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Saturday, Feb 13th

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Mass. man who spent 30 years in prison is freed pending new trial

Mass. man released after 30 years of innocenceA man who spent three decades in prison for a rape conviction based in part on one strand of hair was freed Wednesday after a judge said he is “reasonably sure” the man is innocent and believes prosecutors cannot win a conviction at a retrial.

George Perrot was convicted of raping 78-year-old Mary Prekop in her Springfield home in 1985. Last month, Judge Robert Kane granted Perrot a new trial after finding that an FBI agent’s testimony about microscopic hair evidence was flawed. The agent said in no uncertain terms that a hair found in the victim’s home was a match for Perrot’s.

Today, the judge released Perrot on personal recognizance after saying he believes there is strong evidence that Perrot did not rape Prekop.

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Ex-priest arrested in 1960 slaying of Texas beauty queen

Ex-priest held in 1960 murderFor more than half a century, the unsolved killing of a young schoolteacher and beauty queen who was last seen at church haunted the Texas city of McAllen.

But now, nearly 56 years after the bludgeoned body of 25-year-old Irene Garza was pulled from an irrigation canal, police have arrested the man long suspected in her slaying: the former priest who apparently heard her final confession.

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Justice Department threatens legal action against Ferguson

DOJ to sue FergusonThe Justice Department said Wednesday it is exploring "legal actions" against the city of Ferguson, hours after the city council in the St. Louis suburb called for several revisions to a tentative agreement to revamp its police department and municipal court operations.

Ferguson's city council voted late Tuesday to approve the settlement, known as a consent decree, on the condition that the Justice Department agree to revisions to the deal reached last month.

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Flint residents ordered to boil water after water main break

Flint residents to boil water- Residents of Flint, Mich., already filtering their tap water to remove toxic lead elements, were advised also to boil it after a water main break.

Water pressure fell after pipes cracked, and the resulting drop in water pressure may have allowed bacterial contamination to occur, a warning from the city told residents. The advisory Tuesday is regarded as a precautionary, temporary measure and is expected to be lifted when testing indicates the water is safe.

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Former Texas Prosecutor Disbarred For Sending Innocent Man To Death Row

Anthony GravesA Texas legal panel voted on Monday to disbar a former prosecutor for sending an innocent man to death row by presenting tainted testimony and making false statements that undermined the defendant's alibi.

The Board of Disciplinary Appeals appointed by the Texas Supreme Court upheld a state licensing board's decision to disbar Charles Sebesta for his conduct in convicting Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years in prison on charges of setting a fire that killed six people before being freed.

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Sheriff Covered Up Mormon Child Marriage

Haleman BarlowFormer FLDS leader Warren Jeffs is in jail for taking two young girls as spiritual brides—and the sordid practice has continued after his arrest, according to local police.

Long after Jeffs’ arrest, an extreme culture of child brides, excommunication, and “concentration camp”-like compounds has allegedly survived under the nose of local law enforcement, including police who are members or former members of the church.

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Texas again denied request to bar Syrian refugees

Texas barred from banning refugeesA judge denied for the second time a request by Texas to bar relief agencies from bringing Syrian refugees into the state, a decision that could have a bearing on the attempts of 30 other governors to block refugees from their states.

U.S. District Judge David Godbey said the Republican leaders who have fought the resettlement have not shown Texas would suffer irreparable harm. The same judge rejected in December the state's request for a restraining order saying the evidence presented was "largely speculative hearsay."

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