But Gemma was a wonderful lawyer and an even better person and we just cannot believe that no one saw fit to write anything about her. So we continue the discussion today.
Kathleen Smith Zorn said...
Tomorrow (April 15, 2013) will be ten years, to the day, since Gemma Cosentino passed away. She was one of those rare of people in the criminal justice building in the 1980's who could disagree without being disagreeable (post Vietnam era -- passions ran high and tempers flared hot), and who was equally well liked by men and women.
Here is our first post on Gemma.
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE
In Manhattan in 1989 a young woman was brutally assaulted in Central Park. Five young black men were identified as suspects. As a City demanded arrests and "justice", the case received world wide attention. The five young men confessed, and were tried and convicted. The public could rest. Justice was done.
Except the five were innocent.
It is almost unimaginable to conceive the size of the deck stacked against these five young men. As film-maker Ken Burns recently observed, at the time of their arrest "they had no voice." And no attorney qualified to speak up for them.
Every judge who sits in criminal court and every prosecutor should be required to watch this film?
"Nobody confesses to a crime they did not commit."
Watch this film and then we'll discuss the phenomenon of false confessions with you.
Until then, see you in court.