Ken Burns co-directs this documentary about five minority youths who were wrongly convicted in the 1989 Central Park-jogger case. Burns recalls the media frenzy that occurred when the group of young men, arrested after possibly participating in a night of “wilding” (random beatings and harassment), were prosecuted for the woman’s beating. With no physical evidence, and nothing but a bunch of coerced confessions, New York City prosecutors were able to convict the youths and send them to jail for a long time. Justice wasn’t served until the real perpetrator confessed. This case reminds of the West Memphis Three, another example of coerced confessions netting jail time for innocent kids. This is a well-made film from a guy who knows how to make documentaries.
Director: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon
Producer: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon