Mystery Writers rescind honor for Linda Fairstein, prosecutor on ‘Central Park Five’ case
NEW YORK – The Mystery Writers of America withdrew a major honor Thursday from author Linda Fairstein after other authors condemned the ex-prosecutor’s role in New York’s notorious “Central Park Five” case.
The decision, just two days after the Grand Master Award was announced, marked the first time the group has ever rescinded the prize, which recognizes lifetime achievement and has been given to Sue Grafton and Stephen King, among others.
“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 that also pledged to re-evaluate its process for selecting honorees. “We realize that this action will be unsatisfactory to many. We apologize for any pain and disappointment this situation has caused.”
Fairstein, known for her best-selling novels featuring prosecutor Alex Cooper, wrote on her Facebook page that she was “extremely disappointed, of course, to have this great award-designation revoked so hastily.”
“I remain enormously proud of our pioneering work at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, advancing the ability of victims of violence to triumph in the criminal justice system,” she added. “I thank MWA for the initial honor and for the joy it inspired, which can never be revoked.”
When the award was announced Tuesday, Fairstein called it “a thrilling surprise.”
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