Donald Trump Still Needs To See Copy Of Central Park Five's Long-Form DNA
Back in 1989, in response to the case of the Central Park Jogger, Donald Trump took out a full page ad in several newspapers demanding that New York state bring back the death penalty.
The case was riddled with problems from the start, including obviously coerced confessions in which none of the five black youths convicted of the crime actually confessed to actually raping her (they all merely confessed to having restrained her or touched a part of her body, after being told by police, after hours of interrogation, that their fingerprints were found on her) -- and, in 2002, someone else actually confessed to the crime. That person was serial rapist Matias Reyes, who said he committed the rape all by himself. DNA testing proved that his semen was the only semen on the victim, and the convictions of the five boys were vacated.
Most people with half a brain would say "Yes, it is clear that this case was not handled very well, and police got the wrong people! Especially given that SOMEONE ELSE CONFESSED TO IT AND HIS DNA MATCHED UP!" But Donald Trump is not most people! Once he has an opinion, he sticks to it, evidence be damned!
In a carefully buried lede in a story about Trump's involvement with the case, CNN revealed Thursday that Trump told reporter Miguel Marquez that he still believes the Central Park Five are guilty, even though it is quite clear they are not.
"They admitted they were guilty," Trump said this week in a statement to CNN's Miguel Marquez. "The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same."
Actually, what is outrageous is the fact that they were convicted on blatantly coerced confessions in the first place! It's really, really bad. And it's a thing that we should all want to try to make sure doesn't happen again.
The most important takeaway from this is not just that Donald Trump is A IDIOT, but that he has a serious problem with taking in new information and coming to a correct conclusion based on that evidence. Except in stupid situations that he probably made up, like his reasoning for changing his position on abortion to the politically-convenient-for-someone-running-as-a-Republican belief that abortion is terrible. This is a very bad quality in a President!
For someone claiming to be the "Law and Order" candidate (DUN DUN), Donald Trump is deeply wrong on every opinion he has on "Law and Order." Including the one he has about Richard Belzer, who is a beautiful angel and also my future husband.
He insists the Central Park Five are guilty, when they are clearly not. He insists that stop and frisk is effective and constitutional, when it is not. He is for the death penalty (for a non-capital crime, no less), which is clearly a stupid thing to have when false convictions -- like the Central Park Five case -- happen all the time.
It is, of course, totally possible that Trump is simply stuck in 1989 and has not yet heard about Reyes' confession and all the DNA evidence. If so, he will certainly be saddened to find out that Cheers has since been canceled and that Pluto is no longer an official planet. Perhaps he has simply become unstuck in time and is unaware of many new developments in general. Like the fact that women and black people can vote now! That would certainly explain some of the things he felt comfortable saying out loud and in front of people.
Either that or he is just a deeply stupid person.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse