OP-ED: No One Should Go to Prison for a Crime They Didn’t Commit

Originally published in The New York Times on January 04, 2021.

Santana, Richardson, Salaam: Myrie Bill Could Prevent Others From Experiencing Injustices We Endured

In 1989, five teenagers were wrongly convicted of assaulting a woman in Central Park. Their guilt was largely based on false confessions coerced by law enforcement using deceptive and intimidating practices.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, three of these men- Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Yusef Salaam- share their experiences and express support for Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie's legislation (S.324) that would ban the use of these deceptive practices and require data collection on recorded criminal interrogations. They write:

... What happened to us isn’t just the past — it’s the present. The methods they used to coerce us, five terrified young boys, into falsely confessing then are still commonly used today... Senator Myrie’s proposed legislation would ban the use of deception in interrogations and ensure that confessions are assessed for reliability before they make it into the courtroom. It’s crucial that New York lawmakers pass these measures to prevent future wrongful convictions and ensure that no one else is ever robbed of their youth or freedom.