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Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York State is paying $3.4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a Long Island man who served 17 years in prison upstate after being wrongfully convicted of murdering his parents.Martin Tankleff, whose double murder conviction was overturned in 2008, still has a separate federal civil rights lawsuit pending against Suffolk County, ex-Homicide Squad Det. K. James McCready and others.“I hope to expose the misconduct that caused my wrongful conviction so that it does not happen to anyone else,” Tankleff, who has been attending law school since his release, said in a statement in which he thanked those who stood by him over the past 25 years.Tankleff had been convicted of fatally stabbing his parents, Arlene and Seymour Tankleff, in their Belle Terre home in 1988 when he was 17.He was released from prison in 2007 after an appellate court vacated his conviction and all charges were dropped a year later. Prosecutors declined to retry the case.A legal team representing Tankleff, now 42, has said that his confession was coerced and that the real killer is one of his father’s business associates who denied responsibility and who authorities have not charged in connection with the deaths.Tankleff and his team have said McCready tricked Tankleff into signing a false confession by lying to Tankleff. They said the detective told Tankleff that his father had told detectives that the then-teenager was the killer.“We have developed powerful new forensic evidence demonstrating Marty’s innocence and showing that his parents were murdered by assailants who acted with efficiency and brutality,” said one of Tankleff’s attorneys, Barry Scheck of Manhattan-based Neufeld Scheck & Brustin.Another member of Tankleff’s legal team, Bruce Barket of Garden City-based Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, said the new evidence confirms that his client is innocent.“This settlement is one more step in the long road to right a terrible injustice,” he said. “The next step will be a full public trial in federal court exposing the wrongdoing by law enforcement and making sure it does not happen to anyone else.” read more
Daniel Zhu | Daily TrojanThere were many question marks surrounding USC after its season-opening scare against Western Michigan. In particular, the Trojan defense seemed to have trouble keying in on the Broncos’ rushing defense. WMU out-rushed USC 263 yards to 232 — even as the running back duo of junior Ronald Jones II and freshman Stephen Carr averaged more than nine yards per carry and combined for five touchdowns.It looked like more of the same to start last weekend, as Stanford brought its potent rushing offense to the Coliseum. Cardinal running back Bryce Love torched the Trojans for 102 yards on the ground in the first quarter alone, including a deflating 75-yard scamper that tied the score at seven immediately after USC had pushed in front. At the end of the first 15 minutes of play, Trojan runners were averaging less than four yards per carry; Love was averaging north of 20.It wasn’t an ideal start, especially for a team with high hopes that seemed to be trending downward after Week 1. But no one was panicking in the Trojan locker room.“Our saying is to stay up here all game long for four quarters,” junior linebacker Cameron Smith said. “Everyone’s buying in on that.”Mantras like that often fall by the wayside when teams fail to adjust, but USC was a different defensive team for the final 45 minutes of Saturday’s game. Stanford rushed for only 68 yards over the next three quarters combined. The Trojans stopped five runs for a loss, the offense built up a lead and the Cardinal were forced to take to the air. Then, USC unleashed its full might — as the team had been preparing to do all week.“[It was] one of the most aggressive plans that I’ve ever been a part of in 23 years,” head coach Clay Helton said. “I think [defensive coordinator] Clancy [Pendergast] had every blitz in his entire package and used it, and these kids executed.”The Trojans only got home for two sacks on quarterback Keller Chryst: Senior defensive tackle Josh Fatu notched the first in the third quarter, and senior linebacker Uchenna Nwosu earned the second on Stanford’s final drive (redshirt sophomore linebacker John Houston Jr. recorded the lone quarterback hit of the night). Nevertheless, the pressure was enough. The Cardinal mustered just 211 yards on offense after the first quarter, while USC racked up 463. Stanford trailed by at least two possessions through the entire second half.It was a remarkable turnaround, but the Trojans appeared nonplussed after the game. To them, they were merely making expected in-season adjustments.“We were able to step it up and really just fix the little things … to play more assignment-sound this week,” junior linebacker Porter Gustin said. “I think that was the big difference.”Indeed, Helton emphasized containing the ground attack, and Love only managed 58 more yards after his 102-yard outburst to begin the game. But while improved execution revealed the defense’s potential on Saturday, the long season will also require confidence and chemistry. USC believes it has both.“I think we’re playing really well as a unit,” Smith said. “We answered some questions we needed for ourselves.”Considering the Trojans seemed unconcerned after their win against Western Michigan, it seems those questions didn’t stem from Week 1. They were likely from last season, when the Cardinal dominated USC 27-10 and relegated then-starting quarterback Max Browne to the bench.That game turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it handed a redshirt freshman quarterback named Sam Darnold the keys to the Trojan offense. A year later, Darnold’s presence has now elevated USC into the national championship chase. For the defense, however, the game remained a thorny memory, especially as the last of three consecutive losses to Stanford. Saturday’s statement victory may have exorcised those demons.“It took us a couple hard losses to get moving and preparing, and I think we learned from that last year,” Gustin said. “We’ve got guys in the film room hours on hours every single day because we don’t want to be in that situation again. To be able to get this win and see our preparation pay off is huge.”With a confidence-building performance fresh in its mind, the defense now looks to carry over its success to the next grudge match, as the Trojans look to avenge their infamous loss to Texas in 2006 on Saturday. Crowd noise aided the defense against the Cardinal, and Helton urged fans to spur on the Trojan defense this weekend as well.“Let’s get loud — we could feel it for the Stanford game, especially on third down,” Helton said. “We’ll lean on our Trojan Family once again for support.”No. 4 USC kicks off against the Longhorns at 5:30 p.m. It is the first Coliseum sellout since 2013. read more
MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNSPORTING NEWS: You see all the talent across the team for the Rays. Do you feel like you guys are starting to shift the national narrative?NATE LOWE: I’ve been trying my best not to look at public opinion, we just gotta show up and play. It’s nice to get a little recognition, come in here (Yankee Stadium), play a Wednesday night ESPN game, getting a matchup with the Yankees, like we want.We know we might not be the favorite, but we don’t care for that. We think we have a chance to win every game this week.SN: To your point, it feels like there are a few teams in baseball that come with their own organizational attitude or personality, like the A’s and, obviously, the Rays. So what does it mean to be a Ray?NL: It’s all I’ve ever known, so I don’t know any rep for it, because I’ve been on the inside looking out the whole time. I’m sure you come up to Yankee Stadium, the grass might be a little greener, the clubhouse might be a little bigger, you’re gonna get your 40,000 crowd or whatever it is. I don’t have anything, crazy-rep wise that I would notice as far as being a Rays player. Regardless of what kinda payroll we got, we’re gonna compete. SN: It feels like the stars align every 10 years or so with the Rays, talent-wise. It’s definitely coming together this year, you’re seeing it now. What’s it like being a part of that?NL: It’s really cool. Not being drafted high, I never thought of myself like prospect-status or anything like that. Then I have a better year last year, I start seeing some of the prospect side of it, which is still baseball. Being able to come up with the group of guys in my draft class and the draft classes around me, there’s talent (with the Rays) all the way through, top to bottom.Obviously (Wander) Franco is getting the international spotlight, too, ’cause he’s gonna be as good as advertised. There’s guys all the way through that are going be able to help this team, not just this year or a year that the “stars-align,” but can consistently help this team for years.SN: All right, here we go, rapid fire: You’re in the gym, you’re getting pumped. Juices are flowing, adrenaline’s going, what’s your go-to song or artist?NL: Ooooh. Recently it’s been Blink-182. “Stay Together for the Kids,” that’s been a good one. “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. It goes through phases, though. Sometimes it’s rap, sometimes it’s rock. It’s never country. EDM, yes. But those two songs right now.SN: Pizza or tacos?NL: Pizza.SN: New York or Chicago style? NL: New York. But I haven’t been to Chicago, so I wouldn’t know.SN: Last question: A hippo and a rhino get into a fight. Who wins? NL: A hippo. They’re so mean. Their mouths are huge. A rhino is gonna butt a hippo, but a hippo can definitely chomp a rhino. Throughout the 2019 MLB season, Sporting News will run short interviews with players, highlighting their favorite foods, activities and more.In this edition, SN’s Joe Rivera got two minutes with Rays infielder Nate Lowe. read more