Remove Linda Fairstein From Vassar College Board of Trustees

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Jaan Choudhri
Jaan Choudhri signed this petition

Linda Fairstein is currently sitting on the board of trustees of Vassar College. She oversaw the prosecution of the Central Park jogger case as portrayed by actress Felicity Huffman on the miniseries When They See Us, which exposes our broken U.S. legal system. 

During a trial hearing in 1993, Yousef Salaam said he "was concerned about a criminal justice system that would tolerate the conduct of the prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, who deliberately engineered the 15-year-old's confession ... Fairstein wanted to make a name. She didn't care." Salaam still maintains that she blocked his mother, aunt, and Big Brother mentor from seeing him during his interrogations and wrote that the police did not let him have food or sleep for more than 24 hours.

As of July 2018, she still maintains that her team did nothing wrong and that "the questioning [of the Central Park Five] was respectful, dignified, carried out according to the letter of the law and with sensitivity to the young age of the men.”  

Other organizations have recognized her central involvement in the case and have rescinded awards in the past such as the Grand Master Award given to writers of mystery fiction.

As a member of the Vassar community, I do not wish for the college to be formally associated with her. The boys she wrongfully helped imprison are our neighbors, brothers, sons. They are now men that have been robbed of a life. I am writing this petition because I was emboldened by Vassar to do so. I remember the words of Van Jones, CEO of Reform Alliance, this past commencement. I have been taught to fight against injustice by my amazing professors and classmates. I call on Vassar alums and current students to demand that she be taken off the board of trustees.