Friedman Legal Solutions, PLLC

Criminal Appellate & Post-Conviction Services

New York Times Blasts New York for Refusing to Admit Fault in Jogger Exoneration Case

Twenty-four years ago, five black teenagers from New York were wrongfully convicted in a brutal sexual assault of a Central Park joggers. In what the New York Times called “high grade Chutzpah,” the City stated that the issue of innocence was irrelevant. They stated that the officers and prosecutors acted in good faith when they brought the charges. The City has has called the various news stories and documentaries one sided but conveniently ignored the fact that the City has blocked all public employees from being interviewed on the story.

The litigation however speaks about what is wrong with the system. Innocence should be enough. If we convict an innocent defendant, then we should be prepared to compensate him for the portion of their life that was destroyed. It is incredibly difficult to reestablish your life once you have been incarcerated (wrongfully or correctly). Most people lose all their assets while incarcerated. What the state doesn’t take directly is lost because the person’s incarceration stops them from paying mortgages, car payments, etc. All personal possessions (except what a kind relative may hold as a favor) get tossed out on the street. When society makes a mistake and convicts an innocent person, the issue should not be about whether the officer or the prosecutor set out to convict an innocent man, but whether an innocent man was convicted. States should create a compensation fund which is the equivalent of a crime victim’s fund designed to compensate these individuals.