Trump Will Not Apologize For Calling For Death Penalty Of Central Park 5
President Trump says that he will not apologize for the comments he made in 1989 about the Central Park Five, the five black and Latino men who as teenagers were wrongly convicted of the brutal rape of a jogger in New York City.
On Tuesday, he was asked about newspaper advertisements he bought stating that New York State to adopt the death penalty after the attack.
He stated during a White House Q&A,
You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city never should have settled that case — so we’ll leave it at that.
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In 1989, he placed ads in four New York City newspapers calling for the state to adopt the death penalty for killers.
He made clear that he was voicing this opinion because of the rape and assault of Trisha Meili, a woman who had been jogging in Central Park.
He wrote in the ad,
“I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them.”
The five teenagers were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to prison for gang-raping and nearly killing Ms. Meili. Their convictions were vacated in 2002, and the city paid $41 million in 2014 to settle their civil rights lawsuit.
Their story was portrayed in the Netflix series, When They See Us.
The Ava Duvernay series was a dramatized account based on the experiences of the men — Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam — who spent years in prison before being cleared of the charges.
Linda Fairstein, the former prosecutor, has received backlash for her involvement in the case.
She has resigned from a number of prominent boards, including that of Vassar College, her alma mater. The lead prosecutor on the 1989 case, Elizabeth Lederer, resigned this month as a lecturer at Columbia Law School.
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