Korey Wise Of “Central Park Five” Donates $190,000 to Help Fight Wrongful Convictions

Korey Wise (photo via cnews.com)
Korey Wise (photo via cnews.canoe.com)

The University of Colorado’s Innocence Project got a boost and a new name with a $190,000 donation from Korey Wise, a man exonerated in New York City’s high-profile Central Park jogger case.

The program, operated out of CU’s law school, is now named the Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law. Wise’s donation allowed the student-led volunteer program to hire a full-time director this fall and provides financial support for its investigative work.

The Innocence Project is a national nonprofit with chapters across the country that investigate claims of wrongful convictions. Colorado’s chapter was founded in 2001 under the Colorado Lawyers Committee and moved to the CU law school in 2010.

Wise was 16 when he was tried and convicted as an adult in connection with the 1989 attack and rape of a female jogger in Central Park.

He spent more than a decade in prison and was exonerated in 2002 after another man admitted to the attack and DNA testing confirmed his involvement. The convictions of the four other men accused in the attack were also overturned.

The men, who became known as the Central Park Five, settled with the city of New York for $41 million in 2014.

This is believed to be Wise’s first major philanthropic gift.

His attorney, Jane Fisher-Byrialsen, said Wise wanted to play an active role in a program related to wrongful convictions and learned that a donation to CU’s Innocence Project would make more of an impact than one to the national nonprofit.

Wise, 42, met with CU law students during a campus visit this fall.  “This opportunity came up where he could give to a program that really needed it,” said Fisher-Byrialsen, who splits her time between Colorado and New York City. “He thought his money would make a big difference here and I think it already has.”

Prior to creating a full-time director position, the program was run by a clinical law professor who donated her time. Hiring a staff member allows for continuity across different groups of students, said Kristy Martinez, the program’s new director.

Martinez said students are inspired to investigate potential wrongful convictions because people like Wise have “fascinating” stories. They also get a chance to apply and understand theoretical knowledge they’ve learned in class.

There are about 35 law students investigating 26 Colorado cases at the moment, with 200 pending case applications in the queue, Martinez said.

For those convicted, the work of law students and other volunteers is often a last chance at exoneration, which is why Wise decided to support the program, his attorney said.

“There’s not many other avenues, other than these types of programs,” said Wise’s attorney. “It’s very difficult. It’s time-consuming and you have to do it pro bono. People who are serving 25-to-life are not going to have money to pay you.”

Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law: colorado.edu/law/academics/clinics/korey-wise-innocence-project

article via denverpost.com

63 thoughts on “Korey Wise Of “Central Park Five” Donates $190,000 to Help Fight Wrongful Convictions”

  1. Yes truly a sad situation turns into NOTHING but the grace of God delivers AGAIN…As always someone had to take away the positive heartedly comments by mentioning that no good of a person who will one day suffer for his low down dirty work and unbelievable things speeches He’s done on this earth..Kory Wise is a stronger and better man I pray everyday for the rest of your life its PEACE BE STILL in Jesus name Amen..
    BLACK LIVES MATTER…

  2. Bravo Korey, your heart is BIG and I applaud you. They are now known as The Exonerated Five for the record moving forward.

  3. Thank you for allowing us into your life. I pray that you will be healed from the horrific tragedy that happen to you. You are blessed!! Keep shining and educate yourself and become a lawyer to help the wrongly convicted have chance in a corrupt system..

    1. This Man, Korey Wise, is the epitomy of generosity, empathy, and justice for all. I applaud him with unending enthusiasm.

  4. Blessings and Salutations to you Kori. Ive followed your case from the beginning. My son is incarcerated and I’ve been by his side from the beginning never missing a court date. It’s been 7 years. I also work in the Human Services field. My goal is to open a reentry program

    1. There’s nothing that says he has a family and there is such sadness in his eyes. I truly hope he finds peace and happiness.

  5. Korey you have a heart of gold. I truly sorry for what happened to you as well as the others. I want you guys to keep your head up and keep push. I do in fact pray you each sue Linda Fairsterin for everything she has. I cannot hate her but man I truly dislike what she represent as a person and the entire team. Take care of yourself

    1. I’m so glad you guys All Alright,But Still Angry About What Everyone Had To Go Thru, Thank God You All Are Still Alit!!

  6. God Bless your Soul Korey and the other EXONERATED 4 that were unjusticely railroaded into the criminal system in NYC..BUT ESPECIALLY YOU KOREY!

    YOU somehow found the strength to carry on despite the fact that “you went with your friend when the cops picked him up to MAKE SURE HE WAS SAFE!”

    GOD HAD GIVEN YOU the TENACITY TO STAY ALIVE AND SANE DURING THE HORRIFIC TREATMENT THAT WAS INFLICTED UPON YOU AND NOW FORGIVENESS IN YOUR HEART TO MOVE ON!! I hope and pray that you and the prison correctional officer that helped you while you were in ATTICA are still in close contact…he was truly your GIFT FROM GOD!!
    GOD BLESS YOU, THE SOUL OF YOUR SISTER & YOUR MOTHER.

    ChinaDoll of the Platters

  7. May God Continue To Bless Each One Of You!!! Mr. Wise I look at your photos and all I see is pride. You are so strong and for you to continue to have a smile on your face after all the hell you went through. I know God is real and I truly know he has touch you with grace. Thank you for reminding me no matter how terrible the storm was or is God is always with us! Thank You God, Thank You Jesus. I hear you. Blessing to you brother.

    1. As a mother of 3 African American males and the sister of 9 brother’s, I couldn’t imagine what they went through. I cried for them. I cried for their mothers as well. They could’ve been 1 of my son’s or brothers. Korey’s story brought me to my knees. After watching it, I went into my 20 yr old and my 8 yr old son’s room, while they was sleeping and placed my hands on their hearts because, I felt as if they wasn’t here with me. Unfortunately my oldest son is serving time and their stories put my mind in overdrive and I pray that nothing bad happens to him while he’s in there. They didn’t deserve it ! It’s a shame that we live in the United States states and because of the color of our skins, we get judge the most and treated the worst when it comes to the legal system. To all of the people who went through what they went through and couldn’t get a 2nd chance in life, my heart goes out to you and may your voices be heard some day

  8. Just horrific the trials and tribulations that you went through. The bible says that he would never put more on us than we can bare. I have to say you were tested my friend. Your story had a rough beginning but it also has a triumphant ending. You have a testimony you have a voice. I Cried for you and I cried for your mother. You are a winner and an inspiration to us all. I am so happy that you did not let your circumstances define who you are.After all that you went through you can still hold your head up and say I AM STILL HERE..

    1. The story of these boys brings me to tears as I too grew up in the same circumstances. This could have easily been me or any of my friends. Growing up black/brown in the South Bronx, Harlem and NYC in general was to be in fear of police. It was not hard to be in the wrong place at the wrong time back then. I hope this horrible profiling has changed for good.
      I love Korey Wise

  9. This was the only movie in my entire life thus far that I had to stop to pause because it was so difficult to watch.. The pain you all endured is so heartbreaking. The time lost, the broken family members. It’s such a disgrace that the prosecutor in this case just gets her book deals cancelled and that’s it … Where is the justice for you 5??? She should be prosecuted along with all the detectives on that case!! There are just so many feelings and thoughts about what you all went through and although I don’t know you I have much respect for you – for several reasons, most important one is the person you’ve become even after everything you went through – God bless you ALWAYS and you sir ARE being the change you want to see – love that.

  10. I really could relate to this story.I witnessed racism in the court system 7 years ago. A white woman me lied and said I assaulted her… It took me a year to go thru court. Behind a parking lot accident that was her fault. The arrest is still on my record although the case was dismissed. I can’t get a job.

    1. You might want to go to the Clerk of Courts and have the record expunged like I did in GA. It only takes a small fee to get it done. Worth wiping the slate clean over some crazy racial BS!

  11. All I feel is pain for all five especially Mr Wise. Thank you for not giving up and for doing for others that are in the same position that you was in. Thank you 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾May god continue to bless you richly.

  12. My heart hurts to see that this really happened to these young me. It could’ve easily been me. There is a small town in Ga. That this kind of stuff happens regularly and often. I know a kid that has been in prison for over 20 years for being accused of rape. The young lady that he was accused of is a white girl that happens to be his girlfriend and her dad was a judge. They skipped school as kids do and the farher gets,a call from the school saying that his daughter is not at school.so he went home and catches the black boyfriend in the shower. He convinced his daughter to say he raped her. Now he’s serving life. This happens all the time. In this small town in ga.

    1. So true! Every since my grandsons were in kindergarten, their parents have forbidden them to even LOOK at white girls.

      When the oldest went off to college in Kansas, every male in the family, and everybody else reiterated it in direct terms: “Stay away from white girls!” PERIOD!

  13. Korey Wise endured the most & was the only one to get sent to prison.. I can see why he donated to help others who experienced wrongful convictions. I cried the hardest while watching the park about Korey, & honestly when everyone started talking about him & saying they didn’t know where he was I was scared that he had died but thank God that he survived. In my opinion, no amount of money can pay either of these young men back for the time they lost from their childhood or for all that they endured while being behind bars.. God bless the give of these men & I hope that you all are able to do all that you set out to do in life!

  14. His story hurt my soul…..it was horrible what happened to him and through it all he still has a beautiful heart….God Bless you

  15. After watching the series I was riddled with tears. I could not watch either part straight throug . I was angry, sad, and in complete heart break when they got to Koreys part. I cried for you in the worst way. I wanted to just hug you so bad. Jharrel Jerome is an amazing acting and he brought your part out so well. His eyes told it all he was dedicated to the role. I’m so happy you made it home to tell your story. All of them.

    1. I cry through all four mini series I just can’t watch stuff like this I get too emotional to easy, y the hell. they had Trump racist comments on it, he still with the same bullshit

  16. Corey Wise you have impact the lives of many other You were small but strong 💪🏾 I don’t know what I would have done if you were my son brother but I wouldn’t have given up just as you didn’t thank God for you strength and for those who did help you

    1. Korey my heart ached watching how you suffered from the InJustice of this Just Us system. There isn’t any amount of money they can give you that will give you back what this Caste system has taken from you or the other guys. What you are doing and how you have been able to be an advocate for others gives me some peace. It was heart wrenching having to watch what them ratchet fake people did to you. God Bless you in all of your efforts and endeavors

  17. Your case was a condemnation of the American judicial system: court/jury, police and prison. A teacher of history, as I watched the movie, it brought to mind the system of law set up in the era of African enslavement: Everything was stacked against the enslaved African. It has not changed much. The whip has been replaced with incaceration. Will it ever end?

  18. Although this entire story had me in so many mixed feelings, I was angry, I was sad, and I was hurting for all of you, however, Korey’s was the hardest. I’m so glad u never lost faith, u never gave up on yourself. And even though u guys did prevail. I still dont feel like justice was served. Where is the justice for the 5 of u?? You all lost so much more than money can give. I pray for all of u daily. Stay blessed and keep up the awesome job. I made both of my boys sit and watch this, because it still exists and I want them to know how ppl will trick u into anything.

    1. My heart is so full & I have a loss of words all I can say is you rose again over & over#BlackChrist!💜🙏

  19. I am so upset, I cried because it was torture what they did to all of the kids Mr. Wise I can’t sleep because this could have been my grandson or anyone for that matter. This was and still is Racial Profiling. We need to educate our kids the laws which is terrible but true.

    1. They didn’t break you Mr. Wise and never will. I’m the same age as you. I remember the story when I was in high school. Never imagine you guys endured so much pain. I will forever keep all of you in my prayers.

  20. I have not been able emotionally to finish watching the movie. But I will. God has a way of taking the very thing designed to kill you and make it be the very thing that bless you and others. God knew the out come. I am so….. Glad you all made it though physically with your lives. I continue to pray that you always stand strong inspite of the pain of your experience. That your Mind, Body and Spirit stay One with God. Thank you for giving back. You survived because now someone needs you. The one who understands.

    1. OMG, this is me. I have only gotten about 20-30 minutes into the film. I have to get my mind and heart right to be able to watch it.

      1. It was so HARD to watch… I would have to pause it and walk away… sometimes even just turn off the TV – so damn heartbreaking!

  21. I watched the movie with tears running down my face. What happened to Mr. Wise and the other men was a disgrace and shameful. Praise God for the decency of the man that finally confessed. The sad thing is the law was so intent on finding those boys guilty at any cost. Why??? In the end, they were released, but will have the scars for the rest of their lives. Nothing but respect for the men, and Ms. DuVernay for telling their story.

  22. I too watch the movie on Netflix with my granddaughter and was so horrified by what happened to all you. I cried hard and my heart sank throughout the movie. Praise to God that all of you survived and have not lost your minds. Those who are responsible for that horrific attack on all of you ( judge, jury members, prosecutors, etc) . deserve the death penalty because there was reasonable doubt. Praying for all of you and your families.

    1. Unbelievable how they can tilt the scale of Justice, What happened to innocent until proven guilty ?

      1. Mr Wise my heart will forever be tilted from your story. This could have been my son. I made him watch every part to this series. It is extremely important for everyone to see how we must educate and stay prepared for anything to happen to us at anytime. Only a snap of what we may call doing absolutely nothing can alter our lives forever.
        The series was extremely challenging to watch. However it was Necessary.

  23. So glad you were exonerated! Sorry for the years of suffering. It’s something how life brings a turn in our lives and in the end it brings help for us and others.

  24. I too, watched your horror last night on Netflix. It was so brilliantly and sadly displayed. I cired for your brother and you. My grand daughter watched intensely too. She dissected those so called police. She saw the flaws and asked so many questions. Sending our 💘 from STL.

  25. I watched the movie WHEN THEY SEE US lastnight on Netflix and my heart dropped!!! I am so proud of these men doing big things in their life since being exonerated.

    1. I cried throughout especially watching what & how they manipulated these young teens. My heart completely broke watching what Kory Wise went through. To this day I just want to give each of them a big hug!! Thank God they are free!!

  26. I pray that many other innocent men and women accused of a crime they did not do will benefit from this program May Yah continue to bless you Kory WiseYou paid the ultimate Price💝

  27. There is an innocent man in Illinois named Jonas haro he has been incarcerated for a crime he did not commit a shooting against Chicago police he has a written confession from the real perpetrator he has been incarcerated for almost 15 yrs fighting for his freedom ,if anyone can help please do …

  28. God bless him and may God keep on blessing him. He didn’t have to do it but he did. Amen amen

  29. How generous this man is after what he’s gone through–and to think so many were calling for the death penalty–including our current President. Kudos to you , Korey! Four good reasons to ban the death penalty.

    1. I lived in NYC at the time this happened and am only slightly older than these boys. It was horrible and this was SO F***king WRONG!

      I’m so happy that ALL 5 of you have been released and exhonorated and couldn’t imagine what you all went thru.

      I too watched the movie and take specific issue with the way the DA and Police (in the most horrific and bias manner) railroaded these young men, it’s sickening.

      However there is one thing in the multi-part series that I found disheartening and unnecessary to even be in there at all, in the manner and context as it was attempted to be portrayed by the director, and that was the continuous references made by Donald Trump.

      His statements made at the time that these crimes occurred, were directed specifically at “people who could commit such a evil and viscous crime” in general, however the director of this film instead intentionally chose to portray these comments to be racist and directed specifically and ONLY at these (5) young (black) men, which is absolutely not the case.

      The director went out of her way to spin it into this context more than once in the film, which is really sad to see this exploitation of these young mens’ struggles being used for the directors own misguided (political) bias, and could’ve and should’ve not been a part of the film at all.

      In fact, someone not educated or somewhat well versed in this arena would EASILY make the assumption that Trump was saying (as the mother of one of the boys actually said in the movie herself) “Trump wants to take out an ad, to kill my son”

      When again, that is FACTUALLY NOT TRUE!

      Trump simply said that people who commit these sorts of crimes should get the death penalty. He never mentioned race, nor speak of “them” specifically”, only about “people” that commit thee sorts of crimes, should get the death penalty. Which is something that MANY minorities also believe.

      The movie was otherwise done very well, it was very emotional and eye-opening to watch.

      In conclusion I say, “job well done” to the director, “I can’t say how saddened I am enough” to the (5) victims of a police and political witch hunt and false imprisonment case that is one of the most horrific in US history, and wish to only make the suggestion to the director to leave their own political bias out of future films they make, especially when it’s as blatantly intended to change and control the context of such comments for their own selfish purposes without regard to the (unforeseen) repercussions of such actions. It truly is a despicable and petty thing to do and only speaks to the credibility and integrity (or lack thereof) of the director of such (false and misleading) antics.

      1. Just shut up Trump is an Asshole and wanted the death penalty because they were black

      2. I took the time to carefully read through all the comments because I was certain i would come up on one that will praise the guys but have a problem with the mention of Trump. Everyone included myself that was around at the time of this misjustice new very well he was calling for those young men to get the death penalty. It is amazing how some people feels they can get into people head and change their thought process by spinning a tale. He said it!!!!! It is in black and white. NO FAKE NEWS!!!!! If you can’t just leave a heartfelt comment for these wonderful young men. well please just say nothing.

      3. MAGIC MIKE IS IT, WHEN U SPOKE ON WHT REALLY DIDN’T NEED TO BE DISPLAYED AS IT WAS, I THOUGHT U WERE GOIN SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE “HORRORS” THT MR. WISE ENDURED, CAUSE I BELIEVE THT WAS TOO MUCH IN THE MOVIE, THE BEATINGS AND VIOLATIONS OF MR. WISE, I FEEL FOR ALL OF THOSE MEN, BUT MR. WISE SUFFERED THE MOST IN MY OPINION AND THE FACT THT HE WASN’T EVEN IN THE PARK, HE WAS AT A RESTAURANT WITH HIS GURL, SMMFH TRULY SAD, MR. WISE SUFFERED AND HAD TO ENDURE THE MOST!!! AS FOR “TRUMP” FU**K HIM AND MAGIC MIKE, AIN’T NUTHAN NEW IN REGARDS TO “TRUMP”, HE WAS THEN AND IS NOW…. A CLOWN!!! SO U CONTINUE TO SUPPORT HIM AND THE CIRCUS HE IS ADMINISTER OF!!!
        MR. WISE.. I SALUTE U BRUTHA AND THE MARATHON CONTINUES. A MESSAGE TO ALL THOSE OTHER NY SOCIALITES….TRY DOIN WHT MR.WISE HAS DONE, HIS MONEY CAME FROM SUFFERING AND THERE’S NO AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY COULD HIM, THAT’LL GIVE HIM BACK WHT HE HAS LOSS!!!
        THT DETECTIVE, WHOMEVA PUBLISHED HER BOOKS, NEED TO SUE HER FOR ALL THE PROFITS SHE HAS MADE AND MAKE HER PAY THOSE (5) MEN AS WELL, THEN PUT HER IN JAIL FOR CORRUPTION AND MISCONDUCT DETRIMENTAL TO SOCIETY AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. ALONG WITH THEM JACK IN THE BOX POLICE.

      4. Magic Mike, little trump has proven who he is about people of color, brown skin people. You However can believe whatever little trump is evil

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