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Trial Discussion Thread #20 - 14.04.08, Day 18

Discussion in 'Oscar Pistorius' started by bessie, Mar 25, 2014.

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  1. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Oscar Pistorius: South Africa gears up for its 'trial of the century'

    (CNN) -- He was one of South Africa's favorite sons, an amputee track star who defied all the odds and sprinted into the hearts of millions during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She was a staggering beauty with the brains to match, a law graduate and model whose star was on the rise.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/01/world/africa/oscar-pistorius-trial-preview/



    Pistorius channel goes on air in South Africa

    http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_306483/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Ip4glGHn
    Watch live: Oscar Pistorius murder trial
    Follow events from Pretoria as paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in court accused of murdering his girlfriend, the model Reeva Steenkamp.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor.../Watch-live-Oscar-Pistorius-murder-trial.html


    Links:

    Full Indictment-4 Counts-107 Witnesses

    http://www.scribd.com/embeds/185695...=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=true

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/LIVE-UPDATES-Pistorius-broadcast-trial-ruling-20140225

    http://www.channel24.co.za/TV/News/DStvs-Oscar-Pretorius-trial-TV-channel-wont-be-tabloid-20140228


    Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/oscartrial199

    https://twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

    https://twitter.com/Debora_Patta

    Live Streaming:

    http://www.wildabouttrial.com/one_off/oscar-pistorius-trial-live-stream/

    http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/97919-oscar-pistorius-murder-trial-live-streaming.html

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/watch-live-here-oscar-pistorius-murder-trial-day-9/

    http://whoopwhoop.tv/pistorius2.htm

    Live News Feed

    http://cnnworldlive.cnn.com/Event/Oscar_Pistorius_trial_4

    Trial Video Archive:

    http://www.wildabouttrial.com/one_off/oscar-pistorius-trial-archive/

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  2. Harmony 2

    Harmony 2 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    [​IMG] link
    [​IMG]link

    Continue discussion here...
     
  3. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    Click on this link and read the judgements on diminished criminal capacity and you can now see why this diatribe by Oscar, teased by Roux, to reflect his fragile mental state has been highlighted.....his paranoid fear of burglary, his propensity to engage in violence in the heat of panic for himself or others preservation. ie saving Reeva from percieved threat, so they will claim he acted with diminished responsibility and the 15 year murder minimum could be 8 possibly 5 years total.

    Criminal Law ─ Sentence ─ Diminished responsibility ─ deterrence.

    http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2009/17.html

    'It must be underlined that diminished responsibility consists in loss of restraint and self-control (which does not have to amount to sane automatism to amount to mitigation). That is what happened here. The appellant killed the deceased but when he had 'lost control of [his] inhibitions' ie when his ability to exercise normal self-restraint was impaired.'
     
  4. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    Diminished Responsibility
    South African law, in line with Anglo-American jurisdictions,
    acknowledges that there are varying degrees of criminal responsibility. As a
    result, Section 78(7) of the Criminal Procedure Act (51 of 1977) states that:
    If the court finds that the accused at the time of the commission of the
    act in question was criminally responsible for the act but that his
    capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the act or to act in accordance
    with an appreciation of wrongfulness of the act was diminished by
    reason of mental illness or mental defect, the court may take the fact of
    such diminished responsibility into account when sentencing the
    accused.
    In terms of this provision, the accused may be suffering from some form of
    mental illness but the level of impairment experienced does not fulfil the
    requirements for the legal test of insanity. The pathology is then considered to
    be a mitigating factor in the degree of responsibility. A defence of diminished
    responsibility does not afford the accused complete exculpation, but may
    result in a reduced sentence instead of indefinite confinement to a state
    psychiatric hospital (Snyman, 2002)

    http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/psychology/psy400w/insanity.pdf
     
  5. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    So although I truly believe he has some serious mental health issues and he is displaying some of the classic signs of one psychotic dude, paranoia, delusions, outbursts of irrational temper, inappropriate actions in public, restaurant....its all for the money shot......
    Reduced sentencing because he's a first offender, whose judgement on the night was impaired by his irrational fear of intruders and he has promised he will never do it again. :twocents:
     
  6. MeeBee

    MeeBee New Member

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    The thing of it is, people who have the kind of psychotic/delusional disorders you are contending OP has cannot be held responsible for their actions. I can't see how this is a knock on OP. If OP is really that sick (which I don't believe) then the appropriate place for him would be a hospital, not a prison.
     
  7. sleuth-d-

    sleuth-d- New Member

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    yep entirely possible. unless they can convince the judge that there were the screams that he must have heard, and knew they were from RS. at any time before shots 2, 3, and 4. surely, then the fear of intruders defence falls down.
     
  8. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    Your right if he is that sick yes he should be, however what if his mental state is a transient one exacerbated by stress, herbal testosterone, past trauma. This what Roux is trying to establish...making him appear uncontrolled, a driven man whose legless state has him cloaked in paranoia/emotional stress (mind you Oscar made the legless-ness so not a thing in his statements yesterday, it didnt help Roux) they can pull the

    'South African criminal law now accepts four sources or bases for incapacity: youth, mental
    illness or defect,intoxication,and severe emotional stress.'

    The defence of incapacity due to mental illness or defect is known as the insanity defence. The defence of incapacity due to severe
    emotional stress has come to be known as the defence of non-pathological criminal incapacity.1

    http://criminallaw101andbeyond.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/responsible_mind-final_corrected2.pdf
     
  9. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    We just need another witness that heard the two lots of shots and Reeva screaming...where are they? Ngelethawa is a psychologist who lives right next door, perhaps he also had diminished capacity on the night and never heard a thing! Why on earth didn't Nel call him?...there must be a reason that I hope we get to find out.
    Again this makes me feel that the closest witnesses didn't need to be called as the state already had enough..that will come out..slowly.... to convict without them.
     
  10. MeeBee

    MeeBee New Member

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    But the defense is not saying he's insane, just that he has certain mental issues that may account for some of the decisions he made that night. The judge will have to decide if this is true. There is a difference between a non-psychotic mental illness and a psychotic one. Psychosis causes a break from reality, no matter how it's brought on or why. Even if somehow his psychosis is stress induced, it is still psychosis. I can't see any judge or jury sentencing a man who has a genuinely delusional mental disorder to time in a gen. Pop. Prison where his illness will go untreated or holding him responsible for his actions when his sense of right and wrong are clouded by his disorder. I don't see how anyone who truly believes OP suffers from these things wouldn't feel at least a little sympathy for him.
     
  11. MeeBee

    MeeBee New Member

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    Well, he called security that night so he must have heard something.
     
  12. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    Exactly.....'In terms of this provision, the accused may be suffering from some form of mental illness but the level of impairment experienced does not fulfil the
    requirements for the legal test of insanity. The pathology is then considered to
    be a mitigating factor in the degree of responsibility. A defence of diminished
    responsibility does not afford the accused complete exculpation, but may
    result in a reduced sentence instead of indefinite confinement to a state
    psychiatric hospital (Snyman, 2002)'
     
  13. MeeBee

    MeeBee New Member

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    Right, and schizophrenia or any other psychosis would certainly, without a doubt, 'fulfill the requirements for the legal test of insanity.'

    This bit of legal jargon being quoted is making a distinction between mental illnesses that may or may not impair responsibility, given various factors (sociopathy or any other personality disorder, PTSD, paranoia) and ones that definitely do (schizophrenia, psychosis, delusions, etc.)

    Totally different things.
     
  14. atthelake

    atthelake Former Member

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    Zwiebel and others that have done updates continually throughout. THANKS!!!! so much. Catching up through reading when I couldn't live stream has been priceless.... so wonderful and appreciated.
     
  15. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    And? They are two different things and although I was concerned his actions and his acts yesterday where indicative of someone who truly believed they where attacking an intruder and his paranoid stalker stories etc pointed to one who is suffering from more serious mental health issues..he is not insane....well he is in my book...but not by DSM....but he does fall into the class of diminished capacity because of his weirdness....if Roux and Oscar can pull it off. Or Nel can pull out the Go directly to Gaol card.
     
  16. MeeBee

    MeeBee New Member

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    Last post on the subject!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_criminal_law#Test_of_insanity

    Under the heading "Types of mental disorders":

    "schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, which are pathological, endogenous and capable of depriving the sufferer of insight or self-control, and which therefore satisfy the criteria of the legal definition of insanity;"
     
  17. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    And mine.

    http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/psychology/psy400w/insanity.pdf

    Other Defences Related to Capacity/voluntariness of the act – Sane and
    Insane Automatism
    The provisions within s78 (1) of the CPA are chiefly concerned with the
    extent to which mental illness affects criminal capacity. Thus while the court
    acknowledges that an offence has been committed, its chief concern is whether the accused can be held criminally responsible. However, there are instances where the court questions whether the act itself was voluntary, and in these cases the defence of automatism is raised. In this defence, an altered state of consciousness is presumed to result in a person committing an offence in an automaton state. When the voluntariness of the act is in question, it does not constitute an act in law and therefore the accused cannot be held criminally responsible (Kruger, 1999).
    South African courts, in line with Anglo-American jurisdictions, distinguish between sane and insane automatism. While the voluntariness of the act is central to both of these defences, a successful outcome has
    differing implications for the accused. In cases of sane automatism, an
    acquittal means that the accused is free, while in instances of insane
    automatism, the accused is remanded to a psychiatric hospital for an indefinite period of time.

    Sane automatism occurs when a person involuntarily performs an action
    while experiencing a change in his or her state of consciousness. This altered
    state does not have a pathological basis which can be linked to some inherent
    biological cause. Instead, the automatism is presumed to arise from severe
    psychological stress caused by life events, and results in ‘dissociation’. This
    complete splitting between mental and physical activity renders the person
    incapable of controlling his or her actions and consequently the act which is
    performed cannot be recognised as an act in law (Schopp, 1995).
     
  18. steveml

    steveml New Member

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    There don't appear to be many signs to suggest that OP's mental state was fragile prior to the shooting,
    other than the somewhat unnatural paranoia he seems to have regarding intruders.

    1. Speed-boat crash. More likely to be recklessness, carelessness, bravado, or egotism. Or a combination of any or all.

    2. Discharge of weapon in Tasha's. (see answer for point 1)

    3. Discharge of weapon through sunroof. (see answer for point 1)

    4. Driving car at dangerous speed. (see answer for point 1)

    5. Shooting of Reeva (see answer for point 1, with the addition of unnatural paranoia/fear of intruders).

    The actions 1 to 4 do not suggest to me anything more than an irresponsible 20+ year old male.
    They're not really the sort of incidents which suggest mental illness, unless stupidity falls within this category.

    When points 1 to 4 are taken into account alongside the discipline required regarding health, diet, fitness, and mental strength required to compete at sports at the highest level,
    I really do not believe there will be any claim of mental illness from the DT.
     
  19. Gavel Rash

    Gavel Rash Member

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    Oh but they do > 'South African criminal law now accepts four sources or bases for incapacity: youth, mental
    illness or defect,intoxication,and severe emotional stress.'
     
  20. MeeBee

    MeeBee New Member

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    Ok, for real last post on the subject, lol.

    Again, this is all to do with various diagnoses and whether they affect the level of culpability of an individual or affects their understanding of right from wrong. However, a diagnosis alone of schizophrenia or psychosis, which I believe you are saying you believe OP has, meets the legal requirements for insanity. By definition. Anyone diagnoses with these, genuinely diagnosed, will be found not guilty by reason of insanity, every time. None of this applies to those illnesses, but others that do not involve a break from reality.

    It's not even relevant to this case because the defense is not arguing a diminishment in culpability due to mental illness or a lack of understanding of right and wrong due to psychosis. Clearly, OP is completely sane. They are using any potential illnesses or non official issues he may have as an explanation for some of the irrational actions and thoughts he had that night that led to him shooting through a door. The psychosis would come in if he irrationally thought there was an intruder i.e. hallucinated that Reeva was someone else or hallucinated he saw someone he did not or heard someone that wasn't there or the voices in his head told him Reeva was a stranger trying to rob him. Clearly, there was someone in bathroom, making noises so, clearly, in OP's story, he did not hallucinate those.

    The defense is not saying he's insane, just that he makes poor choices that are a result of deep seeded, non psychotic issues. The judge will have to use the law to weigh his culpability due to these issues.
     
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