to call for Central Park jogger convictions to be vacated

Supporters of five men convicted in the 1989 rape of a jogger in Central Park demonstrated outside a courthouse Thursday as the district attorney was deciding whether to recommend that a judge throw out the convictions.

District Attorney Robert Morgenthau was expected to recommend vacating all the convictions on Thursday, a law enforcement source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The source said the recommendation would be made strictly on legal grounds and not cast blame on the detectives who obtained videotaped confessions from four of the five.

"It was agreed that the words 'coercion' and 'collusion' would not be used," the source said.

The recommendation would be an extraordinary turn in one of the city's most notorious crimes. The case was reopened earlier this year after a convicted rapist confessed to the crime and DNA backed his claim.

(Check out Court TV's interesting movie, The Interrogation of Michael Crowe, which ironically focuses on the phenomena of false confessions and unscrupulous police interviewing tactics.)

Posted by ronn at December 5, 2002 02:21 PM

Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel. Posted by: Ray on December 5, 2002 10:20 PM
Yep, but is it daylight or an oncoming freight train?! After more than a dozen years, tons of lies and other dirty tactics, I'd wait to see how Tejada rules. He's already puzzled me with his most recent decisions. (OK, I am somewhat optimistic!) Posted by: ronn on December 6, 2002 06:57 AM
I recall hearing about this case on Dateline a couple of months ago and I'm happy to hear that the convictions were overturned. Posted by: Antonio G on December 6, 2002 09:44 PM