The Christian Science Monitor

How ‘When They See Us’ is affecting views of justice system

When the drama “When They See Us” first came out last month, James Peterson had been afraid to watch it. He knew it wouldn’t be a happy story, but when he finally hit play and the first beats of Special Ed’s rap “I Got It Made” raised the curtain on the hit Netflix miniseries, he couldn’t help but start nodding along.

He was back in April 1989, his senior year of high school and the year when the so-called Central Park Five case made national headlines. Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay has dramatized the case of five young teenagers of color who were falsely convicted of beating and raping Trisha Meili, a white female jogger in the park – convictions that hinged decisively on confessions they made to police in the hours after the attack, confessions the men contend were coerced.

The four-part series follows the teenagers from their arrests through their prison terms and reentry to their official

Past events, present ireReaction to the storytellingPlatform-specific approach 

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