Oscar Pistorius on murder charge

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by skatefan, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    The OJ case took about a year to come to trial, didn't it? (ETA: I was wrong, it started earlier than I remembered) The case here is high profile and considering how things have gone so far, I am sure the police and prosecutors will want to make sure that the investigation is done right (or at least looks to have been done right).

    Re famous murder/kidnapping cases - The Black Dahlia was a notorious Hollywood murder with a brunette victim, but that was a long time ago. Lacy Peterson was a brunette, and IIRC Jessica Lunsford was not a blonde. Those are the ones I can recall, and it feels kind of ghoulish to go looking for others. But I agree that certain crime victims seem to be much more interesting to the media than others.
     
  2. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Meh, ghoulish maybe, but I've long ago stopped apologizing. My mother has never understood how I can read murder mysteries and watch crime dramas because it's all so horrible, when it fact is was her mother who got me into it at a young age - she loved what she called "whodunnits" and I remember many hours watching them on tv with her when I was a child, and going through her entire collection of Agatha Christie novels. But I don't like slasher movies - and I don't think it's a coincidence that it's the same grandmother whose Dell puzzle books fascinated me, logic problems being our favourites.
     
  3. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with being interested in either true crime or mysteries and TV crime dramas. The former is just not something I personally feel comfortable reading about, and I'd rather leave the details to others... I did notice did Wikipedia has an entry on Missing white woman syndrome, BTW, which seems relevant to the current discussion here.
     
  4. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    There is a good program on BET about missing black people, Find Our Missing. I'm glad that someone finally addressed the issue rather than whining, "The media doesn't show what I want them to show."
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    At this stage you don't have any evidence to base this statement on, so you're just making a fool of yourself.
     
  6. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Any word on the two cell phones that were found in the toilet room, neither of which were the one used by Pistorius to call his friend? Seems off that a woman apparently takes two phones into the bathroom at 3 am if she's just taking a whiz.
     
  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Heckles - a fan of golden showers. :D
     
  8. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    1. The phones could've been left in the bathroom the evening before.

    2. Maybe she wanted to do a quick browse of the internet while whizzing.

    3. Could've been just a habit to take the phone with her. Many people are attached to their phones and won't go anywhere without them.
     
  9. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    If you are sleeping with someone who is bothered by the light from the ipad or smart phone, um, I could see taking them into the bathroom. Weird that she had 2 with her, though. I wonder who they were registered to.
     
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Is there are credible source for the location of the phones, and that idea that Oscar didn't use either to make calls? (I could see where one he was using might be dropped in the toilet room after he made the first calls after he found her.) The only mention of technologies I've seen to date is that Reeva's iPad was on the bed or on the floor near the bed.
     
  11. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    On another note, I'm wondering how the process works now. He's been charged with premeditated murder, so the trial (tribunal?) will consider that charge and determine guilty or not guilty. If they decide it was not premeditated and was an accident, will they declare him guilty of that lesser charge at that time? And then what is the punishment for that?

    Because here's what I'm thinking - he's admitted he killed her, so it's just a matter if he meant to do it or not. At some point, he's due to go to jail, length of time tbd.

    So if that's the case, why is he free now? As a confessed killer, shouldn't he have gone straight to jail, with time served to be credited to whatever sentence he eventually gets?

    Or is there a chance that he could somehow dodge jail altogether, in which case yeah, grant bail pending trial.

    :confused:
     
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    He's confessed but he hasn't been found guilty yet.
     
  13. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I think the South African law makes that determination.;)
     
  14. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Gee thanks for that insightful response to my honest question.

    I'm not a lawyer, and certainly not an expert in the laws of South Africa, so I'm just trying to understand why some people who confess to a crime are granted bail until trial, and others are kept in jail with the time credited to whatever sentence is eventually ruled.
     
  15. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    The two-phones-in-the-toilet-room aspect was mentioned on CNN last night. ABC News says there were two Blackberries, two iPhones, and a fifth phone, the latter of which, according to defense attorneys, was used by Pistorius.
     
  16. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    ^ That's a lot of phones between two people.
     
  17. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Maybe it's based on whether the accused is a flight risk or threat to the community, just like any other bail situation? Even if a person confesses, he hasn't been found guilty yet. Lots of people confess without having actually done anything, so the presumption of innocence still stands, I think.

    Pistorius says he called the manager of the housing estate, and asked him to place a call for an ambulance. He says that he also called a private paramedic service. According to his lawyers, there was a fifth phone that Pistorius used to make the calls.

    He had to make the calls from somewhere (I think it's on the record that they were received, I believe), and he didn't use any of the other phones, so there must be a fifth phone. I think I read somewhere that he also called his best friend (first, too, I think) and his sister?
     
  18. Rafter

    Rafter Well-Known Member

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    I read an article yesterday that said something like the now former lead detective (Botha) testified that he'd been to Pistorious's house before re: a domestic violence issue with another woman. It will be interesting to see if anything more of this comes to light during the trial. Too bad Botha has turned out to be such a disaster.
     
  19. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    He called his friend, Justin Divaris, but it's unsurprising that his defense team is not highlighting that questionable move. Doesn't make him look good.
     
  20. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    That's been discussed somewhere back in this thread--he was at a party and slammed a door in a woman's face. The charges were dropped. I think he has a suit filed for malicious prosecution in that case.

    Otherwise, I don't think anyone has uncovered any domestic violence history, and a women he dated for five years has been one of his staunchest defenders,

    Yes, but mentions of the fifth phone in the media always seem to imply that there is something shady about this fifth phone. The police seem to know who he called and when, there is no question that there was another phone at the scene, and it doesn't seem like here's anything being hidden, so :confused:.

    I think the fact that his lawyer got there before the police did looks worse than his calling his friend, although I'm not sure whether that looks worse for him or for the police :shuffle:.
     
  21. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Has it been reported when the police were finally called, and when they arrived?
     
  22. skatefan

    skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  23. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Do have in mind, it's the Daily Mail which is a terrible, unreliable rag.

    Because some are dangerous to society and/or a serious flight risk and others aren't.
     
  24. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Before you make a snarky remark like that, try to understand that different countries have different laws, different ways of looking at things. You can't apply the laws of your country- whatever it may be- to a case in South Africa.
     
  25. skatefan

    skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's why I wondered whether it's being reported elsewhere, not good for Pistorius if the story is true.

    What really bothers me about the whole tragic incident is that regardless of who had actually locked themselves in the toilet, surely, surely, it was a completely OTT attack on whoever was in there? Pistorius hadn't been attacked by the person if it was an intruder, no one was threatening his life, so for him to deliberately shoot and kill someone through a door rather than ring the Police immediately is just wrong.
     
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  26. Lorac

    Lorac Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't it stated in court during the bail hearing that there were no other injuries on Reeva other than the gunshot wounds? I am sure if there were head injuries from the cricket bat that would have be brought up by the prosecution to ensure he didn't get bail and to further solidify their charge of pre-meditated murder.
     
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  27. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Excuse me? I posted a general question as part of our ongoing discussion, and you respond with this very obvious point and a wink. And now, you further suggest that I need to understand something that I - and everyone else in this thread - quite clearly do understand. Give us all some credit please.



    But onward. Prancer makes a good point that confessions don't always mean that the person actually did it - and given that forced confessions at the hands of interrogators are sometimes an issue, it does make sense.

    I also see the points of flight risk and danger to others as several other posters pointed out. However, in doing some searches on this topic, I found many cases of people accused of brutal and multiple crimes - murder and sexual assault, including against children - where the bail was granted, and that puzzles me.

    As for Oscar, it doesn't appear that the prosecution was able to show any risk to society other than their unsubstantiated suggestions of a history of domestic violence, and the terms of bail, and his fame, would certainly make it difficult for him to flee.
     
  28. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    There is a set procedure for bail in most countries, as in South Africa. I followed the trial on the Guardian's live blog, and the judge set it out really well. I'm sorry, I'm on a dodgy computer so can't link it properly, but here you are: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blo...-live-coverage#block-5127807fb5791e976a3e6a21

    Basically, it will depend on whether or not there are previous convictions which show a propensity for violence, anything else which shows that propensity for violence, anything to suggest a flight risk, or a risk to the life of the defendant.

    Some people are released on bail for horrible crimes because they lack the criminal history to show a propensity, and also at their age you would expect them to have already committed a violent crime or violent behaviour if they had the propensity. Others might be remanded on a lesser charge, such as theft, if they have a history of previous convictions, failure to turn up in court and history of committing crimes while on bail.

    Don't forget that jail is expensive to society, so unless the defendant poses a serious risk, it's actually better for them to be elsewhere. Also, bail is often conditional on visiting a police station, or attending some kind of community programe, or even having a curfew.
     
  29. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I'm not an expert on law enforcement or penal systems either, and I'm sure practices vary between jurisdictions.

    But my general understanding is that the purpose of jails is to hold suspects until arraignment, and if necessary (e.g., flight risk, danger to the public) until trial, whereas the purpose of prisons is to punish convicted offenders. So they're not interchangeable and not overseen by the same authorities, although jail time can sometimes be credited toward prison sentences. But in principle jail time serves practical purposes for the police rather than punitive purposes for the inmates. (I'm sure the inmates' experience is that it's plenty punitive.) Jails aren't really designed to hold people for long periods of time, which leads to problems when the court system is backed up.
     
  30. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    Definitely not in every jurisdiction. In the UK, the term is used interchangeably.

    "Custody" refers to a period of detention before trial, whereas "imprisonment" is after sentencing...but they both normally occur in a prison/jail. Prison is the more common term in the UK.

    My understanding is that it's the same in South Africa, although Pistorius was remanded in a police station before the bail hearing exceptionally because of his status, and there were fears for his safety in prison.

    Edited to add - I did a little research, and your description is right for the US, but definitely not the UK or South Africa.

    Also, some countries (like the UK) would never allow bail to a murder suspect, but clearly South Africa does.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
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