|Birth Day:||May 5, 1947|
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She attended Vassar College where she earned her degree in English Literature. She then attended the University of Virginia Law School where she graduated in 1972. That same year, she joined the Manhattan District Attorney's office. She was then promoted to head of the Sex Crimes unit in 1976.
Fairstein graduated with honors from Vassar College in 1969, with a degree in English literature. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1972, where she was one of a dozen women in her class.
Fairstein joined the Manhattan District Attorney's office in 1972 as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1976 she was promoted to the head of the sex crimes unit, where she worked to support victims of crime. During her tenure, she prosecuted controversial and highly publicized cases, such as the "Preppy Murder case" against Robert Chambers in 1986, and the 1998 People v. Jovanovic cases.
Fairstein, as Head of Sex Crimes, oversaw the prosecution of five juvenile defendants known as the "Central Park Five" in the 1989 "Central Park Jogger" case. The case was prosecuted by ADAs Elizabeth Lederer and Arthur Clements, with trials held in 1990. The convictions in the case were vacated in 2002 following a confession by the perpetrator, a convicted serial rapist and murderer, and confirmation by a DNA match to evidence at the scene.
Fairstein's office supervised the prosecution in 1989 and 1990 of the Central Park Jogger case, which ended in the conviction of five teenagers whose convictions were later vacated. In a civil rights lawsuit filed in 2003, the five who were convicted claimed that Fairstein, with the assistance of the detectives at the 20th Precinct, coerced false confessions from them following up to thirty straight hours of interrogation and intimidation, of both the youths and their supporting adults. When Assistant US attorney David Nocenti, a "Big Brother" mentor to Yusef Salaam, one of the defendants, appeared at the precinct while the defendant was being grilled, plaintiffs claimed, Fairstein verbally abused him, demanded he leave immediately, and called her husband to demand the home number of Nocenti's boss, Brooklyn US Attorney Andrew Maloney, so she could get the young attorney fired.
All five accused teenagers later claimed their confessions were coerced during interrogation through lies and intimidation. In 1990 each of the "Central Park Five" were convicted of various assault and sexual battery charges, based in part on the allegedly false confessions obtained from them in 1989. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise had signed written confessions, while Yousef Salaam made a verbal confession but refused to sign.
Fairstein left the District Attorney's office in 2002, and has continued to consult, write, lecture and serve as a sex crimes expert for a wide variety of print and television media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC and Larry King, among others. She has consulted for a number of media outlets during a number of high-profile prosecutions, including Michael Jackson's molestation charges in 2004, Kobe Bryant's sexual assault charges, and Scott Peterson's trial.
All five convictions were vacated in 2002 after convicted rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the crime. Reyes confessed after he "found religion." The police had recovered DNA of only one man at the site of the crime, and none of the Central Park Five matched. The semen found on the victim contained DNA matching that of Reyes, confirming that he was the sole contributor, to a certainty of six billion to one.
In 2003, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana Jr., and Antron McCray sued the city of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress. While the city refused to settle for 11 years, upon Mayor De Blasio taking office a settlement in the case was reached on June 19, 2014, for $41 million.
The $10 million lawsuit against Fairstein and two co-defendants, former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Gail Heatherly, who now teaches at the Columbia Law School, and New York City Police Detective Milton Bonilla, was dismissed on summary judgment in September 2010.
Fairstein grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. Her father's family were Russian Jews who immigrated in the early 1900s. Her mother is of Northern Irish, Finnish and Swedish descent. She was married to lawyer Justin Feldman from 1987 until his death in 2011 at the age of 92. In September 2014 she married lawyer Michael Goldberg, a long-time friend and classmate at the University of Virginia School of Law, at their home in Martha's Vineyard. Fairstein and Goldberg reside in the Upper East Side in New York.
Ken Burns and his daughter Sarah and her husband made a documentary film about the case, which he compared to the Scottsboro Boys case. The film, The Central Park Five, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2012 and was released on November 23, 2012.
Fairstein assisted District Attorney Vance in his decision not to prosecute Dominique Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault in 2012. Fairstein's writing skills came into play in writing up the decision not to charge.
In 2018, the Mystery Writers of America announced that it would honor Fairstein with one of its "Grand Master" awards for literary achievement. But two days after renewed controversy erupted in connection with her role in the case, the organization withdrew the honor. In 2019, shortly after the release of the Netflix series When They See Us about the Central Park Five case, Glamour Magazine said that the 1993 Woman of the Year Award to Fairstein was a mistake and that it was given to her before the full facts of the case were known.
In May 2019, Netflix released a four-part drama series, When They See Us, about the case, directed by Ava DuVernay. In it, actress Felicity Huffman portrays Fairstein. Soon after the release, Fairstein's publisher, E.P. Dutton, released her as a client. Fairstein was also forced to resign from various non-profit board roles, including Safe Horizon. Fairstein also resigned from the Board of Trustees of Vassar College, her alma mater, after considerable pressure from the student body and members of the administration.
On June 10, 2019, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Fairstein, Netflix’s False Story of the Central Park Five, in which she says that five were not "totally innocent" (citing the other crimes they were convicted for, for which, she asserts, there is still substantial evidence) and that DuVernay had defamed her. In March 2020, Fairstein filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Netflix, DuVernay, and series writer Attica Locke for defamation based on her portrayal in the series.
Linda was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York. Linda married Michael Goldberg in 2014.
Currently, Linda Fairstein is 74 years, 0 months and 6 days old. Linda Fairstein will celebrate 75th birthday on a Thursday 5th of May 2022. Below we countdown to Linda Fairstein upcoming birthday.