Saturday, 15 June, 2019

Central Park 5 prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer quits her job as law professor

CREDIT Netflix CREDIT Netflix
Julia Gonzales | 13 June, 2019, 20:41

Elizabeth Lederer, the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted the "Central Park Five", whose convictions were ultimately overturned, has resigned from her post as a professor at Columbia Law School on Wednesday after protests erupted calling for her removal.

Lederer is taking new heat after the release of a blockbuster new Netflix documentary about the wrongful conviction of five young black men for a 1989 attack on a white jogger in the park.

In a statement, Lederer said she enjoyed her four years teaching at the Law School, and that the "nature of the recent publicity" led her to resign.

In an email to Columbia Law students sent on Wednesday night, Gillian Lester, the school's dean wrote Lederer made a decision to not come back as a lecturer in the fall and that DuVernay's series had "reignited a painful - and vital - national conversation about race, identity, and criminal justice". "During the investigation, Lederer and her colleagues used harmful, racist tactics, including physical abuse and coercion, to force confessions from the five minors". DNA linked him to it, according to The Associated Press.

"Since Lederer's integral role in the case has received a national spotlight, there have been multiple efforts urging Columbia Law School to take action", a letter from the group read in part.

The statement was accompanied by a petition calling for Columbia to cut ties with Lederer, which has received almost 10,000 signatures.

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Lederer, along with the more visible Fairstein, led the New York County District Attorney Office's case that wrongly sent five Black and Brown teens - Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise - to prison for many years.

The series sparked a broad backlash.

Netflix recently announced that When They See Us has become it's most-watched original series but we don't know the exact numbers yet. Her, along with Linda Fairstein and the entire criminal justice system in NY stole the innocence of Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise.

'I am deeply committed to fostering a learning environment that furthers this important and ongoing dialogue, one that draws upon the lived experiences of all members of our community and actively confronts the most hard issues of our time'. She was the main prosecutor on the case along with Linda Fairstein, who is now a fiction writer.

The former prosecutor has already been forced to shut down her social media accounts and resigned from three non-profit boards.

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