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Tags murder cases , Oscar Pistorius , South Africa cases

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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:08 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
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
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:08 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Except he successfully defended his girl friend from endangerment from an evil intruder.
Sampson, I await a retraction and apology for being so wrong.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:10 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:12 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:18 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Sampson, I await a retraction and apology for being so wrong.
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
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.

Last edited by Samson; 3rd December 2015 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:24 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:31 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
.....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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:38 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:42 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
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).

Last edited by LondonJohn; 3rd December 2015 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:52 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 02:55 AM   #91
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Here's the appeal court judgement in full:

http://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/Genera...316c9e413b.pdf
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Old 3rd December 2015, 03:02 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 03:22 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 03:22 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 03:23 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 03:33 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 03:54 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
... 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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 03:56 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 04:08 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 04:19 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
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.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 04:23 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by katy_did View Post
.......I do wonder whether he'll appeal.....
It is my reading that the only appeal he has left is to the constitutional court, and the only grounds for that would be that some human rights law has been breached during the trial. Legal experts have said that there appears to be no such case to even answer, so, if they are right, he won't be appealing because he can't.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 04:26 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Well no, the state of the bladder proves Pistorius' story. No woman fleeing a threat sits and urinates.
It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong. It is irrelevant. When he fired through the door, no matter who he thought was behind that door, then he was committing murder.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 04:32 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
It is my reading that the only appeal he has left is to the constitutional court, and the only grounds for that would be that some human rights law has been breached during the trial. Legal experts have said that there appears to be no such case to even answer, so, if they are right, he won't be appealing because he can't.
There are some tweets from one of the legal commentators, David Dadic, which seem to suggest he may have some kind of case:

Quote:
4 - constitutional appeals are very hard to come by- I've only done 2 in 17 years - but I think he may have an argument- was his trial fair?

5 - Constitution calls for a fair trial - did the TV coverage allow for that? were witnesses intimidated by seeing Nel on tv?

7 - and again I really believe they have the finances to launch that appeal and I think n face value they have grounds to at least be heard.
Aislinn Laing then tweeted "Wonder if Judge Leach didn't perhaps nod to the open door to Constitutional Court appeal with ref to media glare?" and Dadic replied "Roux also mentioned it in his closing, at trial / sentence, it was always on the cards".

Presumably the argument would be that the trial being televised breached his right to a fair trial. To me that does seem like a reasonable argument because of the emphasis placed on him being a "poor witness".

ETA: Dadic also suggested the sentence might be a factor in whether they appeal, and that if he gets, say, three years real time they might not bother. It's a minimum fifteen, but presumably that can be suspended.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 05:02 AM   #104
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To my understanding, unlike Stand Your Ground states in the U.S., apparently in South Africa the standard for the use of deadly force is not what the defendant claims to have believed but the 'reasonable person' standard. Would a reasonable person have believed that the use of deadly force was absolutely necessary in this situation to protect themselves from imminent serious injury or death? Being that Pistorius, at best, did not who was in the bathroom or why, that no threats had been made, that he had the means to safely escape the apartment, that he had the means to summon police, I would think the answer is no: a reasonable person would have thought there were many alternatives besides using deadly force.

The other part was the judge's bizarre -- because that's what it was -- finding that someone who fires four shots through a door at a person on the other side could in no way foresee this action would be likely to kill the person on the other side of the door. That finding seemed incomprehensible.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 05:14 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
To my understanding, unlike Stand Your Ground states in the U.S., apparently in South Africa the standard for the use of deadly force is not what the defendant claims to have believed but the 'reasonable person' standard. Would a reasonable person have believed that the use of deadly force was absolutely necessary in this situation to protect themselves from imminent serious injury or death? Being that Pistorius, at best, did not who was in the bathroom or why, that no threats had been made, that he had the means to safely escape the apartment, that he had the means to summon police, I would think the answer is no: a reasonable person would have thought there were many alternatives besides using deadly force.
No, the reasonable person test applies to culpable homicide - it's an objective test. That's why Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide, because a reasonable person would have known that the force he used was excessive. Murder, on the other hand, depends on the person's beliefs and state of mind at the time, it's a subjective test. A person needs to have the necessary criminal intention to murder. If Pistorius believed there was an intruder and that his life was in danger from the intruder at the moment he shot, that's likely to be culpable homicide rather than murder (because he believed the shooting was lawful, hence lacked the necessary criminal intention).
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Old 3rd December 2015, 05:43 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
You really should look up the Confirmation Bias fallacy.
I don't expect he'd find anything if he did. Biases and fallacies are quite different things.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 05:46 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Sergei Walankov View Post
I don't expect he'd find anything if he did. Biases and fallacies are quite different things.
?
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Old 3rd December 2015, 06:12 AM   #108
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well I'm one who accepted Pistorius could be telling the truth, but I have no particular problem with this verdict. I understand the reasoning both behind the initial decision and this one and without sitting in the court and not being a South African legal expert, have to leave it to those experts.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 06:15 AM   #109
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Justice prevails, thank Ed.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 08:30 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by katy_did View Post
No, the reasonable person test applies to culpable homicide - it's an objective test. That's why Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide, because a reasonable person would have known that the force he used was excessive. Murder, on the other hand, depends on the person's beliefs and state of mind at the time, it's a subjective test. A person needs to have the necessary criminal intention to murder. If Pistorius believed there was an intruder and that his life was in danger from the intruder at the moment he shot, that's likely to be culpable homicide rather than murder (because he believed the shooting was lawful, hence lacked the necessary criminal intention).

Yes, but the court still has to decide whether this alleged "belief" was honestly held.

Example: I am walking down the street with a knife in my pocket when another man (whom I don't know and have never met before) approaches me walking in the other direction. As the man nears me, he reaches into his own pocket (it later transpired that he was reaching for his mobile phone). I pull out my knife and stab the man once in the heart, killing him. I might try to claim in court that I genuinely believed the man was reaching for a deadly weapon with which to assault me, and that therefore my own knife attack on him was justifiable self-defence. While this is a subjective test, the court can still decide that I am lying about what I claim to have believed, and thus convict me of murder.

And likewise, the judges in the Pistorius case are entitled to conclude that he is lying when he claims to have been acting in terrified self-defence. In fact, the confused and contradictory nature of Pistorius' defence and his various conflicting statements lends real weight to the prospect that Pistorius was making stuff up to try to avoid facing the harshest verdict and punishment. He contradicted himself on what he said he heard from behind the door, and whether he really believed the door was opening as he took aim to shoot.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 08:42 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
Yes, but the court still has to decide whether this alleged "belief" was honestly held.

Example: I am walking down the street with a knife in my pocket when another man (whom I don't know and have never met before) approaches me walking in the other direction. As the man nears me, he reaches into his own pocket (it later transpired that he was reaching for his mobile phone). I pull out my knife and stab the man once in the heart, killing him. I might try to claim in court that I genuinely believed the man was reaching for a deadly weapon with which to assault me, and that therefore my own knife attack on him was justifiable self-defence. While this is a subjective test, the court can still decide that I am lying about what I claim to have believed, and thus convict me of murder.

And likewise, the judges in the Pistorius case are entitled to conclude that he is lying when he claims to have been acting in terrified self-defence. In fact, the confused and contradictory nature of Pistorius' defence and his various conflicting statements lends real weight to the prospect that Pistorius was making stuff up to try to avoid facing the harshest verdict and punishment. He contradicted himself on what he said he heard from behind the door, and whether he really believed the door was opening as he took aim to shoot.
Well yes, clearly it does. In this case, the court must have decided it to be reasonably possible Pistorius believed he was shooting at an intruder, but not reasonably possible he believed his life was in danger at the time. Which, as I said above, is certainly quite a fine judgment to make.

Masipa really screwed up by not making the straightforward, and likely appeal-proof ruling that Pistorius did foresee he would kill the person behind the door, but that he believed that person was an intruder and that his life was in danger from the intruder. Instead she got bogged down by arguing he didn't foresee he would kill anyone - she likely meant he didn't foresee he would unlawfully kill anyone, but unfortunately for Pistorius that's not what she wrote....
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Old 3rd December 2015, 11:06 AM   #112
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Now that justice has finally been served in this case any discussion of Pistorius' innocence should be moved to CT, because injustice, it is not.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 05:09 PM   #113
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Don't start that. The whole point of this forum area was to allow discussion of differing views about legal decisions without somebody who was so sure of their rectitude shouting "CT is thataway ----->"

Jeffrey MacDonald is a hell of a lot more obviously guilty than Pistorius, and that thread's still there.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 05:37 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Don't start that. The whole point of this forum area was to allow discussion of differing views about legal decisions without somebody who was so sure of their rectitude shouting "CT is thataway ----->"
Rectitude has nothing to do with it, it's based on fact, exactly as the Appeal Court judges have ruled.

In short: Oscar Pistorius guilty: He knew someone was in there. He shot to kill. And that is murder.

It just doesn't come any simpler than this case. The original judge made a legal error in not using that simple formula above. Any disagreement with that is both spurious and contrarian.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Jeffrey MacDonald is a hell of a lot more obviously guilty than Pistorius, and that thread's still there.
Never heard of him.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 07:00 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Rectitude has nothing to do with it, it's based on fact, exactly as the Appeal Court judges have ruled.

In short: Oscar Pistorius guilty: He knew someone was in there. He shot to kill. And that is murder.

It just doesn't come any simpler than this case. The original judge made a legal error in not using that simple formula above. Any disagreement with that is both spurious and contrarian.

I agree and yet don't agree at the same time.

I thought Pistorius was going to be convicted of murder at the original trial, on exactly these grounds. If you look at the first part of the thread you'll find me saying so. In this I pray in aid a friend who is a Scots lawyer who spends much of his time in South Africa, whose business partner is a South African policeman. That was his opinion too.

However, when the verdict was announced I saw that point of view too. And my SA-resident lawyer friend wasn't fulminating about it. It seems to hinge on whether Pistorius's own state of mind should be the deciding factor, or whether it should be based on the reaction of a normal reasonable person.

I think Pistorius was lying about his state of mind. I think it's likely that he knew it was Reeva behind the door, but even if he didn't, he intended to kill whoever it was. I think this schtick about being afraid for his life is so much eyewash. But that's just my opinion. I could see the possibility that a judge believed it couldn't be proven beyond reasonable doubt that he didn't act out of a genuine (if irrational) fear for his life.

So I think it's more debatable than you present it as, even though I agree with your conclusions.

I think Samson is plain wrong, is partisan, and appears not to understand the issues in the case. Nevertheless, this forum area was set up as a space where people could discuss differing opinions about court judgements without fear of being consigned to Conspiracy Theories for the crime of disagreeing with a verdict. I'd like it to stay that way.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Never heard of him.

Try the front page of the subforum. The thread (tedious and boring as it is) is currently active and has MacDonald's name in the title.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 08:02 PM   #116
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Fair enough - well put.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 08:30 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
well I'm one who accepted Pistorius could be telling the truth, but I have no particular problem with this verdict. I understand the reasoning both behind the initial decision and this one and without sitting in the court and not being a South African legal expert, have to leave it to those experts.
It was and is difficult for me to understand how the defendant could discount the obvious possibility that the reason his bathroom was mysteriously occupied was that the other person staying in his home was using it. I saw nothing in his defense that reasonably indicated why he felt that possibility was beneath consideration.

I think he murdered his girlfriend because he was enraged with her.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 08:40 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
It was and is difficult for me to understand how the defendant could discount the obvious possibility that the reason his bathroom was mysteriously occupied was that the other person staying in his home was using it. I saw nothing in his defense that reasonably indicated why he felt that possibility was beneath consideration.

I think he murdered his girlfriend because he was enraged with her.
Kinda where I was in the beginning.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 10:14 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
I think he murdered his girlfriend because he was enraged with her.
I think that's pretty much what everyone thought.

The guy she was getting involved with was a forward, I think. Hard to blame Oscar if that was the case. Imagine losing a woman as beautiful as Reeva to a bloke who's slower than you with your legs off.
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Old 4th December 2015, 12:23 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
It was and is difficult for me to understand how the defendant could discount the obvious possibility that the reason his bathroom was mysteriously occupied was that the other person staying in his home was using it. I saw nothing in his defense that reasonably indicated why he felt that possibility was beneath consideration.

I think he murdered his girlfriend because he was enraged with her.

I don't think it's inconceivable that in the state of just waking up, and fearing an intruder, he might have believed his girlfriend to have been in the bed next to him. Those are not conditions that promote the most sensible reactions.
I don't know what his level of confidence is when not on his prosthetics, or whether he is generally rational at all, but it seems fairly clear that he has some emotional issues. Whether those stem in part from his having lived a life different from most people, I can't say.

That Pistorius moved towards the 'threat' seems normal to me. I don't think I would just try to hide, as Nel suggested a reasonable man would do. When i hear a noise in my house, i don't sit in my bedroom and wait, I go to see what it might be, and I don't think that's unusual at all. I don't think it would be any different of i had a gun.

If Steenkamp didn't respond to his shouting, there would obviously be no further clue that it was her in there. Pistorius could have thought it was an intruder, and might have thought it was an intruder who was armed. This is why I am unclear as to how he could have been adjudged to know that his (and Steenkamp's) life was not under threat.

In general, I had the overall impression that Pistorius was angry and arrogant. He seemed to have a fantasy of using his weapon, liked the idea of an armed combat situation, and that he might have wanted to use his gun in a situation like that. This strengthens the notion for me that he thought he was shooting at someone who wasn't Steenkamp. Did he intend to kill that person? very likely. Did he know that there was no threat to him? I can't see that.

The above being said, it's no secret that the media can make people appear different than they are. I am not sure that my impression of his personality is accurate, and I think people are much more likely to lean towards 'feeling' he was guilty because he was an ******* and because his girlfriend was beautiful.

As a south african, it's possible that I have all manner of bias. I know what it's like to be attacked, I know the general state of having to be alert. I may not want Pistorius to appear representative. As far as i'm concerned, the courts must make their decision, and that must be that. I am scornful of people who "know" that he is either guilty or innocent, because in the simplest terms, there will never be certainty.
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