The Washington Post

An in­con­ve­nient un­truth

- Crime · Silver Springs, MD

What­ever one might say about Linda Fairstein’s in­ten­tions while pros­e­cut­ing the Cen­tral Park Five, it is in­ex­cus­able that she per­sisted in cling­ing to the no­tion of their guilt or that the po­lice in­ter­ro­ga­tions were re­spect­ful in the face of over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence to the con­trary [“The in­con­ve­nient truth about a cham­pion of fe­male vic­tims,” Style, June 6]. The per­son who did the as­sault has con­fessed, his DNA is a match, the crime scene makes it un­likely that more than one or two peo­ple com­mit­ted the as­sault, and, most im­por­tant, the ini­tial con­fes­sions of the five were co­erced in a man­ner now well known to be im­proper.

Much has been learned since the Cen­tral Park Five were con­victed about how co­er­cive in­ter­ro­ga­tions can yield false in­for­ma­tion. As the In­no­cence Pro­ject in­structs, 28 per­cent of the more than 350 DNA ex­on­er­a­tions over the past few decades in­volved false con­fes­sions. Young peo­ple are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble. Ms. Fairstein, of all peo­ple, should know bet­ter.

S. Michael Scadron, Sil­ver Spring The writer is a mem­ber of In­jus­tice Any­where, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that ad­vo­cates for the wrongly con­victed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA