Member of the Exonerated Five speaks about the “criminal system of injustice”
Yusef Salaam spent nearly seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit
On Thursday, author and activist Yusef Salaam spoke at the University of Massachusetts Lowell about his experience with what he calls the “criminal system of injustice.”
Salaam is one of the Exonerated Five, a group of Black and Latino teens who were wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a woman in New York City in the infamous 1989 Central Park jogger case.
Salaam, who was 15 at the time, spent six years and eight months in prison before he was exonerated.
Since then, he has become an advocate for reforming the legal system and has written several books, including the 2021 memoir Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice. He is also currently running for city council in New York City.
He spoke on a panel that included Radha Natarajan, the director of the New England Innocence Project, and Miko W. Wilford, a UMass psychology professor. The panel was moderated by Erica Gagne, a UMass Lowell criminology professor.
You can watch video of the entire panel discussion here:
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