Campus Event, Lauren Meyers

Raymond Santana, part of the Central Park 5 (now the Exonerated 5), spoke about his disturbing experience with the criminal justice system. At age 14, he and 4 young boys were accused of raping a jogger in Central Park. Law enforcement employed multiple tactics to get the young men to confess to a crime that they did not commit. Police used the Reid Technique which involves direct confrontation, deception, and intimidation during interrogation. This technique is known to elicit a high number of false confessions from innocent people, especially juveniles. After their confessions, the media grabbed ahold of the story and made the five teenagers out to be monsters. People were so convinced that these men raped this woman that even when Matias Reyes, the actual perpetrator, confessed, he had to prove that he was guilty. The evidence against Reyes was overwhelming; he had raped multiple women and had even attacked and began to rape a woman two nights before in Central Park. It is unsettling that law enforcement never thought that this, perhaps, could have been their man. Santana encouraged the young audience to affect change from within. The system will continue to win if we do not take up jobs in law enforcement. For Santana, the best revenge is success. This is how you keep a positive attitude in a world in which you were imprisoned for 5 years for a crime that you did not commit.

Leave a Reply