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When They See Us

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Johnny Angell, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I didn’t find any thread discussing this series, so here goes: I watched the first episode last night. The acting is uniformly excellent and the show rings of authenticity. I wish it didn’t because this is not a tale of mistaken justice but the corruption of justice. I don’t want to believe it, but I’ve read too often about police and prosecutors whose only goal is a conviction and not justice, not the truth.

    The police detectives portrayed in the show did not come out of Blue Bloods. These are cops railroading innocent people for whom they have no good reason to suspect of a crime. The prosecutors are no better, they continually take the square facts and pound them into a round hole and the lives of the defendants are destroyed.

    It’s a great series and worth watching just for that. But it’s also a sobering reminder there are people whose ambitions overrides any vestige of decency they might have. Every wonder why an innocent man doesn’t cooperate with the police until he has a lawyer? Watch this series and you’ll know.
     
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  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    This series has been praised by the documentary makers, lawyers and advocates for the portrayal of the Central Park 5, a group of young men charged and convicted of a crime they would later be exonerated of committing.

    Really really well done. The acting in this series should win awards.
     
  3. The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Like everyone else who was around in April '89, I clearly remember the Central Park jogger case & the five teens who were convicted of "wilding" (a term I had never heard before the case, or since for that matter). Though I've never lived in or near NYC, the case received international attention at the time. And, like I suspect many others did at the time - I believed they were guilty.

    Over the years, I did pay attention to the various news stories about these five - and, was very surprised at the exonerations circa 2002. However, I never really found out that much about the case - prior to seeing the excellent Ken Burns/Sarah Burns documentary The Central Park 5 on DVD, circa 2013.

    More recently, I did see the latest 20/20 special about the case (also excellent), as well as this Netflix When They See Us mini-series. Superb & disturbing. While the Burns doc. was well-done & informative, both the 20/20 special and the mini-series provided a lot more detail & info.

    And, I truly find this case (and others like this) reprehensible & sickening. The authorities railroaded these kids & made them scapegoats for this horrific crime - when it was evident that they had nothing to do with this from the beginning. It was 100% obvious the authorities had a lot of pressure to solve this case quickly, and so they picked on these kids - who they could at least prove were in the park at the time the crime occurred.

    However, there was 0 evidence to tie them to the crime:

    - It was proven that they weren't in the area where the crime occurred, but in another part of the park.

    -There was no physical evidence/DNA evidence tying any of the five to the crime.

    -The jogger couldn't remember who had attacked her. Though this wouldn't exonerate them, it shouldn't have convicted them either.

    -I don't always put a lot of stock in confessions, since it's been proven that a lot of these were coercive - as they were in this case. I.e., anyone can confess to anything - but, is there proof to back this up? In this case, obviously no. Also as in this case, the confessions didn't make sense & had holes, etc. It should have been obvious to anyone listening to these that the kids' stories didn't mesh/make sense.

    So, even before the real perpetrator came forward, there shouldn't have been enough evidence to convict any of these 5.

    False imprisonment is horrible, for several reasons:

    1) Obviously, someone put in prison for a crime they didn't commit has their reputation ruined, their freedom lost, lost wages, in danger of being assaulted/injured/killed in prison, undue stress on the family, etc. And, it will affect them negatively for the rest of their lives - even if they get out of prison. I.e., they won't be able to get most jobs (due to their record), etc. This was clearly illustrated in the WTSU series, when the five started to get out of prison & their records followed them around - so they had very limited opportunities for work.

    2) By convicting an innocent person/persons of a crime, the authorities will typically stop looking into this & may even close the book on a case, or at least not have an open investigation anymore. However, that means that the real perp./perps. are still out there & quite possibly committing other crimes - as occurred in this case.
     
  4. Message #4 of 7 Jun 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Other comments/observations about the case/mini-series:

    -I'm surprised that KW (the one who went to the adult prison from Day 1) didn't go to juvenile prison early on, given that he was only 16. I thought everyone under 18 was considered a minor?! I.e., it seems like the rules were "bent" in this case in order to punish him more than the other, younger kids.

    -It's amazing that the real perp. in this Central Park jogger case (MR) admitted to the crime years later. As I said earlier, I don't always put a lot of stock in confessions - unless there is proof to back them up. And, in this case it was obvious that the perp. had done what he said he had done re: the DNA testing, etc.

    So, why did he finally confess to the crime? As was mentioned in TCP5 doc. & WTSU, MR and KW (one of the 5) had an altercation early on in KW's imprisonment. And, then they ran into each other years later - and somehow MR may have felt guilt that KW & others had gotten convicted for something he knew only he had done. It sounds like he was trying to make up?! for what had happened - which I find unusual.

    The 5 were lucky that this occurred. I.e., if this true confession/proof hadn't happened, they would never have been exonerated of the crime (even though they would all have eventually gotten out of prison). I.e., MR - even if he had intended to eventually confess - could have easily died in prison before doing so.

    -Also wanted to address what was mentioned in the 20/20 special about the case, i.e. the speculation that the CP5 kids could still have been involved in the crime with MR. Well, I don't believe this - not necessarily because MR said he was the only person involved (i.e., he could have been lying) but because the authorities only found DNA from one person at the scene & on the jogger. Also:

    1)MR was a serial offender, and re: his prior crimes had never committed them with anyone else;

    2) Committing such a horrific crime with others would increase the chances he would get caught, since one or more of them could implicate him. I.e., even though he was vicious, I never got the impression he was stupid.
     
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  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    We'll be watching this thread very closely. A number of very personal takes on this have already been posted and they are close to if not oer the line on P&R already.

    Keep your discussions to the merits of the show and we'll gladly keep the thread open. Devolve into 'sides' and we will have to close it.
     
  6. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Just finished binge watching this. Really powerful piece. The entire cast was great, but the kids especially blew me away. Each one was incredible. The 2 standout performances for me, and ones that should absolutely take home Emmys and Golden Globes, were Jharrel Jerome (Korey Wise) and Niecy Nash (Dolores Wise). And for Jharrel to play Korey as both the child and adult was remarkable.

    I almost wish it had gone one more episode. I wanted to see more in depth the aftermath and fallout from the second investigation.
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Yeah, I wanted to see the prosecutors bend over and get...ah well, you know.
     
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