Did You Or Did You Not?

Central Park 5 and The Crucible Relation

The Central Park 5

In a similar situation as The Crucible, people are once again wrongfully convicted. A similar case took place in New York City in the Central Park area on April 20,1989. This involved 5 youths by the names of Antron McCray (age 15), Kevin Richardson (age 14), Yusef Salaam (age 15), Raymond Santana (age 14) and Korey Wise (age 16). These youths were accused and convicted of the vicious, inhuman beating and raping of Trisha Meili (age 28). Before this none of these boys had any criminal records. This incident ensued when the accuser, Trisha Meili, was jogging and claims to have been attacked by these 5 boys. Meili also went on to say it was a, "wolf-pack" who had swarmed her(NY Times). These boys then went on to savagely beat and rape this woman and leave her for dead in the park. 24 hours after these young men were taken into custody, they confessed and were sentenced to several years in prison. Later reports say that these 5 boys were coerced by the interrogators to confess as being guilty. After serving 6-8 years in prison, in December 2002, a district attorney revisited the case and found that the DNA sample from previous rape cases matched this DNA sample. This attorney soon discovered that these 5 men were not the blame for this crime. The man who does match this DNA sample and actually did commit the crime is named Matias Reyes. Reyes confessed to committing this gruesome crime and all the small details. Soon afterwards all 5 of the wrongfully convicted men's sentences were expunged and they were released from prison in early 2003.

The Crucible's Interconnect with The Central Park 5

One theme that occurred in the Crucible explained that if you naive way of thinking and a gullible personality then you can be easily manipulated. In The Crucible, Abigail persuaded the Mercy Lewis, Mary, Betty and Tituba to do as she said and go along with her story or they would regret it if they didn't - insinuating she would hurt them if they didn't. Abigail strikes Betty across the face and says, "Shut it! Now shut it!" (Act 1, Crucible) and in like manner she says, " I say shut it, Mary Warren!" (Act 1 . Crucible). Abigail also threatens to "come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you" (Act 1, Crucible). In the Central Park 5 interrogation these young boys went through some of the same things as Mercy Lewis, Betty, Tituba and Mary. These boys were young and inexperienced much like Abigail was. These young men had no prior doing in a situation like this. These 2 stories relate because these young men were forced into their confessions just as the girls were forced into going along with Abigail's story. In both accounts though, both the girls and the young men were manipulated. Another way is how these young men were at the wrong place at the time. If the girls were never in the woods with Abigail that day then they would have no parts in this scam Abigail was pulling. Likewise for these young men. If they were never outside at the park "wilding" (Pbs), then they would have no parts in this trial at all.

Works Cited

"CENTRAL PARK FIVE: A Film By Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.


Alvarez, Lizette. "Park Case Witnesses: Their Night of Terror." N.p., 5 Apr. 2013. Web.


"Matias Reyes." Matias Reyes - New York. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.


"Trisha Meili: About Trisha." Trisha Meili: About Trisha. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.


Moran, Jessica Mulvihill. "20 Years After Attack, 'Central Park Jogger' Offers Hope." Fox News. FOX News Network, 20 Apr. 2009. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.