‘Central Park Five’ Prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer Resigns From Columbia Law School

Students called for the part-time lecturer’s termination.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer has resigned from her teaching position at Columbia University Law School after student demanded she leaves the school for her role in sending five innocent boys to jail in the infamous Central Park 5 case.

The New York Times on Twitter

Elizabeth Lederer, the lead prosecutor in the Central Park jogger case, which resulted in the wrongful conviction of 5 black and Latino boys, said she would not return as a lecturer at Columbia Law School https://t.co/1dHVrBBAQR


Lederer, who was the assistant district attorney who tried the case in 1990, told the law school Wednesday that she would not be returning to her position as a part-time lecturer at the school, according to Dean Gillian Lester.

Chris Geidner on Twitter

Re: This -> https://t.co/jU3clLQtxR / Here’s the letter from Columbia Law School’s dean announcing Lederer’s decision ->

The D.A.—who still works for the district attorney’s office in Manhattan—is quoted in the letter saying she has enjoyed her time teaching at Columbia Law and interacting with the students.

“However, given the nature of the recent publicity generated by the Netflix portrayal of the Central Park case, it is best for me not to renew my teaching application,” the statement said.

A petition was circulated by the Black Students’ Organization demanding Lederer’s termination–which received almost 10,000 signatures.

The renewed scrutiny comes after the release of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries about the case, “When They See Us”.

Linda Fairstein, who headed Manhattan’s sex crimes unit at the time, has also faced backlash for her role in the case. She was dropped by her publisher and resigned from Vassar College’s board of trustee after the show prompted the #cancelLindaFairstein hashtag on social media. The public is now calling for her prior cases to be re-examined.

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