Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe made headlines this week by freeing "cannibal cop" Gilberto Valle, ruling there was no evidence from which a reasonable juror could have concluded that his Internet chats about kidnapping and eating women were anything but fantasy.
While the judge, an ex-prosecutor, got some credit for acting on principle in a case involving an arguably odious defendant, there is the awkward question of timing. Valle spent 21 months in jail -- 15 of them after Gardephe presided over a trial where he now concludes that no reasonable view of the evidence supported the verdict.