Mystery Writer's Previous Day Job Costs Her

Group yanks prestigious award from Linda Fairstein over role in Central Park jogger case
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2018 12:06 PM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2018 8:41 AM CST
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In this 1988 file photo, prosecutor Linda Fairstein, left, is shown during a news conference in New York.   (AP Photo/Charles Wenzelberg, File)
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(Newser) – "I'm pinching myself," Linda Fairstein wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. And for good reason: The Mystery Writers of America had just bestowed on her its prestigious Grand Master honor. Just two days later, however, Fairstein was lamenting a different move by the MWA. In a first, the group rescinded the award because of an outcry from fellow writers. But it wasn't Fairstein's books that upset them; it was her big role in the wrongful conviction of five teenagers in New York City's infamous Central Park jogger rape case of 1989. The details:

  • Taking it back: "After profound reflection, the Board has decided that MWA cannot move forward with an award that lacks the support of such a large percentage of our members," the group said in a statement. "Therefore, the Board of Directors has decided to withdraw the Linda Fairstein Grand Master award."
  • Why: Before she turned to fiction, Fairstein led the sex-crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. While she didn't prosecute the Central Park case, she observed the interrogations of the five teens eventually convicted, reports the Guardian. The teens say their confessions were coerced, and the convictions were overturned in 2002 when serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed. DNA evidence backed him up.

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