Trial Discussion Thread #48

Discussion in 'Oscar Pistorius' started by beach, Apr 13, 2014.

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  1. beach

    beach 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.702.co.za/shows/oscar_stream.asp

    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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  3. Harmony 2

    Harmony 2 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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  4. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Please continue the discussion here, and keep in mind that WS is a public message board whose members hold widely diverse opinions.


    Respect, courtesy, and common sense will go a long way and keep you out of here --->>> [​IMG]



    Thank you.
     
  5. soozieqtips

    soozieqtips Owned by a cat...

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    Well, I'm off the week beginning 7th August, so I'm going to invade my neighbour's house, and watch an almost life-sized Nel (life-sized compared to my laptop) give his closing arguments on her brand new 50-inch TV. Really looking forward to both sets of closing arguments so long as no green buckets pop up anywhere.
     
  6. Interested Bystander

    Interested Bystander Well-Known Member

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    Are the closing arguments definitely going to be televised? There seems to be some dispute in the press as to whether we shall see this or whether the arguments will be read into the record in a closed court? I shall be mighty miffed if we don't get to watch.
     
  7. soozieqtips

    soozieqtips Owned by a cat...

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    BBM - I would certainly hope so! We've seen most of the trial, so I don't see why we wouldn't be able to see the closing arguments. I'll have to email M'lady and explain my need to see Nel on a big screen! Joking aside, I can't think of any legitimate reason why it shouldn't be televised. It's not like the pathologist's report, which I assume was considered too graphic to be heard. The closing arguments are just all the bits and pieces finally coming together in a coherent narrative. I see no reason why they should be given in a closed court. Maybe someone with SA legal knowledge can chime in?
     
  8. pandax81

    pandax81 New Member

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    Thanks to AJ_DS for his kind post on the previous thread: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?249307-Trial-Discussion-Thread-47-14-07-8-Day-38&p=10756852#post10756852 This is my response (sorry for those who must find all this boring!)

    Hi AJ, my understanding is:

    The court will consider all the evidence, the prosecution case and the defence case, and then come to its own judgement on whether the charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    If there is a not guilty verdict on murder, a charge of culpable homicide will then be determined.

    Murder requires intent to unlawfully kill - there is no such thing as murder without intent. The weakest form of intent is dolus eventualis, ie you did not want to kill the person but you must have foreseen the possibility that this would happen. The strongest form is dolus directus - you wanted to kill. The mental state of the accused at the time - meaning his perceptions, knowledge, thoughts, foresight and aims - is therefore key in reaching a verdict on murder.

    A defence of putative private defence is an absolute defence against the charge of murder, ie it acquits the accused regardless of other evidence or argument. This is because by definition, the accused did not intend to unlawfully kill, they intended to act lawfully but were mistaken. It is not an absolute defence however against culpable homicide, as the accused may still have acted unreasonably.

    Your original point is that if a court finds an accused genuinely believed he was acting lawfully in self defence, this is not sufficient to constitute a defence of PPD. You say that in addition a test of reasonableness must be passed - it is necessary for the accused to show his belief he was under attack was reasonable. I say I'm not sure where you get this additional test from - I don't see how it can be in accordance with the law, if you didn't have intent to unlawfully kill, you cannot have murdered. You say this is irrelevant, because PPD is not a defence against the murder charge, it is its own separate case with its own aims to be tried, if and when the murder charge is not proven. This makes no sense to me, and I disagree. You also say it is a test of subjective reasonableness not a test of objective reasonableness, and I'm also not sure what this means.

    Please do correct me if I've misunderstood anything you've said
    Thanks again for the discussion, pandax
     
  9. eimajjjj

    eimajjjj New Member

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    Also looking forward to the closing arguments ! still haven't got any ideas on this question though:

    Can Nel introduce new damning testimony or evidence in his closing argument? I don't think he can, as theyd have to be submitted or put in the dock. However, can he make new points based on the evidence he's seen so far… I always point out the breathing/not breathing as a good example of that. E.g.New point but no bringing new evidence.. (Just rehashing OP's words )
     
  10. soozieqtips

    soozieqtips Owned by a cat...

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    Regarding the incident in the nightclub when poor innocent OP was apparently "aggressively interrogated" by Jared Mortimer for no reason at all... Uncle Leo said OP "was “grappling with an extreme level of emotional pain that is manifesting itself in some of his recent unwise actions and choices”.

    Okay, so what was his excuse for his "unwise actions and choices" in the months / years before he killed Reeva when he wasn't "grappling with an extreme level of emotional pain"?

    Uncle Leo didn't mention that.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...s-claims-about-Saturdays-nightclub-fight.html
     
  11. Interested Bystander

    Interested Bystander Well-Known Member

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    Worth a quick look. Two paras from a fairly long piece in the Guardian


    http://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ppeal-witnesses-refuse-testify-media-coverage
    Oscar Pistorius's lawyers hint at appeal over witnesses deterred by TV coverage
    Five people refused to testify owing to media attention, says defence as it wraps up its case in Paralympian's murder trial


    A source close to Pistorius said five witnesses had declined to appear because of the intense scrutiny. "It was a media trial," the source said. "Without the media, it would have been very different. You've got to be a halfwit to think it's a fair trial. The full truth hasn't come out."

    "A lot of the question revolves around Oscar's credibility and I don't think he did himself any favours with the legal strategies he adopted," said Altbeker. "The judge has to believe Oscar has taken her into his confidence. He's done the exact opposite and I think he'll live to regret that.
     
  12. Val1

    Val1 New Member

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    Just replying from the last thread:

    re http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?249307-Trial-Discussion-Thread-47-14-07-8- Day-38&p=10756959#post10756959

    I think we can all make a pretty good guess as to why we each think that seems to have occurred.. this article certainly seems to imply that it was to the defense's benefit to release it, at least the parts that they didn't redact.

    http://guardianlv.com/2014/07/oscar-pistorius-psychologist-report-published-in-spite-of-court-ban/#sZ8rGPUzvGDPdbP0.99

    Here's the report for those who haven't read it.


    http://www.scribd.com/doc/232687105/Oscar-Pistorius-psychiatric-report
     
  13. Cherwell

    Cherwell Active Member

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    Just picking out this sentence, as I think there's an interesting point here.

    There was nothing in Prof. Saayman's evidence that wasn't covered elsewhere in the trial, so at the time I felt a bit aggrieved that we hadn't been able to hear or read his exact words.

    However! This may now be useful becauses it rubbishes the DT's claim that they had witnesses who refused to testify because the trial was being televised or publicly broadcast. It demonstrates that they could have requested that their testimony not be broadcast, as Prof. Saayman did.

    I'm probably taking it too far when I say that I wonder if the PT foresaw such an eventuality, and arranged for one of their witnesses to make such a request.
     
  14. AJ_DS

    AJ_DS Former Member

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    Regarding the referral…

    The only character evidence available to the panel came from OP's family members and people on OP's payroll.

    Character evidence was first led at Trial AFTER the psyche assessment and therefore none was to be found in the Court record during the assessment because PT cannot lead such evidence unless the DT first opens the door to it.

    The sole legal purpose of the report is to determine if OP could be held legally responsible of his actions AND if OP suffered from a mental illness or disorder which could diminish his legal responsibility… (excluding sentencing)

    Results were, Legally responsible = Yes , Mental illness or disorder = No … that's it.

    The specific scores OP obtained for various tests will NOT be considered by Masipa during her deliberations… i.e. OP's empathy score (or whatever) cannot be used by Defence or State to bolster their case…

    e.g. DT cannot plead that OP is not likely to have shot and killed Reeva deliberately because he obtained a score of 80 at the UVW test.

    e.g. PT cannot plead that OP is likely to have shot and killed Reeva deliberately because he obtained a score of 30 at the XYZ test.

    Psychiatric and psychological evaluations focus on behaviors, i.e. the WHY

    Criminal Trials focus on actions, i.e. the WHAT

    The GAD diagnosis the DT hoped for was ONLY intended to strengthen the Putative Private Defence… GAD would serve to bridge the gap between the current subjectively unreasonable and the desired subjectively reasonable perception of a threat.

    As stated by Roux and Dr. Vorster, the GAD diagnosis would NOT have diminished OP's legal responsibility.

    Final thought on this matter… These psychiatric and psychological evaluations are NOT an irrefutable proof of one's personality and psyche… they are far from being a precise or exact science… they can readily be manipulated to some extent.

    These tests were designed to diagnose individuals who truly suffer from a mental illness or disorder… they were NEVER designed to establish (or help to establish) the guilt or innocence of an individual, nor determine if the individual is lying to avoid a prison sentence... healthy, balanced individuals are outside the scope of these tests.
     
  15. seattlechiquita

    seattlechiquita Active Member

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    I certainly hope so as well. I am anticipating a glorious display of oratory from Mr. Nel.
     
  16. AJ_DS

    AJ_DS Former Member

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    BiB… That's laughable… all of the DT witnesses that were heard in Court have not contradicted the State's case… in fact most of them have contradicted OP.

    To suggest that those unheard witnesses would have cracked the case wide open is truly pathetic.
     
  17. pandax81

    pandax81 New Member

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    BBM
    At least they got something right.
     
  18. AJ_DS

    AJ_DS Former Member

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    You are correct… neither Nel nor Roux can pull a proverbial rabbit out of their hat during closing arguments.

    However, we will have 2 kinds of surprises in closing arguments :

    1- Elements which were put into evidence but not in the Court record… meaning it can be used but it was not heard during the Trial… e.g. contents of phone data, expert reports, etc… I have a wager that Nel will introduce a 'mystery' Whatsapp message in his closing arguments.

    2- Interpretation of the evidence… this is a circumstantial evidence Trial and no matter how thorough we on WS have been at exploring possibilities and probabilities, the fact remains none of us had access to all of the material that was put into evidence and some that was not but that may have helped us formulate a different hypothesis… Nel and Roux have interviewed many witnesses that were not called upon but that may have shed useful information.
     
  19. AJ_DS

    AJ_DS Former Member

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    If some find this discussion boring, I'm not one of them… you have some very interesting points of a legal nature which is a refreshing spin on the discussion.

    I'll try and break it down as I see it :

    Private Defence requires a 3-step assessment :

    1- Objectively reasonable threat, e.g. the big angry husband armed with a machete was coming at you menacingly saying he would chop your head off for sleeping with his wife.

    2- No Objectively reasonable escape, e.g. you were pinned in the corner of the bedroom with your pants around your ankles, i.e. no way of escaping the furious husband.

    3- Objectively reasonable response, e.g. you drew your weapon and fired 1 warning shot, but the husband kept on coming at you, so you shot him.

    Putative Private Defence has the same 3-step assessment except the threat need not be objectively reasonable, it must be subjectively reasonable, i.e. considering the evidence as it was subjectively perceived by the accused, it is reasonable that the accused believed his life was in danger.

    Let's take it from here…

    I'll address your other points in other replies
     
  20. AJ_DS

    AJ_DS Former Member

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    Yes, by definition murder includes an intent

    I don't agree that murder requires proof of the mental state of the accused

    Imagine we had a CCTV recording with audio inside the bathroom where OP bashed the toilet door with the cricket bat whilst Reeva was in toilet cubicle screaming in fear and then OP drew his gun and fired 4 times at her... that's murder… what does it matter what OP's perceptions, knowledge, thoughts, foresight and aims were ??… they are irrelevant… they could constitute a motive, but a motive is not required.

    Now to the issue of PPD being the absolute defense to murder… again I'm not in agreement

    Yes PPD and Murder are mutually exclusive… but building a case of PPD does not weaken the State's case for Murder.

    The fact is that we have 2 very different stories (versions)…

    If one believes OP's story then the murder charge is ludicrous but it does not mean OP can automatically obtain PPD because he must pass the 3-step assessment… if he fails at the 3 steps he gets culpable homicide.

    If one does not believe OP's story then the PPD case is ludicrous and culpable homicide will not work either.

    Basically, if Masipa believes OP's story (in spite of all the evidence to the contrary), OP can hope for either PPD or culpable homicide… If Masipa rejects OP's story, OP can forget about PPD and culpable homicide, it's murder.
     
  21. Paul Connelly

    Paul Connelly Former Member

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    Couldn't agree more!
     
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