Film Screening: The Central Park Five (2013)
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 18, 2013
About the film:
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, resulting in their convictions being overturned.
Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories, an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.
About the panelists:
Christopher Hawthorne: Christopher Hawthorne is a clinical professor and co-director of Loyola Law School's Juvenile Innocence & Fair Sentencing Clinic. Before joining the Loyola faculty, Hawthorne was a solo practitioner specializing in appellate criminal defense. Prior to and during his legal and teaching career, he wrote and produced motion pictures, for which he won the Writer's Guild of America Award, the Prix de Critiques at the Festival Avoriaz and the Silver Cairo at the Cairo Film Festival.
Sarah Burns: Sarah Burns is the author of The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding (Knopf, 2011), a non-fiction book about the teenagers wrongly convicted in the Central Park Jogger rape in 1989. She co-directed the film with her father, Ken, and her husband, David McMahon.
Bruce Lisker: Bruce Lisker was 17 years old when he discovered his mother, beaten, stabbed, and dying on the floor of the family's Sherman Oaks home. His mother never regained consciousness, and died in emergency surgery a few hours later. Despite having called for help and assisted his mother until authorities arrived, a corrupt LAPD homicide detective rushed to judge him guilty, and set about framing Bruce for the murder of his mother. A jailhouse informant and a raft of false evidence later, Bruce was convicted and given a 16-years-to-life state prison sentence. Several times through the years he was forced by circumstance to confess to a murder he did not commit. After 26 years of struggling to prove his innocence, in 2009 the United States District Court found that Bruce's murder conviction was based on false evidence and ineffective assistance of counsel. The conviction was, at long last, overturned.
Bruce now lives happily with his wife, Kara, in Marina del Rey. He has been vocal in his efforts to repeal the death penalty. He has worked as an advocate for the wrongfully convicted, and for reform of the criminal justice system that allowed such a nightmare to be inflicted upon him and his family.
Center for Juvenile Law & Policy
919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015