[conspire] (forw) Re: [Evals] Hans Reiser found guilty

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Apr 28 16:44:22 PDT 2008

Quoting Dire Red (deirdre at deirdre.net):

> I'm wondering what they'll think when they realize that Nina's ex-bf
> admitted to being a serial killer -- and that they were barred from
> hearing anything about that.

It happens all the time, in jury trials:  Jurors feel like they were set
up, when the trial's over and they read about the evidence that was
excluded.  Under what circumstances it is and is not appropriate to
exclude evidence is a very, very long discussion.

In this case, the jury got to hear the evidence directly, as opposed to
our getting the worthy (and appreciated) efforts of the _Wired_ and
_Chronicle_ reporters to give us their accounts -- so there are nuances
that we're inevitably not going to see, that the jury did see.   If I had to
guess, I'd say what tipped the balance for Hans Reiser was the
impression his own testimony made on the jury.  If a defendent in a
criminal trial elects to testify (never required in US law), he or she
always runs the great risk of _looking_ and sounding guilty in front of
the jury.

Consensus of criminal-trial lawyers is that defendants, be they guilty
or innocent, who choose to testify are almost always making a very
dangerous mistake.  And remember, William Du Bois made very clear that
he had so advised his client and had been overruled.

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