Wandering Eye: "Homicide" wrongful-conviction case revived, Home Depot breach, and RuPaul on Facebook

The Washington Post reports that James Owens’ wrongful-conviction lawsuit against Baltimore police, dismissed two years ago by a federal judge, has been revived by a federal appeals court. City Paper last year published a lengthy story about two wrongful-conviction lawsuits, including Owens’, that alleged illegal misconduct by Baltimore homicide detectives made famous by David Simon’s 1991 book “Homicide” and the NBC television series it inspired. Owens’ claims—that, as the lawsuit explains, detectives Jay Landsman, Thomas Pellegrini, and Gary Dunnigan, along with prosecutor Marvin Sam Brave, “not only allowed perjured testimony” at his trial, which ended with his conviction for the 1988 murder of Colleen Williar, “but manufactured and induced it"—now will get their day in court, as he tries to prove that his treatment was not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of bad practices. The other lawsuit, brought by Wendell Griffin, who was exonerated for the 1981 murder of James William "Lucky" Wise, was dismissed earlier this year and is currently on appeal. (Van Smith)


In the wake of a computer breach at Home Depot that reportedly exposed 52,000 credit card transactions, Ars Technica exposes the criminal hacker history of Home Depot’s chief IT guy. “Ricky Joe Mitchell was hired by Home Depot in 2012, and in March of 2013, he was promoted to the position of Senior Architect for IT Security at Home Depot, in charge of the entire company’s security architecture. In May of 2014, Mitchell was convicted of sabotaging the network of his former employer,” Sean Gallagher writes. Turns out he blew up the machines at EnerVest Operating in 2012, shortly after he learned he was fired. He reset the severs to the factory settings and even unplugged the cooling system, costing the company more than a million bucks. Years earlier, in high school, Mitchell had spread viruses to classmates and school computers, the story says. It’s unclear what all this has to do with the Home Depot breach, though. Ars Technica says the Depot’s security was weak before Mitchell was hired, as part of a company policy of corner-cutting. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


RuPaul is leading a drag queen revolt against Facebook fascism. The social media site recently started enforcing its policy requiring the real, legal name of those who keep accounts on the site. As The Hollywood Reporter scoops, several hundred people, including drag queens, who built their profiles around stage names had their accounts deactivated, and are fighting the rule. The group now has the formidable personage on their side. "In showbiz, there's no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right," RuPaul tells THR. "But it's bad policy when Facebook strips the rights of creative individuals who have blossomed into something even more fabulous than the name their mama gave them." TechCrunch has a much less fabulous (but meatier) take on the controversy here, writing: "It should be noted that Facebook does make certain exceptions to its real-names policy for celebrities. The New York Times reported back in 2012 that Lady Gaga was allowed to use her stage name on her own profile page." (Edward Ericson Jr.)

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