A petition urges Columbia Law School to fire adjunct faculty member Elizabeth Lederer, the assistant district attorney in the infamous Central Park Jogger case—a case in which a young white woman was brutally beaten and raped and five black and Latino teenagers were wrongfully convicted of the crime. They spent years in prison before the real perpetrator confessed and their sentences were vacated.
The petition mentions issues that are brought up in the Ken Burns Central Park Five PBS documentary, which notes that the DNA evidence at the scene of the crime did not match any of the boys and that the confessions from the teens were forced by the detectives interrogating them.
The petition goes on:
Today, Lederer is still an assistant District Attorney in New York, and she also teaches at Columbia Law School. No individual who is responsible for locking up innocent boys for years should ever step foot in a classroom to teach students. Ever.
A review commissioned by the New York City Police Department found that the officers involved in the case did nothing wrong in the investigation and interrogation of the Central Park Five. The five young men have filed a multi-million dollar civil suit against the city. That suit is still 10 years old and still pending.
Is it problematic for an assistant district attorney who worked on a controversial trial to be teaching law students?