A platypus is a freaky looking semi-aquatic little mammal that lives in Australia. It is also known as the duck billed platypus because it sports a duck-like bill (clever). Behold! A duck-billed platypus:
Now, just so we don't get too far off track with all of the legal analogies being made to Australian mammals, behold! Hans Reiser:
Yeah, I'm just not seeing it. But I'm not his attorney, William DuBois is. And he told the jurors, "Hans' conduct can be interpreted as being guilty. It can also be interpreted as innocence, and a product of his own platypus-ian personality, as we will see. He is odd in every way." Dude, he's not the only odd one there. May I just ask what in the hell is a "platypus-ian personality"? Are you saying he is one of only five mammals that lay eggs? Are you saying that he is so revered in Australia that he is featured on the Australian 20 cent coin? What else?
"He is odd in every way. Odd in the way he carries himself. Odd in the way he acts. Odd in the way he speaks." Yes, this is all very, very odd. He got that right. DuBois continued with, "Why did he act the way he acts? He does not understand social cues. He shows almost no emotion is because he has no emotion." And that makes him like a platypus? Well, yes, according to Mr. DuBois who continued along the same odd mammalian line with, "He is the duck-billed platypus of criminal defendants, the duck-billed platypus amongst some of his peers, the duck-billed platypus amongst normal people. Yet he must get the same consideration under the law." The same consideration as what? People who are not being compared to a platypus?! ("That Hans. He always was the duck-billed platypus of the group.") Oh, and as DuBois was telling the jurors this, he was HOLDING a stuffed PLATYPUS. Yes. I guess it was so the jury could see just how ridiculous it is to be comparing anything, other than another platypus, to a platypus! In fact, here:
Please note the drawing of the male sitting behind Mr. DuBois. I don't know who he is supposed to be, but I have the feeling that the expression drawn on his face would have to sum up his (and other's listening to the "web-footed, duck-billed, Australian mammal defense") feelings on the matter (which appear to be, "WTF? Did he say 'platypus'?")
Now, I question this defense mainly because, well, it's freaking odd. But also because Mr. DuBois and Hans have not exactly gotten along just swimmingly over the course of the trial. No, there was the time when Hans referred to himself as an "asshole" and Mr. DuBois seized that opportunity to make sure that he understood that Hans was saying he was an "asshole" at least five times. So that's just another reason to question this defense tactic (not that you really needed another reason after you first heard 'platypus'.)
Mr. DuBois continues his "defense" closing arguments by going over how Hans and Nina met in 1998 in Russia when he picked her out of European Connections, a mail-order bride catalog. (She was "5279 Nina". Catchy.) He then showed the picture of her that was included in the catalog and he mentioned that she also included that she wanted to "meet a good man." DuBois said, "She missed the mark there, with all due respect," he said to his client.
What he was getting at (in the oddest of all odd platypus-ish ways) was that Nina had ulterior motives by marrying Hans. He was suggesting that she wanted to marry him in order to obtain American citizenship and when she had her citizenship, she would want to leave him. He flat out said that there was no way she could love Hans. He told the jurors, "She had an ulterior motive to marry Hans. It couldn't have been out of love that she married Hans Reiser. I can't see anybody loving Hans Reiser. He has to be one of the least attractive people you can imagine, and she's a doll." This is HIS attorney who is defending him! (I figured I should point that out because it's really hard to tell, I know.)