'Those Are Characteristics of a Tyrant'

Ladies and gentleman, the indispensable Radley Balko:


In 1989 Donald Trump took out a full page ad in four New York City newspapers calling for the execution of the alleged rapists in the infamous Central Park Jogger case. Never mind that the five alleged assailants were all minors, or that rape wasn't a capital crime. There was a moral panic to be stoked....

If Trump had his way, all of the Central Park Five would have been dead by 2002. That's the year Matias Reyes, already in prison for rape and murder, confessed to the crime, and insisted he acted alone. DNA tests had already confirmed that only one person raped victim Trisha Meili. Further testing showed Reyes was that person. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morganthou later vacated the convictions of the other five suspects, all of whom had already served their sentences for the attack.

Raymond Santana, then a 14-year old suspect, who went to prison on a bad charge, who Trump said "should be forced to suffer" and "executed" has this to say  presently:

"It says a lot about his character. If he can give the death penalty to 14-year-old, 15-year-old kids then there's nothing he would not do. Those are characteristics of a tyrant, not characteristics of a president,"

Those who have aided and abetted this farce should be ashamed.

H/T Andrew
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in National

From This Author

Just In