Impact of the Netflix Series on the Central Park Five
Steve Adubato sits down with Kevin Richardson a member of the “Exonerated Five” and Vanessa Potkin, Director of Post-Conviction Litigation with the Innocence Project. The pair discuss the Netflix series, "When They See Us," which tells the story of the Exonerated Five from their point of view 30 years after headlines labeled them the “Central Park Five” when they were accused and later wrongfully convicted of assaulting and raping a woman in Central Park.
"We are honored to welcome Mr. Kevin Richardson, member of the Exonerated Five, and Vanessa Potkin, Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at the Innocence Project. I want to thank you for joining us. Thank you. Thanks for having us. Kevin, part of the Exonerated Five, back in April, April 19th… 18th, excuse me, 1989, the Central Park Five, you were one of those young men? 14? Were you 14? 14 years old. Correct. All 14, except one was 16? Two were 14, myself and Raymond Santana. We were the two youngest. And two were 15. And Korey was the oldest. So I was telling you before we got on the air here that I was watching a Netflix special, and by the way, the show that people should watch, the series is When They See Us. It's a four-part miniseries on Netflix. Check it out. But I was watching Oprah Winfrey interview you and your brothers talking about that experience, and it was a powerful one. I'm gonna ask you, what is the most important message for people to understand that you and your colleagues, you and your friends, spent a lot of time in jail? Your innocence was taken away. 14, 15, 16 years of age. How many years did you serve? I served seven years in prison. Where? I started off in a juvenile facility, because I was 16 when I actually went into prison. Then I got transferred as an adult to the adult prison at 21. And I did the last three years there. So I was all... everywhere actually. I want people to understand this. There were a lot of people at the time in '89, including our president, Donald Trump, who was a private citizen at this time. He took out a full-page ad. The newspaper was in New York. He called for the death penalty for all five. I want everyone to understand that in 2002, DNA evidence confirmed that someone else, who actually acknowledged that it was him, who raped Trisha Meili in 1989 in Central Park, correct? That's right. A man came forward, Matias Reyes, and he said that he, you know, he started to tell people, "I did this crime. I did it alone." And DNA testing was performed, and confirmed that his DNA was on multiple items at the crime scene, and he had a history of committing similar crimes all by himself in the area around the time, including a rape that happened just days before in Central Park. What about the DNA evidence of Kevin and those other young men? Did it match? So at the time..."