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The Central Park Five

THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Director: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Year: 2012
Time: 119 min

 The Central Park Five
(2012) on IMDb

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Other Ways To Watch

Download Discussion Guide

Ways to Influence

Share this film. Consider hosting a screening followed by a discussion.

Contribute to organizations like the Innocent Project to help those seeking exoneration.

Donate to the Central Park Conservancy, the current caretakers of the park, to help keep all 843 acres of New York City’s Central Park safe and beautiful.

Know your rights. You never know when you might need to protect yourself.

Remember – if you are ever called to serve as a juror on a court case – the person accused of the crime is in your hands and deserves to be judged justly – for the facts at hand, not the color of their skin.

Related Articles and Resources

An Interview With Ken Burns and Three of The Central Park Five

“I got to speak with three of the five for the below interview, and I appreciated their openness and outlook, ten years after justice was missed. Yusef Salaam is extremely well spoken; Raymond Santana, Jr. now works with The Innocence Project. Korey Wise was the oldest, he was the one sent to Rikers, and he’s been on disability ever since. “

Watch the interview here.

I Am the Central Park Jogger

So much has been written about the crime, but the public still knows little about the woman called the Central Park Jogger. Now she is breaking her silence. Read this excerpt from her book titled “I am the Central Park Jogger.”

Settlement Approved

24 years after the wrongful conviction a settlement of 41 million has been approved by a federal judge. CNN interview two of the so called “Central Park Five”.


Listen to our playlist with music from the film on Spotify.

Coloring the Central Park Jogger Case

“Wilding” was defined by the Post writers as a phenomenon not unlike the violent raves in A Clockwork Orange – “Packs of bloodthirsty teens from the tenements, bursting with boredom and rage, roam the streets getting kicks from an evening of ultra-violence.”

This Alternet article explores the Central Park Jogger case, media coverage, racial code words and stereotypes.


A set of films that shine a light on racial injustice and those who stand against it.

Mass Media and Racism

“Mass media have played and will continue to play a crucial role in the way white Americans perceive African-Americans. As a result of the overwhelming media focus on crime, drug use, gang violence, and other forms of anti-social behavior among African-Americans, the media have fostered a distorted and pernicious public perception of African-Americans.”

Read the article here.

Know Your Rights

The ACLU lists civil rights and responsibilities when interacting with the law, such as what to do if you’re stopped by police, immigration agents or the FBI.

Check out the list here.

*If you live outside the US we encourage you to find a similar resource specific to where you live.*

The Causes of Wrongful Conviction

Find out what the seven most common causes of wrongful convictions are here.

Why the Death Penalty Needs to Die

“The state’s first role—and arguably its only one—is protecting the lives and property of its citizens.

The recent botched executions are just the tip of the iceberg. The death penalty is and always has been a financial and moral disaster.”

Check out this article on the much disputed subject of the death penalty.


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