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-   -   Oscar Pistorius shoots girlfriend - Part 2 (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285175)

MikeG 13th December 2015 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11025250)
People's reaction to this case is a litmus test...........

Indeed. Everyone else in the recent part of the thread has dealt with the case logically and unemotionally, discussing the facts and the legality. You are the only one whose sole basis for their position is emotion.

Samson 13th December 2015 02:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ampulla of Vater (Post 11027619)
No, that's burglars. Home invasion is quite a different scenario, as the residents are home at the time. I bet it's rare to find a home invader stoping to use the loo, unless he's tied everyone up and it is an extended hostage situation, like the one in DC recently.

I was drawing an imperfect parallel. One man one woman in a house. The woman is killed by the man, and the bathroom becomes a main feature of the criminal case.

In the case of Reeva, all evidence points to a normal nocturnal visit, and her not being pursued there.

whoanellie 13th December 2015 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11028000)
I was drawing an imperfect parallel. One man one woman in a house. The woman is killed by the man, and the bathroom becomes a main feature of the criminal case.

In the case of Reeva, all evidence points to a normal nocturnal visit, and her not being pursued there.

What specific evidence points to a normal nocturnal visit?

Do you think it was part of her normal routine to lock the door?

GlennB 13th December 2015 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whoanellie (Post 11028130)
What specific evidence points to a normal nocturnal visit?

Do you think it was part of her normal routine to lock the door?

Samson attaches great importance to her empty bladder. But for all we know she'd been to the toilet just before OP went berserk and she sought refuge back there and locked the door to keep him out.

Desert Fox 13th December 2015 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11028000)
I was drawing an imperfect parallel. One man one woman in a house. The woman is killed by the man, and the bathroom becomes a main feature of the criminal case.

In the case of Reeva, all evidence points to a normal nocturnal visit, and her not being pursued there.

In general with regards to self defense, there needs to be some legitimate reason why the defendant should actually be fearing for his life. Maybe the person in the bathroom is armed with a bazooka but that is not reasonable.

There are cases in the US where defendants are tried for murder when police officers suddenly barge through somebody's door. I am sympathetic to the defendant in such cases because of the suddenness and why I hate "No Knock" warrants.

newyorkguy 13th December 2015 08:29 AM

It's not quite true that Steenkamp's empty bladder points to a normal nocturnal visit. It's actually quite inconclusive as it was possible she could have relieved herself up to an hour before being shot. That would indicate she had no reason to lock herself in the water closet other than to get away from Pistorius.
Quote:

Prof Gert Saayman, who performed the post mortem on Reeva Steenkamp, said to questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel that Steenkamp’s bladder would have been empty had she gone to the toilet between 30 minutes to an hour before her death. News link
But I get it. Samson has a gut feeling that it was an accidental shooting; facts are not going to sway him away from that. Other people have a gut feeling Pistorius meant to shoot her. The facts, such as they are, can be interpreted either way. I think the most logical explanation is they quarreled and Pistorius shot her in a fit of rage. It happens quite often, there's nothing "unusual" about it. But I'm not locked into that theory. Pistorius' surprising history with handguns suggests someone who might've been eager to finally get a chance to use a handgun against a 'bad guy.' Might've been so eager to finally get the chance to shoot some lowlife that the desire overwhelmed his common sense. That happens too.

whoanellie 13th December 2015 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlennB (Post 11028194)
Samson attaches great importance to her empty bladder. But for all we know she'd been to the toilet just before OP went berserk and she sought refuge back there and locked the door to keep him out.

Agreed. 1 empty bladder does not constitute all of the evidence...

lionking 13th December 2015 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11028000)
I was drawing an imperfect parallel. One man one woman in a house. The woman is killed by the man, and the bathroom becomes a main feature of the criminal case.

In the case of Reeva, all evidence points to a normal nocturnal visit, and her not being pursued there.

What evidence?

Desert Fox 13th December 2015 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 11028284)
I think the most logical explanation is they quarreled and Pistorius shot her in a fit of rage. It happens quite often, there's nothing "unusual" about it. But I'm not locked into that theory. Pistorius' surprising history with handguns suggests someone who might've been eager to finally get a chance to use a handgun against a 'bad guy.' Might've been so eager to finally get the chance to shoot some lowlife that the desire overwhelmed his common sense. That happens too.

This is almost exactly what my thoughts are.

3point14 17th December 2015 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11025241)
His own narrative makes sense. That is what I see. I don't care what happens to him, but far more for the deluded masses that can't see the likely truth, and will never analyse a crime scene and aftermath according to logic.


You have a pretty high opinion of yourself, don't you?

3point14 17th December 2015 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whoanellie (Post 11025277)
Haven't you argued that OP can't have knowingly killed Reeva because he is rich?

Previously he has argued that there's no way OP killed Reva because it wouldn't be logical.

Ironic, really.

Metullus 17th December 2015 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3point14 (Post 11035615)
Previously he has argued that there's no way OP killed Reva because it wouldn't be logical.

Ironic, really.

Well, he does have a point: it is impossible to murder someone who has an empty bladder...

Samson 17th December 2015 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3point14 (Post 11035614)
You have a pretty high opinion of yourself, don't you?

I have a high opinion of the judge who sat through the trial and saw through the idiotic suggestions of the prosecution.

3point14 17th December 2015 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11035641)
I have a high opinion of the judge who sat through the trial and saw through the idiotic suggestions of the prosecution.

And a high opinion of yourself, as opposed to

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11025241)
the deluded masses that can't see the likely truth, and will never analyse a crime scene and aftermath according to logic.

You clearly consider yourself superior to "the deluded masses".

Metullus 17th December 2015 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11035641)
I have a high opinion of the judge who sat through the trial and saw through the idiotic suggestions of the prosecution.

What "idiotic suggestions"? That even in the best case the story Pistorius himself told meant he was guilty of murder? The idiotic suggestion that there was an argument prior to the shooting? The idiotic suggestion that he fired 4 rounds through the only door into a 4 x 4 foot enclosure? The idiotic suggestion that a person hiding behind a locked door was not an immediate threat to an armed man with a clear line of retreat?

Samson 17th December 2015 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metullus (Post 11035674)
What "idiotic suggestions"? That even in the best case the story Pistorius himself told meant he was guilty of murder? The idiotic suggestion that there was an argument prior to the shooting? The idiotic suggestion that he fired 4 rounds through the only door into a 4 x 4 foot enclosure? The idiotic suggestion that a person hiding behind a locked door was not an immediate threat to an armed man with a clear line of retreat?

The idiotic suggestion OP would deliberately kill his girl friend.

lionking 17th December 2015 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11035725)
The idiotic suggestion OP would deliberately kill his girl friend.

I believe he did, but that wasn't the finding of the court. Your understanding of the case seems very poor.

Metullus 17th December 2015 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11035725)
The idiotic suggestion OP would deliberately kill his girl friend.

How is that idiotic? You are not suggesting, are you, that it is unheard of for men to deliberately hurt or kill their wives or girlfriends? Or that it is unheard of for wealthy or notable men to do so? Or for athletes to do so? Perhaps you are suggesting that it is uncommon for men and women to have arguments, and, even, to lose their tempers?

Samson 17th December 2015 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metullus (Post 11035741)
How is that idiotic? You are not suggesting, are you, that it is unheard of for men to deliberately hurt or kill their wives or girlfriends? Or that it is unheard of for wealthy or notable men to do so? Or for athletes to do so? Perhaps you are suggesting that it is uncommon for men and women to have arguments, and, even, to lose their tempers?

I happen to agree with the judge and what she found, but I know I am in the minority, and my opinion is irrelevant anyway. It is probably true there is no proof either way, but if we had all the trial transcripts and original testimony a deduction could follow.

Metullus 17th December 2015 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11035784)
I happen to agree with the judge and what she found, but I know I am in the minority, and my opinion is irrelevant anyway. It is probably true there is no proof either way, but if we had all the trial transcripts and original testimony a deduction could follow.

I understand that you agree with the judge. What I am interested in is your characterization of the prosecutions assertions as "idiotic". How is it "idiotic" to suggest that he deliberately killed her?

newyorkguy 17th December 2015 02:41 PM

Great importance was placed on the fact Steenkamp's bladder was empty at the time she was shot. The argument seemed to be, her bladder would not have been empty unless she had urinated within moments of being shot. That, however, is not what Prof Gert Saayman, who performed the post mortem on Reeva Steenkamp, testified to. At the trial Saayman testified "that Steenkamp’s bladder would have been empty had she gone to the toilet between 30 minutes to an hour before her death." We're left with a possible scenario where Steenkamp had used the water closet well before the shooting, strongly suggesting she had gone back and locked herself in to get away from Pistorius.

Now the argument is, the trial judge considered the prosecution's contention it was premeditated, deliberate murder to be idiotic. But the trial judge never said anything remotely like that.
Quote:

[Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled] there was a reasonable possibility that Pistorius really did think Steenkamp was an intruder when he fired four shots through a locked bathroom door the night he killed her.
A reasonable possibility doesn't mean the alternate theory is idiotic. In fact, accepting Pistorius' scenario as "a reasonable possibility" is the bare minimum. It is no ringing endorsement of Oscar Pistorius. Combined with the fact Masipa also characterized Pistorius as an unreliable witness, it seems pretty clear to me that the prosecution was one key piece of evidence away from convincing Masipa that this was a deliberate murder.

The Atheist 17th December 2015 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 11035844)
Great importance was placed on the fact Steenkamp's bladder was empty at the time she was shot.

Only by one person.

Ampulla of Vater 17th December 2015 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3point14 (Post 11035653)



You clearly consider yourself superior to "the deluded masses".

Yes, but don't we all?!
;)

Samson 17th December 2015 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 11035844)
Great importance was placed on the fact Steenkamp's bladder was empty at the time she was shot. The argument seemed to be, her bladder would not have been empty unless she had urinated within moments of being shot. That, however, is not what Prof Gert Saayman, who performed the post mortem on Reeva Steenkamp, testified to. At the trial Saayman testified "that Steenkamp’s bladder would have been empty had she gone to the toilet between 30 minutes to an hour before her death." We're left with a possible scenario where Steenkamp had used the water closet well before the shooting, strongly suggesting she had gone back and locked herself in to get away from Pistorius.

Now the argument is, the trial judge considered the prosecution's contention it was premeditated, deliberate murder to be idiotic. But the trial judge never said anything remotely like that.


A reasonable possibility doesn't mean the alternate theory is idiotic. In fact, accepting Pistorius' scenario as "a reasonable possibility" is the bare minimum. It is no ringing endorsement of Oscar Pistorius. Combined with the fact Masipa also characterized Pistorius as an unreliable witness, it seems pretty clear to me that the prosecution was one key piece of evidence away from convincing Masipa that this was a deliberate murder.

I appreciate your attention to detail.
I have a question as a corollary. Why did Masipa, as a fierce defender of women's rights to be unmolested, deliver a sentence designed to allow very early release, if she thought there was more than a remote chance of intent to kill Reeva? If she had little belief in his story, she was entitled to put him away for a long time, to be on the safe side.

Metullus 17th December 2015 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11035956)
I appreciate your attention to detail.
I have a question as a corollary. Why did Masipa, as a fierce defender of women's rights to be unmolested, deliver a sentence designed to allow very early release, if she thought there was more than a remote chance of intent to kill Reeva? If she had little belief in his story, she was entitled to put him away for a long time, to be on the safe side.

Error in judgement? It happens, you know.

Samson 17th December 2015 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metullus (Post 11036013)
Error in judgement? It happens, you know.

Maybe, but her history suggests she was pretty sure of her thinking when giving him an effective year sentence. After all, if he was known to have deliberately killed her no one would argue any mitigation.

lionking 17th December 2015 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11036137)
Maybe, but her history suggests she was pretty sure of her thinking when giving him an effective year sentence. After all, if he was known to have deliberately killed her no one would argue any mitigation.

No maybe about it. It was by definition an error in judgement.

newyorkguy 17th December 2015 06:19 PM

First of all, the maximum sentence Pistorius could have recieved upon being convicted of culpable homicide was fifteen years. That was the maximum sentence Judge Masipa could have imposed. To her credit, Masipa wasn't judging the case as a woman's rights advocate but as a criminal court judge. That's what you seem to misunderstand. She found there was a reasonable possibility -- under the rules of evidence (not whatever her own private feeling is) -- that Pistorius did fire believing it to be an intruder in his water closet. Why the light sentence? This is how USA Today reported it at the time:
Quote:

JOHANNESBURG — South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to prison for five years Tuesday for the 2013 killing of his girlfriend, less than half the time he could have received following his manslaughter conviction last month. Judge Thokozile Masipa said a long sentence would show a lack of mercy toward Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner" for racing on prosthetic legs. She suspended a separate three-year sentence for an unrelated firearms charge. Link to news article

However there was another reason for the lenient sentence, the trial judge ruled Pistoruis had showed no intent to kill. That was where, however, the South African Supreme Court ruled she erred. In its appeal the state asked the Supreme Court to rule on the following:
Quote:

[G]iven he knew someone was behind the door, and he fired four bullets into a tiny room, should he have foreseen that his actions would have killed whoever was in there? They decided unanimously. Yes, he did. And that is murder. News article

Samson 17th December 2015 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11036152)
No maybe about it. It was by definition an error in judgement.

Well no, by the sentence she clearly agreed with the defence, not the prosecution. There is no middle ground between the two, only one could be correct. I accept you think he deliberately killed Reeva, but I don't agree, and I don't think the judge did either, notwithstanding New York Guy's analysis.

newyorkguy 17th December 2015 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11036183)
I accept you think he deliberately killed Reeva, but I don't agree, and I don't think the judge did either...

Again, your contention was that Judge Masipa considered the prosecution's theory to be "idiotic." By saying it "was reasonably possible" he didn't kill Steenkamp deliberately, doesn't she seem to be indicating she believed the possibility existed that he did?

Metullus 17th December 2015 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11036137)
Maybe, but her history suggests she was pretty sure of her thinking when giving him an effective year sentence. After all, if he was known to have deliberately killed her no one would argue any mitigation.

You have yet to indicate in what way the prosecution's suggestions were idiotic. You have only pointed out that the judge in this case made an error in judgement...

trustbutverify 17th December 2015 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11036183)
Well no, by the sentence she clearly agreed with the defence, not the prosecution. There is no middle ground between the two, only one could be correct. I accept you think he deliberately killed Reeva, but I don't agree, and I don't think the judge did either, notwithstanding New York Guy's analysis.

Judges making terrible decisions is, in no way, a rare event. The prosecutions case didn't seem "idiotic" in any way to me. Unless "idiotic" is a word you use for any assertion you don't approve of.

TofuFighter 13th January 2016 12:14 AM

In the last few days it's been confirmed that OP has filed papers with the Constitutional Court, claiming that the SCA erred in applying an objective rationality criterion to him.

“The legal requirements for putative private defence were not a question of law referred to the SCA under section 319 of the CPA (Criminal Procedure Act). Therefore, with respect, the SCA had no statutory authority to interfere with either the trial court’s legal or factual finding of putative private defence.”

eta link for reading: http://mg.co.za/article/2016-01-12-o...ed-against-him

Samson 13th January 2016 05:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11076414)
In the last few days it's been confirmed that OP has filed papers with the Constitutional Court, claiming that the SCA erred in applying an objective rationality criterion to him.

“The legal requirements for putative private defence were not a question of law referred to the SCA under section 319 of the CPA (Criminal Procedure Act). Therefore, with respect, the SCA had no statutory authority to interfere with either the trial court’s legal or factual finding of putative private defence.”

eta link for reading: http://mg.co.za/article/2016-01-12-o...ed-against-him

It is pleasing to see he will persevere. Pistorius should fight to his last breath to show he never intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp. In his position I would.

trustbutverify 13th January 2016 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11076520)
It is pleasing to see he will persevere. Pistorius should fight to his last breath to show he never intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp. In his position I would.

He should claim he was just trying to wound her.

lionking 13th January 2016 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11076520)
It is pleasing to see he will persevere. Pistorius should fight to his last breath to show he never intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp. In his position I would.

This desperate last attempt will fair and will only enrich lawyers. He murdered Reeva and will do serious time, thankfully.

GlennB 13th January 2016 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11076520)
It is pleasing to see he will persevere. Pistorius should fight to his last breath to show he never intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp. In his position I would.

Missing the point, as ever. He intended to risk the life of *someone*, whether it was RS is incidental.

MikeG 13th January 2016 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlennB (Post 11077217)
Missing the point, as ever. He intended to risk the life of *someone*, whether it was RS is incidental.

Exactly.

The logic of Sampson's approach is that Reeva Steenkamp's life is worth more than that of someone , anyone, else. If you kill Steenkamp deliberately you are a murderer, but if you kill someone else deliberately you are only guilty of the equivalent of manslaughter.

newyorkguy 13th January 2016 06:22 PM

I'm not sure how the law works in South Africa but I was very surprised to read the grounds upon which Pistorius' lawyers are appealing the latest ruling (finding him guilty of murder). Specifically the lawyers are arguing that the "reasonable man" (or in this case "the rational person") standard does not and should not apply to Pistorius. From the link:
Quote:

Pistorius’s lawyers argue that the SCA erred by introducing an objective rationality criterion, of the “rational person”. In doing so, the SCA ignored Pistorius’s subjective state of the mind, in particular his anxiety disorder, his serious physical disability and his feelings of vulnerability.
The court erred by using objective reasoning? That's a new one.

I do agree that, essentially, Pistorius has already been judged not to have deliberately killed Reeva Steenkamp. The finding is that in firing four shots into the water closet Pistorius should have known (as would any reasonable or rational person) that the action would be quite likely to kill whoever was in the closet. I think most nations would consider that manslaughter (or the local equivalent). If a defendant takes an action of which a foreseeable result is someone getting killed, and someone does in fact die, pleading, "I didn't mean to kill them," is not a legally viable defense.

Except Pistorius is claiming that in his case it should be an adequate defense due to his anxiety disorder. That's ironic because aren't his lawyers basically conceding: The court got it right for rational people but not for Oscar.

Desert Fox 13th January 2016 10:49 PM

If we are arguing with issues of wrongful convictions, self defense cases should be ones to be avoided. They are just so messy and hard to tell. There should need to be something obvious which argues for innocence if we argue for them. Otherwise, just leave them alone.


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