May 15, 2013

“As one of the lead prosecutors, (Elizabeth Lederer) helped lock up five young people (the Central Park Five) based on false confessions, no DNA evidence and media hysteria, for a collective 30 years….

“Lederer never apologized. Today, she still serves as an assistant district attorney and teaches at Columbia Law School, one of the most prestigious institutions in the country. While those wrongfully convicted lost years of their lives, her efforts to imprison them had no negative consequences for her…. People like Lederer whose failures cost livelihoods should be held accountable for their actions….

“Defending Lederer’s role in the case as an aggressive lead prosecutor, (New York Times columnist Jim) Dwyer dismissed that as: ‘Mistakes were made.’ That’s the standard public relations line used when trying to deflect blame. But what kinds of mistakes? What were their effects?”

– From “For Central Park Five, wrongful conviction meets false equivalence” by Raymond Santana and Frank Chi at (May 3)

You know where I’m going with this: the Edenton Seven were locked up for some 15 years, and the “aggressive lead prosecutor” in their case remains ensconced on the state payroll, still unrepentant – and always available to share her expertise on “how to defend the forensic interview in the courtroom.”

Perhaps, however, the notoriety she achieved as Little Rascals prosecutor helps explain why she hasn’t risen to district attorney or to district court judge.

Even if so, of course, that consequence wouldn’t begin to atone for the horrors she inflicted over a nonexistent crime.