Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns understands the horrors faced by five New York City teens unfairly charged with rape back in 1989.
“The Central Park Five,” the new documentary co-directed by Burns on the subject, lets the five victims recall that tumultuous time in their lives and documents just how much the false charges crushed their youth.
Yet Burns seems indifferent to another case in which three young men were unfairly accused of rape and waited 15 months to have their names cleared.
Burns brought up the 2006 Duke Lacrosse case, in which three students were accused of sexually assaulting a stripper, during an interview with The Phoenix in Boston:
In the same issue as your interview we are also running a profile of Damien Echols. What are the similarities and differences between this case and that of the West Memphis Three?
[Burns] Basically both are instances where society deems someone an “other” and treats them as such, contrary to the actual facts of the case. And you can also compare the Central Park Five to the Duke University lacrosse players, three rich white boys who were mildly inconvenienced by rape charges that proved to be false. In no time the prosecutor of that case was fired, disbarred, and put in jail, and the three ended up getting a huge settlement.