Ava Duvernay’s limited series “When They See Us,” has put the five innocent men, commonly known as The Central Park Five, back into the spotlight 30 years after being accused and charged with rape of a white woman.
Since their exonerations in 2002, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise have all received compensation for their false imprisonment, though no amount of money can make up for the childhoods lost.
The men sued New York City, following their exoneration in 2003, for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress but didn’t settle until 2014 for $41 million. It took over 10 years to settle due in part to city lawyers under former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.
According to reports, the attorneys believed that they could win a court case, and as a result, the city refused to settle. However, after Bill de Blasio was elected as mayor, he supported settling the case, and the case was closed.
The five men pursued an additional $52 million in damages from the state of New York as well. That settlement in 2016 ended with the men receiving only $3.9 million, in what the Daily News describes as a “low-key state Court of Claims payout” for the “economic and emotional devastation caused by the incarceration of the five men.”
According to Daily News, the 2016 additional settlement awarded Raymond Santana $500,000; Antron McCray $600,000 and Yusef Salaam and Kevin Richardson $650,000 each. Korey Wise received $1.5 million, as he served the most prison time.
One of the attorneys in both settlements, Jonathan Moore, told the Daily News, “I understand people say it’s a lot of money. The reality is there’s no amount of money that would adequately compensate them. They’ve suffered every day since 1989, and they’re still suffering.”