International Skeptics Forum

International Skeptics Forum (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumindex.php)
-   Trials and Errors (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=106)
-   -   Oscar Pistorius shoots girlfriend - Part 2 (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285175)

Ampulla of Vater 22nd October 2015 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 10942242)
To make the point I had to resort to the facts as Oscar imagined them. You and LK can assert that he knew Reeva was behind the door, but I totally reject that proposition. It is ridiculous, just a ticket to hell for him.

Because Icerat and the math lady arrived at the same conclusion. Solid evidence you've got going there.

Samson 23rd October 2015 02:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ampulla of Vater (Post 10942441)
Because Icerat and the math lady arrived at the same conclusion. Solid evidence you've got going there.

Math lady is one weird chick, but robust. She proved to her minions they were wasting time on Raffaele calling polis while postals were already there. She was totally rigorous, as she was sustaining Pistorius' account of his tragic night. Icerat was the same. Why fight logic and careful analysis?

newyorkguy 23rd October 2015 01:08 PM

The depth of despair Oscar Pistorius feels at losing the love of his life. How badly this has effected him, losing the woman he loved and cherished, by his own hand. Maybe that's overdoing it a tad? Because according to June Steenkamp, Reeva's mother, they had been dating for three months.

Mrs. Steenkamp also says:
Quote:

“I did not know he had guns or was shooting them out of cars, or his lifestyle in the fast lane. I knew nothing of that," she said. "Reeva was afraid, I think, to tell me, some of the problems. She did say they were fighting all of the time, but you don’t tell your mother everything.” Links to news story
I think it's both admirable and understandable that friends of the couple would say everything seemed fine in their relationship. People in an abusive relationship often try to keep up appearances. Friends may be among the last to know. There's also the fact, that when your friends are a high profile couple, if you do say something newsworthy it's going to be reported in the media and your name will be attached.

How is June Steenkamp dealing with the violent death of her daughter?
Quote:

Steenkamp says she plans to start a charity to help victims of domestic abuse - but she repeatedly refused to say whether such abuse was part of her daughter’s relationship with her killer, superstar athlete Oscar Pistorius.
In case there's any confusion, "refusing to say" whether there was abuse is not the same as saying there wasn't.

Samson 23rd October 2015 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 10943896)
The depth of despair Oscar Pistorius feels at losing the love of his life. How badly this has effected him, losing the woman he loved and cherished, by his own hand. Maybe that's overdoing it a tad? Because according to June Steenkamp, Reeva's mother, they had been dating for three months.

Mrs. Steenkamp also says:


I think it's both admirable and understandable that friends of the couple would say everything seemed fine in their relationship. People in an abusive relationship often try to keep up appearances. Friends may be among the last to know. There's also the fact, that when your friends are a high profile couple, if you do say something newsworthy it's going to be reported in the media and your name will be attached.

How is June Steenkamp dealing with the violent death of her daughter?


In case there's any confusion, "refusing to say" whether there was abuse is not the same as saying there wasn't.

You are leaving out the fact the prosecution presented a scenario that was proved wrong. That is far more important than divining the extent and nature of possible abuse.

Ampulla of Vater 23rd October 2015 05:03 PM

The prosecution was not "proved wrong" at all. Pistorius was in possession of illegal ammunition and he murdered his girlfriend with said ammo.

Samson 23rd October 2015 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ampulla of Vater (Post 10944192)
The prosecution was not "proved wrong" at all. Pistorius was in possession of illegal ammunition and he murdered his girlfriend with said ammo.

He murdered her if he knew she was in the bathroom. Otherwise culpable homicide is a perfect charge to lay, and for that I could imagine a vast range of penalties globally, and it seems lenient in RSA I agree. So I take it you are stating categorically he knew he was shooting at Reeva?

newyorkguy 23rd October 2015 07:57 PM

The prosecution wasn't "proven wrong" about the murder being deliberate, either. The burden on police and prosecutors is to find evidence for that. Someone's state of mind can be devilishly hard to prove and, in this case, the state couldn't do it.

I don't know if Pistorius had a choice between a jury trial or by judge. But he (or his lawyer) was smart to choose a judge. I think a judge would be much more likely to be able hold the conflicting view that a) while his story may seem unbelievable, b) the burden of proof is on the prosecution and c) no real evidence was presented that proved Pistorius deliberately shot Reeva Steenkamp.

That's the way I feel. I do not find credible Pistorius' account as to how the shooting took place. However, I accept the fact that the state was unable to produce clear evidence the shooting was a deliberate attack on Reeva Steenkamp.

Samson 23rd October 2015 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 10944377)
The prosecution wasn't "proven wrong" about the murder being deliberate, either. The burden on police and prosecutors is to find evidence for that. Someone's state of mind can be devilishly hard to prove and, in this case, the state couldn't do it.

I don't know if Pistorius had a choice between a jury trial or by judge. But he (or his lawyer) was smart to choose a judge. I think a judge would be much more likely to be able hold the conflicting view that a) while his story may seem unbelievable, b) the burden of proof is on the prosecution and c) no real evidence was presented that proved Pistorius deliberately shot Reeva Steenkamp.

That's the way I feel. I do not find credible Pistorius' account as to how the shooting took place. However, I accept the fact that the state was unable to produce clear evidence the shooting was a deliberate attack on Reeva Steenkamp.

One reason I am strongly of the view he believed he was stalking an intruder is his no legs on status. This suggests profound urgency. On the other hand if anticipating a blazing row, he would prefer not to have her towering over him. It is worth remembering she was unlucky to take the head shot.

newyorkguy 23rd October 2015 08:43 PM

This can be another problem area because the only evidence we have that Pistorius did not have his prosthetic devices on is his word. As a judge told us (the jury) in a U.S. case, if we feel sworn testimony lacks credibility AND (this is a big 'and') the person testifying has a compelling reason to lie, we can set aside their testimony.

That's why I say, I don't believe anything Pistorius said to the police or in court but I agree there was not adequate evidence presented to convict him of a deliberate murder.

Samson 23rd October 2015 09:07 PM

I always expected legs on legs off to be resolved in a heart beat by ballistics and was surprised it was not declared almost immediately. I was not aware it is debated.

newyorkguy 24th October 2015 06:01 AM

Again you're arguing vehemently for Pistorius' innocence but you don't seem very familiar with the case nor the circumstances. A police ballistic witness said at trial that Pistorius "probably" wasn't wearing his prosthetics when he fired the shots through the door. However a forensic witness for the prosecution, Johannes Vermeulen, testified that the marks on the bathroom door -- from Pistorius breaking it in with a cricket bat -- suggest he was also not wearing his prosthetics when he swung the bat. Pistorius' maintains that he was.

My point is we don't really know. In recent times there has been evidence forthcoming that some police forensic analysis is basically educated guesswork and frequently wrong.

Samson 24th October 2015 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 10944736)
Again you're arguing vehemently for Pistorius' innocence but you don't seem very familiar with the case nor the circumstances. A police ballistic witness said at trial that Pistorius "probably" wasn't wearing his prosthetics when he fired the shots through the door. However a forensic witness for the prosecution, Johannes Vermeulen, testified that the marks on the bathroom door -- from Pistorius breaking it in with a cricket bat -- suggest he was also not wearing his prosthetics when he swung the bat. Pistorius' maintains that he was.

My point is we don't really know. In recent times there has been evidence forthcoming that some police forensic analysis is basically educated guesswork and frequently wrong.

At which point I would ask why you would disbelieve his account. Shooting a gun has a precise height of attack. Swinging a bat is very different. I find myself seeing the same old pattern of confirmation bias on the part of the prosecution. They lie, they know no other way. It happens all the time.

newyorkguy 24th October 2015 09:26 AM

Polling has shown the majority of South Africans don't believe Pistorius' account either.

As for the forensics, the angle of the shots or the battering of the door with the bat could depend on factors other than whether Pistorius had his prosthetics on. It could also be because Pistorius was firing from a crouch or how he was holding the gun. The angle of the blows with the bat could depend on whether Pistorius was swinging it the way a cricket player would, or cocking it behind his shoulder and using it like an axe or using it as a battering ram. With no other real evidence to go on other than Pistorius' account I don't think it's possible to know.

Do prosecutors ever lie? Yes they do. Do boyfriends ever kill their girlfriends? Yes they do. Do homeowners ever fire shots into an occupied bathroom without determining who might be in there? I would imagine it has happened but it must be exceedingly rare.

Samson 24th October 2015 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 10944999)
Polling has shown the majority of South Africans don't believe Pistorius' account either.

As for the forensics, the angle of the shots or the battering of the door with the bat could depend on factors other than whether Pistorius had his prosthetics on. It could also be because Pistorius was firing from a crouch or how he was holding the gun. The angle of the blows with the bat could depend on whether Pistorius was swinging it the way a cricket player would, or cocking it behind his shoulder and using it like an axe or using it as a battering ram. With no other real evidence to go on other than Pistorius' account I don't think it's possible to know.

Do prosecutors ever lie? Yes they do. Do boyfriends ever kill their girlfriends? Yes they do. Do homeowners ever fire shots into an occupied bathroom without determining who might be in there? I would imagine it has happened but it must be exceedingly rare.

Polling means nothing in these cases. We have the same poll numbers in New Zealand with the proven innocent by multiple pathways Mark Lundy. And 50% believe the same of David Bain. I have personal experience of explaining these cases to people who are left in no doubt, yet started believing them guilty. This is simply because the facts can be easily demonstrated, and this is always so with a wrongful conviction. It is certainly not me being clever, just that they have never drilled into the cases as I have.

Here is a vital piece of evidence in Pistorius' favour.

A post mortem report revealed that not much liquid was found in Reeva Steenkamp's bladder after she was shot dead, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

It was about a teaspoon-full, said Professor Gert Saayman, who had conducted the autopsy on Steenkamp a day after she was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius.


http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/201...mp-s-last-meal

That is about a minute's urine, therefore she had just emptied her bladder when she was shot. I see no possible explanation for this after a row, but a clear scenario exactly as Pistorius described it.

lionking 24th October 2015 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 10944946)
At which point I would ask why you would disbelieve his account. Shooting a gun has a precise height of attack. Swinging a bat is very different. I find myself seeing the same old pattern of confirmation bias on the part of the prosecution. They lie, they know no other way. It happens all the time.

By "his" I assume you mean Oscar's. Because it's self-serving. I don't believe he didn't notice his girlfriend was not in the bed he walked around and searched under for his gun; I don't understand how an innocent person would not ascertain the location of "the love of his life"; I can't accept an innocent person blazing away at a door without knowing or trying to know who was behind it.

An appeal before a competent judge will result in a harsher sentance.

lionking 24th October 2015 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 10945453)
Polling means nothing in these cases. We have the same poll numbers in New Zealand with the proven innocent by multiple pathways Mark Lundy. And 50% believe the same of David Bain. I have personal experience of explaining these cases to people who are left in no doubt, yet started believing them guilty. This is simply because the facts can be easily demonstrated, and this is always so with a wrongful conviction. It is certainly not me being clever, just that they have never drilled into the cases as I have.

Here is a vital piece of evidence in Pistorius' favour.

A post mortem report revealed that not much liquid was found in Reeva Steenkamp's bladder after she was shot dead, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

It was about a teaspoon-full, said Professor Gert Saayman, who had conducted the autopsy on Steenkamp a day after she was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius.


http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/201...mp-s-last-meal

That is about a minute's urine, therefore she had just emptied her bladder when she was shot. I see no possible explanation for this after a row, but a clear scenario exactly as Pistorius described it.

No it's not. Gee this game is easy to play.....

Samson 24th October 2015 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 10945473)
By "his" I assume you mean Oscar's. Because it's self-serving. I don't believe he didn't notice his girlfriend was not in the bed he walked around and searched under for his gun; I don't understand how an innocent person would not ascertain the location of "the love of his life"; I can't accept an innocent person blazing away at a door without knowing or trying to know who was behind it.

An appeal before a competent judge will result in a harsher sentance.

I have been doing a bit more digging, and found this post by Charlie Wilkes, who could be described as something of a crime analyst. No doubt you will dismiss it, but I don't.

I agree. Pistorius has presented a defense that boggles the mind, but I have learned never to underestimate the rank stupidity of a gun nut.

Here's an incident that happened a few weeks ago in my neck of the woods:

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013...-shooting.html

The cops were incredulous. But, they talked to everyone who knew either of these people, and they all (including the victim's family) agreed that it absolutely had to be an accident. There's just no way this particular guy would shoot his GF intentionally. In addition, he called for help immediately, and everything about the scene confirmed his account of what happened.

But how the hell did he manage to do this with a revolver??? The answer, I am told, is that he cocked the hammer.


http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=538

ETA Charlie's link has expired, but I recall reading it in amazement.

lionking 24th October 2015 04:38 PM

So both Icerat and Charlie Wilkes have come to the same conclusion and that's enough for you? Have a look at the Appeal to Authority fallacy.

Speaking of appeals, there will be one and I'm confident the sentance will change.

Samson 24th October 2015 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 10945473)
By "his" I assume you mean Oscar's. Because it's self-serving. I don't believe he didn't notice his girlfriend was not in the bed he walked around and searched under for his gun; I don't understand how an innocent person would not ascertain the location of "the love of his life"; I can't accept an innocent person blazing away at a door without knowing or trying to know who was behind it.

An appeal before a competent judge will result in a harsher sentance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 10945501)
So both Icerat and Charlie Wilkes have come to the same conclusion and that's enough for you? Have a look at the Appeal to Authority fallacy.

Speaking of appeals, there will be one and I'm confident the sentance will change.

I unashamedly admit to taking Charlie seriously for my own very good reasons. He is less convinced than me about Pistorius after rereading his few posts. The more I dig the more I like Pistorius' story. I don't care about his sentence, but I am very interested in understanding how the majority can get sucked in by crooked prosecutors, as we have here.
ETA look at what happened to Lindy Chamberlain, more of the same, prosecution doesn't believe her so they manufacture blood in a car boot. I am not sure why you Australians are spared these monumental cock ups, we have 7 in forty years in Little New Zealand.

quadraginta 24th October 2015 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 10945473)
By "his" I assume you mean Oscar's. Because it's self-serving.

<snip>


I don't have any strong feelings about his guilt or innocence one way or another, but just as a general observation it seems to me that anyone's testimony about their innocence can seem to be "self-serving" when the appropriate prior assumptions are made.

Even when they aren't, for that matter. It's sort of a truism.

Hard Cheese 30th October 2015 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 10945530)
I unashamedly admit to taking Charlie seriously for my own very good reasons. He is less convinced than me about Pistorius after rereading his few posts. The more I dig the more I like Pistorius' story.


I found a picture of Oscar Pistorius' story:

http://i.imgur.com/0rqNgvb.jpg

Samson 3rd December 2015 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hard Cheese (Post 10954496)
I found a picture of Oscar Pistorius' story:

http://i.imgur.com/0rqNgvb.jpg

Sage judge Masipa is about to be affirmed.

TofuFighter 3rd December 2015 01:42 AM

Woops. Not exactly: BREAKING: Pistorius guilty of murder.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/liv...steenkamp-live

Scordatura 3rd December 2015 01:51 AM

Quote:

June Steenkamp, the mother of Reeva Steenkamp, was in the court room today to hear the judges rule – in a unanimous verdict – that Oscar Pistorius was indeed guilty of murdering her daughter.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/liv...steenkamp-live

marplots 3rd December 2015 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scordatura (Post 11009941)

Uh oh.

MikeG 3rd December 2015 01:57 AM

As I understand it, this will mean the original judge re-sentencing Pistorius. Is this correct? Does anyone know the minimum (and mandatory?) sentence/s for murder in SA? Presumably he won't be out again in another year or so.

Skwinty 3rd December 2015 02:01 AM

Minimum of 15 years.

Sent from my SM-N910C using Tapatalk

Scordatura 3rd December 2015 02:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11009947)
As I understand it, this will mean the original judge re-sentencing Pistorius. Is this correct? Does anyone know the minimum (and mandatory?) sentence/s for murder in SA? Presumably he won't be out again in another year or so.

Yes, you're correct - Masipa will handle the sentencing if she's available. The minimum is 15 years for DE. Oscar will get credit for time served and Roux can argue for mitigating circumstances so it'll be interesting to see what the final number comes to.

lionking 3rd December 2015 02:03 AM

Justice for Reeva at last. He's a murderer and Masipa is an incompetent judge. She will be directed to make sure the sentence is appropriate this time, that's for sure.

lionking 3rd December 2015 02:06 AM

15 years will be good to see. Hell, even 10. Far better than the ridiculous slap over the wrist he got last time. This is a good day for the SA justice system.

MikeG 3rd December 2015 02:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11009959)
15 years will be good to see. Hell, even 10. Far better than the ridiculous slap over the wrist he got last time. This is a good day for the SA justice system.

Oh good, we don't disagree on everything ;) :D

lionking 3rd December 2015 02:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 10941285)
Except he successfully defended his girl friend from endangerment from an evil intruder.

Sampson, I await a retraction and apology for being so wrong.

MikeG 3rd December 2015 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11009963)
Sampson, I await a retraction and apology for being so wrong.

I wouldn't push this too hard. You may have missed an attempt at humour or irony.

Scordatura 3rd December 2015 02:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11009954)
Justice for Reeva at last. He's a murderer and Masipa is an incompetent judge. She will be directed to make sure the sentence is appropriate this time, that's for sure.

Masipa screwed up all right.

Quote:

Pistorius murder verdict: key points

The appeal court found that Judge Thokozile Masipa had made errors in law when reaching her original verdict of culpable homicide.

The appeal judges said Masipa was wrong in her application of dolus eventualis, as Pistorius “must have foreseen” that firing into the door could cause the death of whoever was behind it.

Masipa also wrongly conflated the test of dolus eventualis with dolus directus in accepting that the defence argument that he did not know the person behind the door was Steenkamp meant he could not be guilty of murder.

Masipa’s verdict was premised upon an acceptance that Pistorius did not think Steenkamp was in the toilet, but this was also wrong: the key thing is that the perpetrator knows his actions could kill that person, whoever it is.

The failure to take into account all the evidence – in particular, key ballistics evidence – amounted to a failure in law, the judges said.

Samson 3rd December 2015 02:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11009963)
Sampson, I await a retraction and apology for being so wrong.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11009965)
I wouldn't push this too hard. You may have missed an attempt at humour or irony.

This reversal is a travesty. Masipa understood that the sequence was 4 gunshots, then Pistorius screaming in anguish as he realised he had silenced his girlfriend with gunshots, then 4 strikes with the bat.

This is an absurd judgement.

ETA. Don't forget the empty bladder, and if you all have, maybe explain it in any context outside of a normal nocturnal episode.

lionking 3rd December 2015 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11009970)
This reversal is a travesty. Masipa understood that the sequence was 4 gunshots, then Pistorius screaming in anguish as he realised he had silenced his girlfriend with gunshots, then 4 strikes with the bat.

This is an absurd judgement.

And she was wrong. Comprehensively.

MikeG 3rd December 2015 02:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11009970)
.....Masipa understood that the sequence was 4 gunshots.........

That's all you need to know. At that point, having had a reasonable expectation that those shots would kill whoever was behind the door, he is guilty of murder.

The state of the bladder is a silly aside.

Samson 3rd December 2015 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11009974)
And she was wrong. Comprehensively.

I find it incomprehensible that the world at large has determined that this act falls within any statistical norm, if in fact Oscar Pistorius knew Reeva was behind that door. It fails every test. What occurred was a collective voyeuristic wish that this extreme act aligned neatly with an extreme character, and we could all rejoice as the pack deconstructed it. I am perfectly certain that Oscar's account is true and the only one that makes sense and fits the facts. As a non gunner, I don't particularly object to his pending fate.

LondonJohn 3rd December 2015 02:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11009974)
And she was wrong. Comprehensively.


Yes she was dreadfully wrong.

And Samson, I think that in this case, you've come to the wrong conclusion based on the available evidence. The critical point is that it is, in law, immaterial who Pistorius thought he was shooting at through the door. The important thing is that 1) he knew there was a human being behind the door, 2) he knew that his gun and its ammunition were easily capable of passing through the door and hitting the person behind the door, 3) he must (not should or could) have known that he was not in imminent danger of injury or death from the person behind the door, and 4) he must (not should or could) have known that by firing his gun and its specialist ammunition with aimed shots through the door four times there was a significant probability that he would seriously injure or kill whoever was behind the door.

All those four things, taken together, mean that dolus eventualis for murder has been met in this instance. The court never had to show that he knew (or even must have known, or even ought to have known) that it was Reeva Steenkamp behind that door rather than the mythical intruder. Personally, I think that as a search for the truth, its highly more likely than not that he did indeed know that it was Steenkamp behind the door. I believe that the most likely scenario by far is that they had an argument of escalating severity in the bedroom, and that she started to get dressed to leave the house. I think he threatened her or even physically assaulted her in the bedroom at that point, causing her to abandon getting dressed and run to the bathroom with her phone. I think she locked herself in the toilet, pursued by Pistorius with a gun in his hand. I think she probably signalled to him that she was about to phone either the police or a friend/relative, and that this is what pushed him over the edge as he realised the potential repercussions to him, both reputationally and potentially also legally. I think this is what enraged him into firing the shots through the door.

But I reiterate, all the court had to decide was whether he knew there was a human being behind that door, that whoever Pistorius believed was behind that door posed no imminent threat to Pistorius (or anyone else), and that shooting through the door was likely to seriously injure or kill that person. I suspect that Steenkamp's friends and family will never be entirely satisfied that the court hasn't ruled that Pistorius knew it was Steenkamp at whom he was shooting, but that was never likely (or, indeed, necessary for proving murder).

LondonJohn 3rd December 2015 02:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11009978)
That's all you need to know. At that point, having had a reasonable expectation that those shots would kill whoever was behind the door, he is guilty of murder.

The state of the bladder is a silly aside.


Indeed. Many people fail to understand that Pistorius' own version of events leads to a finding of murder. Pistorius acknowledged that he fired four aimed shots through that door, and that he didn't think that the door was opening when he aimed and fired (though he subsequently clumsily tried to claim that the gun went off reflexively in his hand). So even if one believes that Pistorius was pursuing this mythical intruder, he still had no right to aim and fire at this intruder through the door. After all, Pistorius - by definition - cannot have known even whether the mythical intruder was armed (by definition, since in fact it was Steenkamp behind the door), and he admitted that he must have known that he (and anyone else) was in no imminent danger. He also knew the power of the weapon and ammunition he had in his hand.

As an interesting thought experiment, it's worth understanding that if there truly had been a home invasion by an intruder that night, Pistorius' actions should also have resulted in a conviction for murder. One simply does not have the right to fire a powerful hand gun (with military grade ammunition) through a closed door, even if you think that behind the door there is a home intruder. In this thought experiment, had Pistorius seen the intruder in the bedroom waving a gun around before running to the toilet, or had Pistorius seen the toilet door opening, then he would probably have had justifiable grounds for self-defence. But if Pistorius purely heard the sounds of an intrusion, then went to the bathroom to investigate, and then realised that the intruder was behind the locked toilet door, then he would have had no justifiable ground to fire four aimed shots through the door.

Scordatura 3rd December 2015 02:55 AM

Here's the appeal court judgement in full:

http://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/Genera...316c9e413b.pdf

Samson 3rd December 2015 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 11009989)
Yes she was dreadfully wrong.

And Samson, I think that in this case, you've come to the wrong conclusion based on the available evidence. The critical point is that it is, in law, immaterial who Pistorius thought he was shooting at through the door. The important thing is that 1) he knew there was a human being behind the door, 2) he knew that his gun and its ammunition were easily capable of passing through the door and hitting the person behind the door, 3) he must (not should or could) have known that he was not in imminent danger of injury or death from the person behind the door, and 4) he must (not should or could) have known that by firing his gun and its specialist ammunition with aimed shots through the door four times there was a significant probability that he would seriously injure or kill whoever was behind the door.

All those four things, taken together, mean that dolus eventualis for murder has been met in this instance. The court never had to show that he knew (or even must have known, or even ought to have known) that it was Reeva Steenkamp behind that door rather than the mythical intruder. Personally, I think that as a search for the truth, its highly more likely than not that he did indeed know that it was Steenkamp behind the door. I believe that the most likely scenario by far is that they had an argument of escalating severity in the bedroom, and that she started to get dressed to leave the house. I think he threatened her or even physically assaulted her in the bedroom at that point, causing her to abandon getting dressed and run to the bathroom with her phone. I think she locked herself in the toilet, pursued by Pistorius with a gun in his hand. I think she probably signalled to him that she was about to phone either the police or a friend/relative, and that this is what pushed him over the edge as he realised the potential repercussions to him, both reputationally and potentially also legally. I think this is what enraged him into firing the shots through the door.

But I reiterate, all the court had to decide was whether he knew there was a human being behind that door, that whoever Pistorius believed was behind that door posed no imminent threat to Pistorius (or anyone else), and that shooting through the door was likely to seriously injure or kill that person. I suspect that Steenkamp's friends and family will never be entirely satisfied that the court hasn't ruled that Pistorius knew it was Steenkamp at whom he was shooting, but that was never likely (or, indeed, necessary for proving murder).

I see this case as a one trick pony, where the only interesting fact to be ascertained is the "knowledge of Pistorius". All punishment should accommodate this fact finding, and I agree completely with Masipa. I have said before that Icerat and Leila Schnepps made identical findings to Masipa, three fiercely independent analysts. I was shocked when everyone I mentioned the case to said guilty as sin as one, when I decided with no knowledge, the proposition of a wealthy man deliberately shooting his girlfriend was absurd, and that a completely plausible alternative theory was available.

Samson 3rd December 2015 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11009978)
That's all you need to know. At that point, having had a reasonable expectation that those shots would kill whoever was behind the door, he is guilty of murder.

The state of the bladder is a silly aside.

Well no, the state of the bladder proves Pistorius' story. No woman fleeing a threat sits and urinates.

lionking 3rd December 2015 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11010004)
I see this case as a one trick pony, where the only interesting fact to be ascertained is the "knowledge of Pistorius". All punishment should accommodate this fact finding, and I agree completely with Masipa. I have said before that Icerat and Leila Schnepps made identical findings to Masipa, three fiercely independent analysts. I was shocked when everyone I mentioned the case to said guilty as sin as one, when I decided with no knowledge, the proposition of a wealthy man deliberately shooting his girlfriend was absurd, and that a completely plausible alternative theory was available.

You really should look up the Confirmation Bias fallacy.

lionking 3rd December 2015 03:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11010016)
Well no, the state of the bladder proves Pistorius' story. No woman fleeing a threat sits and urinates.

No it doesn't. This post of yours is absolute rubbish.

Samson 3rd December 2015 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11010019)
No it doesn't. This post of yours is absolute rubbish.

I infer you suggest Steenkamp urinated while terrified. I do not buy that. Not at all.

GlennB 3rd December 2015 03:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11010004)
... the proposition of a wealthy man deliberately shooting his girlfriend was absurd, and that a completely plausible alternative theory was available.

You're still missing the point.

TofuFighter 3rd December 2015 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 11009989)
Yes she was dreadfully wrong.

And Samson, I think that in this case, you've come to the wrong conclusion based on the available evidence. The critical point is that it is, in law, immaterial who Pistorius thought he was shooting at through the door. The important thing is that 1) he knew there was a human being behind the door, 2) he knew that his gun and its ammunition were easily capable of passing through the door and hitting the person behind the door, 3) he must (not should or could) have known that he was not in imminent danger of injury or death from the person behind the door, and 4) he must (not should or could) have known that by firing his gun and its specialist ammunition with aimed shots through the door four times there was a significant probability that he would seriously injure or kill whoever was behind the door.

All those four things, taken together, mean that dolus eventualis for murder has been met in this instance. The court never had to show that he knew (or even must have known, or even ought to have known) that it was Reeva Steenkamp behind that door rather than the mythical intruder. Personally, I think that as a search for the truth, its highly more likely than not that he did indeed know that it was Steenkamp behind the door. I believe that the most likely scenario by far is that they had an argument of escalating severity in the bedroom, and that she started to get dressed to leave the house. I think he threatened her or even physically assaulted her in the bedroom at that point, causing her to abandon getting dressed and run to the bathroom with her phone. I think she locked herself in the toilet, pursued by Pistorius with a gun in his hand. I think she probably signalled to him that she was about to phone either the police or a friend/relative, and that this is what pushed him over the edge as he realised the potential repercussions to him, both reputationally and potentially also legally. I think this is what enraged him into firing the shots through the door.

But I reiterate, all the court had to decide was whether he knew there was a human being behind that door, that whoever Pistorius believed was behind that door posed no imminent threat to Pistorius (or anyone else), and that shooting through the door was likely to seriously injure or kill that person. I suspect that Steenkamp's friends and family will never be entirely satisfied that the court hasn't ruled that Pistorius knew it was Steenkamp at whom he was shooting, but that was never likely (or, indeed, necessary for proving murder).

I read all of the above points from the judgment, but i can't understand how the conclusion can be arrived at that Pistorius did not know he was in imminent danger.

katy_did 3rd December 2015 04:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 11009989)
But I reiterate, all the court had to decide was whether he knew there was a human being behind that door, that whoever Pistorius believed was behind that door posed no imminent threat to Pistorius (or anyone else), and that shooting through the door was likely to seriously injure or kill that person. I suspect that Steenkamp's friends and family will never be entirely satisfied that the court hasn't ruled that Pistorius knew it was Steenkamp at whom he was shooting, but that was never likely (or, indeed, necessary for proving murder).

There's actually more to it than this - even having decided the above, they still had to consider the putative private defence argument raised by Pistorius' defence, in other words that he believed the person posed an imminent threat to him (regardless of whether or not that was in fact the case, as clearly it wasn't here). The question is whether Pistorius believed at the time that his life was in danger, not whether a person thinking rationally would have had that belief. This would have been a defence even he foresaw that he would kill the person behind the door when he shot.

As long as Pistorius is convicted on the grounds that he believed he was shooting at an intruder, and not at Reeva, then I think either a murder or manslaughter conviction is reasonable - it's a grey area. But what did become very clear during the trial - and the only unambiguous evidence we have - is that the sequence of events was gunshots > Pistorius shouts for help > Pistorius breaks down door. There never were any female screams and the prosecution theory was deeply flawed; in that respect they're rather lucky to get a conviction based on a theory they never put any real effort into arguing. However, there's certainly a fine line between murder/manslaughter in those circumstances even if Pistorius thought he was firing at an intruder, and which side of that line it falls rests principally on Pistorius' state of mind at the time.

I do wonder whether he'll appeal on the grounds that a great deal of weight seems to have been placed on his confused testimony, and that unusually, that testimony was broadcast live as he gave it, and dissected on TV in real time. Arguably it was the impact of this trial being televised which led to the judge in the Dewani trial refusing to allow that to be broadcast live.

katy_did 3rd December 2015 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11010046)
I read all of the above points from the judgment, but i can't understand how the conclusion can be arrived at that Pistorius did not know he was in imminent danger.

Yes, it really is a very fine judgment to make, and I'm not entirely sure the SC judges convincingly addressed that point (though I haven't read the whole ruling yet, so maybe they did and it wasn't in the summary). They did say Pistorius' explanations weren't "rational", but rationality is completely beside the point here; beliefs and states of mind aren't always (or even often!) rational.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2015-19, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.