central park 5 (b&w)

Central Park 5 during trial

*There’s finally some real good news for the five black and Hispanic men who were convicted (wrongly) of beating and raping a white female jogger in 1989. According to the NY Times, they will receive a $40 million settlement from New York City.

As we’ve reported previously, the men, known as the Central Park 5, had their sentences vacated in 2002 when an investigation conducted by then-Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau uncovered DNA and other evidence linking the beating to another man, Matias Reyes. Reyes, who was already imprisoned for other crimes, confessed to the attack.

The five men filed a $250 million lawsuit against the city for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and conspiracy with a racial motivation. They have now agreed to accept the $40 million.

The settlement will pay the men roughly $1 million for each year of imprisonment. Kharey Wise served the longest sentence at 13 years. Kevin Richardson, Anton McCray, Yusef Salaan and Raymond Santana Jr. were imprisoned for about seven years.

Meanwhile, Rev. Al Sharpton is speaking out on the settlement. He’s calling it a victory.

“Reports of a settlement in the Central Park Five case signify a monumental victory for the five young men and their families who fought for justice for so long.

It is also a victory for those in the community that stood with them from day one and believed in their innocence in this case. As supporters we were viciously attacked for standing with them, but we were on the right side of history.

One should not underestimate the permanent damaged by the misuse of prosecution – lives were devastated, families torn apart, youth stolen. One of the young men did thirteen years in prison, only to return home unable to get a job. He worked for us at NAN for years, and we were honored to help him get back on his feet.

Get MORE info at NY Times.

central park 5 today

Central Park 5 (in 2014)