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The December 2002 exoneration of five young men who were convicted of the infamous 1989 attack on a jogger in Central Park highlighted the ease with which standard interrogation techniques can produce false confessions that lead to wrongful convictions.

When the jogger was attacked in 1989, the public was convinced that the five Harlem youths, who repeatedly incriminated themselves and each other, were guilty beyond doubt. Meanwhile, the actual attacker committed three more rapes and a rape and murder before he was caught. In 2002, when the case unraveled after the actual perpetrator confessed to attacking the victim by himself, the public scratched its collective head while trying to understand why not only one, but several, of the boys had apparently falsely confessed to their involvement in the brutal attack on the jogger.

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