The Washington Post
An inconvenient untruth
Whatever one might say about Linda Fairstein’s intentions while prosecuting the Central Park Five, it is inexcusable that she persisted in clinging to the notion of their guilt or that the police interrogations were respectful in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary [“The inconvenient truth about a champion of female victims,” Style, June 6]. The person who did the assault has confessed, his DNA is a match, the crime scene makes it unlikely that more than one or two people committed the assault, and, most important, the initial confessions of the five were coerced in a manner now well known to be improper.
Much has been learned since the Central Park Five were convicted about how coercive interrogations can yield false information. As the Innocence Project instructs, 28 percent of the more than 350 DNA exonerations over the past few decades involved false confessions. Young people are particularly vulnerable. Ms. Fairstein, of all people, should know better.
S. Michael Scadron, Silver Spring The writer is a member of Injustice Anywhere, an organization that advocates for the wrongly convicted.