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updated 8/19/2004 11:25:05 AM ET 2004-08-19T15:25:05

The delay in the Scott Peterson case may tell us a lot more about this case than meets the eye. 

This is the second time the judge has delayed the trial for days, based on “possible developments.” This time Amber Frey's cross-examination postponed until Monday— no court.  But, this is also a court that often starts late and ends early and there's no court on Fridays. 

Last time I saw this sort of internal mayhem was in the O.J. Simpson case where delays and hearings overshadowed the testimony and that can only help the defense.  Clouds and thunder can help any defendant create reasonable doubt.  Most of the time, clear skies are good news for the prosecution. 

Now, it is certainly possible that in both instances, in this trial, there were unforeseeable issues—like untested evidence found near bodies, new information about Amber Frey— I'm not blaming the defense.  But I fear the judge is poised to let this case slip away from him.  He needs to make sure he doesn't let legal gamesmanship take control of his courtroom.

Judge Ito of the Simpson case would love to pass the torch as the jurist associated with the weaknesses and loopholes of our criminal justice system.  Judge Delucchi should strive not to be bestowed with that dishonor. 

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