A San Francisco jury found Terry Childs guilty of one count of felony denial of service yesterday. The count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Considering that he's already served nearly two years to date, he may actually be released on parole at his June 14 sentencing hearing, or he may be facing another three years behind bars. His lawyers stated that they will appeal.
This ruling brings a chill to my spine. While Childs could have handled the situation with a little more grace, I don't believe that any crime was actually committed. I've worked under some pretty shoddy conditions before - lack of procedures, lack of accountability - but this sets precedent for criminal prosecution.
Knowing firsthand how difficult this would be, I'd have just let the lackluster-at-best management sink. I would have turned over the passwords along with my resignation. Anyone with a CCIE can find another job, even in this economy. If it comes down to risking my freedom and clean criminal record because my boss is a moron, then it's time to move on. I can't imagine how painful it would have to be to create such a complex, intricate system, only to have to turn it over to inept cretins who will undoubtedly destroy it.