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Hans Reiser in Court Today 496

Posted by Hemos
from the the-case-grinds-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Hans Reiser has pled not guilty to murdering his wife and invoked his right to a speedy trial. He will attend a hearing today where the judge will decide if the state has a case " We had covered this story back when it had first broke; and for those of you playing catch-up, Hans is the author of ReiserFS.
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Hans Reiser in Court Today

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  • Thank you media (Score:3, Interesting)

    by suso (153703) * on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:37AM (#17193414) Homepage Journal
    for not blowing this up to Scott Peterson level.

    This just goes to show you that stuff like this happens all the time that never gets seen in national media.
    • Re:Thank you media (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msobkow (48369) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:05AM (#17193642) Homepage Journal

      Personally I like the fact that national media leaves a lot of local stories uncovered. It gives the accused a chance to have an unbiased jury, though a change of venue may be required. If they're cleared, the minimal media slam means they can rebuild elsewhere after the page 2 apologies fails to change the minds of those who "know" they're guilty.

      Papparatzi chasing famous people while they make fools of themselves in public is one thing. That same mentality destroying careers on the basis of accusation instead of conviction is not what "freedom of speech" was ever about.

      Canadian courts typically restrict publication from the initial hearing onwards. The only time you see further information is if the defense is making preliminary statements about their planned approach, especially if they expect to raise constitutional or human rights issues. That serves to warn the bar that there may be a precedence case coming up.

      I hope the accusations turn out false, but Hans' infamous temper isn't going to help him with this argument.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:39AM (#17193428)
    I'm sure you'll find that our good friend Hans has no record of this ever taking place.
  • "We had covered this story back when it had first broke; "

    Yet somehow you managed to never run a single story on James Kim.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by drgonzo59 (747139)
      Who is James Kim?
      • by Fahrvergnuugen (700293) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:57AM (#17193576) Homepage
        • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:32AM (#17194722)
          I wasn't serious when I wrote "Who is James Kim". I just made the point that to the Slashdot geeks, Hans Reiser is more known than James Kim. The complaint was why doesn't Slashdot cover the James Kim story -- well it was already covered pretty well by the media.Slashdot isn't CNN, that is why you don't see news about Palestine and Iraq here unless they have to do with technology. Kim wasn't directly involved with creating technology, just writing on it, so somehow that doesn't interest the nerds as much. If it is not interesting for the nerds, it has no place on Slashdot.
          • imagine if it had been Dvorak from PCmag
            • With a heart of ice and a head of solid granite, Dvorak is like +20 against cold. He'd just stumble out of the mountains months later with an implausible story about finding Apple's secret underground research facility (where they're developing the top-secret "Vista Ready" iMac) and how RMS, Google's black helicopters, and a troop of Mac fanboyscouts conspired to kill him...
    • by AlexMax2742 (602517) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:26AM (#17193868)
      That's to make up for the fact that digg ran about five stories a day on him, not counting dupes.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:28AM (#17193874)
      Lemme guess... You're a Digg reader? If so, go away. Yes the James Kim story was very tragic and I feel very much for the family. But based on the idiotic level of commentary that popped up on Digg regarding the story, I think it's better than Slashdot DIDN'T cover the story. Why? Because we'd be getting retards like you trying to use it to make points about god knows what. There were too many people on Digg who spent time talking about how THEY would have NEVER done X, Y, and Z and their families would have been home by dinner time with fresh bear meat. I'm sorry, but taking nature survival classes, knowing how to hunt, or experience on a farm will NOT save you in the situation that James Kim was in. Think about it. He had no idea if help was coming, so he ventured out hoping that he'd be able to make some headway. He TRIED. He probably did it because he didn't want to come off like he didn't know what to do to his family. He wanted to make an effort rather than just sitting there twiddling his thumbs hoping for help that may never come. To be honest, no matter how you look at it, he succeeded in saving his family. He at least knew enough to NOT take his family with him and risk their lives too. And you know what? THEY'RE ALIVE thanks to that decision. He had a 50/50 chance no matter how you look at it and he made the best decision he could under that kind of pressure. So basically, I think all Digg readers should fuck off.

      Regarding Reiser, as much as it pains me, I think I have accepted that unless they can really clear him of the picture painted by the circumstantial evidence, he's up shit creek. If he did kill her, then he deserves it. A lot of arrogant geeks seem to think they are godlike and that they can get away with anything. It's possible that he fits that standard mold to a T. If he didn't do it, then his side had damn well better find proof because that's what it's going to take at this point. The speedy trial thing actually has me worried. While it's something that I believe everyone should be guaranteed, I also know that it's possible that with the right lawyer he could get away with murder on a technicality. That would not be right, but it's not like it hasn't happened before. Crimes of passion can be quite ugly and I think they do throw the perpetrators mentally out of whack for life. If he did do it, he's certainly got internal demons that will follow him for all the days of his life. Sadly, based on his biography, I'd say he seems to be a perfect fit for the type of arrogant geek who thinks they can get away with anything as long as they plan it well enough. That kind of geek needs to be knocked down the entire set of ladder rungs and then have their face ground into the dirt and through the other side of the planet. Maybe then their overinflated egos will be right sized to a humble enough level. Note that I feel I can say this because I AM a geek and I do believe I have limitations which I happily accept.
      • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:48AM (#17194128) Journal

        I also know that it's possible that with the right lawyer he could get away with murder on a technicality. That would not be right, but it's not like it hasn't happened before.

        Those technicalities that everybody hates so much are what keeps our Government in line. If the police screw up and overstep a warrant or "forget" to Mirandize a suspect then that evidence should be thrown out.

        If defendants couldn't win on "technicalities" then what incentive does the Government have to follow the rules?

        • by raynet (51803) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:15AM (#17194458) Homepage
          Well, in Finland we don't throw "illegal" evidence out of court. Instead we just punish the person(s) who did this illegal activity. This keeps the government, or representatives of that government, following the rules and doesn't allow criminals to get free on technicality. Ofcourse this just might be a scandinavian thing as we generally don't think that our governments require any extra effort to keep them in line, they seem to do quite well on their own.
    • by djdavetrouble (442175) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:35AM (#17194776) Homepage
      "We had covered this story back when it had first broke; "

      More HAD please !!!

      (and more cowbell)
  • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:50AM (#17193522)
    I say regardless whether he is guilty or not, he should have access to a computer so that he can continue developing RaiserFS. One can argue that it will benefit the society at large because it is an open source technology tool. Also it would make a lot more sense as opposed to just let him lounge around all day, get fed and work out at the gym, while all of us pay for it.


    • by lisaparratt (752068) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:59AM (#17193594)
      That would presume that the function of prison is to rehabilitate people into useful members society, rather than to exact emotionally driven revenge through punishment.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Viol8 (599362)
        "rather than to exact emotionally driven revenge through punishment."

        Yes , people should never get emotional when perhaps someone they love has been murdered. What fools. And punishment? Pah , who needs it, thats just so middle ages. Peace and love man... Yes , rehabilitation is where its at as the triumpant success of this liberal policy over the last few decades has shown ... oh wait....

        What is it with certain people that they somehow think punishment is beneath us? Why do they cling to this pathetic "reh
        • The interests of society trump the interests of the individual. It is not in the interest of society to exact revenge. If they're irretrievable, then by all means kill them. Otherwise, why should the rest of us pay for replacing your sorrow with a perverted warm and fuzzy feeling, when we could instead get some value for our taxes?
        • was the revenge bit, which was at the center of that argument. Do you really think revenge is going to do any good? You know where an 'eye for an eye' leads to? If you need to kill somebody to feel better, no matter what the circumstances, you belong behind bars or in a psychiatric ward.
          • by Viol8 (599362)
            "Do you really think revenge is going to do any good?"

            Yes

            "you belong behind bars or in a psychiatric ward."

            In your irrelevant opinion.
        • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:37AM (#17193988)

          I'm perfectly content with punishment, but come on:

          Yes , rehabilitation is where its at as the triumpant success of this liberal policy over the last few decades has shown ... oh wait....

          The United States has the most people in prison of any country in the world--including China, Russia, and the third-world countries we like to lambaste as having no respect for law.

          The rate of people in US prisons--737 per 100,000--is the highest in the world. It is roughly seven times the average rate in other western countries of the world.

          I'm fairly certain our numbers with regard to some countries (China, etc) are not wholly accurate, but there's obviously an issue here, particularly as we compare our rates to other western nations.

          In the face of numbers like that, it's incredibly hard to support your contention that we've had some "liberal policy" of justice for "decades." (Article here [theage.com.au] with these facts; you can find it from any number of other sources as well. I'm pretty sure I read it on Yahoo News from the AP a few days ago.)

          The US has always been conservative on the issue of justice. Punishments are getting harsher, not more lenient. We still execute people--and I'm not interested in debating whether that is right or wrong, merely pointing it out as a difference between us and most other western countries, and it's hard to deny that executions are the harshest form of justice short of torture, which isn't really justice at all.

        • You are saying that rehabilitation is not smart, because you'd rather kill all murderers? Fine, that's a solution. The question is, what are you going to do with other criminals -- the ones you won't kill (I'm assuming there are crimes you wouldn't kill for)?

          Would you put a robber to prison for 20 years and punish him as much as possible for the whole time, and when he's served his time just throw him to the street? That'll make the robber adapt really well to society... Just think for yourself: Twenty year
          • by Viol8 (599362)
            "Just think for yourself: Twenty years without a real job, without any education, without outside contacts, without any ability to cope with modern life. Do you really want guys like that on the streets?"

            If they can be rehabilitated while they're being punished then fine , do it. But I get tired of listening to people who seem to think rehabilitation is all thats needed and to hell with the feelings of the victims and their families.
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:03AM (#17194318) Journal

          Yes , people should never get emotional when perhaps someone they love has been murdered
          People should get emotional when someone they love has been murdered. Society as a whole, however, should not. History has shown us time and time again the damage to the individual that an emotional society can cause. Leave emotion for the relatives, not for the court.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by oliverthered (187439)
          Peace and love man... Yes , rehabilitation is where its at as the triumpant success of this liberal policy over the last few decades has shown ... oh wait....

          The right wingers seem to mention the liberal policy all the time but I'd like to ask which liberal policy are they refering to? we seem to be locking more people up all the time and it isn't doing any good.

          Maybe if there was a real liberal policy inplace you would see the difference.
      • I'm guessing the purpose of prison is justice. I won't say all, but I would imagine most people have a keen sense of when justice has been done. I also believe that when justice is not done, it really bothers most people -- whether the just result is punishment or reward.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drgonzo59 (747139)
        No, that would presume that I am paying my tax dollars to have all these convicts sit around, eat, go to the gym and sleep all day for the rest of their lives. If Hans can develop his file system, I would still pay my tax dollars for him to sit around, eat, go to the gym, sleep BUT in addition, I would have a great _free_ journaling file system. The later choice seems quite obvious to me...

        This has nothing to do with rehabilitation. Where did you see that word in my post or are you just trolling...?

      • by drsquare (530038)
        I would think someone who murders someone deserves emotionally driven revenge through punishment. There should be no computers in jail, no gyms, no pool tables and no TVs. The only entertainment should be smashing rocks.

        No wonder there's so much crime when prison is practically a holiday camp.
    • I don't wish to play devil's advocate or anything, but if he is found guilty, why should he be treated differently from any other convicted murderer? Just because he writes code? I'm sure there are lots of murderers who had constructive hobbies before being thrwon in prison, nerdy or not.

      Or, should I start my own filesystem now, to ensure a cushier sentence should I ever kill anyone in future?
      • by Bertie (87778)
        Quite right. They should all be encouraged to put their skills to the best possible use. TRy and make the best out of a bad situation, y'know?
      • by drgonzo59 (747139)
        Yes, because is can be locked and contribute. For once a convicted killer wouldn't just eat, sleep and go to the gym while we are all paying for it with our tax money. He can at least contribute to the technological progress. Wouldn't you agree?

        Let's look at the two choices here:

        1. You can spend your tax dollars and have him sit around, eat, sleep and exercise.
        OR
        2. You can spend your tax dollars and have a great journaling file system that you can use and nobody will come asking you to pay up royaltie

    • by Anon E. Muss (808473) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:04AM (#17193638)
      Prison is for punishment. He should be forced to write Windows software. :-)
    • In a lot of prison systems (a notable example being the Federal Bureau of Prisons), people who have worked with computers are denied ANY access to computers, because the administrators have fears that they will be able to "hack the system."
  • by Joebert (946227) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:52AM (#17193538) Homepage
    In addition, police said the couple's son said he overheard his parents arguing on the day Nina Reiser disappeared. The boy, who was playing video games in the basement at the time, said his father told him not to come up from the basement, police said.

    See, there's no reason to fear abandonment of the Reiser FS if this dude gets locked up.
  • Think about his kids (Score:5, Informative)

    by chipster (661352) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:59AM (#17193596)

    I don't know about the rest of the Slashdotters here, but I have 3 kids. Hans has 2, who are in Protective Services right now (not a great place for the kids to be).

    Key point about the kids from TFA:

    An Education Fund for the Reiser children has been set up. Donations can be sent to 6114 LaSalle Ave. #127, Oakland, CA, 94611.
    (emphasis added)
  • Free Hans (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr Kool, PhD (173800) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:59AM (#17193598) Homepage Journal
    Nina's boyfriend Sean Sturgeon allegedly practices BDSM, raped Nina, engages in "death yoga", made death threats against Hans, cheated with a married woman, and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hans Reiser:

    http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_256204954.h tml [cbs5.com]

    Hans Reiser, on the other hand, is a linux developer.

    Guess which one the cops arrested and which one isn't even a suspect?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Those accusations were made by Hans and they did nothing but draw attention to the fact he is as nutty as a fruit cake.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:18AM (#17193794)
      Oh great, here comes the Net BSDM / Linux flamewar...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dangermouse (2242)
      Yeah, the cops have always had it in for linux developers.
    • Re:Free Hans (Score:4, Insightful)

      by glwtta (532858) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:55AM (#17194194) Homepage
      Nina's boyfriend Sean Sturgeon allegedly practices BDSM, raped Nina, engages in "death yoga", made death threats against Hans...

      And Hans is allegedly a murderer, what's your point?
    • Thanks for the link; I had not heard any of that. While some of the points are hearsay, the pattern does make it look like the boyfriend should be considered at least as much of a suspect as Reiser.

      --MarkusQ

      • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:10AM (#17194394)
        er, ALL of the points seem to be hearsay from the article. All were claims by Hans, and nothing was reported to substantiate those claims.

        I'm sure the police would have looked at her current love interest, and apparently they didn't find cause to suspect him as much as Reiser.
    • Re:Free Hans (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Duds (100634) * <[dudley] [at] [enterspace.org]> on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:57AM (#17194232) Homepage Journal
      Guess which one the cops arrested and which one isn't even a suspect?

      I'm going with "The one who all the evidence points to", namely Hans.
    • by 10Ghz (453478)
      "Death Yoga"? Is that something like Tai Chi of Doom?
    • Re:Free Hans (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Vellmont (569020) on Monday December 11, 2006 @02:15PM (#17197284)

      Nina's boyfriend Sean Sturgeon allegedly practices BDSM

      Assuming that's true, exactly how does practicing BDSM mean you're a likely murder suspect?

      raped Nina, made death threats against Hans

      Both hearsay arguments made by Hans. I'd like to see some kind of evidence for this other than an ex-husbands allegations.

      engages in "death yoga"
      I didn't know what this was until I read the article, but apparently it's just slowing down your heart rate. How does that have anything to do with someone being a likely murder suspect? Oh it does have the word "death" in it, so it must somehow involve actually killing people. Are people who listen to "death metal" also potential murder suspects?

      cheated with a married woman,

      This is probbably at least likely (since the two were together before her death). But what does it have to do with him being a murder suspect?

      and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hans Reiser:

      Another allegation by Reiser which we have no other real evidence for. But even if true, why is that a motive for him to murder Nina?

      Hans Reiser, on the other hand, is a linux developer.

      Ahh.. well obviously if he does anything I personally like and approve of he can't be a murder suspect.

      Guess which one the cops arrested and which one isn't even a suspect?

      Maybe the one who Nina Reiser had a temporary restraining order against him in 2004 for allegedly pushing her? A restraining order is really easy to get and isn't proof that Hans was violent. But it at least shows she was afraid of him. I don't know if Hans did it, the other guy did it, or neither. But the facts that we have point more toward Hans at the moment. Casting suspicion on someone who you have really no evidence to suspect is simply dishonest.
  • police said (Score:5, Funny)

    by LM741N (258038) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:03AM (#17193628)
    That he tried to delete the evidence from his computer, but unfortunately he was using a journaling file system.
    • That he tried to delete the evidence from his computer, but unfortunately he was using a journaling file system.
      ... but fortunately the journaling file system was reiserfs, and full to the brim!
    • Fortunately for him, he used his own.
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      you can recover stuff froma journalled file system? Who knew?

      I lost a simulation of a black hole - globular cluster collision that I'd spent weeks on because my FS was reiser. It got deleted because I was jet lagged and typed in the wrong rm command, then I couldn't find anything to undelete on reiserfs. I haven't used it since.

      Now I use ext2, with fat32 for long term storage, because there are readily available undelete tools for those file systems.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jZnat (793348) *

        alias rm='rm -i'
        Never fuck up a remove again! It might get annoying, but at least you know you won't screw anything up.

        You could also use a trash of some sort:

        rm()
        {
          mv "$@" ~/.Trash/
        }
        Use /bin/rm when you're sure of what you're doing.
  • Maybe Hans can be convicted on no actual evidence whatsoever besides the dazzling smile of his now dead, heavily pregnant cheerleader all American wife. Not that sending people to death row on less evidence than you would put down a dog is bad, mind you.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by oblivionboy (181090)
      Actually if I recall correctly she was Russian, and studying to be a medical doctor.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:35AM (#17193958)
    I mean, seriously, anyone who's ever touched Reiser knows that there are things that go missing from time to time, but sometimes they reemerge without you doing anything whatsoever. Maybe they should just sit there and wait, maybe rearrange a few pieces of furniture and I bet she'll suddenly and mysteriously appear in the middle of the living room.

    Yes, I do agree, we need a "tasteless" tag.
  • by Eradicator2k3 (670371) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:53AM (#17194170)
    It'll be called IFIDIDITFS.
  • My theory is that 'the other guy' did it. Que bono? Who benefits? Neither the wife nor Reiser does, obviosuly, with this chain of events. If Reiser goes away for a long ,long time, this 3rd guy - the guy that seduced his wife - doesn't have to worry about anything. It's the perfect setup.
  • Nina's whereabouts (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zoomshorts (137587) on Monday December 11, 2006 @01:06PM (#17196214)
    "Nina Reiser was last seen at her husband's home on Exeter Drive in the Oakland hills on Sept. 3, when she dropped off the couple's children. She failed to meet her best friend at her house later that evening, authorities said.

    Nina Reiser's 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan, with groceries inside, was found Sept. 9 in the city's Thornhill neighborhood. Neighbors first spotted the parked minivan Sept. 5, the day she was supposed to pick up her children at school, police said."

    The minivan was 'spotted' Sept 5th? But 'found' on Sept 9th? Groceries inside? When did the reciept show the groceries were purchased? Before she dropped the kids off or after? If it was after, something is fishy. Grocery store surveilance cameras?
    Hmmmmmm.

    Just my two cents worth.
  • by Sfing_ter (99478) on Monday December 11, 2006 @01:29PM (#17196576) Homepage Journal
    the DA running around to get the jury pool filled with XFS, JFS, EXT4 and some snarky EXT2 developers...
  • by ElMiguel (117685) on Monday December 11, 2006 @03:05PM (#17197994)

    According to this article [nbc11.com], Hans Reiser had to pay $8,000 in alimony a month to Nina. Nina was getting $96,000 a year for not working!

    I don't condone any killing, legal or not, but if she had indeed cheated on him before their divorce and then got that kind of money, it's easy to see how the feeling of having been so completely beaten by someone he loved could have made him desperate.

    Something seems broken with California's alimony law.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StikyPad (445176)
      Well, not to question the integrity or competence of the journalist who wrote the story, but I question the integrity and competence of the journalist who wrote the story.

      This one [cbs5.com] mentions that he was sued for not paying child support. I'm guessing a significant portion of that $8k was child support, not actual alimony. I feel strongly that if you willfully create a life, you should be held responsible for it/them, and it shouldn't take a court order to make it happen.

      Although I do think alimony is comple

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