What we're left with is still very murky. The scenario painted by the DA is quite damning, but doesn't jive with statements made on the record by persons that were directly involved in the San Francisco IT department when all of this went down. The power-outage red herring, the "no password recovery" configuration settings, and the backdoors were all proven to be either consistent with sound network security or complete falsehoods. But most of that was pushed under the carpet. Lie on the front page, retract on the back page, so to speak.
As I've followed this case through all the twists and turns, I'm still very interested in the same thing I was at the outset -- that if Childs is to go to trial, that he be tried using sound technical reasoning, not claims of witchcraft pushed on nontechnical jurors who may or may not be able to download Firefox, much less understand the intricacies of strict network security policies. It makes you wonder if the concept of "a jury of one's peers" is reasonable. Given the nature of this case, wouldn't that jury be made up of Cisco CCIEs?
Naturally, that's not going to happen, but I do hope that both sides have sound technical expertise at their fingertips, especially in trying to relate very technical information to a nontechnical audience that will ultimately decide one of the most technical computer crime cases in recent memory.
So as we pass through the last Christmas of this decade, and the start of what's sure to be a lengthy trial, I can only hope that somewhere on the other side there's a fair judgement waiting for Terry Childs. After all this time, he deserves that at the very least.