Free Hans Reiser? (updated)
These days, I keep hearing of people getting jailed for not a very good reason. Wesley Snipes gets jailed for resisting government theft of his well earned property. And now, one close to our geeky hearts, Hans Reiser gets 25 to life in prison for the supposed murder, despite the fact that, as I keep hearing, evidence was merely circumstantial and the key evidence elements are missing (body of the actual victim, for instance).
Mr. Reiser is a weird guy perhaps, outspoken, easily interpreted as rude. Gee.. who else do we know displaying similar traits? Richard Stallman? Theo De Raadt? Let’s jail them all for not fitting the norm of “accepted” social behavior! Or not?
Because, for lack of better evidence, this is what the Reiser case largely comes down to.
And what do we see our fellow geeks do about it? The sheep just take it as it is. A court says he’s a murderer so he must be called a murderer, and that’s where the story ends. I wonder if they’d be so indifferent if it was them who were falsely accused and rotting in prison now, just because their social behavior was interpreted as oh so hurtful towards good men and women in this sheepish western society.
I expected better from a Free Software community, all so adamant in promoting their cause and supposedly “freedom”.
So how about someone gets a god damn hint here and starts questioning? Are there any geeks out there, who are well versed in the intrigues of “law” and have enough respect for a fellow Free Software supporter to actually care if he is being falsely robbed of his freedom or not?
UPDATE: Considering the new developments, such is the fact that Hans Reiser apparently led cops to the body, I am compelled to admit that I was wrong if I ever assumed that he is innocent, albeit that was not my main point as much as that the conviction may have been reached prematurely and that people have accepted it with too little questioning.
At the time when this post was originally written it seemed fairly suspicious that he would be convicted without them knowing where the body is, after so much time of searching. Even today, prosecutor’s past statement that “We have a body. We just don’t know where it is.” seems a bit odd. How can you “have a body” if you don’t know where it is? I suppose they deemed circumstantial evidence to be enough, and this time, they happened to be right.
Quite sad really.