The Central Park Jogger Case Revisited

By Maggie Nelson | The New York Times

In the wake of the 1989 rape and near-fatal beating of a 28-year-old white woman named Trisha Meili (known to many as the Central Park jogger), and after the arrests, confessions and eventual convictions of one Latino and four African-­American teenagers for the crime, the media relentlessly asked: How did this happen? In her slim but ambitious book, “The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding,” Sarah Burns tackles this same question, but with a changed referent. “This,” rather than signifying a horrific gang rape in New York City’s bucolic backyard, here signifies a preventable miscarriage of justice that put five Harlem teenagers behind bars for a crime they didn’t commit. Each of the boys — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise and Raymond Santana Jr. — served between 7 and 13 years. Their convictions were vacated in 2002 by the New York State Supreme Court, after a confession and DNA analysis linked a serial rapist, Matias Reyes, to the crime.

Continue Reading @ The New York Times


About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

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