On December 19, 2002 a colossal injustice occurred when then Manhattan District Attorney Morgenthau consented to the Central Park jogger five defendants’ motion to vacate their convictions. During the trials of these five defendants, the Manhattan D.A. was well aware and presented evidence to the trial jurors that a sixth unknown assailant participated in the rape of the female jogger. The D.A. revealed at the defendants’ 1990 trials that with respect to the female jogger, semen was recovered at the crime scene not attributable to any of the five defendants, but to an unknown culpable participant. The defendants were also convicted for beating and robbing and attacking some of the eight other innocent defenseless victims during their vicious nighttime rampage through Central Park on April 19, 1989.
Thirteen years later, with the statute of limitations having run, convicted and sentenced to serve a life term of imprisonment for rape and murder, the sixth assailant, Matias Reyes, whose DNA was found at the crime scene, has come forward to say he raped the jogger and he did it alone. With no hearing held, no testimony taken, no cross examination, and no corroboration of Reyes’ statement, Manhattan D.A. Morgenthau moved to set aside these jury verdicts. As a further reflection of the Manhattan D.A.’s abrogation of his duties and responsibilities, the vacatur was in violation of established legal precedent.
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