After the shocking end to the previous episode, When They See Us returns 6 months after the boys were arrested. Only 2 of the teenagers, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam, have managed to post bail. Korey Wise, at the tender age of 16, will stay in prison. As the nation reels over the case, we’re shown actual footage of Trump saying how he hates the people who did this and how he will fight to bring back the death penalty.
Korey, Antron and Raymond are getting ready for the pre-trial. Yusef meets with his lawyer where we learn that Mickey Joseph will be Atron’s lawyer. Peter Rivera will be representing Santana and Howard Diller for Kevin. All the suspects’ lawyers meet to discuss the case. The judge has decided that the confession tapes are admissible, the DNA swab on the victim is inconclusive and the victim, Patricia Meili, has no recollection of the attack. They think the people’s case is weak and set out to prove the boys have been coerced.
The prosecutors decide that they want separate trials and they also find out that the case has been purposely assigned to Judge Galligan who almost always sides with the State boding bad news for the boys.
The trial starts for the first three: Yusef, Antron and Raymond. Each side states their case to the jury. The defence concentrates on the lack of physical evidence, the discrepancy of their testimonies and their coercing into false confessions. The state uses the shock factor by showing pictures of the victim and descriptions of her injuries, but are also struggling as the DNA doesn’t match with any of the defendants. However, Linda is determined to get them convicted at any cost.
The next day, Patricia Meili is called to the witness stand. She is limping and walking very slowly, as well as having trouble with her speech. However, she has no recollection of the event in the park. She explains that she has double vision and has lost her sense of smell. From here, two detectives are also questioned, but both give different testimonies about Antron McCray.
At this point, the defence also find out that a sock with semen was found at the scene, but the DNA doesn’t match with any of the defendants which gives them hope. As the court takes a short recess, Antron’s lawyer meets with Lederer about a plea deal which will make them serve time but not as much as if they end up losing the trial. All three boys decide not to take the deal.
Antron’s father, who hasn’t been present until now, admits on the stand that he was blackmailed, telling him if his son co-operated and told them what they wanted to hear, they would be allowed to go home. However, the prosecutor claims that Antron made a confession of the crime on tape. The tapes are then showed to the jury. Korey takes the stand and tells them he was slapped by the policy and told that if he admits to the crime, he would be allowed to go home however the State quickly manages to overthrow his testimony.
The episode then ends with jury’s verdict; all of them are found guilty on all accounts.
The second part of this Netflix mini-series continues to keep us hooked with the poignant portrayal of the story and trial of the Central Park 5. The narrative is pretty shocking, drawing on real world events to flesh out the story whilst continuing to deliver an emotional connection to the defendants, who are also the victims in this case. It’s a shocking court trial, no doubt about it, and a reminder of how these 5 teenagers were victims of injustice and racism. Although it’s not as good as the first part, there’s enough here to make for an absorbing watch nonetheless.