H. Beatty Chadwick has been in a staring match with the judicial system for the past 14 years, and the system just blinked. Chadwick was ordered to pay his ex-wife $2.5 million after their divorce. He refused to pay saying that he couldn't because he lost the money in a series of "bad investments." The judge in the case didn't believe him and sent him to jail for contempt. That was 14 years ago
. Last week another judge let Chadwick go saying that "continued imprisonment would be legal only if there was some likelihood that ultimately he would comply with the order; otherwise, the confinement would be merely punitive instead of coercive." Chadwick, now 73, is believed to have served the longest contempt sentence in US history.