Central Park Five to Sue New York State for $52 Million

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Raymond Santana, right, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam, left, react to supporters Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in New York. The three men who were exonerated in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, were in court for a hearing in a $250 million federal lawsuit they filed against the city after their sentences were vacated. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Photo: Frank Franklin II

The five men who were wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a Central Park jogger in 1989 are suing New York State, the New York Daily News reports. Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise all spent between 6 and 13 years in jail before DNA evidence exonerated them in 2002. This summer, the quintet received a $40 settlement from New York City for the time they spent behind bars. The new lawsuit, filed in the state Court of Claims, seeks $52 million in damages.

Myron Beldock, an attorney who represents four of the five men, told the Daily News that he feels his clients are entitled to a second payout. “It’s not a double dip,” he said. “Although our clients got substantial payments, we don’t think it was sufficient for their lawsuits. How much is a year in jail worth in a child’s life?” Or, as Santana put it, “When you have a person who has been exonerated of a crime, the city provides no services to transition him back to society. The only thing left is something like this — so you can receive some type of money so you can survive…Will it ever be enough? Not for what we lost.”

A spokesman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that his boss “is committed to protecting the rights of the wrongfully convicted, and to helping individuals obtain justice and put their lives back together again,” which probably means that he’s willing to settle. However, “a source close to the case” said that the state is likely to be significantly less generous than the city.