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

LondonJohn 10th December 2015 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 11023656)
Pulling a trigger involuntarily four times would be abnormal.

Oscar is a gun nut. Gun nuts usually learn to use a gun properly, and one of the things you don't do is blaze shots off.

If it had been involuntary, I'd expect to see one or two shots and no more. The four is a deliberate action.


Absolutely. Two salient points are these: firstly, Pistorius had received extensive training in hand gun use - partly as a requirement for getting a firearms licence, and partly from his own additional private training. There is zero doubt that a) he knew exactly how to handle and fire the weapon he had in his hand that night, and b) he explicitly knew the law on when one can use a firearm and when one cannot.

And secondly, Pistorius actually admitted in one of his many-changing versions of events (can't remember whether it was in a police statement or in court testimony) that he took deliberate aim and fired the four shots off under full control of the weapon. That was the version where he was claiming that the "intruder" behind the door was about to open the door and attack him. It's only once (I would suggest) his lawyers got hold of him and had a good shake that he switched to - and maintained - the composite story that he thought the "intruder" was about to burst out of the toilet, but that the mythical sudden noise had made him reflexively and involuntarily squeeze the trigger (yeah, FOUR times......).



Quote:

Wasn't the door locked?

He can't be in danger is the door is locked. He would hear it being unlocked before seeing the door even begin to open. I agree with the court that if someone has locked themselves in a bathroom, someone outside the bathroom cannot be in immediate danger.

This was a big problem for Pistorius. He knew that all the evidence proved that the toilet door had been locked from the inside at and after the firing of the shots, since he (Pistorius) had had to break down the door to gain entry to the room (as evidenced by the broken and splintered door panels). Obviously if the door had not been locked, he could - and would - simply have opened the door in the normal fashion once the shots had been fired.

Now, had Pistorius been mentally astute from the get-go, he could perhaps have claimed that the bathroom door really had begun to open just a tiny bit - and that it was this which caused him to fire in self-defence. He might then have just about got away with claiming that Steenkamp had reacted to being shot by pulling the door shut again and quickly locking it before collapsing. That would then be consistent with Pistorius having to break down the door to gain entry.

But probably in the heat of the situation (and since he had so many other lies to be thinking about), Pistorius set in stone the fact that the toilet door had been closed and locked throughout the whole episode. I suppose the thought might have crossed his mind that trajectory analysis of the bullet paths might in any case allow the state to be sure that the door was closed when he fired the gun - but actually I don't think the trajectory analysis would have been able to determine with certainty whether the door was closed or just ajar - given that nobody knew with certainty what the position of the gun was as the shots were fired.

And on top of that, I would strongly suggest that Pistorius knew very well that the door really had factually been closed and locked throughout. And that's because I think he pursued Steenkamp to the bathroom, and had already tried to open the locked door. Indeed, I suggest that the very locking of the door by Steenkamp - thus preventing Pistorius from any ability to exercise his control over her - was a major factor in the enragement that culminated in Pistorius firing the gun through the door (probably, IMO, exacerbated significantly further by Steenkamp announcing through the door that she was about to call for help - with all that that would entail for Pistorius and his image).

GlennB 10th December 2015 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scordatura (Post 11023620)
If we're going to start nitpicking Oscar's movements the night he murdered Reeva again then let me add something that I couldn't resolve. Oscar said when he brought the fan in from the balcony he closed the curtains around it. How exactly did that work in such a way that no light entered the room?

I tried it with my own similar fan and couldn't get the curtains to close completely around it; no matter how I finessed them there was always a substantial gap. If I closed the curtains behind it then the curtains got sucked into the back of the fan, closing off the airflow. If I closed them around the fan it left an inverted V which allowed light into the room. The only way to keep the room pitch black would be to use clips or pins to close the curtains above and below the fan, and Oscar didn't do that.

The police photos show the fan entirely within the room, but with the curtains open pretty wide. If the fan had been at that spot, he could have closed the curtains entirely, but as I mentioned upthread he would then have been plunged into *total* darkness after being exposed to the balcony light. I don't think many would choose to do that, as it leaves you fumbling around in a pitch-black room.

The defence case was that the police moved the fan and opened the curtains to some extent.

Scordatura 10th December 2015 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlennB (Post 11023908)
The police photos show the fan entirely within the room, but with the curtains open pretty wide. If the fan had been at that spot, he could have closed the curtains entirely, but as I mentioned upthread he would then have been plunged into *total* darkness after being exposed to the balcony light. I don't think many would choose to do that, as it leaves you fumbling around in a pitch-black room.

The defence case was that the police moved the fan and opened the curtains to some extent.

I agree that it would have been difficult for Oscar to maneuver around the room in total darkness after losing his night vision. I can't remember if he turned the balcony light off or not.

As for the fan, it's hard to tell from the photos the fan looks awfully close to the curtains, which is why it made sense to me that he'd just snug the curtains around it. Maybe I'm thinking too deeply into it. Oscar's defense statement said that he brought the fan in, closed the doors, blinds and curtains which left the bedroom in pitch dark. In his EIC though he said he brought the fan in and closed the curtains around it. Going by that statement, when I tried doing the same I couldn't block out all the light.

Not much was made about the fan until it came up during testimony when Nel asked how he went out onto the balcony to call for help without tripping over it or knocking it over. That's when Oscar claimed police moved it. I can see an officer opening the curtains without thinking to let more light in but there's no reason to move the fan that I can see. And from the pictures, if it's in the original position then I think the curtains would impede any airflow behind it. Plus, IIRC the cord wouldn't reach the plug if it was where Oscar said it was.

Here's an article with a photo of the fan:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...m-9251722.html

See how close it is to the curtains?

newyorkguy 10th December 2015 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11022906)
I don't see it exactly that way. He heard a noise coming from the bathroom and armed himself. That does not demonstrate intent to kill.

I didn't mean his arming himself meant he intended to kill the person in the water closet. I meant in a legal sense, if you arm yourself and go to confront someone, then under the law, that means the shooter had the intention to use the weapon if necessary. Pistorius testified:
Quote:

"Then I heard a noise from inside the toilet, what I perceived to be somebody coming out of the toilet. Before I knew it, I fired four shots at the door."
He thought someone was about to emerge from the toilet and he took an action that could reasonably be foreseen as causing the death of the person in the water closet. Again, in a legal sense, if he holds his fire and a struggle ensued, even against an unarmed intruder, that would, I'm sure, have changed the legal finding. But he fired before he knew who it was.

In other words, in a legal review of an incident in your home where you admit you chose to pick up a loaded handgun, in doing that you are essentially taking legal ownership for whatever events follow. You can tell the court, "I only wanted it for defense," but a handgun is not a very effective defense unless you are prepared to use it.

Grey2000 10th December 2015 07:21 PM

Being a South African myself I can speak to the climate of fear. Its very real.

HOWEVER, I've experienced 3 separate home invasions, on two of these occasions I've had a partner lying next to me.

On both of those occasions my FIRST thought was to check that my partner okay, before I did anything.

(BTW in all three cases, luckily, screaming and shouting bloody murder was enough to scare the intruders away...)

It beggars belief to imagine that Oscar simply presumed that Reeva was still asleep in bed, and didn't check. Never mind the fact that he claimed he shouted for her to call the police NEVER questioning the lack of response from her.

No amount of 'fear' can address the stunning lack of logical thinking in his story.

In fact the only theory that fits the facts perfectly is the argument,seek refuge,enraged murder theory.

As for the bladder, that's probably a question of time. She could have going to the toilet 30 minutes before or something like that.I could be wrong, but there's probably way of telling exactly when she urinated.

Grey2000 10th December 2015 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 11023863)
Indeed, I suggest that the very locking of the door by Steenkamp - thus preventing Pistorius from any ability to exercise his control over her - was a major factor in the enragement that culminated in Pistorius firing the gun through the door (probably, IMO, exacerbated significantly further by Steenkamp announcing through the door that she was about to call for help - with all that that would entail for Pistorius and his image).

A well-supposed and, I believe, highly likely, scenario.

Desert Fox 10th December 2015 07:33 PM

Didn't Oscar live in a gated community with security? Doesn't that change things just a bit?

newyorkguy 10th December 2015 07:34 PM

There's another element to this incident that is being overlooked. I'm thinking of all the cops and legal advocates I've heard over the years saying, "Everyone forgets the victim. How about their rights?"

Is it proper to kill someone who is staying over for using your bathroom in the middle of the night without telling you? Because from Reeva Steenkamp's perspective, that is -- at best -- what happened to her.

The Atheist 10th December 2015 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grey2000 (Post 11024226)
It beggars belief to imagine that Oscar simply presumed that Reeva was still asleep in bed, and didn't check. Never mind the fact that he claimed he shouted for her to call the police NEVER questioning the lack of response from her.

Well said.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grey2000 (Post 11024226)
As for the bladder, that's probably a question of time. She could have going to the toilet 30 minutes before or something like that.I could be wrong, but there's probably way of telling exactly when she urinated.

It's a red herring and makes no impact on the case at all.

Bob001 10th December 2015 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11022806)
...
Pointing a gun is not intent to kill. His testimony suggests that he did not make a decision to kill anyone.

Pointing a gun may not be intent to kill, but pointing at someone and pulling the trigger four times sure as hell is. I might even be willing to consider the possibility that the first shot might have been the result of squeezing the trigger under stress. But not three more times. He indisputably intended to kill somebody, whether it was Reeva or an "intruder."

Bob001 10th December 2015 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grey2000 (Post 11024226)
...
HOWEVER, I've experienced 3 separate home invasions, on two of these occasions I've had a partner lying next to me.....

Damn, what did you do after the first one? Get an alarm system? Install better locks? Buy a gun? I doubt you said "Ah, that's just the way it is."

Bob001 10th December 2015 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grey2000 (Post 11024226)
....
As for the bladder, that's probably a question of time. She could have going to the toilet 30 minutes before or something like that.I could be wrong, but there's probably way of telling exactly when she urinated.

I don't understand this bladder business. Isn't it the case that a body pretty much releases its contents when its muscles cease functioning? How often does a body -- which might get to the coroner days after its demise -- have a full bladder at autopsy? And why does it matter? Is it implausible that after arguing with P., Reeva went to the bathroom for the usual purpose -- maybe preparing to leave the house -- without realizing that she was in mortal danger?

Grey2000 11th December 2015 01:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob001 (Post 11024395)
Damn, what did you do after the first one? Get an alarm system? Install better locks? Buy a gun? I doubt you said "Ah, that's just the way it is."

Unbelievably you just kind of get used to the situation in a sort of fatalistic way. I'm always amazed by how amazed people from other countries are when they hear stories of what we've come to accept as normal. I have to remind myself that my society's level of 'ambient violence' is not common in other countries.

So all you really do is beef up security as best you can. Hence every single suburban home having some version of bars, spikes, razor-wire, alarm systems, security gates etc.

Before my second home invasion I thought I'd secured the kitchen door with a very strong security gate. I was wrong, they simply brute-forced the weakest point, the lock, with a crowbar.

It has to be said though, I live in Cape Town, where burglaries are usually unarmed, often committed by teenagers. In Johanesburg you are much more likely to have armed robberies, with actual physical violence being committed.

I remember watching Louis Theroux's doc where he interviews a particularly bad character called Malerven where he describes how he gets what he wants. Including putting a child in an oven and threatening to turn it on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsgt0BYDHeI

Then you realize that for the criminals its not even a question of morality, its just what they do. Violence is a part of their skillset.

TofuFighter 11th December 2015 01:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 11023656)
Pulling a trigger involuntarily four times would be abnormal.

Oscar is a gun nut. Gun nuts usually learn to use a gun properly, and one of the things you don't do is blaze shots off.

If it had been involuntary, I'd expect to see one or two shots and no more. The four is a deliberate action.



Wasn't the door locked?

He can't be in danger is the door is locked. He would hear it being unlocked before seeing the door even begin to open. I agree with the court that if someone has locked themselves in a bathroom, someone outside the bathroom cannot be in immediate danger.


I have never been a fan of guns, I don't know enough about them to do anything but speculate whether a person could fire four shots in fright. As someone familiar with guns, you really wouldn't expect it of Pistorius, but it remains possible.

The door was apparently locked, but could Pistorius know that at the time? It was dark in the bathroom. If he did hear a noise, like the latch turning, it's possible he thought it was being opened so that the intruder could attack.

Since Pistorius' ammunition could pierce the door, could not an intruder's?

MikeG 11th December 2015 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11024531)
......Since Pistorius' ammunition could pierce the door, could not an intruder's?

Well, Pistorius knew exactly where to shoot. Any shots into that small cubicle would hit their target. Anyone on the inside of that cubicle shooting out would have no idea at all where to point the gun, particularly if they were an intruder entering the flat for the first time, and obviously with no knowledge of the layout. The idea that Pistorius thought his life in danger from shots from within a toilet behind a closed door is not tenable.

TofuFighter 11th December 2015 02:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desert Fox (Post 11024237)
Didn't Oscar live in a gated community with security? Doesn't that change things just a bit?

In what respect?
He did live in a secure gated community at the time, but i am not sure what the inference is.

TofuFighter 11th December 2015 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11024546)
Well, Pistorius knew exactly where to shoot. Any shots into that small cubicle would hit their target. Anyone on the inside of that cubicle shooting out would have no idea at all where to point the gun, particularly if they were an intruder entering the flat for the first time, and obviously with no knowledge of the layout. The idea that Pistorius thought his life in danger from shots from within a toilet behind a closed door is not tenable.

Any intruder who would have entered the cubicle would have seen the layout of the bathroom before entering it, having come through the window in the main bathroom area. Granted, someone inside the cubicle wouldn't know exactly where Pistorius was standing, but given that he was apparently almost constantly shouting at both the intruder and towards his bedroom, there would be some clue as to his position.
Pistorius was also on his stumps, so probably not moving too swiftly.

marplots 11th December 2015 03:14 AM

Many's the time I've wanted to shoot at whatever foul thing might be in a fuming bathroom stall. Not once did I want to open the door and see the author of the damnable deed.

TofuFighter 11th December 2015 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 11024223)
I didn't mean his arming himself meant he intended to kill the person in the water closet. I meant in a legal sense, if you arm yourself and go to confront someone, then under the law, that means the shooter had the intention to use the weapon if necessary. Pistorius testified:

He thought someone was about to emerge from the toilet and he took an action that could reasonably be foreseen as causing the death of the person in the water closet. Again, in a legal sense, if he holds his fire and a struggle ensued, even against an unarmed intruder, that would, I'm sure, have changed the legal finding. But he fired before he knew who it was.

In other words, in a legal review of an incident in your home where you admit you chose to pick up a loaded handgun, in doing that you are essentially taking legal ownership for whatever events follow. You can tell the court, "I only wanted it for defense," but a handgun is not a very effective defense unless you are prepared to use it.

IF we assume that he believed that Steenkamp was not in the cubicle, it is certain that he would believe that it could only be an intruder there. Firing before he knew who it was, then, becomes irrelevant, doesn't it? It is, in his mind, certainly someone who is potentially dangerous.

I think I am misunderstanding something in your second paragraph. If i intend to use a handgun for defense, and do, it is no longer a defense but an attack? (i need to read it some more, but i can't stay atm).

Desert Fox 11th December 2015 04:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11024559)
In what respect?
He did live in a secure gated community at the time, but i am not sure what the inference is.

It would reduce the likelihood of being attacked and potentially reduce the fear involved.

Samson 11th December 2015 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11024647)
IF we assume that he believed that Steenkamp was not in the cubicle, it is certain that he would believe that it could only be an intruder there. Firing before he knew who it was, then, becomes irrelevant, doesn't it? It is, in his mind, certainly someone who is potentially dangerous.

I think I am misunderstanding something in your second paragraph. If i intend to use a handgun for defense, and do, it is no longer a defense but an attack? (i need to read it some more, but i can't stay atm).

Interesting that caution is employed when accepting Pistorius' very straightforward narrative after accidentally killing his girl friend.
Always accept the immediate account and shoot it down later. All who have tried have failed, including Nel.

Desert Fox 11th December 2015 04:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11024713)
Interesting that caution is employed when accepting Pistorius' very straightforward narrative after accidentally killing his girl friend.
Always accept the immediate account and shoot it down later. All who have tried have failed, including Nel.

I kind of asked this elsewhere but am curious - If we operate the way you are suggesting, will a domestic violence incident where the victim dies ever be able to be prosecuted as a murder? It can always, or almost always be argued, as the defendant was afraid of an attacker.

Edit: Let us take the prosecution's basic case, no frills, where there is an issue between a boyfriend and girlfriend. The girlfriend retreats into a bathroom and locks the door. The boyfriend shoots her through the door. He claims that he though there was a burglar. If that is accepted, is there any ability to prosecute at all.

Samson 11th December 2015 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desert Fox (Post 11024722)
I kind of asked this elsewhere but am curious - If we operate the way you are suggesting, will a domestic violence incident where the victim dies ever be able to be prosecuted as a murder? It can always, or almost always be argued, as the defendant was afraid of an attacker.

Edit: Let us take the prosecution's basic case, no frills, where there is an issue between a boyfriend and girlfriend. The girlfriend retreats into a bathroom and locks the door. The boyfriend shoots her through the door. He claims that he though there was a burglar. If that is accepted, is there any ability to prosecute at all.

I just wish the discussion could be limited to knowledge of Pistorius.

Nothing else matters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAGnKpE4NCI

newyorkguy 11th December 2015 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11024647)
IF we assume that he believed that Steenkamp was not in the cubicle, it is certain that he would believe that it could only be an intruder there. Firing before he knew who it was, then, becomes irrelevant, doesn't it?

I think we're talking about two different things here. You're looking at this in somewhat of a moralistic, social point of view. I think you're also addressing this in terms of whether nor not it was actually premeditated murder of his girlfriend as many people obviously believe. I'm not. The evidence neither supports that or rules it out. I'm looking at this in terms of what the court decided and if they acted properly. I think they did.

TofoFighter are you arguing it was a justifiable shooting, thus Pistorius should not have been charged? The court has ruled, have they not, that his actions were unlawful? That fear is not always a valid defense for the use of deadly force, especially in a case like this where his actions took the life of a completely innocent person. Because of that there are legal consequences. The court has looked at the circumstances and said no, the threat did not rise to the level that justified the use of deadly force. If it had been a home invader found dead in the water closet would that have changed the legal consequences? If they turned out to have been unarmed? I would think Pistorius might still have been charged. It would have been easier for him to tailor his defense -- maybe by saying he knew it was an invader, he'd caught sight of them -- but if the person was unarmed or possibly turned out to be mentally ill he might well have been charged I think. If it had turned out to be some obsessed fan of his? Charged.

Apparently in South Africa there are certain criteria when a homeowner is legally justified in using deadly force and certain criteria when they are not legally justified. I've already described what I think are the reasons Pistorius was not legally justified in using deadly force in this incident. Two courts have obviously seemed to have agreed. The reasoning is that based on what Pistorius knew or could have known at the moment he pulled the trigger, it was not enough to justify killing. It is what it is.

Samson 11th December 2015 05:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 11024753)
I think we're talking about two different things here. You're looking at this in somewhat of a moralistic, social point of view. I think you're also addressing this in terms of whether nor not it was actually premeditated murder of his girlfriend as many people obviously believe. I'm not. The evidence neither supports that or rules it out. I'm looking at this in terms of what the court decided and if they acted properly. I think they did.

TofoFighter are you arguing it was a justifiable shooting, thus Pistorius should not have been charged? The court has ruled, have they not, that his actions were unlawful? That fear is not always a valid defense for the use of deadly force, especially in a case like this where his actions took the life of a completely innocent person. Because of that there are legal consequences. The court has looked at the circumstances and said no, the threat did not rise to the level that justified the use of deadly force. If it had been a home invader found dead in the water closet would that have changed the legal consequences? If they turned out to have been unarmed? I would think Pistorius might still have been charged. It would have been easier for him to tailor his defense -- maybe by saying he knew it was an invader, he'd caught sight of them -- but if the person was unarmed or possibly turned out to be mentally ill he might well have been charged I think. If it had turned out to be some obsessed fan of his? Charged.

Apparently in South Africa there are certain criteria when a homeowner is legally justified in using deadly force and certain criteria when they are not legally justified. I've already described what I think are the reasons Pistorius was not legally justified in using deadly force in this incident. Two courts have obviously seemed to have agreed. The reasoning is that based on what Pistorius knew or could have known at the moment he pulled the trigger, it was not enough to justify killing. It is what it is.

I am continually surprised that anyone here cares what SA law determines. There are only two questions

1. Did he know that Reeva was behind the door?
2. What is the correct penalty if

a he did.
b he knew it was an intruder

icerat 11th December 2015 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lionking (Post 11022724)
There is absolutely no evidence of this apart from Pistorius' self serving testimony.

what other evidence could there be?

Quote:

Why didn't he, as a first order priority, establish the location of Reeva?
Because he already "knew" where she was.

Quote:

No, the guy is a proven violent hothead. And a murderer without doubt.
No argument on the first. Second depends on legal nuances I'll leave to the court.

icerat 11th December 2015 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katy_did (Post 11020934)
There's also no evidence to positively support it, aside from incredulity that he couldn't not have noticed Reeva in bed, which is why it's such a dead end when it comes to discussion!

didn't the court establish (or at least, the prosecution not challenge) that from Pistorius position with the blackened curtains this was in fact quite credible?

icerat 11th December 2015 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hard Cheese (Post 11022742)
I'd think it would be quite easy for her to determine where OP's voice was coming from, auditory clues would be a giveaway. He'd be coming down a narrow corridor, the sound waves of his voice would have entered the bathroom and bounced around off the hard reflective surfaces, giving it a very distinctive echo-ey sound. If he'd been addressing an intruder from the main bedroom, his voice would be muffled by the wall in-between, and there would be far more sound absorption from soft furnishings (the blackout curtains, the carpet, the bed, etc)

Seriously? Now with the fear of a potential intruder you have her doing sophisticated acoustic analyses to determine where her boyfriend is? A smart phone app on the toilet I suppose?:boggled:

MikeG 11th December 2015 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11024763)
I am continually surprised that anyone here cares what SA law determines.

Why? It was the law under which Pretorius acted, and the law which he was found guilty of breaking. If you think he should have been tried under, say, Norwegian law, you probably ought to explain why.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11024763)
There are only two questions

1. Did he know that Reeva was behind the door?
2. What is the correct penalty if

a he did.
b he knew it was an intruder

No. No, no, no. You can keep on trying to frame this to suit your argument (that it's OK to shoot anyone in your house if you are frightened), but you are wrong. Shooting through a shut door knowing you are going to kill someone who hasn't threatened you is always going to be murder.

Samson 11th December 2015 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11024787)
Why? It was the law under which Pretorius acted, and the law which he was found guilty of breaking. If you think he should have been tried under, say, Norwegian law, you probably ought to explain why.




No. No, no, no. You can keep on trying to frame this to suit your argument (that it's OK to shoot anyone in your house if you are frightened), but you are wrong. Shooting through a shut door knowing you are going to kill someone who hasn't threatened you is always going to be murder.

I am only interested in the facts as he believed at that moment, which reduce to
1. He shot at Reeva
2. He shot at an intruder.

I am absolutely sure 2 is the correct answer.

And if anyone proposes a hybrid answer, he was not sure, so he shot anyway, then I will eat my hat.

Samson 11th December 2015 05:59 AM

By the way, if I wished to eliminate the Pistorius right to ordinary and completely flawed human status, and determine he is a character who represents unmitigated evil, I would also agree Reeva's empty bladder is totally irrelevant.

MikeG 11th December 2015 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11024810)
By the way, if I wished to eliminate the Pistorius right to ordinary and completely flawed human status, and determine he is a character who represents unmitigated evil, I would also agree Reeva's empty bladder is totally irrelevant.

Careful with all that straw. It burns you know.

I haven't said Pistorius was evil. I haven't said that he is anything other than an ordinary flawed human being. He made a bad decision: to fire a gun through a closed door. At that point, he deserves whatever punishment is thrown his way, and the state of the bladder of his victim is irrelevant. As it happens, I suspect that he may well have thought there was an intruder behind that door, and that Reeva was still in bed. That doesn't make it any-the-less murder.

Samson 11th December 2015 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11024850)
Careful with all that straw. It burns you know.

I haven't said Pistorius was evil. I haven't said that he is anything other than an ordinary flawed human being. He made a bad decision: to fire a gun through a closed door. At that point, he deserves whatever punishment is thrown his way, and the state of the bladder of his victim is irrelevant. As it happens, I suspect that he may well have thought there was an intruder behind that door, and that Reeva was still in bed. That doesn't make it any-the-less murder.

In that case I suggest you imagine it to be your son convicted of murder. I can't think of a more important question than who he believed was behind the door, and what import that should have for sentencing.

MikeG 11th December 2015 08:40 AM

There are boundaries in life, and in law. Killing someone without seeing them, without any idea of the risk they pose, is one of those boundaries. Of course, your hypothetical "my son" thing has no relevance, as A/ I don't have one B/ it is highly unlikely that my daughters would ever see a (another*) gun in their entire lives, let alone handle one, and C/ if they were to kill an anonymous someone without any assessment of the risk they were facing, then I would expect them to face the full weight of the law.

* There was a gun involved in the incident that led to my daughter's rape in Moscow a couple of years ago. She lives in a much saner society now.

MikeG 11th December 2015 09:15 AM

Let me just add this. If you have a gun, and you suspect someone behind a closed door is there to do you mischief, you have no excuse for pulling the trigger until you have had an answer to "I have a gun pointed at you. Identify yourself" (or words to that effect).........unless the occupant of the room does or says something to make it clear that they are preparing to attack you.

Bob001 11th December 2015 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11025010)
In that case I suggest you imagine it to be your son convicted of murder. I can't think of a more important question than who he believed was behind the door, and what import that should have for sentencing.

It doesn't matter who he believed was behind the door. Either he didn't know who was behind the door, or he knew it was Reeva. Either way, he had no right to kill a human being who posed no threat to him. His story doesn't make much sense, but even it convicts him of murder.

And consider this: Suppose there had been an intruder? Suppose it had been an unarmed teenage girl who intended to grab P.'s wallet and run? Would shooting her four times be justified?

whoanellie 11th December 2015 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icerat (Post 11024768)
what other evidence could there be?

Well, for example n this cases there were ear witnesses.

Samson 11th December 2015 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11025069)
Let me just add this. If you have a gun, and you suspect someone behind a closed door is there to do you mischief, you have no excuse for pulling the trigger until you have had an answer to "I have a gun pointed at you. Identify yourself" (or words to that effect).........unless the occupant of the room does or says something to make it clear that they are preparing to attack you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob001 (Post 11025097)
It doesn't matter who he believed was behind the door. Either he didn't know who was behind the door, or he knew it was Reeva. Either way, he had no right to kill a human being who posed no threat to him. His story doesn't make much sense, but even it convicts him of murder.

And consider this: Suppose there had been an intruder? Suppose it had been an unarmed teenage girl who intended to grab P.'s wallet and run? Would shooting her four times be justified?

There seems to be a concerted desire to say identity in bathroom is irrelevant, but I profoundly disagree. I would like to see a sentence that reflects a tragedy of killing a loved one in error, and I reckon the matter can be proved one way or the other. That is why I post the thread, not to say he is a murderer in law. I couldn't care less what the law says.

whoanellie 11th December 2015 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11025111)
There seems to be a concerted desire to say identity in bathroom is irrelevant, but I profoundly disagree. I would like to see a sentence that reflects a tragedy of killing a loved one in error, and I reckon the matter can be proved one way or the other. That is why I post the thread, not to say he is a murderer in law. I couldn't care less what the law says.

As I understand it, as far as South African law goes under the doctrine of dolus eventualis the identity of the person behind the door doesn't matter.

I agree with you that from a moral point of view the identity does matter. In my opinion he knew it was Reeva. Whether or not the prosecution proved that beyond a reasonable doubt is another matter. I think they did. But the original trial court disagreed. Thus we are left discussing the alternative theory which does not require that OP knew he was shooting at. Either way - he did or did not know he was shooting Reeva, OP is guilty under South African law and morally culpable. One could argue that OP's knowledge is relevant for determining punishment, but there is ample evidence to suggest he knew he was shooting Reeva.

whoanellie 11th December 2015 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icerat (Post 11024775)
Seriously? Now with the fear of a potential intruder you have her doing sophisticated acoustic analyses to determine where her boyfriend is? A smart phone app on the toilet I suppose?:boggled:

OP claimed to have known that the sound he heard was a window opening in the bathroom. Did he have to do a similar analysis?

Hard Cheese 11th December 2015 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icerat (Post 11024775)
Seriously? Now with the fear of a potential intruder you have her doing sophisticated acoustic analyses to determine where her boyfriend is? A smart phone app on the toilet I suppose?:boggled:

Good grief. :rolleyes: The brain can locate the sources of a sound in fractions of a second if there are clues. OP's voice is going to sound very different coming down the corridor and into the bathroom yelling at an intruder to "Get the F out of my house" than doing the same thing in the bedroom - especially to someone familiar with the house. If she could hear him coming towards the bathroom screaming, wouldn't she yell out "It's me! I'm on the bog!"?

MikeG 11th December 2015 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11025111)
There seems to be a concerted desire to say identity in bathroom is irrelevant, but I profoundly disagree. I would like to see a sentence that reflects a tragedy of killing a loved one in error, and I reckon the matter can be proved one way or the other. That is why I post the thread, not to say he is a murderer in law. I couldn't care less what the law says.

So, you'd like the judge to throw away the law book, make up her own law and sentence especially tailored for Pistorius, then offer him a box of tissues and an arm around his shoulders? You don't care what the law says, and everyone else does........but you're right and everyone else is wrong?

In arguing that, you'd have to accept that you would be setting legal precedents. Anyone who fired a gun with intent to kill without having a clue who they were aiming at would claim their right to so do under the Pistorius precedent, and all sorts of (other) murderers would walk free as a result.

Perhaps instead of arguing points of law throughout this thread, you should have avoided that altogether and just been up-front that your viewpoint on this was entirely emotional: you felt sorry for Pistorius who has not only lost his girlfriend, but has been sent to gaol too.

TofuFighter 11th December 2015 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 11024753)
I think we're talking about two different things here. You're looking at this in somewhat of a moralistic, social point of view. I think you're also addressing this in terms of whether nor not it was actually premeditated murder of his girlfriend as many people obviously believe. I'm not. The evidence neither supports that or rules it out. I'm looking at this in terms of what the court decided and if they acted properly. I think they did.

TofoFighter are you arguing it was a justifiable shooting, thus Pistorius should not have been charged? The court has ruled, have they not, that his actions were unlawful? That fear is not always a valid defense for the use of deadly force, especially in a case like this where his actions took the life of a completely innocent person. Because of that there are legal consequences. The court has looked at the circumstances and said no, the threat did not rise to the level that justified the use of deadly force. If it had been a home invader found dead in the water closet would that have changed the legal consequences? If they turned out to have been unarmed? I would think Pistorius might still have been charged. It would have been easier for him to tailor his defense -- maybe by saying he knew it was an invader, he'd caught sight of them -- but if the person was unarmed or possibly turned out to be mentally ill he might well have been charged I think. If it had turned out to be some obsessed fan of his? Charged.

Apparently in South Africa there are certain criteria when a homeowner is legally justified in using deadly force and certain criteria when they are not legally justified. I've already described what I think are the reasons Pistorius was not legally justified in using deadly force in this incident. Two courts have obviously seemed to have agreed. The reasoning is that based on what Pistorius knew or could have known at the moment he pulled the trigger, it was not enough to justify killing. It is what it is.


I'm not at all addressing whether it was his girlfriend. I am simply saying that on the assumption that it wasn't his girlfriend, it was necessarily an intruder and thus posed a danger in his mind.

It was posted earlier (my bolding):
Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 11009989)
<snip>
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.
<snip>

I am not arguing that the shooting was justified or that Pistorius should not have been charged. That it happened to be an innocent person behind the door is irrelevant. I agree that it makes no difference who was actually behind the door. I am only arguing that point 3 doesn't appear to have been met. Or if it has, then i haven't seen exactly what it was that convinced the court that it was.

Bob001 11th December 2015 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samson (Post 11025111)
There seems to be a concerted desire to say identity in bathroom is irrelevant, but I profoundly disagree. I would like to see a sentence that reflects a tragedy of killing a loved one in error, and I reckon the matter can be proved one way or the other. That is why I post the thread, not to say he is a murderer in law. I couldn't care less what the law says.

You're buying Pistorius' story completely. But it's not just about Pistorius. A smart, talented (not to mention beautiful) young woman was killed. Her family and friends -- and the world -- lost her forever. You sound like you think she was P.'s property to dispose of as he wished. P. killed a human being without any justification under the circumstances he himself describes. And that leaves aside the real possibility that he in fact chased her into the bathroom and shot her deliberately. P.'s celebrity is what saves him. If this had happened to a nobody, everybody would be sneering at his story and he'd be in prison for life.

Bob001 11th December 2015 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TofuFighter (Post 11025209)
....
I am not arguing that the shooting was justified or that Pistorius should not have been charged. That it happened to be an innocent person behind the door is irrelevant. I agree that it makes no difference who was actually behind the door. I am only arguing that point 3 doesn't appear to have been met. Or if it has, then i haven't seen exactly what it was that convinced the court that it was.

He wasn't in imminent danger -- and a reasonable person would have known it -- because the person behind the closed door couldn't see P., P. was free to retreat (including leaving the bedroom) or take cover, and P. was armed. There was no immediate requirement that he open fire to save himself.

Samson 11th December 2015 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 11025179)
So, you'd like the judge to throw away the law book, make up her own law and sentence especially tailored for Pistorius, then offer him a box of tissues and an arm around his shoulders? You don't care what the law says, and everyone else does........but you're right and everyone else is wrong?

In arguing that, you'd have to accept that you would be setting legal precedents. Anyone who fired a gun with intent to kill without having a clue who they were aiming at would claim their right to so do under the Pistorius precedent, and all sorts of (other) murderers would walk free as a result.

Perhaps instead of arguing points of law throughout this thread, you should have avoided that altogether and just been up-front that your viewpoint on this was entirely emotional: you felt sorry for Pistorius who has not only lost his girlfriend, but has been sent to gaol too.

That gets close to my view. Seldom is murder achieved through a bathroom door. Law occludes the issues that matter here. A fearful society armed with guns will get to this undesirable destination from time to time. Don't blame the hapless individual anymore than with serial obesity that kills far more.

TofuFighter 11th December 2015 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desert Fox (Post 11024680)
It would reduce the likelihood of being attacked and potentially reduce the fear involved.

It would certainly reduce the likelihood of attack, but not eliminate it. It might even be argued that an intruder in a secure estate might need to be more sophisticated which might increase the fear.
Pistorius was correct that someone was in his bathroom. If he thought it was an intruder, he would have been fearful of the reality he faced rather than surmising that it was too unlikely to be happening.

Samson 11th December 2015 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob001 (Post 11025213)
You're buying Pistorius' story completely. But it's not just about Pistorius. A smart, talented (not to mention beautiful) young woman was killed. Her family and friends -- and the world -- lost her forever. You sound like you think she was P.'s property to dispose of as he wished. P. killed a human being without any justification under the circumstances he himself describes. And that leaves aside the real possibility that he in fact chased her into the bathroom and shot her deliberately. P.'s celebrity is what saves him. If this had happened to a nobody, everybody would be sneering at his story and he'd be in prison for life.

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.

TofuFighter 11th December 2015 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob001 (Post 11025224)
He wasn't in imminent danger -- and a reasonable person would have known it -- because the person behind the closed door couldn't see P., P. was free to retreat (including leaving the bedroom) or take cover, and P. was armed. There was no immediate requirement that he open fire to save himself.

I can accept that.

Samson 11th December 2015 11:09 AM

People's reaction to this case is a litmus test for all cases where the immediate reaction is to trust judgement and authority.
Crap.


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