Hans Reiser: "Could It Be Moral To Kill?"

Hans Reiser, currently serving a prison term for the murder of his wife, Nina, acted as his own attorney in the Hayward courtroom in a case where he is also the defendant.

By Jodi Hernandez
|  Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012  |  Updated 7:33 AM PDT
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Jury selection concluded Tuesday in the wrongful death suit filed against Hans Reiser, a man convicted in 2008 of murdering his wife and burying her body in the Oakland Hills.

Jury selection concluded Tuesday in the wrongful death suit filed against Hans Reiser, a man convicted in 2008 of murdering his wife and burying her body in the Oakland Hills.

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Jury Selection Begins in Hans Reiser Civil Case

Jury selection began Monday in Hayward in a wrongful death suit against Hans Reiser, who was convicted four years ago for the murder of his wife.
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Jury selection concluded Tuesday in the wrongful death suit filed against Hans Reiser, a man convicted in 2008 of murdering his wife and burying her body in the Oakland Hills.

Opening statements are expected to begin Wednesday morning. Each side will have 30 minutes to present to the jury, which is made up of five men and seven women.

They are set to decide on the civil case against Reiser, who is currently serving a prison term for the murder of his wife, Nina. 

On Tuesday, he acted as his own attorney in the Hayward courtroom in a case where he is also the defendant. During jury selection, he started to cry as he questioned potential jurors. His children, ages 12 and 11, are suing him following the death of their mother.

Several potential jurors said they're troubled Reiser has no attorney. One potential juror said, "I don't want to see you shut down in any way. I want to hear what you have to say."

Others, however, did not seem phased, even when Reiser asked jurors: "Suppose the only way to stop harm from occurring is to kill that person? Could it be moral to kill a person to protect innocents?"

Some jurors said there arer no excuses for killling. One said: "It's never moral to kill anybody for any reason."

Gonzalez's San Francisco firm, Morrison & Foerster, is working pro bono on behalf of Reiser's two children, a 12-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter, seeking $15.2 million for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Reiser was convicted by an Alameda County jury in 2008 for the first-degree murder of his wife  two years earlier. In that case, Reiser and his legal team had argued that his wife was not dead, but had left her children to sneak away to Russia. The jury didn't buy that story.

Weeks after his conviction, Reiser, the developer of the ReiserFS filesystem, led authorities to his wife's body hidden in the Oakland Hills for a reduced term of 15-years-to-life in prison instead of 25.

His new story, according to documents, is that he killed his wife to prevent her from killing their children. The children are living with their maternal grandparents in Russia.

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