The geek defense, also called the "platypus defense", was used by Hans Reiser in the trial regarding the murder of his wife.
- Computer programmer's attorneys use "geek defense" (Washington Post)
- "Being too intelligent can be a sort of curse," defense counsel William Du Bois said. "All this weird conduct can be explained by him, but he's the only one who can do it. People who are commonly known as computer geeks are so into the field."
- "I have a compulsive tendency to say things that I know are true that people don’t want to be true. I do this by reference to the data," the developer of the ReiserFS filesystem testified.
- Scientists, the defendant testified, "we’re all kind of comfortable with each other but when we go out into society, we tend to have some problems," he said.
- Defense attorney William DuBois asked his 44-year-old client whether he is "dysfunctional in every social setting?" "Except for being a scientist, yes," Hans Reiser replied.
- "DuBois hoped to keep his client off the stand and establish his personality through other witnesses. He elicited testimony from a psychologist suggesting his client suffered from Asperger's disorder, a mild form of autism with symptoms including socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior, and a lack of appreciation of social cues."
Geek behaviour is often excused by reference to Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, or the fact that geeks are just like that (i.e. are fundamentally socially awkward or offensive, and can't help it). The "geek defense" is probably the most serious attempt to excuse unacceptable behaviour (in this case, covering up a murder) on these grounds.