State Senate Supports $3.75M Barahona Settlement Payout

A House committee has approved a bill that will pay out part of a settlement involved in a high-profile case that resulted in the death of a 10-year-old girl and near death of her twin brother. With the approval of the bill, known as HB 6523, $3.75 million of the $5 million that the Florida Department of Children and Families agreed to pay “to the estate of Nubia Barahona and to Victor Barahona” will be paid out. The other $1.25 million has already been paid.

Federal Jury Awards $13M Over Wrongful Conviction

Spending years behind bars for a crime you didn’t commit would be a nightmare for anyone. Unfortunately for Deon Patrick, this is exactly what happened to him. Fortunately for him, after spending “21 years in prison after signing a murder confession allegedly manufactured by Chicago police and Cook County prosecutors,” a federal jury awarded him $13 million on Wednesday as a result of a lawsuit he filed against the city of Chicago.

Fresh Country Air: EPA loss is our win

Ever drive out in the country where livestock feedlots saturate the air with ammonia so thick that your nose hairs practically wither? Where I come from, that and the ever-present earthy smell of manure were euphemistically called “fresh country air.” These industrial feedlot exhalations aren’t just stinky, though: they are a potent source of pollution. Solving this problem seems like a good way for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make itself useful, but in 2008, the EPA decided that CAFOs didn’t have to report their pollutants. Last week, though, the D.C. Court of Appeals vacated that rule, saying that Congress had not given the EPA the authority to create CERCLA exemptions as they pleased. Now, CAFOs and other massively polluting livestock operations will be required, like everyone else, to answer to all of us for their pollution problems.