Benjamin Henry Waters To Sue BX D.A. After Spending Six Years in Pretrial Detention

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On January 16, 2007, Benjamin Henry Waters was arrested and charged with murder. Over the next six years, the case against him would see a lying witness, a mistrial, a judge questioning a prosecutor's integrity, and, ultimately, an acquittal.

Through it all, Waters was locked up on Riker's Island, another casualty of America's pretrial detention system.

On Tuesday, Waters took the first steps toward holding the Bronx County District Attorney's Office liable, filing a summons and complaint in New York State Supreme Court, the preliminary action to a civil lawsuit.

See Also: Graham Rayman's feature story The Ballad of Donovan Drayton

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Nicholas Garaufis, Federal Judge, Calls Brooklyn Murder Prosecution "Rotten," Orders Release of Man Falsely Imprisoned for 22 Years

"The case of William Lopez began twenty-three years ago. It was rotten from day one."

So begins U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis' epic 95-page dissection of the justice system's failures in wrongly arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning Lopez for the 1989 murder of a drug dealer in a crack house in Brooklyn. In his order, made public yesterday, Garaufis granted Lopez's writ of habeas corpus and ordered him released within 60 days. He has served 22 years in prison, and is now 50 years old.

As recounted by the judge, the case against Lopez, which took place early in the tenure of long serving Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, was weak in the first place, relying on the word of one witness, a drug addicted prostitute who claimed after trial that she was coerced by police and prosecutors to testify against Lopez. "The prosecution's evidence was flimsy to begin with and has since been reduced to rubble by facts arising after trial," Garaufis wrote.

Hynes' office, however, is going to appeal the ruling, and request that Lopez remain in prison.

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The Leap Second Will Destroy Your Social Media

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And we were scared of a measly heat wave.

At midnight Saturday, while the ConEd officials were facing off against its workers, the Earth's timekeepers (they exist!) held back the world's atomic time for exactly one second to keep it in line with the planet's rotation. 

The Network TIme Protocol (NTP), a software that numerous Internet services use to keep up with that atomic time, was unable to comprehend the extra second. Crashing ensued in a situation very similar to Y2K, except this time it actually happened.

But this time around, there were a bit more victims than the Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest - all of which are back up and functioning - casualties on Friday night. Andre Tartas of New York Magazine listed the various services we lost (but will not forget) for an hour or so: Reddit, Gizmodo, Gawker, 4Chan (ironic?), LinkedIn, Foursquare, Linux (that's still used?), Yelp, Meetup and Pirate Bay (also ironic).

That's too many sites for us to crack who-cares-if-it's-down jokes about.
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Rich People in the Hamptons Say They Are Being Punished for Being Rich

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According to the New York Post, wealthy summer residents of Sagaponack, in the Hamptons, are very upset that they were without power (REAL power, not stupid old generator power) for so long following Hurricane Irene. They are so upset that they have made calls to "representatives, senators -- and even the White House" -- alas, to no avail. They are beginning to detect a conspiracy at work. Perhaps society is punishing them for being wealthy.

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Anders Behring Breivik's Possible Jail Cell Resembles Ikea Showroom

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Anders Behring Breivik, who is the world's most recent despicable murderer (in case you've been on vacation, he massacred 90-some people last week in two separate instances), may, upon conviction, be spending the next 21 years (the maximum sentence in Norway) in a relatively tranquil spa-like abode, with lots of perks. That is, Halden Prison, which features rock-climbing walls, personal trainers, private bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs (but no HBO). This is because things are civilized in Norway, even in Norway jails, and "depriving a person of their freedom for a period of time is sufficient punishment in itself without any need whatsoever for harsh prison conditions," a Norwegian prison official told The Daily Mail. Perhaps they have a point, but here in America, we want to see this guy suffer, not enjoy digesting the delectable contents of his mini-fridge, jogging on the nearby trails, jamming with the prison rock band, and skimming through his latest beach read in the comfort of a POÄNG Chair. (Full disclaimer: We don't know whether the prison has Ikea furniture. In fact, it's probably nicer.) More photos here, via the Atlantic Wire. [NYDN]

Miller High Life Will Save Yankee Fan From the Vicious Clutches of the IRS

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America is great, indeed! Remember how terrible we all felt when Christian Lopez, the lucky guy who caught the ball knocked out of the park in Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, was maybe going to have to pay a bunch of money -- $5,000 to $14,000 -- to the IRS, just because he was coordinated enough to catch said ball, and kind enough to return it? (And was then, in return, given memorabilia, luxury box tickets, and other Yankee goodness by the team?) Taxes ruin everything! Except that Miller High Life has seen fit to "do the right thing" in this instance and will pay Lopez's taxes for him.

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Baojing Li, Buddhist Nun, Refuses Plea Deal For Passing Out Beads

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A Buddhist nun was arrested and charged with being an unlicensed vendor, a misdemeanor, just for handing out prayer beads on Canal Street and taking donations for her burned down house of worship, her lawyer claims. Baojing Li refused a non-criminal plea deal yesterday that would result in just one day of community service, instead demanding the case be dismissed "in the interest of justice." The judge said he could not drop the case without the permission of the DA, who clearly needs to take a closer look at this case. Li came to New York after a fire that also destroyed her home in Georgia, and was passing out beads and taking contributions in a tin while wearing a long religious robe with a shaved head. Her lawyer, who is representing Li pro bono, laid it out: "If this was a Catholic nun in a habit giving out rosary beads, I can't imagine a police officer in the City of New York arresting her." [DNA Info]

George W. Bush Turns 65; Mike Bloomberg Changes Mind About Perp Walks; Woman Fined for Putting Trash in Trashcan

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• Happy birthday to George W. Bush, who is 65 today. So is Sylvester Stallone. And it's Nancy Reagan's 90th! Have some cake, guys. [FOX]

• Manhattan prosecutors will meet with Dominique Strauss-Kahn's lawyers today to talk about whether the case against him can be dismissed or resolved in a plea deal. [NYT]


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Johnny Utah's Mechanical Bull Fells Another Poor Soul

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Christopher Haynes, a 38-year-old Manhattan man who the Daily News reports "works in finance," is the third person -- at least the third person -- to accuse Johnny Utah's of running amok with their mechanical bull, a dangerous, though not living, beast that has launched many a finance guy into the ether, seemingly as if on purpose! Haynes fractured his left tibial plateau before his ride even got going, which is particularly sucky. If you are to wound yourself on the mechanical bull, you at least want to get a few hat-waves in first.


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US Airways, Anti-Saggy-Pants Airline, Allows Man to Fly in Women's Panties

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Last week, much ado was made over University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman, 20, who was kicked off a US Airways flight for wearing saggy pajama pants and booked on suspicion of trespassing, battery and resisting arrest (he has not been charged). Now there's a photo circulating of another passenger, also male, clad in blue women's underwear, a blue crop tank top of sorts, and a sheer white top. He's also got on black stockings. Passenger Jill Tarlow took the photo of the man, who flew from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix on June 9, six days prior to Marman's arrest. Marman's attorney, Joe O'Sullivan, is arguing that this is a double standard, and that "because Mr. Marman was black, wearing dreds, he was treated differently."

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