New York City officials are calling for a thorough review of the cases prosecuted by Linda Fairstein, but the current Manhattan District Attorney is refusing to do so.
What We Know:
- Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said he has no plans to reopen thousands of cases prosecuted by Fairstein, former chief of his office’s Sex Crimes Unit. Additionally, he declined to dismiss Elizabeth Lederer, an attorney who was also involved in prosecuting the now exonerated Central Park Five.
- “I do not intend to take either action at this time. Instead, I seek your help in publicizing to New Yorkers the availability of my Office’s Conviction Integrity Program process,” Vance wrote in response to a letter from a city official on Friday.
- Vance’s letter was in response to New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who called for the review of Fairstein’s cases and the termination of Lederer, who currently works as an Assistant District Attorney in Vance’s office.
- Williams cited the Netflix miniseries “When They See Us” in his letter to Vance, calling it a “new opportunity to seek justice.” Williams suspects that there are more cases similar to the Central Park jogger case, especially if DNA evidence was not found. He mentioned Lederer’s involvement in the case and said she should be removed from her job. His call for action was echoed in another letter by New York public defenders.
Vance encouraged people to contact his office’s Conviction Integrity Program, an initiative for post-conviction claims of innocence to be reviewed, according to CNN. “I strongly encourage anyone who would like to make a claim of innocence to contact us. As we have done since 2010, we will review every claim without fear or favor,” wrote Vance in his letter.
Justice delayed is justice denied, but here, Cy Vance is even denying justice has been delayed.
It shouldn’t take another 30 years for us to find out why DA Vance refuses to correct these injustices of the past.
I‘m asking now, at his office, 5:30 tonight. Come add your voice. https://t.co/QxPg3Jx7bu
— Jumaane Williams (@JumaaneWilliams) June 17, 2019