Oscar Pistorius on murder charge

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

  1. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Wen someone kills a stranger, it may or may not be murder. Most countries allow you to protect yourself. If he felt endangered because there was an intruder in his bathroom, he may or may not be justified in killing that person; which would be up to the judge or jury to decide.
     
  2. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if that is due to the charges, or due to the defense chosen.
    I mean, if the defense decided to go with "Oscar was feeling threatened by the person in the bathroom and started shooting" would it make a difference? (And I can totally buy he wouldn't have recognized her scream- a true gutteral scared for your life scream is pretty different than the sounds people make in day to day life.)

    I thought charges were generally specific, you can't be found guilty of murder if you didn't mean to murder the person you killed- that would only be manslaughter. I could be wrong.
     
  3. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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    The BBC article seems to state that if he admits to firing "deliberately" in to the bathroom, whether he knew she was in the bathroom, or he thought it was a group of hoodlums, he could be found guilty of murder. That is why he walks this dangerous tight rope of claiming he fired the gun 4 times into the bathroom "accidentally".
     
  4. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about South African law, but UK law (which I presume SA law is based on historically) is clear that the intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm is all that you need to prove, and it's not specific to the person. The example often cited is if you place a bomb on a plane with the intention to kill just one person on the plane, you still are guilty of the murder of all the other passengers, despite your intention to only kill one.
     
  5. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I see the point that protecting yourself is different than someone who shoots at a person (whether they know them or not) or into a crowd.

    However, if Oscar really believed he was defending himself at the time, then I don't think as a judge you'd want to set the precedent and let him go. By his own admission, he thought he heard the sound of the bathroom window opening, and he made the assumption from that one small sound that there was an intruder, and he further decided to kill that intruder. That is a helluva lot more than defending yourself - he didn't have any other reason to believe it was an intruder, he didn't rule out other possibilities for the sound (including the obvious that his partner was in the bathroom), he didn't attempt to communicate or confirm that it was an intruder, he had no reason to believe that intruder was armed or that the intruder intended to cause him physical harm, he didn't attempt to simply keep the person from coming out of the bathroom while he called police, and he didn't fire one shot to warn or scare off the intruder. Instead, with only a vaguely imagined threat, he took decisive action to kill that threat.

    Can you imagine the chaos if every time anyone heard an unusual noise in their house they'd be justified in killing someone? That's really, really scary.
     
  6. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

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    Oscar still hasn't answered why Reeva would have locked herself in the bathroom, dressed, with TWO cell phones, in the middle of the night if she really had to just get up and pee. If she was dressed -- fine, some women don't like walking around even in "comfortable surroundings" in pj's. If she had one cell phone -- maybe she wanted to play candy crush while she used the bathroom. But taking two cell phones with her AND being dressed indicates she was calling for help, and thought locking herself in the bathroom was maybe a way for Oscar to cool off and for her to get the hell out of the house.

    They were also only going out for three months. Oscar admits he fell hard for her right away, and she wasn't "as into him." I think Reeva was probably like a lot of pretty young women, sort of dating, figuring out what she wanted, but not taking things too serious, and might have given him an "I'm just not that into you" talk.
     
  7. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I had no idea she was fully dressed and had 2 cell phones with her in the bathroom.
     
  8. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

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  9. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    There is a difference between proving something beyond a reasonable doubt and having to erase all doubt whatsoever.

    Honestly, if you have even a little bit of night-time intestinal problems, would you even consider staying over at Oscar's house?
     
  10. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Oscar says he forgot his Iphone password? Oh, sure he did.
     
  11. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

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    This is a very good point. I think lost in all this intruder/domestic violence debate is the fact that even if what Oscar says is 100% true, do you want this guy out in society? A locked bathroom in the middle of the night causes him to use a cricket bat and 4 bullets?

    And even if what he says is true, let's just say Reeva was having intestinal problems, and let's just say she also is the type of woman (not uncommon among models) who's insecure about her body and stuff and prefers to go to the bathroom in private. And let's just say she was playing Candy Crush on her phone and Oscar's iphone was lying around the bathroom. And that as a model uncomfortable with her body, she doesn't like to wear PJ's.

    The chilling part is these actions (by Reeva) caused her death if we are to believe Oscar's story. This guy is a menace to society either way, and should be locked up.
     
  12. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    The maximum sentence for manslaughter is only 10 years less than the sentence he'd get for murder (from what I read, a life sentence is only 25 years)
     
  13. bek

    bek Guest

    I have a problem with it was an accident. I think he definitely tried to kill the person in the bathroom, maybe he was wrong on who the person was but still.

    I don't know what S. Africa's laws are, but to me even if his story was 100% correct, it would be second degree murder in the United States.

    This guy didn't even bother to make sure said person was a threat, and he just started firing. The person if the window was opening could have been leaving, which would have been no harm, no foul to either him or his person, so this idea that the danger was imminent.

    The fact that he didn't even bother to make sure that the "intruder" wasn't a person who was legitimately in his house, when he knew he wasn't alone, shows his recklessness.

    The guy just started shooting with no care for who was in there. Even if what he did was exactly the way he says it is, I'm sorry to me its a little more than manslaughter.

    Man slaughter should be an accidental thing. Not what he did.

    I think the problem is reasonable doubt doesn't equal no doubt. And the thing is his story doesn't pass the smell test at all for me, and either way was incredibly reckless behavior on his part.
     
  14. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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  15. Choupette

    Choupette Well-Known Member

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    I found the following article extremely interesting: Pistorius did himself no favours in the dock: lawyers

     
  16. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

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    Another damning piece of evidence is Reeva's overnight bag was apparently packed. That to me says that she intended to leave, along with her being dressed and having her cell phone with her.
     
  17. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't get bag be packed to stay there? She didn't live with him.
     
  18. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

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    She had been staying with him for two days, so the thought was that if it was packed, she really wanted to leave. Usually there would be more of her stuff around the house if she planned to stay a long time, but apparently all of her stuff including her ipad was in the bag.
     
  19. bek

    bek Guest

    But wasn't it late when she died. That's awfully late for all of her bags to be packed. And for her to be hiding out in that bathroom with two cell phones....
     
  20. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I wouldn't call shorts and a tshirt fully dressed. Some people sleep in a tshirt, or tshirt and shorts. Some people also slip on a robe when they get up to go to the bathroom, or they grab whatever clothes they had dropped on the floor when they got in bed earlier. I'm not buying Oscar's story, but unless there's more to the clothing story, I don't see it as a turning point.

    As for the phones, it is a bit weird to bring two to the bathroom, but then again maybe it isn't. Many people today are obsessive about checking their phones, so she might have grabbed hers on the way to the bathroom. Or in the dark, she might have grabbed two not immediately seeing which one was hers (I believe I read last year that in total there were 5 phones or similar devices in the bedroom). Or as someone said, one might have been there earlier. Again, I'm not buying Oscar's story, but I don't think this alone is closes the case.
     
  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Shorts and a tee certainly could be a full outfit. :confused:

    These could be used as pj's but for instance, if these were denim white shorts, I doubt that's what most people wear to bed. Most people also do not bring two cell phones into the bathroom with them in the middle of the night. If Reeva's outfit was something obviously worn outside of bed AND combined with the two cell phones, this either indicates rather atypical behavior or some serious holes in Oscar's defense.
     
  22. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Or they're like me and sometimes grab a cell phone on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night to use as a nightlight. I don't want to trip over the dog. I've also done that when I've stayed in places that aren't terribly familiar to me.

    I don't think there is a--if you will excuse the expression--smoking gun in the case so much as there is an accumulation of small pieces of evidence that work against Oscar. Reeva could have slept in shorts and T-shirt, could have taken a phone or two into the bathroom at night so she could check her text messages, could have locked the door out of habit or shyness, etc. The screaming that was heard could have been Oscar after the shooting and not Reeva before the shooting, and the neighbors are just mixed up. Oscar's rather strange behavior after the shooting could have been confusion and emotional upset--or the security guard and police could be confused. And so on. Stuff happens all the time that doesn't make sense or doesn't fit into what other people consider normal behavior.

    I'm also not sure why people would think judges are any less likely to be swayed by emotion than juries. Yes, juries are made up of lay people who don't have the experience or training of judges; OTOH, leaving it up to the judge means leaving everything in the hands of a single person. And judges are just as human as anyone else. Some of them are just plain nuts. The judge in this particular case is reputed to be very good; that doesn't mean they all are.

    I think there are pros and cons to both systems. If both of them didn't work about as well as can be expected, then I doubt either system would have lasted as long as they have.
     
  23. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    How about two cell phones? All the things you listed are possible but what about Occam's razor? The one simple thing that would explain it all would be that she was ready to leave, felt threatened and tried to isolate herself from Oscar/call for help.

    I wonder if Oscar was Reeva's first boyfriend ever (I doubt it). If not, could an old boyfriend be brought in to testify to Reeva's habit to sleep in street clothes and to hole up in the bathroom with two cell phones in the middle of the night? Or anyone who'd shared a house with her recently?

    Or were these brand new, Oscar-related habits that she's never practiced before? Or is it a unique instance that occurred on the night she happened to be killed and all these coincidences were piled up so unfortunately?

    I have night lights all around my house, along the hallways, bathrooms, etc. Did Oscar? Would someone who was so concerned with security leave the house pitch black at night?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  24. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

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    I havent been following all of this story so I might have missed it - but I am curious - if he was so paranoid about security and so worried about burglars [even in a gated community - which means private security, doesnt it?] - why didnt he install a high tech burglar alarm? He clearly had the money.
     
  25. bek

    bek Guest

    Apparently the pathologist Pistorius hired is refusing to testify. Rumor is because his findings do not support Pistorius's case. The prosecution is poking hole after hole in his story.
     
  26. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    As has been pointed out already, there are other possibilities for that. But even so--what about it? Why would it be significant that Reeva took TWO phones into the bathroom with her--if, in fact, she did? Why would she? So she could make twice as many phone calls at the same time? Would it be less suspicious if they had found only ONE cell phone in the bathroom?

    I'm not sure what part of this sentence was not clear, so I will reiterate:

    I don't think there is a--if you will excuse the expression--smoking gun in the case so much as there is an accumulation of small pieces of evidence that work against Oscar.

    But that was me saying that there are a lot of things that work against Oscar on this, even if there is another explanation for some of them individually. A lot of things could be coincidental, as many things are, and people are far too inclined to dismiss coincidence as unlikely when it is, in fact, likely. I think it's likely that some of the things that we are taking as evidence are coincidence. The question is more a matter of when many becomes too many. I think there are too many small pieces of evidence against Oscar and I would convict his weepy ass myself, but I also think there is room for some to see reasonable doubt.

    If Oscar had had night lights all over his house, I suspect the police would have made a note of it, as it would significantly contradict Oscar's story. Ergo, I would say no, he did not.

    There are people who think that nightlights just make it easier for burglars and other criminals to get around the house. Paranoia take multiple forms.
     
  27. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    That's a very good point. I always take my phone to the bathroom with me at night if I wake up, as I like to check to see if anything has come in. I don't own two phones. If I did, presumably they are different, and I'd like to check the messages on both of them. So one phone or ten phones- it's all the same. Either she was hoping to calling for help, or playing Candy Crush while going the bathroom.

    But if you were frantically hiding to call for help- it seems you'd be less likely to take the time to grab both phones, unless they were neatly stacked one on top of each other.

    I've heard this from quite a few people.
    And that outdoor lighting just makes it easier for them to see to break in, where if your house is dark, they can't see what they are doing and are less likely to target you (as a flashlight on a dark house would cause suspicion.)

    I know my husband has trained me that if I hear noises in the middle of the night and want to investigate I should NOT turn the lights on- as that just means my eyes will not be adjusted and put me in a vulnerable position. I'm to use a flashlight instead.

    This is why I am glad I am not a judge, and probably will never be picked to serve on a jury. I can't even make up my mind on what I want for lunch. I could never make a decision on a matter of this importance.
     
  28. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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  29. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Oh gosh, that's awful puglover!

    I have done something like that in the middle of the night when I heard noises in the backyard- I flashed the outdoor lights quickly a few times. Probably confused a racoon. Not sure what I would do if someone was at the front door- though I guess if I knew they were still outside, flashing an interior light would work.

    (I have a small flashlight on my bedside table, but DH keeps a large one that can be used as a club. Although he is not as anti-gun as I am, even he won't keep a gun near the bed: too many people have shot family members because they wake up groggy!)
     
  30. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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    Yes, somewhat unsettling to be so close to home. About 2 weeks before this awful tragedy, my husband answered the door to a youngish man offering to remove the snow on our driveway for money. This is quite unusual and he did not look like a neighbourhood teen trying to earn extra money - in fact my husband said he did not look like he was local (not sure how he made that assessment). Both my husband and I are able bodied and more then capable of removing our own snow but my husband is compassionate and agreed to pay him $20.00 to do the driveway as he thought the guy might be "down on his luck". When he finished, my husband invited him out of the cold into the front foyer while he paid him. The guy then stated he would like to do our lawn in the summer and asked to see the back yard to assess it's size. Fortunately, my husband did not agree to that and indicated we did not need any help with the lawn in the summer. If he had agreed to that request, that would have taken him from the front to the back of the house, providing a pretty good idea of the layout and other aspects of the house.

    The police were very interested in this as they definitely believe that the thieves were in the neighbourhood on a false pretence. The victims had a son who lived with them but he was away at the time and the couple returned early due to needs at the husband's work.

    Anyway, sorry for hijacking the thread - back to Oscar!