Confirmation Bias: A Brief Overview Of The Central Park Five

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Osvaldo Ventura, Jasmin Arrieta, Christopher Garza, Christopher Lemus, Oscar Lopez and Max Merril
The Central Park Five — Introduction
This essay will accomplish four things. We will first give a brief overview of the case and what confirmation bias is and how it affected the case. We will then dive deeper into the outcome of the case and how everyone was affected. Finally, we will define confirmation bias and demonstrate how it was used to irreversibly harm the following 5 boys' lives.
Confirmation bias is when we tend to disregard or question information in order to see things through a lens that better suits our belief system. We chose to analyze the Central Park Five case because we believe that it is a great example of how confirmation …show more content…

The conviction was based on false confessions that four out of the five young men had given, all coerced by the police through lengthy interrogations. One of the boys even revealed years later that he could hear the others being beaten during their confessions, with officers warning him, "You realize you're next."
In 2002, a convicted serial rapist and murderer named Matias Reyes confessed to the Central Park attack. After further examination, DNA evidence was found that confirmed his guilt. Immediately after, the five men's convictions were overturned, and they were released from prison after spending between 6 and 13 years behind bars. All 5 young men were fully exonerated of all charges.
In 2014, the Central Park Five reached a settlement with the city of New York for $41 million. The settlement compensated them for the injustice and trauma they had suffered and acknowledged the flaws in the criminal justice system that had led to their wrongful …show more content…

Because there was already a preconceived notion that the teenagers had committed the crime, investigators interpreted and emphasized evidence that supported their bias. The teenagers were essentially coerced into giving answers the investigators wanted to hear and with that, false confessions. It’s also important to note that the teenagers had no legal counsel or parents present during these interrogations. This would inevitably lead to the fabrication of the evidence and consequently the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five.

Confirmation bias was not only prevalent in the interrogations and accusations against the teenagers but also in the court hearings. Because of the mass media coverage and the societal biases regarding the case, the jury found the teenagers guilty on account of limited and biased evidence. The defense was unable to effectively challenge the jury due to these preconceived notions and ideas, despite the jury itself being unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants committed the crime described in the

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