[conspire] (forw) Reiser trial: DNA tests partially flubbed, defence motion for mistrial

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Feb 5 20:19:35 PST 2008

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):

> With out a body, there is too much speculation.  If we are going to
> deprive someone of liberty, we should have a body and a cause of death
> tied beyond reasonable doubt to the accused.

And, indeed, this is why *I* expect either mistrial or acquittal, based
on the trial so far.  That is, I see reasonable doubt in quite a number 
of places.  The Rory Reiser testimony about Nina leaving and getting
safely in her minivan is just the start of prosecution's perception
problem, in my view.

I personally guess that it's more likely than not that Hans murdered
her -- but that's a far cry from saying prosecution has met the legal
burden of proof for a criminal conviction.  No idea how the jury feels,
but to my eyes, that looks like a resounding "no".

> On one hand, it does appear that Hans did some unusual things around
> the time of Nina's death.  So it is horrible to think that Hans might
> have killed her and gotten away with it.

Equally disconcerting is the possibility that this happens quite a bit:
A large number of disappearances and murders per year go completely
unsolved, and it's a fair bet that the police catch, and prosecutors
convict, only the stupid, clumsy, and/or hasty killers -- and that all
the meticulous, careful, and patient ones go unnoticed.

> On the other hand, it is more horrible to think that something else has
> happened, and that Hans will lose his liberty without a body and a causal
> link to him.

Until this trial, it hadn't occurred to me that murder trials without a
body (or other positive proof of violent death) _can_ occur.  However,
it is logical:  The burden of proof is supposed to be the same, either

The remaining question is:  What qualifies as a causal link?  The law
says:  Anything that convinces a unanimous jury, past any reasonable
doubt, that the accused unlawfully killed a human being with malice 


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