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Hans Reiser To Reveal Location of Wife's Body 882

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dark-days-almost-at-an-end dept.
dlgeek writes "The story of Hans Reiser is well known to all Slashdotters by now. Some still placed doubts about the conviction, stating that he might be innocent. It now seems that all doubt has been quelled, since Alameda County District Attorney Thomas Orloff has revealed that Hans Reiser will disclose the location of Nina's body for a reduced sentence. The deal is not yet finalized, though. 'There's been some overtures,' Orloff said, 'But everything is in its preliminary stage.' The deal would reduce his conviction from first degree to second degree murder. In addition, an anonymous source close to the situation said that 'the only real leverage he has is if he can provide a body. He really doesn't have any options left. Even if he won a retrial somehow, he'd likely be convicted.'"
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Hans Reiser To Reveal Location of Wife's Body

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  • by alcmaeon (684971) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:05AM (#23707725)
    BS. This doesn't mean he did it. It means he is the World's Greatest Detective. He's Batman!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:07AM (#23707729)
    Weeks ago, there wasn't even a known body!
  • *sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afxgrin (208686) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:10AM (#23707767)
    Wow I feel like a moron for have ever attempted to defend Hans online at all. Like he was friends, and his wife was seeing, a guy that murdered several people.

    Now he's just going to fess up to the murder.

    I guess this marks the end of ReiserFS. I'm sure no one in the Linux community wants to be associated to that piece of work.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:13AM (#23707799) Homepage

      I guess this marks the end of ReiserFS. I'm sure no one in the Linux community wants to be associated to that piece of work.

      Which, while it might be true, is still stupid.

      Imagine if Albert Einstein had accepted the position of leader of Israel after World War II and ordered some massive war crime, like say slaughtering the Arabs with nukes.

      Would we just toss aside General Relativity, never to see it again, because we don't want to be associated with the author?
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sancho (17056) * on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:15AM (#23707823) Homepage
      Don't feel bad. From the informaton that was coming out about the trial, there really was reasonable doubt until he took the stand. And the guy is quirky, so it's easy for geeks (who are often quirky) to identify with him.

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by afxgrin (208686) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:37AM (#23708149)
        In the end the article just says the judge assumes Hans will reveal the body to reduce the sentence. The summary is bad for this article.

        Hognoxious hit that detail on the head

        "Well if the DA says it then it must be true! I mean a DA is a kind of lawyer, right?"

        Alright alright, I'll RTFA before posting next time.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:16AM (#23707827) Homepage Journal
      They should at least rename it to try to distance the software as much as possible from its creator....
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Reverend528 (585549) * on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:19AM (#23707883) Homepage

      I guess this marks the end of ReiserFS. I'm sure no one in the Linux community wants to be associated to that piece of work.

      Honestly, I don't see how this invalidates his work. Surely the code didn't drive him to commit murder.

      Disclaimer: I use ext3, but I'm sure reiserfs has some merits.

    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tribbin (565963) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:21AM (#23707901) Homepage
      That raises the question; if Linus murders, will you stop using the kernel and everything associated with it?
    • reasonable doubt (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nguy (1207026) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:23AM (#23707941)
      Wow I feel like a moron for have ever attempted to defend Hans online at all.

      You shouldn't. To most people, even people who "defended" him, it was more likely than not that he was guilty. But the legal criterion is "beyond a reasonable doubt". I think based on the publicly released evidence, there was still a reasonable doubt.

      I still don't feel really comfortable with jurors making decisions based on "looking into people's eyes", as one of the jurors was saying; given how many people believe in astrology, mind reading, new age, and other supernatural stuff, I think there there's a lot of potential for bad decision making there. And there are, indeed, lots of wrongful convictions, so it's not like the system is working perfectly.

      Still, it looks like the jurors were right on this one.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xiph1980 (944189) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:23AM (#23707945)
      ReiserFS is maybe created by a murderer, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Hans Reiser may have comitted an intolerable crime, but if you would rob yourself of what might be the best filesystem for your application, it would just be a bloody shame. In my opinion using ReiserFS doesn't immediately mean you agree with his actions. It just mean that you prefer ReiserFS over other systems.

      This being said though, I prefer ZFS myself :)

      Also, considering Microsoft has so many employees, I have no doubt, that there have been people working there that comitted far worse than a crime of passion. Doesn't mean that the product is bad... Well, okay it is, but not because of some employee going nuts.
      Besides, I think there are many CEO's or CFO's or any C?O's out there that have comitted far worse than a single murder, like Shell pumping oil in africa, killing thousands knowingly by pollution. If you'd go your route, you wouldn't be able to get groceries anymore in a normal fasion, because the truck getting the groceries might have filled it up with diesel at a shell.
      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Funny)

        by Aneurysm (680045) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:51AM (#23708353)
        It is of course possible that the file system is riddled with places where the evil bit has been secretly turned on.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

      by magarity (164372) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:25AM (#23708867)
      I feel like a moron for have ever attempted to defend Hans online at all
       
      Whoa there, never feel like a moron for defending the accused before (most of?) the evidence is in and the jury has deliberated; that's the whole point of the innocent until proven guilty system. Otherwise we'll have to chant 'burn the witch' before the dunking tests.
  • by Splab (574204) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:18AM (#23707857)
    did the article just speculate?

    No where in the article does it say that he has agreed to it, they are speculating that there might be a reduced sentence if Hans discloses where the body is. Also, he is most likely going to be someone's "slave" once he is in prison, so if he gets 15 or 25 years it is most likely going to be in protected custody (= voluntary solitary confinement) and 15 years alone is going to mess him even up let alone 25 years, either way he is done for.

    Glad I'm not in the US, getting life in prison for something that has way too many loose ends, just isn't right.

    (On a side note, whats with those extremely long terms in prison? Anyone going in for 25 years will never be able to get back into society - I thought the point of prison was to punish and correct the guilty and get them back into working order. There was a couple who got life in prison for mistreating their child to the point of death (raised her as a vegan) - a British couple got 3 years community service for the same thing)

    • by faloi (738831) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:33AM (#23708095)
      It sounds like they're in discussions about it. Presumably the DA wouldn't leak something about a deal of that nature unless he's really bad at his job. I would think that kind of publicity from the DA could earn him some censure, at he very least.

      Long terms in prison tend to be the result of mandatory minimum sentences. Politicians, in a zeal to "fight crime!!111" have placed certain minimum terms on crimes, so judges can have their hands tied in sentencing. For the record, depending on which case you're thinking of, the US couple got 99 days in jail. And none of it was related to the death of their child, it was for neglect of their other four children (being underweight and malnourished).
      • by jimicus (737525) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:45AM (#23708257)

        It sounds like they're in discussions about it. Presumably the DA wouldn't leak something about a deal of that nature unless he's really bad at his job. I would think that kind of publicity from the DA could earn him some censure, at he very least.
        But there's no hint as to what direction those discussions are taking. Right now, for all we know the discussions are along the lines of:

        Prosecutor: Come on, you've been found guilty. Your only hope of improving your situation even slightly is to admit you did it and tell us where the body is.
        Reiser: Didn't do it.
        (lather, rinse and repeat)
    • by domatic (1128127) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:48AM (#23708319)

      I thought the point of prison was to punish and correct the guilty and get them back into working order.



      That can be a point of prison but there are at least four not always compatible reasons from prison:

      1. Deterrence.
      2. Reformation.
      3. Punishment.
      4. Removal.

      Ultra long sentences serve 1,3, and 4 at the expense of 2. Furthermore, reform tends to get lip service at best in the US. We're generally a revenge minded lot Who Want Criminals Off The Street And Thinking Twice About Messing Up.
      • by Splab (574204) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:28AM (#23708943)
        (This is getting off topic and is just my view on prison sentences in general)
        While I can follow the logic - if people fear prison, harsher sentences will make them fear it even more - I think making prison sentences too harsh will force people to become desperate, desperate animals will fight to their death and thus you end up with more violent arrests where the one being chased will have no regard for others life since their own life is now on the stake.

        Here in Denmark we used to have next to no high speed chases, when police came you would generally just give up, get the slap on your wrist, serve the time and get back out for a second try. Lately sentences has gone up, crime has become more violent (but less frequent) and you hear about high speed chases about once a week.

        Yes it sucks that people only serve 6 months in jail for rape (in Denmark), but at what point have they suffered enough? Will someone ever be punished enough for the victim to feel restitution? (I think it has been proven that having the victim and perpetrator meet along with counseling works better, than locking him up for umpteen years)

        (Disclaimer been victim of assault and I think the 2 month probation and an apology was sufficient - also been victim of a hit-n-run where I think the driver got correct sentence (lost his license for a year and have to do a full drivers test to re-qualify) and paid for destruction of property)
    • by numbsafari (139135) <swilson@bsd4 u s . org> on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:02AM (#23709605)
      And anyone they killed is going to have a hard time getting back into society, as well.

      I guess Nina is going to have a hard time "reaquanting herself with the social order" given that she's now in permanent "non-voluntary solitary confinement".

      As for the starvation of a defenseless child... I don't even know how you can trivialize something like that.

      Huh.

      Punishment here seems to fit the crime.
  • by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:18AM (#23707859)
    Great comic strip who didnt believe him HERE [geekz.co.uk].

    Got any lime?
  • by edittard (805475) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:18AM (#23707865)
    Anyone else consider the Anastasia advert to be in bad taste, given the context of the story?
  • by Scholasticus (567646) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:22AM (#23707915) Journal
    Does this mean that some time soon Richard Stallman is going to tell us where the HURD kernel is?
  • I've got the troll points for arguing that he was guilty from the get-go, and I think that he is. But, in this case, I think before those people who supported him jump off of a mental cliff, let's let the DA actually deliver the body and the proof of Hans's cooperation. The story is believable enough, but, let's let the DA PROVE it first.

    • by mangu (126918) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:21AM (#23708787)

      The story is believable enough, but, let's let the DA PROVE it first.

      IANAL, but in all the Perry Mason stories I read, the trial always start with proving Corpus Delicti which, as Perry Mason always explains, is not the body of the victim, but a proof that a crime was committed.


      In this case, I wonder: wasn't Reiser committed wrongfully? Because if finding the body could turn the conviction from first degree to second degree murder it clearly means that first degree murder hasn't been proved beyond reasonable doubt. At least, "beyond reasonable doubt" doesn't seem like something that could be dispelled by examining a body that has been hidden for several years.


      And what if, after examining the body, evidence is found that death could have had a natural cause, or be a suicide? With that reasonable doubt, would the conviction be reversed?


      Finally, the juror mentioned in this article [wired.com] that made his decision based on the accused's eyes really scares me. What if I had been tried? Would a crazy schoolteacher send me to prison for life because he didn't like the look in my eyes? There's so much debate on lie detectors in general, experts cannot agree on which subtle body signals will tell if someone is lying or not. If trained police agents, people with vast experience in interrogation practices, using advanced equipment for evaluating stress, cannot tell for sure if someone is lying or not, how come a fifth-grade schoolteacher is able to tell just by a glance at the eyes?...


      I'm not saying Reiser is either guilty or not. But that juror's statements make me hope I never stand trial, not under that system, unless there's at least one honest man [imdb.com] in the jury to restrain the crazy old schoolteachers.

  • by cryptodan (1098165) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:24AM (#23707953) Homepage
    Reiser shows off his new methods of undeleting a file and recovering it.
  • oj simpson's case was skewered in this country by race. that is, more black people tended to think of oj as innocent, and more white people thought of him as guilty

    the hans reiser case reveals that techies suffer this same sort of prejudice as black people concerning oj simpson. had this guy not authored a file system,

    1. no one would care about this case
    2. most would assume his guilt

    a lot pof people here think of themselves as intelligent and unbiased. if you assumed reiser's innocence, take a good har dlook in the mirror. tribal-level prejudice flows in your veins
    • by Paralizer (792155) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:39AM (#23708185) Homepage

      if you assumed reiser's innocence, take a good har dlook in the mirror
      Everyone should be assumed innocent until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty. I don't need to look in the mirror to know that...
    • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:50AM (#23708339)
      tribal-level prejudice flows in your veins

      Yup. I think that such biases are actually stronger in support of someone for irrational tribal reasons than they are, these days, when it comes to being irrationally against someone who's not in your tribe. Classic examples these days would be the small number of people who poll saying they'd vote against Obama because he's black, compared to the huge number who will (and say they will!) vote for him because he's (to whatever degree) black. The folks who completely tossed their reason out the window over Reiser because he's a fellow nerd really do get a chance to stop and think, now. It's very similar to those that tolerate script kiddies and web site defacers because they feel some kinship to them, despite the fact that if the same kids did something similar in meat space (to their car, with spray paint) they'd get all upset.

      It was fair to assume Reiser's innocence until the testimony and his behavior started stacking up.
  • by v1 (525388) on Monday June 09, 2008 @09:56AM (#23708421) Homepage Journal
    from the provided article, I spotted one very interesting comment:

    Conclusion: Either he is guilty and gets 15 years or he is innocent and gets 25 years.

    For that reason I think the whole idea of "making deals" should be tossed out. Criminals should not be allowed to trade aspects of their crime to reduce their sentence. All that seems to do is encourage them to plan their crime more carefully so they have more "bargaining power" if caught. If he did it, and hadn't hid the body as well, and they found it, he wouldn't be offered this option to reduce his sentence.

    Although someone else said that recently no governor has granted parole for anyone convicted of 1st or 2nd degree murder, so it may not matter either way. The "to life" probably will be applied.

  • Bad Summary! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:26AM (#23708901)
    Its almost like the person writing the summary didn't even read the article, but then the article itself has a badly written headline. The D.A. said that Reiser *might* disclose the location of the body for a reduced sentence. So this is nothing more than speculation at this point.
  • by hiryuu (125210) on Monday June 09, 2008 @12:35PM (#23711243)

    Am I the only one who got the inline Flash ad image for a Russian dating service on this /. comments page, and who found it somewhere between distasteful and darkly humorous?

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