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Print 80 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Apr 30 at 11:13 PM

"Misunderstood" programmer receives 25-to-life

Wrapping up six months of trial and three days of deliberations, a jury found Linux programmer and ReiserFS creator Hans Reiser guilty for the first-degree murder of his estranged wife, Nina Reiser.

Nina Reiser was reported missing on September 5, 2006, after she failed to pick up her kids from school. She was last seen dropping them off with Hans on September 3, and reportedly failed to meet her best friend afterwards. While police never found Nina’s body, they did find traces of her blood in Hans’ residence and car.

Hans claimed Nina fled to Russia, where the couple met in 1998, after he accused her of embezzling money from his company, Namesys. Prosecutors alleged, however, that Hans killed her instead, possibly by strangling her to death.

Reiser’s lawyer, William DuBois, tried to paint Reiser as the misunderstood geek, and cautioned jurors against reading too much into Reiser’s outwardly suspicious behavior. In one example, investigators found Reiser’s car -- a 1998 Honda CRX located several miles from his house -- to contain two books on murder investigations. Further, the car was missing its passenger seat and flooded with nearly an inch of water.

Responding to the findings, Reiser said he assumed that auto engineers always “put a hole in the car.”

Reiser’s “geek defense” culminated with his appearance before jurors on the witness stand – a move that Wired’s Threat Level thinks “may have been [his] undoing.” In front of the entire courtroom, Reiser explained away nearly every accusation thrown his way in explanations described as “lengthy and verbose.” He purchased the murder books, for example, in order to better understand how the police were operating in his investigation.

Jurors were visibly skeptical of Reiser’s 11 days on the stand: eyewitness accounts report jurors laughing to themselves and shaking their heads in disbelief, and Alameda Court Judge Larry Goodman was spotted smirking to himself on at least one occasion.

For now, the future of ReiserFS, and its parent company Namesys, remain in jeopardy. Reiser put the company up for sale in December 2006, and as of yet the company is unsold. Namesys employee Alexander Lyamin, writing in the Linux Kernel Mailing List in December 2006, said his company will continue its work absent of Reiser’s leadership, and attempt to appoint a “proxy” to run operations until a better solution could be found. At this time, Namesys’ website is current inaccessible.



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How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By the goat on 4/29/2008 11:27:53 AM , Rating: 5
No body. No murder weapon. No witness. No evidence. How could they convict this guy?

His wife's blood was in his car. I could think of thousands of ways for that to get there. Plus if the police say he strangled her, why would there be blood?

There must have been more evidence presented at trial then this article (and every other I've read) talks about. Because what is listed couldn't meet the legal burden of proof in my mind. It seems the jury simply thought he was a sketchy guy and convicted him.

This should be over turned on appeal. Or the judge should set aside the verdict.




By bhieb on 4/29/2008 11:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
I'm suprised the DA even tried the case as murder, I agree there must be more to it than this.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By falacy on 4/29/2008 12:18:00 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. Either they are not telling us the whole story or this guy is another example of an innocent person being convicted by a stupid/biased jury. It's the whole reason why we no longer have the death penalty in Canada: We were killing too many innocent people! After the last guy was found innocent a little too late, that was the end of it.

One of the troubles with the legal systems in the world is that none of them are without fault and often completely innocent people are convicted and have their life ruined or taken away. Also, it only takes an acquisition to change the way people look at a person, for the rest of their lives that person has to live with the stigma of the acquisition, guilty or not.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Ananke on 4/29/2008 12:47:45 PM , Rating: 1
Being a "geek" doesn't make him innocent. Btw, "geeks" are just very very highly qualified and expensive workers; no offence, but you guys are not gods or sth, it doesn't matter what your boss tells you :)
So, the guy could've have easily called his wife in Russia, and close the case, if she was alive. And, Russia is not Central Brazilian jungle, it is prety much modern country with Interpol, police, investigators, etc. institutions which easily can trace a missing citizen. That didn't happen. So, the guy was not given life penalty, he still has a chance to prove innosence. I feel fed up with smart murderers who think can escape judgement.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By the goat on 4/29/2008 1:47:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Being a "geek" doesn't make him innocent. . .

Hey don't get me wrong. I do think the guy murdered his wife. But our legal system is not based on the "I think he did it" burden of proof. It is based on the "Beyond a reasonable doubt" burden of proof. There is a huge difference between the two.

quote:
the guy could've have easily called his wife in Russia

The defense's theory was that the wife was hiding in Russia because she allegedly stole a ton of money from her husband. She wouldn't be hiding very well if she answered the phone when the guy she stole money from tried to call her.

True he should have hired a private investigator track her down in Russia (of evidence that she had traveled to Russia). But it is the prosecutor's responsibility to track down leads not the defense's.


By JustTom on 4/29/2008 6:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the prosecution does not have an obligation to invalidate every remote possibility. If they did cases would never get tried at all.

Reasonable doubt does not mean beyond a shadow of a doubt. Personally from what I have read I think it is more than likely he committed this crime. Judging whether a jury made the correct decision based on an article on a techsite is a fool's errand.


By rudy on 4/29/2008 9:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
They jury is coached in this thought, they must have decided there was not reasonable doubt. There are lots of murders that go to trial without a body. It is much harder to convict but if you do it then you probably got the right guy.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By falacy on 4/29/2008 2:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
give the victims families closure by seeing a scourge of civilized society put down like the dog


I love the sentiment of that statement. It's a testiment to the true nature of humanity. "Give the families closure" - no, you mean "Give the families vengence".

Maybe he did it, maybe he didn't, but by the sounds of it, he did not get a fair trial.

One Tin Soldier:
(by Lambert-Potter, sung by Coven)

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they'd kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom,
"With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there."

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

Now the valley cried with anger,
"Mount your horses! Draw your sword!"
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it...
"Peace on Earth" was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By falacy on 4/29/2008 2:57:53 PM , Rating: 1
Based on information like this,

quote:
Jurors were visibly skeptical of Reiser’s 11 days on the stand: eyewitness accounts report jurors laughing to themselves and shaking their heads in disbelief, and Alameda Court Judge Larry Goodman was spotted smirking to himself on at least one occasion.


I will not stoop so low as to partake in mud slinging, espeically with ignorant Americans who know nothing of Canada yet are more than willing to insult its ways and people. Way to live up to the steryotype of an "American" bucko...


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 3:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
So based on that paragraph alone hes innocent ? I see thats from this very article. Yeah, you really dug deep in finding your " proof " didn't ya ? Your " information " is nothing but second hand reporting of actions by a judge and jury thats not put into ANY context what so ever ! Oh my sweet Jesus, he smirked and they laughed to themselves !!??? Its a conspiracy on the highest order !

I think someone has been watching too much TV. In the real world judges and an entire jury, chosen randomly by the way, do not conspire to convict computer programmers of murder. Every single time someone is convicted of a crime, theres a vocal minority who just wont accept the facts as they are. If people like you were right, something of the order of 30-40% of all people put away for murder are " innocent ". You will excuse my " American ignorance " but I refuse to believe our system is that broken. Not hardly.

And your the one calling people ignorant ? Stop wasting my time.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By oab on 4/29/2008 4:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Every single time someone is convicted of a crime, theres a vocal minority who just wont accept the facts as they are.


This is nit-picking, but I don't know of anyone who thinks that Paul Bernardo is innocent (meaning, he didn't rape/murder those two schoolgirls Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French), nor could I find on my search on the intartubes anyone who believed that he was not guilty of the crime. Mostly because it was on videotape showing it happen in both cases, and the fact that he said he did it.

Admittedly that is a specific case, but you should avoid universals whenever possible. Most people in prison are in fact guilty. The vast majority are guilty, but mistakes do happen, and should a mistake happen and it not be caught, does an innocent man (or woman) deserve to die for it?


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 6:44:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Most people in prison are in fact guilty. The vast majority are guilty, but mistakes do happen, and should a mistake happen and it not be caught, does an innocent man (or woman) deserve to die for it?


I'm honestly beside myself on the phoenomenon in our culture of the criminal always being made to portray the victim. You are about the 4'th person who has said this on this topic. Not ONE of you have pointed out that sometimes mistakes happen the OTHER way, and murderers beat the rap or get set free or appeal because of a technicality. Mistakes happen BOTH ways. So what ? We just give up trying to be civilized because its not perfect ?

Your question to me is emotionally based and designed to trigger some type of guilt mechanism in me. Nobody wants people to die and you know it. Thats not the issue here.

Not once have I pulled the obvious card, and said that I'm sure YOU would feel different if someone you loved were murdered. But thats a cheap tactic and I don't go there.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By oab on 4/29/2008 7:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's obvious that mistakes do happen the *other* way, (see OJ), but with a system that CANNOT be 100% accurate, the leaders of a society must ask, is it better that a guilty man go free or an innocent man be punished? Part of the entire idea of innocent until proven guilty.

The problem does not rest in innocent until proven guilty, but innocent men being found guilty when they were in fact innocent. The specific problem with capital punishment is not that it puts guilty men to death, but that it has put innocent men to death as well (or men found innocent by the justice system after the fact).

With capital punishment, after a sentence is carried out the mistake cannot be "undone" while if there isn't it can be (release the guy). Emotional scarring aside and all that.

If the justice system could be 100% accurate, right every time, capital punishment does not have any problems with it. Except for how to kill people in a way the law deems to not be cruel and unusual punishment, but that's a medical question not a legal one. However the system is not 100% accurate and therefore innocent men die for crimes they did not commit.

Is it better a guilty man go free, or an innocent man suffer? 10 guilty men? 100 guilty men? Does making the system more open to letting guilty men free make the system more uncivilized, or does it make it more civilized? Your opinion is heard loud and clear. That just because the system is not perfect doesn't mean that capital punishment should be abolished.

If an innocent man is put to death by the state, how is that different than a criminal killing an innocent man? It's a question of semantics really, the hangman is allowed by the state to kill him, while the criminal is not. The result is the same, but one is sanctioned (though apologized for profusely) and the other is not and is condemned..


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 8:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
Not deflecting your points at all, which are good ones, but do we have any numbers about how many mistaken convictions actually take place ? Or are we discussing a problem that doesn't really exist ?

I totally agree it HAS happened. That much is fact. But at what point do the few take priority over the many ?

I just really don't understand why people, in principle, have a problem with capital punishment. I honestly think its an irrational emotional response and not very well thought out. And its really insulting to the victims families to try and deny them the justice and closure they need. Not to mention our society simply does not need a bunch of murderers in it.


By oab on 4/29/2008 10:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
In Time magazine about 5 years ago, I read an article about this topic. I for the life of me can't find it sadly. It took a look at the 30-something capital murder cases a prominent (and single) state prosecutor/judge/forensics expert (I forget which) had presided over/in and found that 5 of them (or so) the person had been put to death, and the courts had later as part of an inquiry into his/her case history found that there was "significant doubt" about the persons guilt or innocence based on new findings/overturned evidence/improper procedures.

As for things I CAN point to, here's one about a pathologist who had made errors in about 13-20 of his cases leading to criminal convictions where he was found to be ... completely wrong: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/crime/smith-char...

There's the entire list of "wrongfully convicted" things that the CBC has: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/wrongfullyconvic... which is not a small number, though it is more than one or two, I don't know where a list of such things is for the US, <rant>the major networks news websites are ... horrible for finding lists like that kept up to day and don't have 'background' sections </rant>

There was the "Tulia46" incident which you can read a once-over lightly about on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulia#1999_drug_arres... (this may be the incident that I referred to above)

Wiki (unreliable though it is for some things is probably fairly accurate for this purpose) does have several lists on that question as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_de...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_conviction#U...

quote:
I just really don't understand why people, in principle, have a problem with capital punishment. I honestly think its an irrational emotional response and not very well thought out. And its really insulting to the victims families to try and deny them the justice and closure they need. Not to mention our society simply does not need a bunch of murderers in it.


As far as principal goes, many people object because they don't support killing people under any circumstance. They would point out that justice == closure != vengeance == revenge == capital punishment (or words to that effect).

Because the consequences of getting it wrong are so serious, 'any' person wrongfully put to death is a 'problem'. Especially if it is more than one which has happened, but it is not a large number compared to total number of convictions. However (the caveat), this is KNOWN people found innocent, it will not be a complete list so the number is going to be larger but by how much?

However, wrongful executions are fully preventable. Convictions may not be, but executions are. A life in prison w/ no parole may not be as "satisfying" (for lack of a better word, substitute your own that fits) a closure to the loss of their loved one to the hands of someone else as capital punishment may be, the justice system needs to strive for balance. Ultimately (from a societal point of view, ignoring victims rights and whatnot) capital punishment removes a murderer from the streets permanently, and life in prison accomplishes the same thing. However, the latter can be "reversed", while the former cannot.

quote:
I totally agree it HAS happened. That much is fact. But at what point do the few take priority over the many ?


So, make up your own mind to see if it is a problem, you need to determine what your cut-off point is, I know where mine is. The trend (near as I can tell) is for the "Western" countries to reduce, or eliminate the number of capital convictions that are handed out. You can look at the picture here if you desire: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Death_Penalty_W...

Court TV has a list of capital punishment things by state: http://www.courttv.com/archive/legaldocs/capital/m... Many states (as you know) that do have it have not executed anyone in a long time (ie. 0 executions by NY since 1977), presumably because they just don't want to get rid of it but want to have the option available. The elimination is de-facto, however the chart does not reflect that.

That was longer than I expected.


By emarston on 4/30/2008 11:10:27 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly it's being proven quite a bit (that the wrong person has been convicted) with DNA evidence today. Yet another example this week: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/29/us/29brfs-MANCLE...
(this guy finally gets freed after 27 years!) Clearly not close to a majority, but there are quite a few who have been wrongly convicted out there, unfortunately.

As much as we want a conviction we do need to be sure the right person is prosecuted. It can't be about the few vs. the many, but about simply correctly applying the law. People make mistakes, but mistakes aren't a good explanation to a wrongly convicted person for the sake of a victims family's desire for closure. Gotta get the right person or that family will end up not getting the closure in the end anyway (especially if some years later they find out the wrong person was convicted).


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By oab on 4/29/2008 4:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would point out that violent crime ( that means murder ) has only RISEN since most of our states stopped administering death sentences, and a host of other such supporting evidence.


Has not the population also increased as well during that time? More people = total number of crimes committed increases, even if the per-capita percentage of crimes is the same.

Violent crime is not exclusively murder, assault and manslaughter both count as violent crime in the statistics. Depending on how you categorize it home invasions, car jackings, armed robberies all might count as violent crime as well.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 4:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Has not the population also increased as well during that time? More people = total number of crimes committed increases, even if the per-capita percentage of crimes is the same.


Thats already been thought of. The number is rising even when population growth has been factored into it.

quote:
Violent crime is not exclusively murder, assault and manslaughter both count as violent crime in the statistics. Depending on how you categorize it home invasions, car jackings, armed robberies all might count as violent crime as well.


Yeah a big DUH. I was making an emphasis for our discussions purpose.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By barjebus on 4/29/2008 5:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
First off anyone who posts poetry in a serious adult discussion is either a hippie or a child, and neither's opinion matters on this topic.


...what? So Shakespeare and almost anyone who's taken English classes and gone on to become a writer is a "child or hippie"? Include in that probably anyone who writes songs as well, and you're criticizing every major artist in the world as well?

Let me guess, you also love to disparage people with edumacation right? It's obvious that the institution of "school" in America is a relic of the past, since some of the most successful American leaders can barely finish University (George Bush Jr.)...

Oh wait, he's a tool, I forgot.

As someone so accurately pointed out below/above, the Canadian justice system is based on the Brit's system, which the American's also modeled themselves after. Classy argument you're making.

quote:
If you knew a damn thing about the " true nature of humanity " you wouldn't be so conflicted about crime and punishment.


It used to be human nature to kill people who pissed us off, invade other nations and rape their women and sell their children off into slavery. Yeah. Awesome. Let's go through that again. Saying we need to follow our true nature is foolish in the extreme.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 6:34:27 PM , Rating: 1
Barjebus are you frothing at the mouth or something ?

quote:
...what? So Shakespeare and almost anyone who's taken English classes and gone on to become a writer is a "child or hippie"? Include in that probably anyone who writes songs as well, and you're criticizing every major artist in the world as well?


Making quite a leap here aren't you ? He posted a song to try and back up his position or change mine. I don't know which. But still, he posted song lyrics. I mean, do you not understand how silly that is ? And where did I critisize the artists as well ? Again, you need to relax.

quote:
Let me guess, you also love to disparage people with edumacation right? It's obvious that the institution of "school" in America is a relic of the past, since some of the most successful American leaders can barely finish University (George Bush Jr.)...


Again, I have NO clue where your going with this. Again, it has nothing to do with the topic or even the point vs point argument I was having with him. Seriously, wtf are you talking about ?

quote:
It used to be human nature to kill people who pissed us off, invade other nations and rape their women and sell their children off into slavery. Yeah. Awesome. Let's go through that again. Saying we need to follow our true nature is foolish in the extreme.


You missed the point by a MILE. Again, wtf are you talking about ? Where was I saying I needed " to follow our true nature " ? UNDERSTANDING our true nature, and that people WILL commit crimes, and those crimes need to have STRONG consequences is exactly what I'm saying. How in the hell could you miss this ?

Honestly, thank you for wasting 4 minutes of my life. I don't know if your just projecting, have a reading comprehension problem, or are just an idiot. Maybe you just need to relax ? I don't know, but please figure it out.


By timmiser on 4/30/2008 4:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, this is the DT forums. We regularly interrupt our debates and start singing and dancing. It's a freakin musical around here. You do need to get with the program!!

;)


By EricMartello on 4/30/2008 11:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You missed the point by a MILE. Again, wtf are you talking about ? Where was I saying I needed " to follow our true nature " ? UNDERSTANDING our true nature, and that people WILL commit crimes, and those crimes need to have STRONG consequences is exactly what I'm saying. How in the hell could you miss this ?


Sounds like yer daddy used tuch ur privats when us wuz a yungin...den u got a wuppin when u cried about it. :D

Do some people deserve to die? OR maybe the victim of the crime deserved to be the victim for not having the foresight to avoid said crime in the first place.

I totally see your point. We need to dumb down our complicated legal system to a point where there is no annoying "gray" area. Clearly, someone of your vast intellect, who struggles to grasp the fundamentals of tic-tac-toe, needs a legal system that leaves no open ends and ensures everyone receives the severe punishment they deserve. Anything else would be uncivilized. :)


By JustTom on 4/29/2008 7:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would point out that violent crime ( that means murder ) has only RISEN since most of our states stopped administering death sentences, and a host of other such supporting evidence. But why bother ? You posted a freaking song for gods sakes.


And you posted false information; violent crime has been dropping for over a decade. The murder rate in 2005 stood at 5.6 per 100,000. The rate in 1980 was almost twice that at 10.2 . Other violent crimes saw similar drops.


By JustTom on 4/30/2008 12:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
I am curious to know what you believe was unfair about this trail.


By Enigmatic on 4/29/2008 4:27:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm not going to pretend I understand the Canadian legal system. But I know one thing, your government, and probably most of the population, are total hippies.


This post of reeks of ignorance. You clearly have no idea about the Canadian population and who makes up the Canadian Government.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By oab on 4/29/2008 4:32:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
quote:
It's the whole reason why we no longer have the death penalty in Canada: We were killing too many innocent people!
I'm not going to pretend I understand the Canadian legal system. But I know one thing, your government, and probably most of the population, are total hippies.

The Canadian legal system is based on the British legal system, which co-incidentally is what the US legal system is based on. So if you understand the US legal system, you will understand how the Canadian legal system works (in an overall sort-of way), and the British one. Specifics are different but in general they work about the same.

quote:
I don't know how things worked in Canada, but here we have a "death row " where people sentenced to execution wait for a VERY long time before they are put down. There is plenty of time for due process to take its course if they were wrongfully accused, before they are killed. Its not like your convicted of murder and are hung the next day or something, give me a break.

Also capitol punishment is very rare today. Unfortunately its more popular to let the taxpayers pay for a criminal to live the rest of his life in a boarding house ( jail ) then give the victims families closure by seeing a scourge of civilized society put down like the dog he/she is.


Despite all the possible appeals that exist in the US for inmates on death row, mistakes do happen. Innocent men have been put to death due to inadequate legal representation, badly made appeals, biased jurors, procedural errors that are not "caught", circumstantial evidence, the lot.

For example, Steven Truscott in Canada was convicted of murder at age of 14, and sentenced to hang. The supreme court ruled it immoral to hang a minor so he was taken off death row. 48 years later his conviction was overturned. The ONLY reason it was able to be overturned was because the courts decided to not hang minors. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/truscott/ if you care).

The number of inmates that are put to death is relatively small compared to the total number of convictions. In Texas for instance, faulty testimony sent two people to death row, and one of them was executed. (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/03/us/03execute.htm... the other had his conviction overturned 17 years later.

The death penalty also costs more too:

quote:
The California death penalty system costs taxpayers $114 million per year beyond the costs of keeping convicts locked up for life.
Taxpayers have paid more than $250 million for each of the state’s executions. (L.A. Times, March 6, 2005)

In Kansas, the costs of capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-capital cases, including the costs of incarceration.
(Kansas Performance Audit Report, December 2003).

In Indiana, the total costs of the death penalty exceed the complete costs of life without parole sentences by about 38%, assuming that 20% of death sentences are overturned and reduced to life. (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, January 10, 2002).


So, according to research (at least, research that I can find on the internet that is quick and has sources attributed to it from seemingly reputable places), the death penalty is more expensive. Maybe that accounts for its popularity, not just rulings saying it is "cruel and inhuman punishment"

But if you're talking about closure, is not life in prison without parole and capital punishment amounting to basically the same thing? The perpetrator is removed from society and not allowed to return, so he will not commit any more crimes against innocent people again.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 6:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But if you're talking about closure, is not life in prison without parole and capital punishment amounting to basically the same thing?


No. Not even close.


By daInvincibleGama on 4/29/2008 11:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
Not even close? Achieving the exact same consequences for society is not even close to what you want?

Then I suppose what you want is blood and your idea of justice is to see imposed on him what he imposed on his victims.

While I do understand this sentiment, how can you possibly claim that a thirst for vengeance is cool-headed and logical while simultaneously claiming that people posting poetry to express their equally fervent anti-capital-punishment sentiment are being emotional? And is being emotional about such an issue as life and death bad? At what point, if ever, does emotion become irrelevant in such a deeply personal, yet universal issue?

Also, does a society that demands an eye for an eye really have the moral authority to pass judgment on free individuals? Is taking a person's life away forever justified if society simply acts as a collective? Is it OK to kill if a large enough group of people decided that someone needed to die? And, most disturbing of all, is it OK to kill a person if there is a way to make him harmless?

To the questions in the second paragraph (of questions), my answer is "No", simply because I believe it makes society guilty of murder to demand a life in exchange for a life.

To a concept (capital punishment) already mired in so much doubt, what happens if the risk of wrongful execution is added? It has happened. So do we dismiss the importance of the lives of a few if we are able to draw blood from many more guilty? To add faces to the debate, if a group if 20 people killed your entire family except one brother, would you sacrifice the life of that one brother so you could also take the lives of 20 murderers? I wouldn't.

And then about the sense of closure. Does killing the murderer really bring the victim back to life? No. Does it mitigate the sense of loss? Not at all. Then what is the point? How exactly does it bring closure? I don't think it does. That's why I think it's more important to focus on prevention and reduction of factors that drive people to crime. It probably will not eliminate murder, but its that many more people saved the pain and sorrow.


By Rob Pintwala on 4/30/2008 1:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
Violence only breeds more violence.


By Samus on 4/30/2008 6:12:13 AM , Rating: 2
Even if he did murder his wife, he doesn't deserve to die.

He deserves to spend 25-to-life thinking about it.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By JustTom on 4/29/2008 1:04:31 PM , Rating: 3
The trail judge had already declared, prior to the jury's verdict, that there was sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, so I doubt he will overturn it.

Reiser had motive, was going through a nasty divorce full of allegations of aldutery,S&M, and charges of embezzlement.

The son witnessed a heated verbal exchange the night his mother disappeared.

Nina Reiser had a restraining order issues against Hans citing threats of violence.

Her van was found with her purse inside still containing money.

He was actively hiding his CRX from police, parked it in a secluded woods and walked three miles to his mother's home.

And frankly he from all accounts he acted totally bizarre on the stand.

Whether there was enough evidence to convict Reiser is debatable but there certainly was evidence.


By daInvincibleGama on 4/29/2008 11:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
So the judge said there was enough evidence to accept a conviction? I can't think of a less subtle way to tell a jury to convict in a courtroom.

Besides, the son's testimony was inconsistent. Children are also easily manipulated and cued to say the right things. Obviously they are conditioned to comply with authority figures.

I still don't think he received a fair trial. That's not to say anything about his guilt.

Honestly, even if I (and everyone else) think(s) he is guilty (which I do right now), it doesn't amount to anything if he did not receive a fair trial. That is his right, and has nothing to do with his guilt. He deserves a proper chance to defend himself.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By JustTom on 4/30/2008 12:42:34 AM , Rating: 2
The jury was not present for the judge's statement. What exactly was unfair about the trail?


By junkdubious on 4/30/2008 5:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe he wasn't judged by a jury of his systemfile-coding peers;)


By TALENT on 4/29/2008 1:19:25 PM , Rating: 3
I believe he failed to use the chewbacca defense and lost all credibility at that point.

Case closed


By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 1:57:25 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
No body. No murder weapon. No witness. No evidence. How could they convict this guy?


Yeah let me guess, you think O.J. is innocent too ?


By MrSmurf on 4/29/2008 3:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No body. No murder weapon. No witness. No evidence. How could they convict this guy?


You can be convicted based solely on circumstantial evidence. If there was a pool of 4 pints of blood and the human body can only lose 2 pints, the person is dead (and yes, I made those numbers up. I'm not a doctor).


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By Justin Case on 4/29/2008 4:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
No evidence? He was the last person to be seen with her (having a very violent argument), his car was found minus one seat (which he refused to produce), having clearly been washed, and with some of her blood still in it. Getting rid of the body and murder weapon doesn't make you innocent.

This guy's best friend was a sado-masochistic serial killer and his wife was essentially a (replacement) mail-order russian bride. I'm just amazed they didn't live in Royston Vasey.


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By oab on 4/29/2008 4:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
Explanation:

Someone else killed his wife without his knowledge, he gets scared that he will be blamed so he tries to clean up. He does it badly of course and later gets convicted of killing his wife when he didn't and it was a mysterious "Mr. X" who he never saw and it was all just a co-incidence.
------------------------------------------------- --

Likely? No, but there is a lot of doubt that be thrown around to create a "not beyond a reasonable doubt" scenario. He probably did kill his wife, but without a body how can you even show she is dead? You can suggest, and say "based on this blood loss she is probably dead" along with various other forensic things (and the fact she hasn't been seen) but.... without a body, there is no proof of death (absent of a video or something)


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By JustTom on 4/29/2008 6:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
So all I need to do is push my ex-wife off my boat while she is covered in chum and I'm off scott free?


RE: How could that evidance meet legal proof?
By oab on 4/29/2008 6:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
If done perfectly, yes that would work.

As long as you had an alibi for the time of her disappearance (an appearance in court for a traffic offence is quite good, so is being in the drunk tank, or in a public place with people who know you, preferably more than one), and didn't have clothes that smelt like chum, or marine fuel, or saltwater, unexplained knife wounds, along with a million other things that could potentially go wrong.

oh, and murder is bad mmm'kay?


By JustTom on 4/30/2008 8:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As long as you had an alibi for the time of her disappearance (an appearance in court for a traffic offence is quite good, so is being in the drunk tank, or in a public place with people who know you, preferably more than one),


Then the real proof of my innocence would be my air tight alibi not the lack of a body.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 6:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No evidence? He was the last person to be seen with her (having a very violent argument), his car was found minus one seat (which he refused to produce), having clearly been washed, and with some of her blood still in it. Getting rid of the body and murder weapon doesn't make you innocent.


That about covers it. Gee somehow the " clueless geek " defense didn't explain away all this. Shocking.

And lets not forget he was the ONLY suspect.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/30/2008 11:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well of course he's guilty. Just look at his photo. :P

If no body, no witness yes, have to agree...how can they even open the case, let alone find him guilty.

You stated, the police said she was strangled. How would they know this if there was no body??


By JustTom on 4/30/2008 12:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
So kill someone with no witnesses, get rid of the body and no worries?


CSI ?
By TimberJon on 4/29/2008 10:31:07 AM , Rating: 2
Been watching a little TV?

Or perhaps not.. flooded the car? took the passenger seat out? *scratches head* Leaves the murder investigation books IN the car? This guy LOOKS and sounds like he wasn't all there! Any self-respecting geek with any brains would try a little harder to cover up the evidence.




RE: CSI ?
By oab on 4/29/2008 10:56:15 AM , Rating: 3
CSI, as an accurate portrayal of crime scene investigation is a load of bollocks.

However, any self-respecting defence lawyer would realize that with 1) no body, 2) no crime scene (therefore no definitive proof that a murder took place) that anyone SHOULD be able to get a non-guilty verdict on reasonable doubt.

It's incredibly hard to get a murder conviction with no "proof" of murder (the jury believed there was, so obviously it is the case), but relying totally on circumstantial evidence is a very, very hard thing to win in a case with. Not that I followed it.

No self-respecting defence lawyer would have put his client on the stand in such a situation.


RE: CSI ?
By Runiteshark on 4/29/2008 11:30:00 AM , Rating: 3
No way are you serious?

I thought in CSI: Miami when they see your IP they instantly know everything about you, and do it with a really cool superfluous GUI.

I also like when they are tracking that one guy in cracking that Child molester ring, that they get the guy for bringing beer to a residence. Instead of waiting until the girl touches the beer (ie providing alcohol to a minor, probably cause for the rest of the crap) the smarty pants gets him when he walks in.

Honestly, anyone who even thinks that crap is even close to realistic needs to get their head checked. Its just like the movie Firewall. After some people in my family saw it they started talking to me about it on my job. I decided to watch it, and the gem was:

He is blocking a super hax0r from attacking a network, he logs in to a random computer and opens up Putty (kudos for atleast that much realism), and then proceeds to type in:

ip source somerandomip any any deny log
ip source againanotherrandomip any any deny log
ip source any any any permit log

Its not that its insanely bad or some crazy thing like that, but you allow all traffic that isn't blocked by previous rules in the ACL, and as far as I know, no firewall I've worked with has used that syntax (quite a few). Similar yes, same, no. The other thing, is he magically knows the IPs.

I swear I hate movies or TV that have anything to do with computers in them.


RE: CSI ?
By UNHchabo on 4/29/2008 12:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
RE: CSI ?
By callmeroy on 4/29/2008 12:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well trust me you'll be hard pressed to find someone more than myself who thinks CSI is BS -- there are a ton of cops in my family and my Uncle is a detective and prior to that was an officer - combined over 30 years experience on the job.

He watches CSI because he gets a kick , he says, out of what they do then he'll tell you how close to "out there" they are on it or not.

But all this aside one thing he says about it -- if they were 100% true to what really goes on in a CSI -- the show's ratings wouldn't be nearly as good.

Just like the BS they do in shows with hacking computers and all -- come on guys except for folks like US - who wouldn't be bored to tears if they made it very realistic.


RE: CSI ?
By JustTom on 4/29/2008 11:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
The real reason his lawyer should not have put him on the stand is he was an awful witness. If he had been a good witness having him testify would have been a powerful statement.


RE: CSI ?
By Spivonious on 4/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: CSI ?
By JustTom on 4/29/2008 1:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Um, habeas corpus means the right to trial by jury. You probably mean corpus delecti, which means before a person can be convicted of a crime a crime needs to be proven to have occurred. Which is difficult but not impossible without a body.


RE: CSI ?
By Spivonious on 4/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: CSI ?
By sprockkets on 4/29/2008 2:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
it means I get to know why I'm in jail, dang get it straight


RE: CSI ?
By JustTom on 4/29/2008 6:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
That is twice you are wrong, wanna go for 3? The mistake you are making is what is meant by body. Corpus in habeas corpus refrences body of evidence, not the body of the deceased.

http://tinyurl.com/6x3jg4


RE: CSI ?
By junkdubious on 4/30/2008 5:16:56 AM , Rating: 2
He's translating to Latin in it's literal meaning. Technically, he's right.


RE: CSI ?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 4/30/2008 6:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
Latin is a dead language. It's only inherent meanings are the ones we assign to it.


RE: CSI ?
By Dribble on 4/29/2008 12:00:11 PM , Rating: 3
mmm, I have noticed in CSI you can always increase the resolution of even the dodgiest camera to something good enough to see a car number plate reflected in some ones glasses.

They also have amazing sight as they always leave the lights off and just use little torches when investigating crime scenes yet still find the tiniest key pieces of evidence.

Surely people like that could easily find out the truth?


Wasted Opportunity
By i3arracuda on 4/29/2008 10:33:02 AM , Rating: 2
This would have been a perfect time to explain to a captive audience why Linux is better than Windows.




RE: Wasted Opportunity
By gorgeousgeorge on 4/29/2008 11:21:25 AM , Rating: 3
It still is a good opportunity, he got 25 years to life!


RE: Wasted Opportunity
By Mitch101 on 4/29/2008 11:38:35 AM , Rating: 5
OBJECTION!

Linux is a Cult and we all know cults need sacrifices. Therefore he was acting on behalf of his religion. Now tatoo this penguin to your forhead.


RE: Wasted Opportunity
By fic2 on 4/29/2008 2:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking about how much free time he will have to write code...


Insanity Defense
By nstott on 4/29/2008 7:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
An insanity defense might have worked better. His wife was banging his "best friend" and stealing money from his company. It might have worked better to admit to killing her and focused more on turning himself into the victim.

Also, there is some non-executable code in Reiser4 (see link below), starting on line 78,077, that explains how memory structures are born, grow, and eventually die, concluding that "Death is a complex process."

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-07...




RE: Insanity Defense
By nstott on 4/29/2008 7:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, the "how to murder" books kind of made an insanity defense difficult...


RE: Insanity Defense
By oab on 4/29/2008 8:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
They were how murder investigations work.

Assuming he had read them, he would have covered up his tracks much better right?


RE: Insanity Defense
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2008 8:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that we allow the " insanity defense " is just.. well.. insane.

All murder is planned or a " crime of passion ". Insanity is too subjective and shouldn't be allowed in our courts.


RE: Insanity Defense
By oab on 4/29/2008 10:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
Insanity (in terms of how a court treats it, proper insanity not "temporary insanity") basically means that you say you're guilty and instead of going to jail you go to a mental hospital instead.

Not the kind suggested in the movie "Trial and Error" which suggested that "temporary insanity" was a valid defence for prosecution for selling pennies as 'copper engravings' for $20 over a long term was brought on by an addiction to sugar.

Despite problems with the "insanity argument" the justice system (in commonwealth-law (not British commonwealth) countries, aka: UK[and former colonies], the US) depend on two things, actus reus (guilty act) and mens rea (guilty mind), and someone who is insane is unable to have a 'guilty mind', because they can potentially not have done it under their own free will, and the various mental illnesses which leave a person incapable of determining the results of their actions or even determining right from wrong.

I don't think (opinion alert here) that 'temporary insanity' should be allowed, however proper insanity can stick around. "Temporary Insanity" does not include stuff like somnambulism (sleepwalking) or non-insane automatism however (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1912288.stm) aren't insanity. Because a diagnosis of temporary insanity means you're out on the street, not in a hospital because you don't have a "problem" with you, at the time of conviction, so there is nothing that needs correcting in a hospital.


Fact Checking
By mikeblas on 4/29/2008 12:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
1998 Honda CRX? Are you sure? That's a very rare car, since Honda stopped making them in 1991.

Why check facts when you can just have your readers do it?




RE: Fact Checking
By Vertigo101 on 4/29/2008 1:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible that he owned a Civic Del Sol, that was marketed as a CR-X in certain markets, and sold until 1998.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Del_Sol


RE: Fact Checking
By mikeblas on 4/29/2008 1:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible he had a Del Sol, sure. But the article says "CRX", not "Del Sol". The Wikipedia article you cite (LOL, Wikipedia!) doesn't say anything about the car being marketed as a CRX, and I don't think California is one of the markets where the car was badged as a CRX.


RE: Fact Checking
By JustTom on 4/29/2008 1:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
It was a 1988 CRX


Well, JUSTICE FOR ALL!
By Lonyo on 4/29/2008 1:03:09 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Sean Sturgeon, a former friend of Hans Reiser and one of Nina's lovers during her separation from Hans, confessed to eight unrelated murders. Nina ended her relationship with Sturgeon in 2006, partly because she was disturbed by his fetish for sadomasochism.


From Arstechnica.




RE: Well, JUSTICE FOR ALL!
By BladeVenom on 4/29/2008 6:12:06 PM , Rating: 4
Why does everyone always suspect the serial killer?


I find this ironic.
By SavagePotato on 4/29/2008 4:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
This is ironic to me since use of Linux has historically caused me to feel like wanting to murder something after several hours of reading tutorials or howto's.

Put that in the new Mac commercials, Linux guy comes in and brutally strangles the Mac guy to death. Ironically again though, that would make me more inclined to use Linux.




RE: I find this ironic.
By Runiteshark on 4/29/2008 7:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
If that occurred I'd use it out of principal.

Not just because of the idea of it, but because I hate that Mac guy.


By slashbinslashbash on 4/29/2008 10:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
ReiserFS = super cool filesystem.
Reiser = freaky murderer.
:(




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