Manslaughter?

People vs. Hans Reiser

Monday, April 14, 2008

Manslaughter?

Out of the jury’s presence, the court has agreed (I can infer this was due to a defense request) to instruct the jury on manslaughter as well as murder. The DA objected because, obviously, the defense posture (officially, at least) was that Hans killed no one.

Such an instruction (essentially introducing very plausible notion that this was a crime of passion, as opposed to calculation) is not given over a strong defense objection.

In fact, Bill Dubois argued in favor of an involuntary manslaughter choice (rejected by the court) based on the hypothetical notion that Hans pushed his wife down the stairs.

That any manslaughter instruction is being given tells us a great deal about what the defense may really think and possibly reveals the final shape of the evidence as it will unfold this week.

JBG

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