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  #1  
Old 14 February 2013, 01:40 PM
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Default Oscar Pistorius faces murder charge

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21459240

Quote:
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is facing a murder charge after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home in Pretoria.
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  #2  
Old 14 February 2013, 02:36 PM
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He's going to be convicted as he doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Hey, someone had to say it.

Given the past history of domestic abuse calls, it is going to be a tough case to show that he legitimately thought she was a burglar.
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  #3  
Old 14 February 2013, 03:01 PM
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Terrible, GenYus. Funny, but terrible.

To nitpick the OP article, he was an Olympic athlete as well. Which brings me to my comment:

Now murder and poor sportsmanship are not even in the same book, let alone comparable, but anyway. The bloke showed his true colors when after the whole hullaboo where he and his supporters used emotional blackmail to get himself into the Olympics, he then lost a race in the Paralympics and complained that the guy that beat him had blades that gave an unfair advantage over Pistorius's blades.
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  #4  
Old 14 February 2013, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
To nitpick the OP article, he was an Olympic athlete as well.
The BBC has now revised its headline and report to include the word 'Olympian' (perhaps they read your post!).

I agree about your comment regarding his sportsmanship. Whilst I admired his courage and ability I did not think it right that he competed in the Olympics. Still, if he is convicted then he will not compete in either again.
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  #5  
Old 14 February 2013, 08:38 PM
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A followup story on msnbc suggests that Oscar was a frequent shooter. The victim was shot 4 times, according to the same source. That suggests anger to me, not accident.

Ali
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  #6  
Old 19 February 2013, 02:30 PM
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Pistorius has now given his version in the bail hearing.

Quote:
the Paralympic and Olympic star said the two were in bed asleep on Wednesday night when he got up and went to the balcony to close a sliding door and get a fan. He heard a noise in the bathroom and assumed it was an intruder, he said. Feeling vulnerable without his prosthetic legs, he got his gun and shot through the door, he said. He then saw that Steenkamp was not in bed, he said. He broke the bathroom door down with a cricket bat, he said; Steenkamp was still alive but died in his arms. He denied that he had murdered her, saying nothing could be further from the truth.
On the other hand:

Quote:
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said there was an argument before the shooting, and laterPistorius got up from bed, put on his prosthetic legs, armed himself, walked seven metres to the toilet door and shot Steenkamp four times; three of the shots killed her. Even if he thought she was a burglar, it was still premeditated murder, Nel said. But he asked why a burglar would lock himself in the toilet.
I've got to say, even if one believed Pistorius' version of the story, it still sounds like a very negligent shooting.
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  #7  
Old 19 February 2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
A followup story on msnbc suggests that Oscar was a frequent shooter. The victim was shot 4 times, according to the same source. That suggests anger to me, not accident.

Ali
Certainly not accident, but 4 shots does not rule out shooting an intruder. Just like the Walton County Georgia shooting a few weeks ago (a mother who had retreated as far as she could with her kids), the tendency, and probably recommendation, is to shoot until you are sure the threat is over, and one bullet wound often does not end the threat unless it is a very effectively-placed shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by htonl View Post
Pistorius has now given his version in the bail hearing.

On the other hand:

I've got to say, even if one believed Pistorius' version of the story, it still sounds like a very negligent shooting.
Absolutely. There is no way that a well-meaning person fires through a locked, or even closed, interior door in an occupied dwelling (by more than the shooter) without verifying the identity of the person within (there are very limited exceptions, as when the person on the other side is firing through the door at you - the other person shooting is adequate identification of a threat, as I see it). Here in Georgia, his admission would amount to at least manslaughter (misdemeanor), and probably felonious reckless homicide.

ETA: I thought manslaughter was always misdemeanor. According to the website linked below, which is basically an ad for an attorney who specializes in homicide, a manslaughter under the right conditions can garner a 25 year sentence, so it would have to be a felony, if the circumstances warrant. OTOH, I did the search because I wanted to confirm if there can be a 'reckless homicide' in Georgia, and it appears there can be. It requires acting with a 'depraved disregard', and the example given is firing a gun into an occupied place without appropriate justification.
http://www.jeffhellerlaw.com/aop/geo...ughter-murder/

Last edited by A Turtle Named Mack; 19 February 2013 at 02:49 PM.
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  #8  
Old 19 February 2013, 09:29 PM
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South African law only recognizes two types of homicide: murder ("unlawful intentional killing of another") and culpable homicide ("unlawful negligent killing of another"). Of course the sentence varies to reflect the severity of the crime. Of the crimes that would be called manslaughter in Anglo-American jurisdictions, some would be considered murder here, and others culpable homicide.

My understanding is that our courts have tended to be fairly restrictive on justifications for the use of deadly force in defence of life or property. So even aside from the negligence involved in firing through a door without knowing who's behind it, I suspect it wouldn't be considered legitimate self-defence to shoot an intruder who was behind a locked door and not posing an immediate danger.
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  #9  
Old 10 September 2014, 02:45 PM
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Just a note for anyone interested that the verdict is going to be delivered tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old 10 September 2014, 02:46 PM
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Thank you for the reminder. I was following this case earlier and something reminded me of Pistorius just the other day.
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  #11  
Old 11 September 2014, 09:16 AM
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So the judge has already started reading her verdict, but apparently we're not likely to hear the actual result until late today or even tomorrow. First she's going to summarise the evidence, discuss witnesses' credibility, explain the law, etc. etc.
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  #12  
Old 11 September 2014, 12:05 PM
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Sky is reporting that he has been cleared of murder, but may still be convicted of a lesser charge.
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  #13  
Old 11 September 2014, 12:41 PM
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Yes, culpable homicide (manslaughter) is still on the table.
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  #14  
Old 12 September 2014, 10:32 AM
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Guilty of culpable homicide and one of the firearms charges.
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  #15  
Old 21 October 2014, 08:05 PM
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Oscar Pistorius was taken away in a police van with barred windows Tuesday to start serving a five-year prison sentence for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/oscar-p...eath-1.2806959

Not long enough IMO but at least it's something.
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  #16  
Old 17 August 2015, 06:20 PM
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Turns out it wasn't even 5 years. He's being released after serving 10 months.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/17/africa...617aVODtopLink
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  #17  
Old 18 August 2015, 09:45 AM
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The prosecutors are still also appealing the decision to convict him of culpable homicide rather than murder.

I realise the idea of the prosecution being able to appeal the trial court ruling may seem weird to UK or US readers. The prosecution isn't able to appeal decisions on questions of fact, only on questions of law; in this case it is about the legal application of the dolus eventualis principle.
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  #18  
Old 03 December 2015, 10:26 AM
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And he's on his way back to prison.

Quote:
Oscar Pistoriusí house arrest wonít last much longer after the Supreme Court of Appeal found him guilty of murder. In a judgment that was critical of trial judge Thokozile Masipa, and scathing of Pistoriusí own testimony, the Paralympianís original conviction for culpable homicide was overturned.
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  #19  
Old 03 December 2015, 10:31 AM
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No double jeopardy laws in South Africa, eh?
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  #20  
Old 03 December 2015, 10:45 AM
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The South African constitution includes a right "not to be tried for an offence in respect of an act or omission for which that person has previously been either acquitted or convicted." However, this wasn't a second trial, but rather an appellate decision that forms part of the same trial.

The ability of the prosecution to appeal is limited - they can only appeal "questions of law reserved", meaning issues with the trial judge's interpretation of the law. They can't appeal against her interpretation of the facts. In this case the appellate question was about the interpretation of the dolus eventualis rule.

ETA: the judgment explains it quite well - see paragraph 21 onwards.

Last edited by htonl; 03 December 2015 at 11:02 AM.
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