Is prostitution a form of sex therapy?
A New York lawyer has failed in his effort to deduct from his taxes the $322,000 he spent on prostitutes, pornography, and sex toys. William Halby, 77, told a state tax-court judge that he had used “sex therapy” to help battle depression, osteoarthritis, and erectile dysfunction, and the deductions were therefore legitimate medical expenses. In his ruling against Halby, Judge Brian Friedman noted that not only is prostitution in New York not recognized as a medical necessity, it’s a “violation of penal law.” Halby says he’ll appeal.

The value of a moldy mattress
A Wisconsin prison inmate serving time for homicide has been awarded $295,000 by a federal jury because he was forced to sleep on a moldy mattress. Following a 2004 prison riot, Reggie Townsend, 29, spent 60 days in a segregation unit with nothing to sleep on but, in his words, a “wet, moldy, and foul-smelling mattress.” The jury agreed that prison officials had violated Townsend’s constitutional rights by failing to provide the “minimal civilized measure of life’s necessities.”