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New York Times Reporter to speak on "Confessions and the Central Park Jogger Case"

Jim Dwyer, a reporter with the New York Times will speak about "Confessions and the Central Park Jogger Case: The Cataclysmic Fiction of a Gang Rape" on Wednesday, February 19, 2003, at 12:15 p.m. in Room 127 at Yale Law School. The talk is sponsored by the Knight Journalism Fellows and is free and open to the public.

Dwyer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, will consider the role that confessions played in the Central Park jogger case--including how they came about and how they fell apart.

Dwyer has covered the re-eruption of the 1989 case in which five teenagers were convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park. Those convictions were brought into doubt when another man confessed to the crime, and DNA evidence confirmed his involvement. The headlines of some of Dwyer's articles sketch the outlines of recent events: "Likely U-Turn By Prosecutors In Jogger Case," "Hair Evidence In Jogger Case Is Discredited," "Injustice in the Jogger Case," "Verdict That Failed the Test of Time."

Dwyer's reporting has exposed some of the critical inconsistencies in the confessions that were the key evidence against the five teenagers. For instance, several of the boys testified that the rape took place at different times and in different locations. One claimed that the jogger had been stabbed, but no stab wounds were found on her.

Dwyer wrote in one recent article, "much of what the youths said about the rape was wrong, including when, where and how it took place. Indeed, their description of the location, the victim's clothing and other details makes it seem, in retrospect, almost as if they were talking about another crime."