Oscar Pistorius Trial – Your Heart vs the Verdict (Sept 16)

Fact based Reporting

by Rob Roman

research by Amanda Chen

scoob1Your Heart vs the Verdict

How are the majority of people in South Africa and the world responding to the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius case? The majority of people do have a strong feeling that Oscar Pistorius knew it was his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, standing behind the door. When Oscar fired 4, 9 mm Black Talon bullets from his Parabellum semi-automatic handgun into the door of a small locked toilet door, did he really think it was an intruder?

Knowing in your heart something happened and proving it are two different things, as the Steenkamp family, the prosecution, and the majority of onlookers are starting to find out. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high hill. Why do people feel like they do, and why did the judge make the decision she made? Let’s take a look inside the case.

Many Charges Dropped

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial has ended with a finding of culpable homicide and one count of illegally discharging a firearm at a public restaurant. This seems like a fair verdict, as it seems to be very difficult to prove that Pistorius knowingly chased after and shot his girlfriend to death on Valentine’s Eve 2013.

He was found guilty of the equivalent of manslaughter, because he acted negligently in shooting 4 times through a toilet room door without knowing who, if anyone was inside. Many people were sure that this was a heat of passion murder where Oscar lost his temper and snapped. There is good reason for that belief. Not guilty of 2nd degree murder sometimes means it just could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, not that it didn’t happen.

Why does this feel wrong?

Reeva-Steenkamp-FHM-South-Africa-6

Why are so many people, a majority,really, convinced that Oscar Pistorius did indeed lose control and try to shoot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp? This has to do with circumstantial evidence. You can say there is a reasonable explanation for almost any single piece of circumstantial evidence. You can even try to eliminate some of that evidence, as the Judge did, but when you tie it all together, it becomes very compelling.

As for the lesser charges, Judge Masipa ruled that Oscar could not be found guilty of illegally keeping ammunition, because his father claimed it was his, case closed. For the charge of firing a gun through a sunroof while riding with his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, and his friend, Daren Fresco, the finding is more convoluted. Samantha and Daren describe the same story of Oscar firing the weapon through the sunroof. As the two accounts varied in small details, as any two accounts will, the judge ruled that the witnesses accounts could not be relied upon. What? For the claim Oscar fired a weapon under the table at a crowded outdoor
restaurant, there was no getting out of that one.

The Story that could not be

Oscar’s story: Imagine for a moment that you did lose control, lost your temper in an argument and went after your partner with a firearm. Now imagine you lived in Oscar’s home and your partner ended up shot dead in the bathroom. You need to come up with a story. What would the story be? There’s not a whole lot of options. It will have to be a burglar. The simple question is how are you going to explain not knowing that it was your partner, and not a burglar, in the bathroom locked in the toilet room.?

You need an excuse that would 1) Prevent you from being next to your partner when you heard the noise. 2) Stop you from noticing what your partner is doing  3) Stop you from hearing your partner go off to the toilet  4) Stop you from seeing you partner.

Oscar-Pistorius-trial-evidence

The fan story does all these things. He is distracted, he is facing away from his partner, his hearing is affected by the fan and outside noises, he is going to the balcony, but he doesn’t go out onto the balcony. Finally, he CLOSES the curtains and the blinds, to make the room as dark as possible.

This is how Oscar will turn and get his gun from under the bed without ever seeing Reeva in that small bedroom, a story almost impossible to believe. This is where the LED lights of the stereo come into play. Who ever mentioned the LED lights? Who even cares about that? Oscar does. Only Oscar. How would he remember this? This is because he realizes that with that blue light from the stereo, the prosecution will say it was not pitch dark in the bedroom. So Oscar was sure to add this unneeded detail about throwing the jeans over the stereo. Only Oscar knows you can see quite well in the dark with the blue lights of the stereo on. He was so concerned about that that he adds the jeans over the stereo to his story. This along with him closing the curtains and the blinds before failing to see Reeva seals the deal. This story is a complete fraud.

Oscar cleverly adds the part where as he is arising to “get the fan”. According to him, Reeva asks him if he’s having trouble sleeping. How convenient, as this is intended to show he had known for sure she was in bed when he got up to “get the fan”.

Further, there already was a fan inside the bedroom. There was one for the balcony and one for the bedroom. The fan in the bedroom was being used. There was no usual place for the second fan to be plugged in. In other words, there is no need to bring a second fan into the room and it hadn’t been done in the past. The whole fan story is designed to get Oscar away from the bed and to get the door to the balcony open as a distraction and so oscar’s hearing would be affected by the fan and other outside noises. The fan story was made up, there is no need to get a fan. Oscar never went to get that fan.

Problems with the prosecution and the defense

Barry Roux, lawyer for Oscar Pistorius

 

Police initially investigating an accident instead of a murder, weren’t as careful to preserve the scene in photos. They moved the fan because it blocked access to the balcony door, etc. before they took photos. There was also a missing extension cord. Had they preserved the scene in photos properly, the case would have been a lock for guilty M2.

889-ajEZ5.AuSt.55

If Oscar had nothing to hide he would have just freely testified to his story rather than being so defensive and evasive and a bad witness as the judge said he was. It seems he was very worried about getting tripped up in his own story. Oscar did think of a story very quickly after firing a loaded weapon in a crowded restaurant. His first though after “Is anybody hurt?”. was followed instantaneously by “How do I get out of this?”. His answer was to convince
his friend, Daren Fresco, to take the rap. This is the only gun charge Oscar was convicted of.

Oscar’s Fan story is a simple story that explains how he didn’t notice Reeva wasn’t in the bedroom. It’s really the only story he could have thought up. It covers all the bases.

Miscelaneous Notes:

Oscar implores, the Judge ignores

The Judge wants to ignore two giant pieces of information. 1) There was an argument and it was a prolonged argument, heard by multiple independent witnesses. If in your exclusive neighborhood, you had a loud and prolonged argument, and your neighbor was being tried for murder that happened that same night, wouldn’t you come forward and tell authorities that you were the one having a loud and prolonged argument and not Oscar? I think you would. But no one came forward.

One person cannot have an argument. Oscar may have cried out in a high pitched voice, but this cannot be two people arguing, this is not a woman’s blood curdling scream.

The argument that everyone heard but never was

pistorius1n-8-web

There was loud arguing heard. One witness heard only the man’s loud, angry voice. In the intervals, whoever was arguing back could not be heard. There was screaming heard before, not after the gunshots. There was screaming that ended with the last gunshot. This was all testified to in court. This should not be ignored by the judge. The account that there was no screaming until after the gunshots, and that the only shots heard with screaming were the in between the shots and the sounds of the cricket bat breaking down the door just isn’t true.

A woman’s blood curdling screams were heard, gunshots were heard, Oscar’s distressed voice was heard, and the banging down of the door with the bat were heard. Oscar’s calls for help were heard. All these were heard. The idea that all these sounds were a one-man show by Oscar Pistorius is a good defense play, but really is just laughable.

Judge Masipa chose to believe the closest neighbors of Oscar’s, and
ignored the other witnesses.

Oscar’s pain was his gain

Oscar shows genuine pain and remorse. This in no way means that this must be an accident. Oscar’s pain and remorse are 100% real. He really is sickened by this event and he’s traumatized. He’s traumatized and remorseful because he scared his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp into the toilet room and then fired 4 shots through the door.

The meal that never happened

The Parabellum with "Zombie Stoppers"
The Parabellum with “Zombie Stoppers”

Oscar claims they were both in bed asleep by 10:00 pm. Stomach Food contents at autopsy suggest  that the victim most likely had a meal around 1:00 AM. Time of death was likely around 3:15 AM. Can someone eat and still have undigested food in their stomach 6 hours later? It’s possible, but highly unlikely. Two hours would be the most common time frame. Oscar claims they ate around 7:00 and were in bed sleeping between 9:00 and 10:00. It appears as if Oscar wanted to deny any argument by suggesting the improbable scenario that they were both peacefully sleeping before anyone heard any screaming.

Judge Masipa reasoned that they could have ate at 7:00 PM and then Reeva could have woken up around 1:00AM and unknown to Oscar, could have snuck downstairs for a sniketty snack. She could have, but is that reasonable?

Witnesses saw the toilet room light on before the shots were heard. Reeva had all her things packed, she was wearing shorts, only her jeans were out and she locked herself into the toilet room with her cell phone. All this contradicts Oscar’s story. Singular strands of circumstantial evidence in isolation can be explained away, but spun together they can make a rope strong enough to hang a person with.

Carrying the body and the finger in the mouth

Reeva-Steenkamp

While removing the body from the cramped toilet room to the bathroom may be a good idea, who would pick up the body and carry her down the stairs? Oscar claims he was told not to wait for an ambulance and to bring her to the hospital? Doesn’t that risk further injury? Who would do something like that? I think he should have waited for help before moving Reeva. This is a good way to tamper with evidence of what happened. Really, your only saving 30 seconds or a minute. As for Oscar putting his fingers in Reeva’s mouth, this would alert him if by some miracle she happened to still be alive. He could stop her before she
said something. I don’t believe she died in his arms, I believe she died almost instantly in the bathroom and Oscar knew it.

Buying time?

Oscar_Pistorius-360x540

Oscar tried to buy time by preventing security guards from coming to his home. He did not call an ambulance or emergency services. When security guards heard the commotion coming from the home, they called Oscar and he said “Everything’s fine”. Later he called security and asked them to call an ambulance. Was he trying to give them something to do to prevent them from coming to his home too quickly?

Oscar’s friends got there first and they found him coming down the stairs carrying Reeva. Of course he had the intruder story thought up right away. Really, it’s the only story he could have come up with. Of course, he lives in a gated communiuty surrounded by walls and patrolled by guards. He has a firearm, and an alarm system that he didn’t even bother to turn on, according to him (If the alarm really was on, he’s guilty of murder). It’s a dangerous city in
a dangerous country, but not really where Oscar was living.

The inevitable conflict that didn’t exist

Oscar+Pistorius+IPC+World+Championships+WUvcY1YYGNsl

Finally there’s personality factors which the Judge also dismissed as too prejudicial or meaning nothing. Oscar was a hot head with an incredible temper who would go ballistic in a heartbeat. That’s a fact. This is part of what makes him a successful professional athlete. Oscar said himself that the only thing he excelled in at school was nothing, so he turned to sports. His previous girlfriend before Reeva was a 17 year-old, and he dumped her in two seconds for Reeva. Oscar is an Alpha type male and quite chauvinistic, and he wasn’t about to change any time soon. Reeva was a refined law school graduate and model. She was very sensitive to domestic violence issues and outspoken against men who would try to control her. Oscar had a very tumultuous and volatile relationship with his previous girlfriend, Samantha Taylor.

Oscar’s Olympic Village roommate from London, 2012, moved out on him and changed rooms because of the constant yelling, screaming, and arguing between Samantha Taylor and Oscar Pistorius. Hello? London calling??

Seventeen years old? Hello? He threatened her with a gun. Hello? Johannesburg calling??

Oil and water

Tashas All White Party - Melrose Arch

This relationship was most likely not going to work out and they were not compatible. On Valentines day 2013, Reeva was scheduled to deliver a speech on Domestic Violence to a local school. On Valentine’s day 2013, Oscar did receive a shipment of personal firearms. Not that these two competing interests are irreconcilable, but although these two look on the outside to possibly be made for each other, on the inside they were not. Not unless Oscar was willing to go through some drastic changes.

2 eye-witnesses can’t be right?

Somehow, even though there were three people in the car when Oscar Pistorius allegedly fired rounds out of the sunroof, and even though the other two people involved said they witnessed this, the judge has decided it maybe didn’t happen. So, can we say that Oscar Pistorius was negligent, reckless, and indifferent to human life when operating a weapon? The judge says we cannot be sure. The circumstantial evidence is strong as a rope, though.

Appeal likely

Unlike in the U.S., where an acquittal is final, in South Africa an acquittal can be appealed by the prosecution. Maybe they will do so. The prosecution erred in having an overzealous prosecutor trying to force evidence to fit a conviction (insisting Oscar was wearing prosthetics when he fired the gun – He was not). Irregularities occurred at the crime scene and with evidence and some things are said to have gone missing. Of course, in the beginning, this was not looked at as a murder case. This means the evidence was not as tightly controlled at the start.

The prosecution bobbled it

This worked out very much in Oscar Pistorius favor by piling a lot of doubt on the prosecution’s evidence and creating sympathy for the accused. The prosecution’s many contentions of Oscar’ recklessness and impulsivity also ended up helping the defense, by making Oscar’s unbelievable story seem much more believeable, for a reckless guy like him. Oscar’s vulnerabilities due to a lifetime of disability were also factor.

Appeal likely if no prison time

 

"Bitch, Don't Kill my Vibe!"
“Bitch, Don’t Kill my Vibe!”

We will look forward to the sentencing to see if Oscar gets some much deserved prison time, how much community service he gets, and whether the prosecution will appeal the acquittal on the murder charge and take another try at him.

Oscar contends that he is very sorry that he chased Reeva Steenkamp into a toilet and shot and killed her. He’s sorry and he says he will not do it again.

Not significant? What’s app?

According to the judge, the “watts app” messages a few weeks before the shooting where Reeva is explaining why Oscar’s behavior has upset her, are not importanr. Relationships are dynamic, and people are fickle, she said. People are happy and crazy in love one day, and upset and angry the next day. But the judge has forgotten two very important things. The relationship was really only a few weeks old in terms of time spent together. The second is that Reeva was a law
student. Here she is documenting. She is putting it down in writing and revealing her feelings to Oscar. This can be seen as a written warning.

th (4)

She certainly is not fickle enough to just write down any negative experience she has. These are things she was very upset about. She wanted it down in writing. she wanted to see if Oscar was going to see that his behavior wasn’t acceptable. It was a warning that she wasn’t going to tolerate that kind of behavior if they were going to be together. Messages between the two reveal that Reeva had heard negative things about Oscar and was trying to decide for herself if they were true or not. Texts and IM’s between Reeva and Oscar reveal that Reeva was testing
Oscar out and starting to call him out on some of his behaviors and actions. The judge found this to not be conclusive about anything. Oscar also has a jealous streak a mile wide and Reeva had just completed a successful reality TV show and she wanted to do more. She was becoming quite a success on her own.
She was deciding whether or not to get serious with Oscar and she was still on the fence in spite of the Valentine’s “I Love You” card.

The toilet room is the key

The key seems like a major piece of evidence, because a person doesn’t normally feel the need to lock the door in the middle of the night from their sexual partner. The judge imagines that Reeva could have locked the door when she heard Oscar yelling to her to call the police. Reeva also took her smart phone with her. This can also have an innocent explanation: She needed a light to guide her or she just wanted to browse the net or check messages. But if she locked
the door because Oscar was yelling to her about an intruder, then why didn’t she call the police?

The key was also on the floor near the door, suggesting it was still in her hand when Reeva was shot. If she was locking the door for protection due to Oscar’s warning, why would she be holding the key? She wouldn’t have removed the key from the door. They kind of glossed over the other evidence about damaged tiles and a smashed in metal panel. There is evidence from the battered door also that there was more of a struggle going on than an intruder in the toilet room. Also, an intruder is not going to corner themselves into a tiny toliet room.

Get out of my house!

th (3)

Also, Oscar made it a big point that he screamed twice “Get out of my house”. This is a detail he would not generally remember. Maybe he said this because he was worried someone had heard him yell this before the gunshots were heard.

What woke the witnesses?

The witnesses were asleep, and you don’t just wake up and start hearing noises. This is another place the judger had it wrong. There had to be loud noises (probably screaming or the gunshots), that woke the people up in the first place. People were calling exactly at the time the cricket bat shots were heard. People do not respond instantaneously to loud noises. People need time to process things and to react.   They must have heard something EARLIER that woke them up and then something that made them call
security quite some time BEFORE the cricket bat shots were heard.

Reasons why the verdict was incorrect:

1 The fan story
2 Not seeing, hearing, feeling, having any contact with Reeva
3 The blue LED light
4 The prolonged argument (that the judge says never happened)
5 Telling security “Everything is fine.”
6 Previous incidents of negligence with firearms
7 The coroner’s report suggest Reeva was up at 1:00 AM
8 Reeva only knew Oscar 3 months
9 Reeva had only been with Oscar about 3 weeks total time
10 Reeva was already not sure about and feeling scared sometimes with Oscar
11 Oscar’s previous girlfriend said Oscar was threatening, controlling
12 Oscar’s previous girlfriend said Oscar never closed the curtains
13 Oscar always woke up/asked his previous girlfriend when he heard a noise
14 Witnesses saw lights on in the bathroom before shots were heard
15 Four hollow point bullets fired through a door = intent to kill
(It doesn’t matter if it was Reeva or an unseen intruder)

Reasons why the prosecution lost the case

1 The judge didn’t look at the reasonableness that ALL the circumstances as a whole could be possible.
2 Not just each circumstance singly, but all the circumstances together need to be reasonable.
3 For example, Reeva could have brought her smart phone to the toilet to use as a light. She could have locked the toilet door when she heard Oscar yell out. But if she locked the door because she heard Oscar yell, why didn’t she call the police?
4 Hilton Botha, the original detective, was under suspicion of murder, had to bow out of the case.
5 The prosecution was too agressive, made some mistaken assumptions.
6 The prosecution contaminated the crime scene and moved some objects.
7 The prosecution’s attempts to portray Oscar as impulsive and reckless backfired and made Oscar’s highly improbable story more believable.

Time Line

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7:00 PM The time Oscar says he and Reeva had dinner.
9:00-10:00 PM The time Oscar said they went to bed.
1:00 AM The time science says is most likely Reeva had her last meal
1:56 AM Argument heard by witness, could not speak English, only Afrikaans, couldn’t give the direction or what was being said.
2:20 AM Security drove by the home but heard nothing.
3:02 AM Ms. Stipps wakes up to arguing, later hears screams, shots.
3:10 AM Approximate time of the gunshots.
3:15 AM Dr. Stipps had gone to his balcony to hear better, heard screams, shots, calls security and hears the cricket bat shots while on the phone.
3:15 AM Apoproximate time of the cricket bat hits, neighbor’s calls start coming in.
3:19 AM Oscar Pistorius makes calls.
3:50 AM Reeva Steenkamp officially pronounced dead.

 

More Accidents

 

**UPDATE** Oscar can be disarmingly polite, courteous and even charming, but Reeva’s best friend’s Dad, her “Johannesburg Pop”, had to tell Pistorius to “back off” when he wouldn’t stop phoning and phoning Reeva and ‘backing her into a corner’.”

“(Samantha Taylor) said their relationship was tempestuous, with Pistorius often “screaming” at her. South African footballer Marc Batchelor said Pistorius threatened to break his legs and “f*** him up” when he defended a friend who was involved in a disagreement with the athlete over Ms. Taylor.

He said: “He phoned me up, saying ‘You piece of shit’, ‘You c***’, all that kind of stuff. He said he was going to f*** me up. I just laughed at him. I told him, ‘Oscar, I can’t hit a man with no legs’.””

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/oscar-pistorius-profile-the-triggerhappy-love-cheat-beneath-golden-boy-facade-9726566.html

“The athlete had to be locked in a room, punched tables and hurled chairs against walls after being beaten in the 200 metres final by Brazilian sprinter Alan Oliveira.

It was Pistorius’s first ever defeat over 200 metres. He was led away after an extraordinary television outburst on the track in which he accused Oliveira of having an unfair advantage because of the length of the blades attached to his legs.”

“Following the outburst he was ushered to an underground room of the Olympic Stadium where he erupted in a temper tantrum.

The double-amputee shouted and screamed at IPC officials before erupting in tears in what one witness described as being “just like a naughty three-year-old”.The athlete then began hitting tables, kicking walls and throwing furniture around as stunned officials gath ered outside the door.”

“It is understood that at various stages Paralympic chiefs went into the room to try to calm him down but each visit saw a fresh escalation of his hysterical reaction.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/510344/Oscar-Pistorius-Athlete-went-on-a-two-hour-rampage-at-London-Paralympics 

Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please comment.

You can also comment on Facebook at “Spotlight on law”

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotlight-On-Law/189870931203328

What does the evidence and testimony tell you?

 

Sources

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/oscar-pistorius-verdict-athlete-guilty-of-
firing-gun-in-restaurant-but-cleared-of-other-firearm-charges-9728370.html

http://ewn.co.za/2014/09/15/Oscar-Pistoriuss-ex-Samantha-Taylor-speaks-out?
utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

http://lawblogsa.com/2014/09/15/oscars-verdict-vs-reality/

http://www.wtop.com/220/3585886/Pistorius-trial-What-have-prosecutors-shown

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/11/oscar-pistorius-verdict_n_5801766.html

18 thoughts on “Oscar Pistorius Trial – Your Heart vs the Verdict (Sept 16)”

  1. Absolutely spot on with every point you made. Let’s hope Gerry Nel has a appeal. If justice is not served, will be terrible for a society where femicide is rife – with this unlawful verdict women killers will now get off very easily – using the intruder story. Judge Masipa really really let the country down, and she was the voice for Reeva, the silenced lamb.
    Well done on a brilliant piece.

    1. Amanda and I thank you. We heard that statistic about 3 women per day or 21 per week are killed by their partners. The intruder story is just too easy. We have a new article looking closely at Dolus Eventualis and exactly why we think Judge Masipa made her decisions. Thank-You! We appreciate it!

  2. Great job! And thanks for having the balls to do this… especially when so many journalists etc, have leapt back up onto the fence not daring to say what they ventured during the Trial for fear of being ‘politically incorrect’

    1. Forget politically incorrect! You’re going to make double sure your partner is behind you before you fire a gun through a door. Startle response? This is a trained professional athlete. He shot to kill, not as a fear/startle response. If Reeva was really there in the bedroom, he never would have fired 4 through the door! She would have been outraged and upset that he would not try to talk to the intruder or
      give the person a chance to give up. Thanks for your comment, Indigo!

  3. Yes, I believe you’re right. Oscars’s story was incredible right from the start – clearly the result of having to fabricate something on the spur of the moment. None of it makes any logical sense at all. And I’d agree with you about Oscar’s genuine remorse and grief when he came to his senses; realizing the implications of his actions and the impending loss of his coveted career plus ensuing legal drama.
    But the final and most incomprehensible aspect is the verdict. Are we to genuinely believe that Masipa and her advisors did not completely grasp the situation or is it possible that there may have been some conniving behind the scenes that made her turn a blind-eye?

    1. Indigo, I think Oscar was used to 17 year-old Samantha and their tantrums. He wanted Reeva as a way to improve his image, but he wasn’t ready for a legally trained mind that wasn’t going to put up with his baby games. I think it exploded on Valentine’s Eve. He lost it completely, so yes, I think his remorse is genuine. I don’t think there was anything behind the scenes. I think Judge Marsipa tried to be as lenient as possible to a SA legend and icon.

      Some people say that since the charge was the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, he cannot be found guilty of killing the intruder by anything other than culpable homicide. That is bizarre, since his intent was clearly to kill whoever was in the toilet room.

  4. Yes – but even more than that, I think Oscars’s problem has to do with being: a rich-spoiled-kid-syndrome and prone to having temper tantrums when he can’t have his own way.
    What on earth could he have been arguing about that would provoke SUCH a radical reaction??
    If (as it seems) he has a hair-triggered-temper then this sort of thing is bound to re-occur. Yet there seems to be nothing big enough to vouch as motive for this behavior.
    So I hear what you say about the premeditated murder charge, but why was Dolus Eventualis ruled out?

    1. He most likely started acting childish. As she is well schooled in law, she probably won the verbal arguments aand made him feel childish and foolish, then he probably started getting angry, so she likely told him she was leaving and then he just exploded in rage. It’s not the first time he has had violent tantrums.

      Dolus Eventualis got ruled out, imo, because Judge Marsipa believed Oscar’s story was reasonably, possibly true AND she did not believe he intended to kill a human being when he fired the gun into the toilet room door 4 times. I think she’s saying the prosecution didn’t prove that he foresaw he would cause a death and they didn’t prove that Oscar did not just have a fear-startle response and fire automatically.

      I say the height and arc of the bullet holes show he was shooting to kill. Of course the judge discounted reports of a delay between the first shot and the rest.

  5. Dolus got ruled out because judge actually believed this ridiculous story was reasonably possibly TRUE???
    Mmmmmmmmm, well it’s hard to believe that any logical thinking person could be that naive. How could a supreme court judge possibly be that naive?
    Nah – I cannot believe that.
    Therefore it really seems to be a case of deliberately turning a blind eye in favor of…
    Why on earth would she do that I wonder?

    And why would she overturn the testimonies of several good witnesses… all in favor of the (universally accepted) exceedingly poor witness of the Accused?
    Can you believe Masipa SERIOUSLY thinks that Oscar screams like a girl and that the whole scenario was only an amazing one-man show with Reeva just quietly standing by and taking in the bullets??
    I have heard the voice recording in which Oscar tries to sound like a woman screaming – which was prudently withheld from court. It is ridiculous! And to imagine that anyone let alone a judge could be deceived by this nonsense is even more ridiculous.

    How she could overthrow the testimonies of ear-witnesses – just because their clocks didn’t sync perfectly while she blithely accepts the MANY inconsistencies including lies from Oscar with a blanket covering of ’a poor testimony doesn’t mean the accused is guilty’ is telling indeed.
    This is a shameful travesty if justice IMO and the fact that the outcome just happened to favor a very wealthy individual is very curious indeed.

    1. I will have to wait on the sentencing to see what the full measure of Judge Masipa’s ruling will be. I agree with you on all these things. A “blood curdling scream” is something that is unique and comes from thousands of years of evolution. It’s from a recognition of impending great bodily harm or death, not from realizing that YOU have hurt or killed somebody. This idea of you don’t know who is screaming was used successfully in Florida vs Zimmerman, but it’s really been brought to new levels here.

      The Judge looks at the phone calls and sees that the door had to have been broken down around 3:15. This was very smart. Now, she has to look at all the ear witnesses, and see that all the arguing and screaming people heard cannot possibly just be between the gun shots and the cricket bat shots and three different tones: man, woman, blood curdling screams. Her analysis doesn’t go far enough after establishing the last sounds.

      I don’t see it as that bad….yet. Celebrities and Legends, like the rich, are very lucky in the law. They never seem to get punished like the rest of us. If Oscar’s career is ruined and he gets some years of prison time, that would be enough for me. Even if it’s 2 years, it’s enough, knowing that he would never serve decades in prison, as a celebrity. He has gotten away with too much already, he should not be allowed to walk scott free this time.

      His story is just unbelievable. That bedroom is so small. Reeva was awake a minute before he turned his back. The gun was under HER side of the bed, I believe. That puts him at eye level to her, yet he claims he never looked for her once he heard the bathroom window slide open. Never a thought that it could be Reeva? Wouldn’t that be your first thought?

      And then, after that, to never hear a sound from Reeva, or try to make some verbal contact with “the intruder” (Come out or I’ll shoot!). There was none of that. It is beyond unbelievable. your automatic reaction while getting the gun would be to know where people were.

      The idea that he was sorry and he wanted Reeva to live don’t make Oscar any less guilty in my eyes because I’m sure he knew she was dead before he got her out of the bathroom.

  6. Alas, I very much doubt that the poster-boy will be doing any prison time at all. I think he’ll get a suspended sentence as a first-time offender and do community service (that will also serve as a PR opportunity for him to redeem his soiled image by posing with disabled children) etc, in between training sessions for the next Olympics. So just a minor hiccup in his broader scheme of things.

    In retrospect I now cynically see that the writing was always on the wall. And amazing (to me) that all those nay-sayers who observed Masipa’s rather disconnected and almost naive outlook in court. And the very lenient, even sympathetic disposition she held throughout towards the Accused.
    All seem to hint that the outcome of this Trial was a pre-arranged affair for the purposes of public satisfaction as well as the media and the world.

    Another curious thing is the unruffled positive outlook which Uncle Arnold was able to maintain throughout the Trial. And his confident statements (after Oscar’s appalling testimony) that ’he had absolute confidence in Judge Masipa). Which is especially surprising since Masipa is well known to deliver harsh sentences for these sort of crimes as a rule.

    Such bright confidence in the darkest hour of the Trial also suggests that he already knew the outcome. Perhaps this trial was really just media penance where Oscar got a public flagellation in return for his get-out-of-jail-free card.

    1. Do you think he will get enough community service to interfere with his sports plans? Do you think Oscar will run into problems continuing with his sports career? I think no jail time, especially in light of his past transgressions would be sending the wrong message to Oscar and to society. It does seems like those dismissals are paving the way for no jail time. We will see.

      Yes, it could bemedia penance. He certainly has been through the wringer. It will be interesting to see if he has to turn to the legal system to be able to get back into competition. I don’t have any ill-will towards the guy. I just see all the signs that there was a crazy argument and he lost his head in a big way.

      If he was really that scared, he would have turned to Reeva for assistance. Especially if he was so worried. You also have to factor in the prosecution’s missteps and the fact he’s disabled. He says it takes 30 seconds to put on his prosthetics. I certainly would have if I was intending on firing a gun.

  7. Yes it would send the wrong sort of message to society as a whole if Oscar gets to walk away free.
    But now I can see that this Trail really wasn’t about upholding any lofty standard of Justice – people were saying that this was a opportunity for the South African Justice system to be showcased World-wide – what bollocks!

    While behind the scenes it was really about the exchange of large sums of cash and in this case it meshed with an opportunity for the hoi polloi to watch a celebrity vol-snot-en-trane being drawn over the rack. They could snoop through his house, look at his bedroom, ogle his collection of sunglasses and watches, and even read his personal mail… all quite disgusting in retrospect.
    A very long drawn out affair, a media circus all at the expense of the tax-payer.

    The fact that Reeva was educated and had her bright future eliminated at the impulsive whim of a reckless self-entitled boetie of the Broedebond matters not a jot in the legal scheme of things. The message is very clearly that the Law sides with the Money. Can you imagine how much money alone was generated just from the world watching this trial?
    Now there will be books and an endless amount of other spin-offs too. A cynic might even say in hindsight that murdering Reeva proved to be good business after all.
    It was never about Justice!

    1. Okay, that was a powerful statement! The more I look at this, I realize what Reeva Steenkamp’s purpose was. This is almost like an arranged marriage where Reeva was going to be the trophy wife who would bring Oscar Pistorius back to respectability. Raelly, friends of Oscar were trying to foist Reeva onto him. At one point he called and called and called her until Kim Myers dad had to tell him to “back off”.

      When they first met, she accompanied Oscar to some kind of awards ceremony. It seems to me that Reeva was needed to help “sell” Oscar. But she was much more that just a trophy girl and could probably beat him soundly in an argument. That would be all it would take to set him off.

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