Media support awards for Central Park rapists

Ann Coulter

12/6/2002 12:00:00 AM - Ann Coulter
Hoping for a different result, journalists are re-litigating the Central Park rape case in their pages, skipping the fuss and bother of the adversary process. The New York Times recently announced that "so far," there is "almost nothing to back the original findings of guilt." That's if you don't count 10 videotaped confessions and five guilty verdicts rendered by two duly constituted juries. But don't fall for the cheap substitute of a trial by jury when there are one-sided accounts available in the pages of the Times! As part of the media's continuing series on how every criminal is innocent, except asbestos manufacturers and abortion clinic protesters, the Los Angeles Times said of the Central Park rapists: "Jurors were swayed by physical evidence during the trial, such as a blonde hair apparently from the victim found on one teen-ager's clothes. New forensic testing has shown that the hair did not come from the jogger." If reporters bothered to do research rather than accepting whatever the "Innocence Project" tells them, they would know that the lone hair evidence used against defendant Kevin Richardson could not possibly have "swayed" the jurors. According to AP reports at the time, the most powerful testimony about the hairs found on Richardson's clothes came from a detective who boldly proclaimed: The hairs "could have" come from the jogger. On cross-examination, he admitted that "he could not determine that a hair definitely came from a specific individual." He also said "that hair could end up on someone's clothing by casual contact or from being airborne." On the other hand, evidence tending to implicate Richardson included this: He led prosecutors to the scene of the crime. There were dirt and grass stains in the crotch of his undershorts. He confessed on videotape to being at the scene of the attack. He gave a detailed description of the attack. He admitted that the deep scratch wound on his cheek was inflicted by the jogger. But wait! The "Innocence Project" has produced an 11th-hour confession from a sixth rapist, Matias Reyes. Stunning no one but gullible reporters, he claims he acted alone. As is always the case with surprise confessions exonerating others, Reyes faces no penalty for this confession. To the contrary, Reyes is surely the toast of his cellblock – where, by happenstance, he is serving time with another Central Park rapist, Kharey Wise. The statute of limitations has run on the rape and Reyes is already serving life in prison. Compare Reyes' new confession to the videotaped confessions of the five animals back in 1989. Their confessions would land them in prison. These were "statements against interest" in the strongest sense of the phrase. And yet, they still confessed. Their confessions were tested in court, attacked by defense counsel, and believed by two unanimous juries. But liberals treat these confessions as laughable frauds. Only Reyes' literally inconsequential confession is treated like Holy Scripture. The odds of an innocent man being found guilty by a unanimous jury are basically nil. When the media assert a convict was "exonerated," they mean his conviction was thrown out on a technicality. Up and down the criminal justice system, guilty criminals are constantly being set free. Evidence of guilt is thrown out at the drop of a hat. Not so, evidence of innocence. The criminal justice system is a one-way, pro-defendant ratchet. So is the media, the difference being, in court, evidence of guilt is not actually prohibited. Consider only the odds of a false confession leading to a conviction. If the judge believes a confession is not an expression of free will, the confession will be thrown out. If the jury believes a confession is not an expression of free will, the confession will be thrown out. If an appeals court finds the confession was not voluntary, it will be thrown out. If the police fail to read the suspect his Miranda rights, the confession will be thrown out. If the defendant lyingly claims he was not read his Miranda rights and gets some appeals court to believe him, the confession will be thrown out. If the police question a juvenile outside the presence of his parents, the confession will be thrown out. The videotaped confessions of the animals convicted in the Central Park attack were not thrown out. They were admitted into evidence and believed by two unanimous juries. In 10 videotaped statements, members of the wolf pack implicated one another as well as themselves. They corroborated aspects of one another's stories. The police obtained statements from literally dozens of teen-agers who were in the park the night the jogger was attacked. In the end, only five of those who gave statements were prosecuted for the attack on the jogger. Consider that when the savages confessed, it was still possible that the jogger would emerge from her coma, remember everything, and identify her attackers with blinding clarity. Of course, if that had happened, we would now be reading copious articles in the New York Times about how head injuries can easily distort memory and render eyewitness testimony unreliable. It is more likely that the Central Park jogger was raped by space aliens than that Matias Reyes acted alone. But through their loud-mouthed lobbying in the media, criminal defense lawyers are determined to turn these beasts into their latest Sacco and Vanzetti case.