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Men wrongly convicted, sentenced to jail get diplomas decades later

Men wrongly convicted, sentenced to jail get diplomas decades later
Posted at 9:55 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 19:01:20-04

NEW YORK (NEWS 12 THE BRONX/CNN) - A member of the Central Park Five delivered a high school commencement speech in the Bronx and also received his own diploma.

Raymond Santana never graduated because he was serving time in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Santana and four other young men were convicted of beating and raping a 28-year-old jogger in Central Park in 1989.

A convicted murderer finally confessed to the crime in 2002 and his DNA evidence matched what was found on the victim.

The five men were exonerated and three of them received honorary diplomas Wednesday.

"I never got to enjoy the benefits of receiving a high school diploma, so this is redemption for me,"  said Santana.

The state and city of New York settled a civil lawsuit with the group for nearly $45 million.

Santana is now a motivational speaker.

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