Ken Burns offers preview of ‘Central Park Five’ at HLS

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This week, PBS will air “The Central Park Five,” a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, which tells the story of five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping and beating a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. Convicted as teenagers, the five defendants spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist admitted to the crime and their convictions were overturned.

At HLS on March 12, Burns and his co-producers, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, joined Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree and two Central Park Five members for a film screening and panel discussion. The event was co-sponsored by Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, the Prison Studies Project and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

After the screening, Ogletree moderated a discussion with the filmmakers and Central Park Five members Raymond Santana and Kevin Richardson. “I think we set out to try to answer two questions: how could something like this happen, and who were these five?” said Burns.

Read more about the screening and watch a video of the panel on the Harvard Law School website.