A New York lawyer who was lead prosecutor in the Central Park Five trial is resigning from her post at Columbia Law School.
Elizabeth Lederer taught at the school. The Columbia Black Law Students Association launched a petition demanding her resignation in the wake of the Netflix mini-series “When They See Us.”
The mini-series tells the story of five black and Latino minors who were wrongfully convicted of raping and beating a white jogger in Central Park 30 years ago.
They spent between six and 13 years in prison before the convictions were overturned in 2002. That’s when DNA evidence showed a serial rapist was the actual perpetrator.
The law school dean says in a letter the miniseries “reignited a painful — and vital — national conversation about race, identity, and criminal justice.”
Lederer’s move comes after Linda Fairstein, who headed Manhattan’s sex crimes unit at the time, was dropped by her publisher. Fairstein has said the series was full of falsehoods — a charge the director dismissed.
The falsely accused men won a $41 million settlement in 2014, but investigators never admitted any wrong-doing.