Lead story: After 17 years in prison for a murder he always said he didn’t commit, Alprentiss Nash will likely be released. Prosecutors have dismissed charges against him, citing newly-discovered DNA evidence that exonerates Nash. It’s the latest in an ongoing, disturbing trend in Chicago of exonerated suspects. Earlier this year, the National Registry of Exonerations released a study [PDF] that put Illinois as the leader in state exonerations from 1989 to 2012 with 101 cases. The same study cited Cook County as the leading county in the nation with 78 exonerations, more than 47 entire states (outpaced by only California, New York and Texas). In an op-ed for the Huffington Post earlier this year, Locke Bowman, director of the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Law School (who works with the University of Michigan Law School for the Registry), claimed that since 1986 there have been 67 cases handled by Chicago Police in which the convicted suspect was eventually exonerated. Even casting aside those involved in the Jon Burge torture cases, the number is staggering.
Also: The GOP wrapped up its convention Thursday night with Mitt Romney making things all official by accepting the party’s nomination for president. But the man of the hour was nearly upstaged by one of the biggest celebrity gets for the party in quite some time: Clint Eastwood. At least, if someone can be upstaged by an aged actor giving a rambling, scattered speech while also conversing with an empty chair. Thankfully, the Internet was up to the challenge. Romney, though, will carry the party’s momentum until next week, when the Dems get Rutger Hauer to perform Hamlet’s monoluge with a sock puppet.
And then: This weekend marks the end of the line for one of Chicago’s most well-known restaurant, as chef Charlie Trotter closes the doors of his establishment. Our own Louisa Chu explores what the closing means while Chicagoist’s Anthony Todd explores “the darker side” of the restaurant.
RIP: Jersey Shore, MTV’s testament to testosterone and everything wrong with culture, has finally been put down, saving us all the misery of dealing with its existence.
- A lot of people were calling out Paul Ryan for inaccuracies in his speech at the GOP convention. But when even Fox News does it, you know it’s bad.
- Over a month after his death, actor Sherman Hemsley has yet to be buried. At the center of this sad, strange story is a contested will involving a woman named in the will and a man alleging to be Hemsely’s brother, who says the will is a fake.
- Even stranger things afoot in Russia where the name of controversial band Pussy Riot was allegedly found scrawled in blood at a murder scene. Pro-Putin officials claim the band inspired the murder while supporters of the band claim conspiracy.
- With voter ID laws at the forefront of this year’s election season, yesterdat a federal court struck down such a law in the rootin’, tootin’ state of Texas.
- Earlier this year, Interneters the world over had a little fun and sent rapper Pit Bull to perform in Alaska. A similar prank to send Taylor Swift to sing at a school for the deaf is causing more controversy and may backfire on the pranksters.
- With that looming teacher strike a possibility, Chicago Public Schools is beginning to roll out a contingency plan, including opening 145 schools for at least half a day to feed and supervise kids.
- The state remains in a full-fledged drought with some slight improvement providing little comfort to farmers. A bit of relief will come this weekend in the form of the remnants of Hurricane Isaac.
- Because traffic on Lake Shore Drive isn’t bad enough, resurfacing work is set to begin on North Side stretches of the road on the North Side next week. At least the city is promising to do so in “off-peak” hours.
- While there are still some fall fests to come – namely A.V. Fest and Riot Fest – the North Coast Music Fest unfurls this weekend in a sign of summer’s impending end.
- The South Side Irish Parade, the more family-friendly version, will take to the streets of Beverly on March 10, 2013. Organizers are already announcing the date in hopes folks will come forward to help contribute funds. Prepare your shamrock hats accordingly.
- The Bears wrapped up their preseason last night with a 28-20 win against the Cleveland Browns, a game of little consequence for everyone except the players scrapping to make the final roster.
- Notre Dame football radio commentator Allen Pinkett is feeling the blowback for his asinine comments about the team needing more criminals: He’s been pulled off this weekend’s radio broadcast of the Navy game.
- The White Sox begin a crucial three-game series in Detroit tonight with their lead over the Tigers in the AL Central at just three games. The two teams will meet once more in two weeks for a four-game set at The Cell.
- Earlier this week, the FBI released nearly 900 pages it had on deceased Penn State coach Joe Paterno. While there were a lot of threats against the coach, there was nary a reference to Jerry Sandusky or his crimes.
- File under “how did we miss this?” A pro sports league will leave its championship vacant for a year and it keeps our own Chicago Bandits from defending their title. Last weekend’s rain interefered with the tournament, canceling game two of a best-of-three series, and rather than decide the champhionship on one game (the Bandits won) or make up the games (several players were due to leave to play elsewhere), the National Pro Fastpicth Softball league is leaving the title vacant.
What happens when Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax reads Ayn Rand? Watch below and find out. [via The Daily What]