Linda Fairstein, the lead prosecutor in the Central Park Five case, has been dropped by her publisher as the fallout continues over Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series When They See Us.
The miniseries profiles the wrongful conviction of five Black and Brown teens for the 1989 rape and beating of a jogger in New York’s Central Park.
On Friday (June 7), Dutton Publishing spokeswoman Amanda Walker confirmed in a statement that the publisher’s customer service line has been telling inquiring callers that it had “terminated its relationship” with Fairstein. Fairstein became a best-selling crime novelist after her stint as a prosecutor.
In a statement issued through Laura Rossi Public Relations, Dutton said they had jointly “decided to terminate their relationship.”
Renewed outcry has taken place since the premiere of When They See Us, which paints Linda Fairstein as a negligible prosecutor who went ahead with a case without any physical evidence the five boys were involved in the brutal rape.
On Tuesday, Fairstein resigned from the boards of the nonprofit Safe Horizon, Vassar College, God’s Love We Deliver and the Joyful Heart Foundation. A social media campaign called #CancelLindaFairstein was launched earlier this week to bring awareness to Fairstein’s role in the wrongful conviction.
Ever since the initial verdicts, Linda Fairstein has stood by her prosecution of the Central Park Five. “Two juries heard that the DNA in and on the jogger’s body was not from any of the 5—and still they convicted on the theory that the missing attacker, who had run with the crowd of 32 young men who rioted in the park, had not yet been caught,” Fairstein wrote in a New York Law Journal article from last year. She argues prosecutors and investigators can’t be blamed for their theory because no national DNA database existed at the time.
Photo: A SCOTT/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images