After winning a landmark $41 million settlement from New York City, the Central Park Five are looking to make the state of New York pay $52 million more for their unjust time behind bars.
The five men, who were wrongfully jailed for years in the 1989 rape and assault of a woman jogging through Central Park, filed their lawsuit in the Court of Claims.
Their individual claims were reactivated after the deal with the city was approved in Manhattan Federal Court in September.
Defendant Raymond Santana, who spent nearly seven years in prison, said the second round of suits was warranted.
“When you have a person who has been exonerated of a crime, the city provides no services to transition him back to society,” Santana told The News. “The only thing left is something like this — so you can receive some type of money so you can survive.”
Criminal charges against Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise were dropped in 2002 after career criminal Matias Reyes confessed to the crime — and insisted that he acted alone.
Reyes’ DNA was recovered from the savagely-beaten jogger but never identified until he confessed. The CP5 spent between six and 13 years in prison, with Wise serving the longest.
All were just teenagers when convicted.
“At the end of the day there was an injustice that occurred, and we want to right these wrongs — and that’s at all levels, federal or state,” Santana said.
Myron Beldock, attorney for four of the five men, dismissed claims that the group had already pocketed enough of the taxpayers’ money.
“It’s not a double dip,” he told the Daily news. “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?”
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