Anyone check out When They See Us on Netflix? It’s a miniseries by Ava DuVernay, backed by Oprah Winfrey and Robert DiNiro (among others)
Here’s a review. No spoilers. But, can there be spoilers if we know how the trials turned out?
The five men who were convicted (who later had their convictions overturned and won a lawsuit against NYC) worked with DuVernay on the series. Actualy it was Raymond Santana who reached out to DuVernay on Twitter to give her the idea for making it!
The miniseries is presented from the point of view of the 5 men, first when the crime happens, then their treatment by the police, then their trials, then their time in jail and then their time after getting out. Four of the 5 were in juvenile detention and the 5th, Korey Wise, was in adult prison. There is also some focus on their families at home.
I felt that since the men were involved in the production, the stories told must have been by-in-large true to fact (from their perspectives).
The story absolutely maintains the boys’ innocence and mistreatment. And, even though it’s a small factor in the overall story, it highlights what an absolute wretched person Donald Trump is.
I think it’s an important story to tell. You should check it out.
This case was one of the first “True Crime” cases I followed…I would have been about 12 or 13. I remember being horrified, but it kind of slipped my mind until I heard the five were released. What an intense and enraging movie! I could not believe the miscarriage of justice, and the fact that the DA continues to try and push that the boys were guilty is just astounding. She deserves every repercussion she can get from this case (also the Weinstein one she was a part of).
Earlier today I read an op-ed by Fairstein. Now I tend to believe the spirit of the docu-drama but also realize that there was probably some dramatic license taken as well. However, according to Fairstein, it was all lies. She indicates that some of the facts that she is refuting can be proved from the court docs but considering how much bullshit seemed to have been going on from all parties involved with the prosecution, I’m not sure that would even constitute “proof” but I figure it’s worth throwing it out there for “both sides of the argument” purposes.
Still, the whole things is absolutely sickening and considering the climate in NYC at the time, I have no trouble believing that the Netflix series is pretty close to the truth.
I actually didn’t think they painted Fairstein in the worst of light. The whole thing really could have been blamed on her. Seems that they took her down the track of “dammit I really want justice for this woman! I’m tired of violence against women!” and most of the damage was done by the police by the time the case got to her.
Of course, she could have done more due diligence to make sure the cops had everything right, and not hand-waved away some advice to do so.
But I feel at least, in this particular depiction of Fairstein (and granted, I’ve not seen other depictions) she wasn’t COMPLETELY vilified. Maybe…shown to be more incompetent than she likes?
I don’t remember the actual events, but based on what is portrayed in the series this statement seems to be totally out of left field. It’s almost the exact opposite of both what was accused at trial or what is said to have happened. Perhaps you’re thinking of something else?
This doesn’t really wash. Fairstein was portrayed as the one who pushed the cops to find the killers, that it was these boys and they had better make sure they come back with something. She interviewed the boys and was responsible for there being a list of names which subsequently got rounded up.
There’s absolutely no ambiguity there I think. Sure the cops were all to happy to see it through, but according to the show she laid down the marching orders and she’d made up her mind about happened long before any testimony was coerced or any evidence was uncovered. She’s pretty much the big bad from start to finish.
It wasn’t just one ad, it was a full-page ad in all four of the city’s major newspapers. According to the Wikipedia account, “lawyers for the five defendants said that Trump’s advertisement had inflamed public opinion” and “poisoned the minds of many people who lived in New York City” making it difficult or impossible for the boys to get a fair trial. This was in 1989, and years later, in 2014, when the city announced the monetary settlement, Trump was at it again, writing an opinion piece in the New York Daily News calling the settlement “a disgrace” and claiming that the boys were likely guilty.
It’s behind a paywall, but Fairstein has written an op-ed (upon edit, I see that Deser2 has referenced that and linked to it - Kudos, Deser2) about the case … it’s difficult to judge second-hand since I don’t have a WSJ subscription, but I gather from peoples’ reaction to the op-ed that it doubles down on the idea that coerced confessions from 14-16 year olds are somehow reliable? Anyone know of a good way to get access to this op-ed without paying for the WSJ?
Or she’s got a huge financial stake in making herself look good and has a track record of lying.
The TV show may be fictionalized, but it’s also fact checked and most of the information is in the public record. If an objective source can point out any false portrayals in the show we can have that discussion.