Trump told CNN's Miguel Marquez this week that it was "outrageous" that the so-called "Central Park 5"--the group of four black men and one Latino man who were convicted, then cleared, of charges of raping and assaulting a jogger in New York City's Central Park--were exonerated.
"They admitted they were guilty," Trump said. "The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same."
The men "admitted" their guilt after days of interrogation by New York police, during which time they claim the department deprived them of both food and sleep; none of the men actually claimed they raped the female jogger. A convicted rapist and murderer confessed in 2002 to the crime, and his DNA was a match to that found on the victim.
New York paid the "Central Park 5" a $41 million settlement in 2014 for the wrongful conviction.
But Trump, as convinced of the "Central Park 5's" guilt today as he was in 1989, took out four separate full-page ads in different local New York newspapers at the time. The headlines declared that the city needed to "bring back the death penalty."
CNN's Steven Holmes explains why the case was (and still is) so significant:
The viciousness of the crime, which came in the midst of New York's crack epidemic and a spiraling crime rate, coupled with the fact that the victim was white and four of the suspects were black and one was Latino, added to the city's racial tensions. ...
[Trump] is undoubtedly holding steadfast to an opinion in the face of DNA evidence to the contrary and the fact that the Central Park 5 have been exonerated by the legal system.