As I see it, the Defenses chances rest solely on the lack of physical evidence. However, people have been convicted of murder before on smaller amounts of non-physical evidence than that brought against Hans Reiser... and have later confessed they indeed committed a crime.Well, Hans Reiser confessed to having strangled his wife, and then lead police investigators right to the buried body. Then I also made the following comments about Han's mental state:
My gut feeling is that no matter how this turns out, Hans Reiser is going to end up in a jail. Either on murder charges, or under state supervision for being mentally impaired.Well, you might be surprised to learn then that one of the last maneuvers made by the defense was to tell the judge that Hans Reiser was mentally incompetent. However, it doesn't seem that the judge bought that excuse. In exchange for leading prosecutors to the body it is reported that Hans Reiser will be sentenced on 2nd degree murder, rather than 1st degree murder.
So, what's the impact? Well, there really isn't one. The Reiser file systems have largely been abandoned, although the code is available on Kernel.org. Even if Hans Reiser is let out on parole in 15 years, he's effectively cut off from the Open-Source communities. In all, it's just closure to what was a brilliant programmer's life.