The primary principle of the American Justice System is “innocent until proven guilty.”
This tenant of justice is meant to give equal and fair representation to those accused of crimes in the cases where they are innocent of said crimes and can be justifiably proven so in a court of law.
Simply charging someone of something cannot be enough to force a conviction of the crime because as much as legal experts are relied on for being right, sometimes, in the heat of the search and the desperation for results, they get it wrong.
A breakout case knowing as the “Central Park Jogger Case” put this tenant of justice in the spotlight, as multiple convictions were made in pursuit of a single criminal, all of which resulted in false accusations.
The culprit, Matias Reyes, was not apprehended for the crime until authorities were ready to close the case and settle on convicting five innocent men for his crimes, and this fact wasn’t found out until years later.
This flaw in the justice system shook the faith of an entire city’s community.
If they were that wrong, that many times, how many more innocent men would be jailed to spare the search for one guilty party?
10 /10 Unseen Youth
Matias Reyes was born in Puerto Rico in 1971, where he had a primarily undocumented youth, with some notable punctuations in his behavior.
Ever since he was young, he was described as exhibiting violent behavior, which he blamed on his sexual abuse as a child.
He moved out of his mother’s home when he was a teenager and began an impoverished life of low-income wages and habitual crime sprees.
9 /10 Brutalized Beginnings
Reyes started his crime spree formally in 1988. At 17, he began stalking women through the streets and held them up with a knife to rape them.
His first target, a 27-year-old woman, talked him out of raping her, and he let her go. Unfortunately, this was the last time his attempt would fail.
His next victim was beaten and raped in northern Central Park. He fled when he was spotted. Though he was seen, he ran his home and reportedly moved away from being seen or caught.