Reiser Saga Ends with Fifteen Years to Life

The circus surrounding the trial of Hans Reiser — the self-styled "inept geek" turned murderer — came to a close Friday, as the ReiserFS developer was formally found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve fifteen-years-to-life for his crime.

The decision comes after a surprise deal in July led to a post-trial confession and the disclosure of Nina Reiser's body to authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence. Under the terms of the deal — which included a waiver of any and all appeals related to the trial — Reiser's first-degree murder conviction was amended to second-degree, and his sentence reduced from twenty-five-to-life to fifteen-to-life, allowing him the possibility of parole in thirteen years, as he has already served two years while awaiting trial. That time-line is not absolute, however, as factors including good behavior could come into play; additionally, the parole board isn't required to grant a release at the first opportunity, and given the circumstances of the crime, might well elect to refuse parole.

According to reports, Reiser expressed regret for his crime in a statement given prior to being sentenced. He apologized to Nina's mother and boyfriend, as well as to society, and revealed plans to create a trust for his children with the profits from his existing ventures and any new ones he might undertake while in prison. Video of the sentencing is available below, while a transcript of Reiser's confession is available from Wired, with the caveat that it contains graphic material and may not be suitable for some readers.

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