Central Park Five prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, resigned from boards after Netflix series

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Linda Fairstein has enjoyed fame since she led the investigation against Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise for the terrible attack on Trisha Meili on the night of April 19, 1989. The case became known as The Central Park Jogger Case and the men were known collectively as the Central Park Five. Following the trial, Linda parlayed her experiences as the head of the Manhattan’s District Attorney Office’s sex crime unit into a lucrative career as a crime author. She also served on the boards of her alma mater, Vassar College and a variety of NYC nonprofits that aid victims of assault. Over the weekend, Linda’s name was thrown back in the spotlight because of Ava DuVernay’s powerful mini-series, When They See Us. As they say, fame is a fickle friend and Linda found out real quick what happens when public opinion is against you. In addition to an online attack that forced her off Twitter and a call to boycott her books, Linda has been forced to resign from several boards, including Vassar.

Author and former prosecutor Linda Fairstein — facing a swarm of controversy over a Netflix series that examines a wrongful conviction in a high-profile rape case — has resigned as a trustee of her alma mater.

Fairstein resigned as a member of the board of trustees of Vassar College, from which she graduated in 1969, the college in Poughkeepsie, New York, said Tuesday.

Emotions stirred by the Netflix series led to a petition calling for Fairstein’s removal from Vassar’s board as well other ones seeking a boycott of her books and a #CancelLindaFairstein movement on social media.

“I am told that Ms. Fairstein felt that, given the recent widespread debate over her role in the Central Park case, she believed that her continuing as a board member would be harmful to Vassar,” Vassar College President Elizabeth H. Bradley wrote in an online message Tuesday.

The author recently deleted her Twitter account after days of sparring with some Twitter users.

[From CNN]

I’m just going to co-sign Ava’s response to the news:

I have no sympathy for Linda because even with all the compelling evidence against her methods, she has only doubled-down on her insistence that she was right and just in this case. The convictions of the five men were vacated in 2002, when convicted rapist Mattias Reyes confessed to the crime and was linked both by pattern and DNA. At that time, Linda gave an interview to The New Yorker, defending her department’s prosecuting of the case, going as far as to say it was, “one of the most brilliant police investigations I’ve ever seen.” She claimed Mattias was merely the sixth attacker who stayed longer than the other five. Last July, when WTSU was in production, Linda wrote an essay for the New York Law Journal, once again defending the conviction and her work, even though she tried to sidestep some of the blame by shifting it to the juries who heard the cases and the technology that didn’t exist in 1989. In 2014, Linda challenged the $41M awarded to the Exonerated Five by the city of New York, demanding an explanation from the mayor for the settlement. Ava said when she reached out to Linda with WTSU, Linda tried to negotiate her involvement, including script approval. Linda said this never happened. And now that the mini-series is here, Linda has called it a basket of lies. The parallels between what she did to the Exonerated Five and what she claims is happening to her would be comical, if she hadn’t destroyed all those lives in the process. She has never taken responsibility; she has never apologized to the men and now she is facing the consequences of her actions.

I watched WTSU over the weekend. It’s powerful in all the ways people have said. I was as impressed with Ava’s direction and storytelling in this as I was with Selma. I didn’t want to watch it, I was already depressed from events in my own life, but I felt I should. I’m glad I did.

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27 Responses to “Central Park Five prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, resigned from boards after Netflix series”

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  1. crass says:

    she should resign from everything

    • C says:

      In this awful case she’s like the female version of Trump who, at that time, said that they were still guilty anyway. What’s wrong with those people? I saw the serie…OMG, I still can’t imagine how they survived all that s*****😞

    • bros says:

      one of trump’s first political acts was to spend $85,000 in local nyc papers calling for the death penalty for these kids, in case anyone forgot.


      • C says:

        @Bros I don’t know how he gets away with all horrible things he says on a daily basis.

    • Lexilla says:

      I interviewed her about 20 years ago, when I was a grad student, and she was a total bitch. Could not have been more condescending. At the time I was intimidated and it was like she smelled it and attacked. I so wish I could get a re-do.

  2. Piptopher says:

    Fuck her forever. An embodiment of the evil that white women (like myself) can do with a smile and perfectly done hair. I am disgusted but it isn’t a shock.


  3. manda says:

    She looks like a monster. Her smile is legit frightening. That second pic looks like a still from the black hole sun video

    It’s always bothered me that prosecutors and judges will turn a blind eye to exonerating evidence once a conviction is made. It’s all about winning, not getting the right person, and that is disgusting.

    • Mel M says:

      Seriously, she reminds me of the chef from Trolls.

    • bobafelty says:

      I feel like her exterior (especially the teeth and skin) are finally catching up to her interior. Disgusting and terrible to behold.

    • Izzy says:

      I mean, that’s not a very nice thing to say about black holes, but you have a point.

  4. Athyrmose says:

    I want ALL of her cases re-examined.

  5. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Fuck this bitch for life. That is all.

  6. Aims says:

    I feel that police or anyone involved in the Justice system who have gotten conviction through bad policing should be prosicuted. They’re breaking the law imo. Five men lost years here for something they didn’t do. Money wouldn’t even touch the outrage I would’ve felt. They’re are millions of people who are in jail for something they didn’t do. Linda should be in jail and anyone else who have violated the law to get a conviction.

  7. kerwood says:

    God, she got the face she deserves!

    I hope that the 5 men whose lives she, the NYPD and Trump tore to pieces get some comfort in the small measure of justice that is FINALLY being handed to those responsible. Some can say that they were ‘doing their job’. They said that at Nuremberg too.

  8. Tanya says:

    Fuck you forever, Fairstein.

  9. BlueSky says:

    She enjoyed nearly 2 decades of success off these men and this crime so she can go f@ck herself. Of course she’s going to stand by the conviction because it would open her up to lawsuits and probably an investigation into all the cases she oversaw.
    I read that article Ava did and I believe her when she said she reached out to her and others involved in that case, including Ms. Meili. This woman is no one’s advocate. She’s a fraud and I hope this is the beginning of a domino effect.

  10. Doodle says:

    In general (not in this case) I feel like prosecutors have a job to do and need to do it. But that’s not this woman, she is just evil. She refuses to see truth when it shines a flashlight in the dark. We don’t need to wait for her to end up on the wrong side of history, karma is taking this lady down now and I am here for it.

  11. Meli-Cali says:

    pig,,,,inside and out

  12. Mego says:

    And her books aren’t all that great either. She has some ego if she’s that delusional about the facts in this case. 😑

  13. Jessica says:

    Shameful. Corrupt. Despicable.

    The deplorables will welcome her with open arms.

  14. Ksweet says:

    This makes me sick. Not even the courage to to admit she was wrong. There are so many people like her. Can we talk more about the good ones, even if it’s just gossip?

  15. Olenna says:

    And, there’s Elizabeth Lederer, lead attorney for the prosecution, still thriving and teaching. Disgusting.