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File system killer Reiser rejected 3-year sentence

Sickepedians mourn ReiserFS

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A judge said today that prominent Linux developer and convicted murderer Hans Reiser rejected a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for only three years for killing his wife, Nina Reiser.

During what was supposed to have been Reiser's sentencing today, Judge Larry Goodman of Alameda County Superior Court revealed that Reiser was offered a plea bargain last September for a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter. The judge said he was prepared to give Reiser the minimum sentence of three years in prison in accordance with the deal to spare Nina Reiser's family the distress of going through a trial.

Had Reiser not maintained his innocence until leading police to the buried remains of his wife yesterday, he would have been out of prison possibly by May 2009, the judge noted.

By leading police to the body, Reiser struck a new zero-hour deal with prosecutors. Under the new agreement, Reiser could be sentenced for second-degree murder rather than for the first-degree murder verdict decided by a jury last April.

A first-degree murder charge carries a 25-years-to-life prison sentence. A second-degree murder charge carries a 15-years-to-life prison sentence. While a reduction to second-degree murder doesn't necessarily mean Reiser will have a reduced prison sentence, it does mean he would be eligible for parole sooner.

Goodman defended the agreement saying Nina Reiser's family is "100 per cent behind the disposition, because it allows Nina to come home" to be buried.

He stressed any deal the prosecution may have reached with Reiser hasn't yet been approved by the court. Goodman said he "has to be convinced that the deal is ironclad" and that Reiser will fulfill all his obligations, such as waiving his rights to appeal.

The court scheduled a hearing August 13 to review the status of the proposed agreement. ®

Black-hearted Bootnote

The sheer tragedy of the case hasn't stopped Wikipedia fiddlers from having a wholesome laugh.

Readers Dennis Smith and Andrew Whitell pointed us to the online encyclopedia's "Comparison of file systems" article which received an interesting revision.

New to the article's chart comparing file system features is the category "murders your wife." It's an attribute most file systems have chosen to opt out of, with the exception of ReiserFS and Reiser4.

It was changed back pretty quickly, but the older revision is still available here.

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