Free Speech

Central Park Jogger Case Prosecutor's Libel Lawsuit Against Netflix (Over "When They See Us") Can Go Forward as to Some Claims

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From yesterday's Fairstein v. Netflix, Inc., decided by Judge Kevin Castel (S.D.N.Y.):

On the night of April 19, 1989, a young woman was viciously beaten and raped in Central Park. Five young men of color (the "Five"), ranging in age from 14 to 16, were arrested, tried and convicted for the attack. They were exonerated in 2002, after the confession of a man whose DNA matched a sample found near the victim. The case, which is known among the press and public as the "Central Park Jogger" or "Central Park Five" case, drew intense public interest in the immediate aftermath of the attack and remains the subject of scrutiny and debate.

Plaintiff Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecutions Unit in the District Attorney's office of New York County during the investigation and prosecution of the Five. According to her Complaint, Fairstein had supervisory authority over the case but was not one of the prosecution's trial attorneys. After a successful and high-profile legal career, Fairstein remained in the public eye as a prolific mystery writer and public speaker. In the years following the exoneration of the Five, Fairstein made public statements that defended the work of police and prosecutors on the case, and she has publicly argued that the Five were hastily exonerated.

In May 2019, the popular streaming service owned by defendant Netflix, Inc. … released a four-part dramatization of the arrest and prosecution of the Five, called "When They See Us." Produced by Oprah Winfrey, the limited series features high production values that have become standard in subscription television, including a cast of famous actors, a soundtrack of popular music, and atmospheric, hallucinatory sequences intended to reflect the characters' psychological states.

"When They See Us" is also openly sympathetic to the Five. In early scenes, it depicts the Five as typical teenagers negotiating the challenges of school, family and social life before they are incorrectly and unjustly suspected of rape. The series then follows the Five through trial and incarceration, and their later struggles as young adults adjusting to post-release life. Throughout, "When They See Us" depicts the Five as innocent young men who are harmed by an unjust prosecution and an unsympathetic and often brutal system bent on incarcerating the Five.

Fairstein is portrayed as a central villain of "When They See Us." As depicted in the series, she quickly concludes that the Five are responsible for the attack, and is thereafter portrayed as a zealous, win-at-all-costs prosecutor. In one sequence, she intentionally delays the production of critical DNA evidence to defendants until the eve of trial, and in others, she instructs members of the New York City Police Department ("NYPD") to engage in harsh investigative techniques. The series portrays her as the architect of various theories of the Five's guilt, and through the concluding scenes of the series, she remains persuaded of their involvement in the face of countervailing evidence….

In deciding the motion to dismiss, the Court is limited to the factual allegations of the Complaint, materials that are attached by the Complaint or integral thereto, and matters of which the Court may take judicial notice. As defendants acknowledge, the issue of actual malice is more appropriately weighed at a later stage of the proceedings. Similarly, on the present motion, defendants are not permitted to offer evidence (except the limited materials that may be considered on a motion to dismiss) to dispute Fairstein's factual assertions that she played only a limited role in the NYPD's investigation. The arguments raised in defendants' motion are therefore narrow and directed to whether Fairstein's Complaint has plausibly alleged a defamatory meaning to eleven scenes of "When They See Us."

For the reasons that will be explained, defendants' motion will be granted in part and denied in part. Certain scenes alleged to be defamatory merely show routine and prosaic activities that lack a plausible defamatory meaning. In other scenes, the depictions of Fairstein are privileged against a claim of defamation because they convey the subjective opinions of defendants and could not be understood by the average viewer to be a literal recounting of her words and actions.

Fairstein has plausibly alleged a claim of defamation as to five scenes. These scenes depict Fairstein as orchestrating acts of misconduct, including the withholding of evidence, the existence of "tapes" showing that she "coerced" confessions from the Five, an instruction not to use "kid gloves" when questioning suspects, and directing a racially discriminatory police roundup of young men in Harlem. The average viewer could conclude that these scenes have a basis in fact and do not merely reflect the creators' opinions about controversial historical events. Separately, the Court concludes that defendants have not demonstrated the substantial truth of a scene depicting Fairstein's creation of an attack timeline because they rely on public remarks that are inconsistent with her depiction in the scene.

There's a lot going on in the opinion, which is generally pretty readable. Here, though, is a particular important item, which explains how the law treats docudramas:

Fairstein asserts that defendants marketed and promoted "When They See Us" as a fact-based version of the events surrounding the Five. Netflix social media posts and advertising trailers described "When They See Us" as "[t]he truth you haven't heard" and "based on the true story of the Central Park Five." The Complaint quotes multiple statements made by DuVernay on social media, in interviews and in public appearances that characterized "When They See Us" as fact-based, referring to it as "the real story of The Central Park 5" and "100% real." The Complaint also quotes from public statements that DuVernay specifically made about Fairstein, including a remark in an interview with Oprah Winfrey where she stated, "And so the goal of this—okay, Linda Fairstein, okay Elizabeth Lederer, okay, all of these people on this particular case we need to be held accountable."

Locke made similar public statements, such as, "[a] piece of American History gets rewritten with the truth," and "You can't argue with facts." …

The relevant context for Fairstein's claims is a lengthy television drama starring famous actors distributed to paying subscribers of a streaming service. As the Ninth Circuit once observed by dictum: "Docudramas, as their names suggests, often rely heavily upon dramatic interpretations of events and dialogue filled with rhetorical flourishes in order to capture and maintain the interest of their audience. We believe that viewers in this case would be sufficiently familiar with this genre to avoid assuming that all statements within them represent assertions of verifiable facts. To the contrary, most of them are aware by now that parts of such programs are more fiction than fact." … [But] the presenters of the docudrama "must attempt to avoid creating the impression that they are asserting objective facts rather than merely stating subjective opinions.

Given the full content and context of the series at issue, the Court declines to conclude that the average viewer would assume that "When They See Us" is "more fiction than fact," a proposition that the defendants do not advance. But it is reasonable to expect that the average viewer of "When They See Us" would understand that dialogue in the dramatization is not a verbatim recounting of the real-life participants and is intended to capture the essence of their words and deeds.

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  1. Here, though, is a particular important item, which explains how the law treats docudramas:

    That from EV deserves careful reflection. His remark suggests that various publishing genre can be legally categorized with regard to greater or lesser inherent credibility, with concomitant effects on the degree of legal responsibility they may bear. It does so without reference to any particular need to single out the few specific genres which have been customarily understood as presentations specifically based on fictionalized, exaggerated, or deliberately distorted presentations, made for the purpose of delivering opinions instead of facts—as for instance with satire and parody. Those, of course, have little or nothing to do with docudramas which allege factual revelations.

    From there it is but a short step to concluding that maybe internet publishing taken as a whole ought to escape legal obligations to be truthful about alleged facts. That is a proposition which I think many people already take as established by practical experience, and by the simple reality that so many false allegations get published on the internet that capacity to challenge them legally has been overwhelmed. Many folks seem to reason that libel on the internet has become impossible, because no reasonable person would fully believe anything published there.

    Future developments involving deep fakes, and AI attacks designed to undermine and discredit internet discussions ought to figure into that consideration. The nation seems on course for a future where internet publishing has utterly displaced alternatives for conducting the nation’s public life. That might be a baleful future indeed if neglect of truth in publishing has become the legal rule everywhere, and in every genre.

    1. You mention a future of billions of false statements with 100% verisimilitude from AI. I bring up the end of torts for false statements, but torts for the causes of the real harm, acting on the false statements. The harm of defamation comes from the consequences to the plaintiff, being cancelled, divorced, expelled. Sue the real causes of the harm, the actors on the false publication.

      1. Behar, you are saying publish all the lies you want to, and then sue anyone who believes the lies? That would not have occurred to me.

        1. Lies cause no harm, save annoyance. Actions based on them can end a career, a marriage. A membership.

          That has not occured to the dumass lawyer profession. It is a useless, failed, toxic garbage, criminal enterprise itself, protecting the wrong people, hurting everyone else.

    2. I woild tend to think that whether a docudrama is fact or fiction should be decided as a factual matter and not as a matter of law. Here, there was specific evidence this particular work was presented as fact. Whether a typical person would believe this or perceive it as mere puffery is a question better resolved by a jury than a judge.

      1. ReaderY, what do you do with satire, if it goes over the head of the jury? Does the judge then find the author responsible for libel? This is not a rhetorical question. I am not a lawyer and do not know the answer.

        Another question. The notion of leaving to the jury the task to determine what a typical person would believe seems to create a lot of room for drift in the standard of what is or is not libel. If the typical person decides no one should believe anything on the internet, does that means libel becomes impossible on the internet?

        Also, is there a legal distinction to be made between what a typical person would believe, and what a reasonable person would believe?

        1. My thought here is that you could easily have a work that the author meant (or says in court that he meant) satirically, but which is not perceived as such by the audience.

          The question of whether it is a satire or not then becomes a contested question of fact.

          I think the same would be true when whether a work is or isn’t a work of fiction becomes contested, as is the case here. Here the author claims it was a work of fiction, but the plaintiff says a reasonable person would perceive it as a work of fact.

          That, it seems to me, is a factual dispute for the jury, not a question of law for the judge.

          It seems to me it works the same as factual truth. Truth, considered as a genre, is as much a defense as satire. But is it a member of the genre of true works? That’s a fact question. It’s clear that the author’s subjective intent is irrelevant, the inquiry involves the author’s objective reasonableness. I think the same would be the case of satire, considered as a genre.

          1. ReaderY, so what do you say all that means for the specific questions I asked?

        2. For legal purposes, can we just treat an actor portraying someone as a reporter documenting a direct quote? When a reporter intends to convey that words are verbatim, they put quote marks around the text. And if the reporter has chosen to mis-quote with resulting harm, they must pay. When an actor intends to convey that words are verbatim, they don’t use air quotes, but rather simply speak. And if the actor has chosen to mis-quote with resulting harm, they must pay.

          Absent some disclaimer prominently placed (maybe even a cartoon thought bubble above the speaking actor’s head) stating that except where noted, everything is entirely fabricated, and without basis in verifiable fact. Short of decent quality video or a court transcript, it is likely that everything spoken or done on screen is entirely made up.

      2. That’s correct, I think. The issue is not that docudramas or internet publishing are held to a different standard – the issue is that those are questions of fact to be decided by a jury during trial, not questions of law to be decided at motion-to-dismiss stage.

    3. “it is but a short step to concluding that maybe internet publishing taken as a whole ought to escape legal obligations to be truthful about alleged facts.”

      Experience suggests that truthfulness is not what is most highly desired, but rather adherence to preferred preconceived notions. To the extent that truth is discontiguous with preferred narrative, it is not often welcome.

    4. For legal purposes, can we just treat an actor portraying someone as a reporter documenting a direct quote? When a reporter intends to convey that words are verbatim, they put quote marks around the text. And if the reporter has chosen to mis-quote with resulting harm, they must pay. When an actor intends to convey that words are verbatim, they don’t use air quotes, but rather simply speak. And if the actor has chosen to mis-quote with resulting harm, they must pay.

      Absent some disclaimer prominently placed (maybe even a cartoon thought bubble above the speaking actor’s head) stating that except where noted, everything is entirely fabricated, and without basis in verifiable fact. Short of decent quality video or a court transcript, it is likely that everything spoken or done on screen is entirely made up.

      1. The actor just reads the words of the script. It’s the editor that decides if you see or hear them or not. Imagine if the actor flubbed the line(s), and the editor chose that take to put into the final product.

  2. Separately, the Court concludes that defendants have not demonstrated the substantial truth of a scene depicting Fairstein’s creation of an attack timeline because they rely on public remarks that are inconsistent with her depiction in the scene.

    Wow, that one is going to leave a mark

    1. As the opinion says, at the motion to dismiss stage, the defendants have to establish substantial truth as a matter of law, i.e. that it is uncontested, to win on dismissal. It was contested, and that’s all that’s needed for the claim to survive the motion to dismiss. Resolution of contested facts, including applying the actual malice standard, gets done at a later stage.

      1. All true, but irrelevant.

        The judge didn’t say “they claim to have relied on evidence that can be taken multiple ways, so we’ll leave it for the jury.”

        The judge said “they claim to have used this evidence in order to make their portrayal, but the evidence is inconsistent with her depiction in the scene.”

        That’s not “a jury might find”, that’s “any reasonable jury will find.”

        1. “The judge said “they claim to have used this evidence in order to make their portrayal, but the evidence is inconsistent with her depiction in the scene.””

          As was explained for you, at the “motion to dismiss” part of the trial, there isn’t any evidence yet because the trial hasn’t really started yet.

          1. No, asswipe, at this stage there most certainly is evidence.

            As you would know if you’d read the opinion

            Which you never do, because that might puncture the arrogant ignorance with which you approach every subject.

            There’s limits on what evidence can be considered, and the judge isn’t allowed to weigh credibility between competing evidence.

            But the judge doesn’t have to do that here, because the defense didn’t offer any evidence to support themselves other than her statements made to the city council in 2003.

            Which is what the judge is referring here.

            Which you’d know if you ever bothered to pull your head out of your ass, and read the opinion before “commenting” on it

            1. “No, asswipe, at this stage there most certainly is evidence.”

              ” the defense didn’t offer any evidence”

              “Which you’d know if you ever bothered to pull your head out of your ass, and read the opinion before “commenting” on it”

              I’m supposed to take your stupidity as authoritative?

              1. You’re like the obnoxious drunk laying on the bar floor in a pool of his own blood an picking up his teeth looking up at the bouncer and asking, “Had enough yet?”

                1. And you’re like the pool of piss on the floor left by the guys too drunk to hit the urinal.

              2. From the opinion:

                Similarly, on the present motion, defendants are not permitted to offer evidence (except the limited materials that may be considered on a motion to dismiss)

                The parties have also submitted a large number of exhibits in connection with this motion. Defendants’ motion cites to materials that they urge should be subject to judicial notice, and they have submitted an appendix containing nineteen exhibits. (Docket # 88.) In opposition to the motion, Fairstein has submitted an appendix containing 78 exhibits. (Docket # 90.) A court “must take judicial notice if a party requests it and the court is supplied with the necessary information.” Rule 201(c)(2), Fed. R. Evid. “The court may judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it . . . can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” Rule 201(b)(2). As will be discussed below, the Court takes judicial notice of public remarks that Fairstein made to the Public Safety Committee of the New York City Council on January 30, 2003.

                I think WuzYoungOnceToo has correctly described the situation

                1. You cite things that are directly contradicting what you said earlier, and crow about how you were right the first time. Do go on. And on and on.

                  1. I’m curious, are you flat out lying, or just really, really, stupid?

                    You’ve got 19 teeth on the floor, one for each exhibit (that would be “evidence” for the mentally challenged who are following along at home) that the Defense submitted.

                    If you’d like to actually point out a “contradiction”, I’ll be happy to show why you continue to be an idiot.

                    But if you’re simply going to say “I know you are, but what am I?” I’ll leave you to your three year old (which does seem to be your mental age) delusions

                    1. “I’m curious, are you flat out lying, or just really, really, stupid?”

                      The correct answer is C: You are an idiot. An extremely belligerent one, with few, if any, tethers to reality.

                      “You’ve got 19 teeth on the floor, one for each exhibit (that would be “evidence” for the mentally challenged who are following along at home) that the Defense submitted.”
                      ” the defense didn’t offer any evidence”

                      Hint: I’ve quoted you twice. Which time were you wrong? Or are you stupid enough to claim that you were right both times you claimed mutually exclusive things? Just kidding, I know you are that stupid.

                      But you’ve ceased to be entertaining, to the point that you ever achieved this.

                    2. Those teeth really are as ugly as the rest of you is.

                      As you didn’t even bother to try to support your claim, I’m done here.

                      Bye James

                    3. Sure. Use “declare victory, then run away” as a strategy. It suits you.

            2. ” that might puncture the arrogant ignorance with which you approach every subject.”

              irony alert!

  3. The success of “Making a Murderer” and its sequel have taught Hollywood and the film industry that documentaries that stray far from the truth or promote outright falsehoods are popular with viewers if they purport to expose an “injustice”. So, we have and will continue to see this type of documentary and docudrama. I myself often watch them, but I assume they are either slanted or complete fiction.

    1. I spent a looooot of time talking with friends about everything Making a Murderer got wrong or severely slanted or just left out completely. I reminded them constantly that the producers’ job was to sell entertainment and “here’s the evidence, yeah they definitely did it” was not going to pay all their bills.

    2. The irony is that those viewers who love to see injustice exposed are the same people who are on juries railroading innocent defendants and are in the general public demanding a scalp – any scalp – when a horrible crime is committed.

      1. I’m curious what experience has led you to that conclusion. That has not been a sense I’ve had from any of my criminal jurors.

      2. The problem is that, on TV, they usually catch the criminal within 60 minutes of runtime less commercials, with enough evidence to go beyond a reasonable doubt. But in real life, you can’t “zoom and enhance” the video from an ATM to see what was happening across the street, and the victim won’t be buried in a place that has a plant that grows in only one place in the world, with the killer having some seeds on his shoes from that rare plant.

  4. I would hope that producers would seek out actual cases injustice before proclaiming someone innocent. We have seen far to many cases historically and recently where the entertainment industry and political actors have put forth provably false narratives that have done real damage to our society.

    1. That’s too hard. It’s much easier to find a case with a photogenic defendant and make it fit the narrative.

    2. “I would hope that producers would seek out actual cases injustice before proclaiming someone innocent.”

      Here’s one. It arose in rural Oregon. It seems that a young man had a girlfriend who was quite a bit younger than he was and whose parents didn’t approve of him. So they insisted that he should be be charged with statutory rape. In a surprising turn, the grand jury returned “no true bill”. In an even more surprising turn, the prosecutor had him arrested anyway, and in the most surprising turn of all, the public defender advised him to take a plea deal. None of which would have been noticed except that one of the grand jurors happened to see a story in the newspaper about the guy getting out of prison, and inquiring what he’d been in prison for. Now, ordinarily, in such a situation, the former prisoner would have a nice malpractice case against the defender, AND a tort suit against the county. Somebody advised the county that they’d have no liability if they could show that he could have been convicted of some other, unrelated crime so the local law-enforcement agency dug into the guy’s backstory, looking desperately for some crime they could have pinned on him. So, they turned this guy’s life upside-down because they wrongfully imprisoned him.
      Of course, dramatizing the story would require identifying him by name, which would likely cause some part of the community to side against him and give some some additional tumult to him, when he finally has had a shot at a normal life.

  5. The concept that perverted the genre of documentaries started when the fat man Michael Moore released two in the early 2000’s. Liberals lapped that stuff up. It was 1.5 hours of pure propaganda which left a liberal self-validated in all of their beliefs. Great for lazy activists too that just had to plan to event and put on a movie to program the masses.

    I’m surprised it took as long as it did for the psuedo-documentary genre to take form. There are some decent ones out there, mostly podcasts though, are more true to an objective, historical take. Most of the ones made for video though are something would give Goebels a wet dream if he were still alive.

    For those too young to remember, it was thought of back in the 90’s and 2000’s that smacking the “this is an opinion” label on anything would avoid libel/slander concerns. It largely didn’t work. The pseudo-documentary is just that for this generation.

    1. “I’m surprised it took as long as it did for the psuedo-documentary genre to take form.”

      I’m not. When they took back the VHF spectrum to use for cell phones, they gave extra UHF licenses to the former VHF licensees, and those new broadcast stations needed content. Several new networks emerged to fill them up, mostly using re-runs, but there’s also a whole channel devoted to crime re-enactments and other “true crime” drama. These programs are obviously very cheap to make because they are poorly-made, often shot on consumer-grade cameras using no professional lighting and people who technically are “actors” because they’re being paid to “act”, but who will not be appearing on any of the major networks, because they can not actually act. The general theme of every program on this network is “Old people! Be frightened! The modern world is very scary!”

  6. “”When They See Us” is also openly sympathetic to the Five.”

    Egads! sympathetic treatment for innocent people? We can’t have that?

    1. The point, you blithering moron, is that the evidence that one man raped her is not evidence that no one else raped her.

      1. The ACTUAL point is that the CP5 were targeted because they have darkened skin, and coerced into false “confessions” that weren’t even confessions, and imbeciles like you accepted this as a sign that they were guilty. This is unmistakeably a BAD THING to happen. Pinning the crime on someone (or someones) who didn’t do the crime keeps you from finding, and prosecuting, the one(s) who actually did the crime. It’s a BAD THING if it happened because the cops were under pressure to pin it on somebody as quickly as possible, or because the prosecutors were under pressure to pin it on somebody as quickly as possible.
        It’s ALSO a BAD THING to lay the blame for the mishandling of the investigation at the wrong feet, but none of the CP5 did that, either.

        1. Then you agree with me that it is a pity that the jogger wasn’t armed and hence couldn’t shoot the perps attempting to rape her.

          Can we agree that perps with her bullets in them would be considered the “right” perps????

          1. “you agree with me that it is a pity that the jogger wasn’t armed”

            I agree that you are stupid enough to believe that this is true. If she had been armed, then the guy who attacked her would have been armed after the attack. A weapon can help you deal with an attack you know is coming, but it isn’t nearly as much help when you get surprised.

            “Can we agree that perps with her bullets in them would be considered the “right” perps????”

            No, because only you are stupid enough to believe that people with guns NEVER miss.

            1. Only you are stupid enough to believe that “If she had been armed, then the guy who attacked her would have been armed after the attack”.

              Well, no, most leftists are that stupid.

              She was jogging. Most joggers tend to be aware of the people around them, since otherwise they end up in a lot of accidents.

              If 5 – 6 guys start coming towards her, she’s most likely to notice that. So she puts her hand on her gun, and starts shooting when people start grabbing at her.

              This gives chances of driving off teh attackers, and chances of making loud noises (gunshots) that cause people to come to where she is, meaning that they won’t get as long to beat and rape her.

              Oh, let me guess, you’re a sexist pig who things women are too pathetic to be able to defend themselves, yes?

              1. “Well, no, most leftists are that stupid.”

                Whoa, sorry, Greg, didn’t mean to leave you and your buddies out. I guess you guys might be as stupid as Special Ed.

                “Oh, let me guess, you’re a sexist pig who things women are too pathetic to be able to defend themselves, yes?”

                No, that’s you. This is an idea you just thought up all by yourself.

                1. I’m not the idiot who wrote “If she had been armed, then the guy who attacked her would have been armed after the attack.”

                  That would be you

                  1. You are, however, the idiot who does not understand that if a person (even an armed person) is taken with tactical surprise, they will lose the encounter, and everything they had (even their weapon) will be taken by the person who successfully achieved surprise. Possessing a firearm doesn’t make you impervious to attack. So wishing someone had had a firearm so they would be impervious to attack is extremely stupid, as in, short-bus stupid like Special Ed. And agreeing with Special Ed is also extremely stupid, which makes you a greg, A total greg.

              2. “Only you are stupid enough to believe that “If she had been armed, then the guy who attacked her would have been armed after the attack”.

                Well, no, most leftists are that stupid.”

                If only the leftists were “stupid” enough to believe in things that are true.

    2. The plaintiff appears to be disputing the claims they are innocent.

      However, the plaintiff’s strongest claim seems to be that the docudrama invented a story that she framed them. This claim doesn’t appear to depend on whether they are innocent or not.

      1. “The plaintiff appears to be disputing the claims they are innocent.”

        Is she putting forth a theory as to how they raped the victim without leaving any DNA evidence?

        1. They wouldn’t leave semen if they held her down for others to rape her, would they?

          1. Since semen is the only part of the human body that has DNA in it, that sounds about like something you’d think was clever.

  7. “Those, of course, have little or nothing to do with docudramas which allege factual revelations.”

    The word has two parts, Stephen: “docu” as in “documentary”, as in “what we’re saying here is the truth”, and “drama”, as in “we are taking dramatic license with the truth, and tell you that up front.”

    Personally, i think SCOTUS has been far too gentle with liars (see “Alvarez” and the end of the Stolen Valor law). But it is not reasonable to rag on Eugene for correctly reporting what the Court system is doing.

    So, if they put it in a “dream sequence”, the Courts won’t let you sue for libel.

    if they put it in a normal scene, then you can sue.

    Given the precedent the Judge is operating under, that seems like a reasonable division.

    No?

  8. Little known fact: The original working title was “When They Sue Us”

  9. Didn’t the victim recognize the perps? I thought she did but it was years ago…

    1. Turns out people aren’t good at remembering things during traumatic events. If the cops haul a bunch of dudes in front of you and say”these are the ones who did it”, then that is what you remember. And the cops know this, which is why they aren’t supposed to do that, and usually don’t. But in this case, the pressure was on to get someone (ANYONE) convicted.

      1. Your comment is irrelevant.
        Trisha Meili never identified anyone. She lost over 70% of her blood, was in a coma for 12 days, was not expected to survive, and was given the last rites. She suffered permanent brain damage, which destroyed her balance, sense of smell, and taste.
        You have absolutely no knowledge of this case, yet you have strong opinions on it. Shame on you.

  10. “They were exonerated in 2002…”

    They were never exonerated. Their verdicts and sentences were vacated in 2002. Exoneration would have required that they be retried, which none of them dared do, since they could have been prosecuted for perjury, and since they’d already served their sentences.

    I expect better from a celebrated law professor.

    I’ve already discussed all this, at great length.

    http://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/2014/06/keep-hoax-alive-myth-of-central-park.html

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