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Kevin D. Richardson

Kevin D. Richardson

Member of the Central Park 5

Biography

April 19, 1989 started off as a normal day for 14-year-old Kevin D. Richardson, but that night would change the course of his life and American society forever. After the brutal attack and sexual assault of jogger Trisha Ellen Meili in Central Park, the New York Police Department rounded up and arrested a total of 10 suspects, including Richardson. Despite there being no DNA and little evidence connecting himself and the four other teens to the crime, Richardson was charged and sentenced to serve 5 to 10 years in jail. After serving five-and-a-half years for a crime he did not commit, Richardson was put on probation and released from prison. Read More >

However, years later the conviction for the attack remained on his record. In 2002, New York District Attorney Robert Richardson joined forces with the other men falsely convicted and filed a lawsuit for $41 million, which was finally settled in 2014. In 2019, Netflix released When They See Us, a mini-series portraying the famous events of the case. The celebrated and award-winning show has brought the injustices Richardson and the Central Park Five experienced back into the public’s attention.

30 years later, Kevin Richardson is an advocate for criminal justice reform and uses his personal experience with false coercions and unjust convictions to bring about change. He has partnered with the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

When They See Us: The Legacy of the Central Park Five

In 1989, 14-year-old Kevin D. Richardson was arrested and charged for the attack and assault on jogger Trisha Ellen Meili. Despite no DNA and little other evidence connecting him to the attack, Richardson was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison, of which he served five and a half years. In 2002, the convictions were overturned. In this extremely personal and powerful keynote, Kevin Richardson shares his experience as a member of the Central Park Five. His accounts demonstrate the need for criminal justice reform and moves audiences to enact change.

From Wrongfully Convicted to Criminal Justice Reform Advocate

As depicted in Netflix’s When They See Us, the infamous case of the Central Park Five highlights the injustices of the United States’ criminal justice system. Motivated by his own wrongful conviction, Kevin D. Richardson is an advocate for reform and is a partner of the Innocence Project, helping to exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted by harnessing the power of DNA testing. Using his own story to inspire audience to call for change in their communities, Richardson brings new light to the power of criminal justice reform.