With de Blasio elected, justice on horizon for "Central Park 5"

Filmmaker Ken Burns says the new N.Y. mayor will finally settle the racially charged case

By Natasha Lennard

Published November 13, 2013 5:22PM (EST)

 Yusef Salaam, one of the five men wrongfully convicted of the Central Park rape    (Wikimedia/Thomas Good)
Yusef Salaam, one of the five men wrongfully convicted of the Central Park rape (Wikimedia/Thomas Good)

According to filmmaker Ken Burns, who last year brought out a documentary on the notorious and racially charged story of the "Central Park 5" -- five black men wrongfully convicted of raping a white female jogger -- newly elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will finally settle the case.

In a now-renowned miscarriage of justice, the "Central Park 5" spent a decade in prison for the rape, convicted on scant evidence, false admissions and racist fervor, before the actual rapist turned himself in. To this day, the five men have had an open civil lawsuit against the city for wrongful conviction and reparations. Burns told HuffPo Live that, finally, when de Blasio takes office he will settle the 10-year-old case.

"Bill de Blasio, the mayor-elect, has agreed to settle this case, and though this is justice delayed way too long, and that is justice denied, [they] will not only be exonerated ... but they will have justice, they will see some closure, they will be able to be made whole," said Burns, whose film "The Central Park Five" detailed the injustice the men, convicted as juveniles, faced.

We eagerly await hearing this news from the mayor-elect himself.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Bill De Blasio Central Park Five Injustice Ken Burns Mayor New York Racism Rape