Ken Burns Blasts New York Officials For "Fishing Expedition"
Documentary producer Ken Burns says that he will fight a subpoena from the city of New York to turn over notes and unused footage used in the preparation of his film The Central Park Five, which tells the story of five teenaged boys who were railroaded by New York authorities and wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989. (The men were exonerated after serving long sentences, when the actual rapist confessed and DNA tests conclusively linked him to the crime, but the city is fighting a lawsuit brought by the men.) In an interview on Monday's CBS This Morning, Burns accused New York authorities of conducting a fishing expedition and said it was all part of the city's continued strategy to delay compensating the now-adult men for the unjust prosecution and imprisonment. After 13 years of justice denied -- which everyone agrees on -- there's suddenly now justice delayed, which we know is just justice denied, Burns said in the interview. Separately, Burns's lawyers, Baker & Hostetler, issued a statement saying that the city's subpoena reflects nothing more than hope and speculation that the outtakes may contain useful material and indicated that the city had failed to seek alternate sources of the information -- such as depositions of the five men. Burns is currently promoting The Central Park Five, his first documentary to be released theatrically in 27 years. It has received much critical praise at major international film festivals where it has been shown this year. It is due to open domestically on Nov. 23.