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The five men who were wrongly convicted in the Central Park jogger case have agree to settle their civil lawsuit against the City of New York for $40 million. The five men served time for the raping and beating of a woman, which DNA evidence proved they did not commit the crime. 

Reports the New York Times:

The agreement, reached between the city’s Law Department and the five plaintiffs, would bring to an end an extraordinary legal battle over a crime that came to symbolize a sense of lawlessness in New York, amid reports of “wilding” youths and a marauding “wolf pack” that set its sights on a 28-year-old investment banker who ran in the park many evenings after work.

The confidential deal, disclosed by a person who is not a party in the lawsuit but was told about the proposed settlement, must still be approved by the city comptroller and then by a federal judge.

The initial story of the crime, as told by the police and prosecutors, was that a band of young people, part of a larger gang that rampaged through Central Park, had mercilessly beaten and sexually assaulted the jogger. The story quickly exploded into the public psyche, fanned by politicians and sensational news reports that served to inflame racial tensions.

Four of the five men (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, and Kharey Wise), who were teens at the time, confessed to the crime, which they said was coerced. They were all convicted in 1990 after the confessions were rule admissible at their trial. However, DNA evidence proved that it was another man that committed the crime, and the convictions were vacated in 2002.

Has justice finally been served? This is at least a start.

Photo: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II