Ken BurnsA 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?

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  • Doraji

    The stroy is brutally tearing up my heart.They are the pack of wolf who ate the boys.

  • I watched this documentary last night with the hubby and all I can say is that I’ve never felt such rage watching a documentary in my life. I mean my soul literally crawled up within itself and cried tears of sadness.

    I truly don’t know how people can live with themselves knowing that they essentially scapegoated and systemically railroad five innocent teenagers…the cover up of this crime is unconscionable and the violation of the justice system: appalling.

    I am thankful to Ken Burns for exposing this travesty and blasphemy of justice and I pray for those men who are still dealing with the reverberating after effects of being used as scapegoats and pawns for a radicalized agenda.

    This film should be shown on BET, Centric, TV one, OWN….and forums and discussions should be held to make sure that injustice on this level never happens again.

    The lives of black people really mean nothing to the culture of power.