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

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Feb 5 21:45:56 PST 2008

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):

> [...] the buzz word that we were tested on is corpus delecti, the body
> of a crime.  It really seems as if the prosecution has failed to prove
> a basic, basic element that is even more fundamental than causation:
> corpus delecti.  There is insufficient evidence that there was any
> crime at all!!!  We don't even know that there was a kidnapping, much
> less a murder.

"Corpus delicti" (literal translation:  body of the crime) does _not_,
however, necessarily mean a corpse.  The term "corpus" here is
figurative and means "the fact of a crime having been actually
committed" (Black's Law Dictionary) -- the point being that nobody may
be tried for a criminal act until it's been convincingly shown that
there's good reason to think the deed occurred.

That was, in fact, one major reason for Judge Julie Conger's preliminary
hearings following Hans Reiser's indictment -- to determine whether the
Alameda DA's department had gone off the rails.  To review, Conger
pronounced herself utterly unconvinced by Oakland PD's murder theory,
but felt that Hans's "strongly suspicious activities" and "the totality
of the circumstances" suggested that Hans at least knew more about
Nina's disappearance than he was saying.

The history of murder convictions without a dead body in the US goes
back to the California conviction of Robert Leonard Ewing Scott for the
murder of his wife Evelyn Throsby Scott in 1959.  Her body was never
found, only her dentures, eyeglasses, and some of her personal items.

Hubby got convicted anyway, attempted appeal on grounds of the trial
court having had failed to establish corpus delicti, and lost:

> > This has been my interpretation all along:  The Oakland DA was stampeded
> > into "doing something about Nina" by the professionally sponsored ad
> > campaign paid for by Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor, and Web-design firm
> > Idiom Technology, at the time of Nina's disappearance:  They had _20_
> > Nina Reiser billboards along major East Bay roadways, plus a
> > profesionally-done Web site -- and consequently the story was all over
> > the news.
> That's awful.  Who paid for that?

It wasn't "awful":  The firms in question -- whom I just got through
listing, by the way -- paid for it because Nina Reiser was missing and 
they were attempting to support a campaign by Ellen Doren, Anthony
Zografos, and other friends of Nina to motivate the public to report any
sign of her.

> This makes me wonder how this was engineered, and maybe if Hans is being
> railroaded.

I don't think there's a master plan, just people in the DA's office
trying to do their jobs under pressure.

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