Editor’s note: This column contains graphic descriptions of the Central Park jogger case, in which a young woman was brutally raped and assaulted.
In an article about the election of Yusef Salaam, of the “Central Park Five,” to the New York City Council last week, The New York Times’ Jeffery C. Mays indignantly cited the full-page ad Donald Trump had taken out at the time, which never mentioned the Central Park rape but decried crime in the city and called for reinstitution of the death penalty.
Mays described the case against The Five thus:
“The confessions of Mr. Salaam and the four others who were convicted alongside him were coerced. There was no DNA evidence tying the teenagers — Mr. Salaam, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Antron McCray — to the brutal attack. Mr. Trump’s racist rantings only inflamed [racial] tensions.”
Two of those claims are laughably false, and the third is utterly meaningless.
Meaningless: It’s a sleight of hand to say that there was “no DNA evidence” tying The Five to the crime. Yeah, that’s probably because in 1989, no one would have been looking for DNA.
Back then, DNA testing was a novel scientific technique. It required much