In 1989 Donald Trump took out the ad at left in four newspapers. It called for New York to reinstate the death penalty and apply it to “criminals of every age.” At the time, four black individuals and one Hispanic individual were accused of raping and beating a woman named Trisha Meili in Central Park. All of the accused were 16 or younger at the time of the attack; they were all convicted and sentenced to jail terms of varying lengths. But in 2002, a different man confessed to having committed the crime, and his DNA was found to match evidence from the scene. The convictions of the five men who’d been initially convicted—the “Central Park Five”—were vacated on the recommendation of Manhattan’s district attorney.
Trump implied to CNN in a story published Thursday that he still believes the men are guilty.
“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.”