What's interesting about this decision, however, isn't just the re-opening of one of the most widely covered criminal cases of the past 50 years--it's the opportunity to cast light on how the prosecution's conduct deprived Mr. Guandique of his constitutional rights.
I've toyed with the idea, based on covering many "sensational" criminal cases for various publications, that strong and protracted media scrutiny should mean that justice is better served. But I'm afraid that's wishful thinking.
The guilty verdict and 60 year sentence to Chandra Levy's killer this month brought a measure of closure and justice not only to Levys family and former representative Gary Condit, but also local journalism in the nation's capitol.
What depresses me about Law & Order is not that they expeditiously solve crimes every week through meticulous sleuthing. It's that real law enforcement, crime labs, and investigatory agencies virtually never get things right.