Juror13

True crime and trial opinions from a layman's perspective

Oscar Trial – Was the Verdict… Reasonable?

justice

Count 1: Murder – Not guilty and discharged. Alternatively, guilty of Culpable Homicide

Count 2: Illegal Discharge of Firearm, Sunroof Incident – Not guilty and discharged

Count 3: Illegal Discharge of Firearm, Tasha’s Incident – Guilty of 2nd alternative

Count 4: Illegal Possession of Unlicensed Ammo – Not guilty and discharged

To say that I am shocked, saddened and angry about the verdicts that were rendered in the Oscar Pistorius trial would be an enormous understatement. Yes, I do blog as a hobby, but it is not to be mistaken for entertainment. It is with great purpose and passion that I write about these trials, and I believe that the majority of my readers share that same drive. We are invested in these trials because they are central to our humanity and our freedom. How can we possibly be disinterested in the value of human life or in the safety of our societies? I do not believe that human beings were intended to live isolated existences. We are physically, psychologically and emotionally designed to need each other on so many different levels. We need to care about the outcomes of these trials and we need to voice our opinions to hopefully affect change for our collective future.

The concept of what is considered to be reasonable has been a central theme in this case. When we first heard about the shooting in 2013, we all asked – is it reasonable that Oscar heard a window open, failed to check on the well-being of his bed partner or ask her if she too heard the noise, and instead took off running with a loaded gun to kill an unidentified person who was in a toilet room with the door closed? Now that we are at the end of this trial, we are asking – was it reasonable for the Judge to make the statement that Oscar was a terrible witness, was evasive and gave contradictory evidence, and acted negligently, and then turn around and determine his lack of guilt based on HIS story alone? I think we need to take a serious look at what the hell reasonable means to all of us.

Reasonable doubt means exactly that – a doubt that is “reasonable”. It doesn’t mean that every single other explanation presented for the crime has been ruled out because that would actually be impossible. What if I told you that an alien entered Oscar’s house that night and had his finger on top of Oscar’s finger, and the alien was the one who actually pulled the trigger. That’s another explanation. Surely if the Defense gave us this alternative explanation it must mean that we have to acquit because that’s another possibility. That is literally how ridiculous it is for me to believe that Oscar was the source of EVERY single vocal noise coming from the house that night. Not only does he scream like a woman, but he’s also a ventriloquist because he can throw two different voices at the very same time. It’s quite amazing actually. But since a few ear witnesses may have had their times off by a minute or two, let’s just totally consider them unreliable and believe whatever the Defense tells us because it’s not like they have any reason to make something up. Right?

Do you sense my sarcasm? Good. I’m pissed off and sarcasm feels appropriate right now.

The Judge made some very puzzling decisions when she cherry-picked through the evidence. For instance…

Mrs. Stipp testified that the time on her alarm clock when she and her husband heard the first set of bangs was 3:02. She stated that her clock typically ran 3-4 minutes fast. The time on her clock when she and her husband heard the second bangs was 3:17. Again, running 3-4 minutes fast. The Judge thought it was unreasonable that the Stipps would have heard a woman screaming for 15 minutes without calling security. She also noted that Mrs. Stipp had the flu. Because of this, she decided that the Stipps were unreliable and threw out their evidence. She believed that the shots must have been at 3:14-3:15.

Now here is the important part… Dr. Stipp got through to security at 3:15:51. He testified that he heard the SECOND set of bangs just moments BEFORE the phone call. He reported to Baba that he heard gunshots and Baba substantiated this on the stand with his own testimony. Security phone records introduced as evidence proved that Stipp got thru at 3:15:51.

Next, Mike Nhlengethwa got through to security at 3:16:36 (his second attempt to get through) and he also reported bangs/gunshots, further solidified by Baba’s testimony. Based on these three witnesses, all bangs/gunshots were heard prior to 3:15:51.

But then… Charl Johnson testified that he heard the bangs/gunshots around 3:17. He estimated this due to a call that he made to security (a different company than Baba’s) around 3:16 that lasted just under a minute. After he hung up and went back outside, the bangs/gunshots rang out. His phone records were not introduced as evidence in this case.

So what did Judge Masipa do? She decided to believe Charl Johnson over the others. Why did she do this? Because the Defense told her to believe this.

And because she believed the Defense’s false timeline, she fell hook line and sinker for the gunshots being first at 3:14 and the cricket bat being the second bangs at 3:17, even though it defies logic. Does it seem reasonable to you that everybody (except the Stipps) slept through the gunshots but all heard the cricket bat hitting the door? And does it seem reasonable that the sounds were really a cricket bat when every witness described them to be gunshots? Keep in mind, almost all of these witnesses owned and had used guns previously and knew exactly what they sounded like. Is all of this reasonable?

My issues with Judge Masipa are three-fold. First, I question her application of the law to the facts of this case. Second, I’m appalled by her lack of common sense when it comes to determining subjective elements. Third, I’m concerned about her ability to understand and properly interrogate the objective facts put before her.

Here are the verdicts that were rendered in this case, and my thoughts about why I disagree.

Count 1 – Murder

Dolus Directus: The intentional and unlawful killing of another human being. Judge Masipa makes the determination that the State’s arguments for premeditation are not conclusive. This means that she has rejected the following evidence that when pieced together actually make a good circumstantial case for Directus, in my opinion:

• Mrs. van der Mewre hearing a loud female voice arguing from 1:56 until about 3:00am, intermittently. She stated it was intermittent so for the Judge to disregard it completely, solely because the guard (Baba) did not hear it when he walked by the house at 2:20am, does not seem appropriate. Hearing an arguing voice one hour before a person is shot and killed, and all sounds are coming from the same location – I say it’s very reasonable to infer that they are associated with each other. On Oscar’s story, they were supposed to be sleeping at that time. No other neighborhood witnesses were identified to be fighting at that hour on February 14th.

• Samantha Taylor testified that Oscar did sometimes lose his temper and yell at her, as well as other friends and family, while they were dating. There was also character evidence entered of him threatening to break a man’s legs (Mark Batchelor), verbally assault Quinton van der Burgh in a public setting, yelling at a police officer after the Vaal, getting in to a verbal argument at a party which lead to him getting hit on the head and there was evidence introduced via Peet Van Zyl that Oscar could get agitated easily. So how is it a stretch to believe that Oscar and Reeva were fighting that night?

• The Whatsapp messages between Reeva and Oscar that indicated they had recently fought and Reeva was sometimes afraid of him and how he would snap at her. Now typically I would agree that it’s hard to make a judgement call about a relationship based on text messages. But I also know that I have never once texted somebody and told them I was afraid of them. If I did text something like that, I would mean it. The Judge seems to forget that two weeks after those text messages were sent, the author was killed. That hardly seems like just a bad coincidence to me.

reeva3

• The bathroom light that was on at the time of the first bangs, per the Stipps’ testimonies. Lights being on during those initial bangs mean that Oscar’s story is not true. Period. But apparently the Stipps were not reliable because there seemed to be some time discrepancies. The Judge is illogically far more critical of the witnesses than she is of the accused. She stated that the accused was evasive and gave contradictory evidence, yet she believed his story. With the Stipps, because Mrs. Stipp may have gotten the time of the initial bangs wrong, the Judge immediately discounted EVERYTHING they witnessed. Does that seem reasonable to you?

• Terrified female screams heard by Dr. and Mrs. Stipp, Burger and Johnson which lasted several minutes, intermingled with a different, male voice, that were later stifled by the sound of gunfire. Then silence. Is it reasonable to you that Oscar would have been screaming like a terrified woman, and a man, starting immediately after the gunshots right up until the moment that he hit the door with the cricket bat? There is no reason for him to be screaming at that point – he hasn’t even checked the bedroom yet for Reeva. The Stipps testified that the screams started immediately after the bangs. Why is he screaming immediately after? That wasn’t his version, but it sure became his tailored version after he heard Stipp’s evidence. But then even after he goes to check the bedroom and doesn’t see her, he claims to be screaming at the top of his lungs. Let’s consider his supposed physical movements at that point which do not support him being able to yell like that… Oscar was roaming around a pitch black room, rolling across the bed, checking curtains, running over duvets and cords and not falling… do you honestly believe he was screaming like a terrified woman, and a man at the same time, all throughout those movements? I say no, that is completely unbelievable and unreasonable to believe any of that. And once again, Judge Masipa decided to ignore critical evidence – the physical evidence in the bedroom.

• The undigested food in Reeva’s stomach pointing towards her eating much later that night than Oscar testified. I will concede that this point is subjective and can’t be considered conclusively on its own. But when you consider it in light of the other information listed above, it’s not a huge leap to believe that Reeva was awake later than Oscar says she was. Mrs. van der Mewre’s testimony supports that they were not asleep at 2am, even if she heard one angry voice only, and the Stipps seeing the bathroom light on further bolsters that.

• The pause after the first shot, allowing Reeva time to scream and Oscar to re-aim. This was a point that was substantiated by 4 pieces of evidence. First, Burger’s testimony. She stated she clearly heard a pause after the first shot and before the remaining three shots. Second, bullet holes B, C and D are from a different angle than shot A. Oscar changed positions after shot A. Third, Mangena’s ballistics evidence showed that in order for the bullets to hit Reeva on her body where they did, utilizing the trajectories of the holes in the door, there had to have been a period of time in which Reeva fell down after the first (hip) shot and when the second shot was fired that missed her. If she had not fallen down yet, that second shot would have hit her somewhere on her body. It did not. So some period of time, even if it was small, had to pass between shot A and shot B. A pause! Fourth, the blood spatter, brain matter and hair that were found on the toilet bowl lid proved that Reeva’s head was directly in front of the toilet when it was hit. In rapid succession, her head would not have been in that position. Judge Masipa is deliberately ignoring physical evidence here.

To me, the above evidence pieced together makes a very compelling case for Directus. Oscar’s lying alone makes a compelling case. But let’s be conservative. If you are part of the camp that just can’t make that stretch, just like the Judge, then let’s look at the next level of Murder – Dolus Eventualis.

Dolus Eventualis: In considering the issue of intention to kill, the test is whether the
[accused] foresaw the possibility that the act in question would have fatal consequences, and was reckless whether death resulted or not.

Since the Judge did not believe that the grand majority of the State’s witnesses were reliable, she accepted Oscar’s version of events as reasonable. She deemed it reasonable that Oscar truly thought Reeva was still in bed at the time that he fired.

The Judge says that we are clearly dealing with “error in persona”, in which who it was behind the door is irrelevant because the accused had the intention to shoot, but not the intention to kill. She incredibly came to this determination because very shortly after the shooting, Oscar told everyone at the scene that he didn’t meant to kill Reeva, and he was consistent in that story. Seriously? Did you expect him to tell his neighbors that he shot her in cold blood because he was pissed at her? An accused or defendant’s remorse, or lack thereof, after a crime should NEVER be considered in a verdict. That is something that you take in to consideration for sentencing. I’m just simply astonished that she actually told the world that because he said he didn’t mean to do it, that we should believe him. That is ludicrous.

Professor James Grant, Associate Professor of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, has contributed many helpful articles about the law, as well as their appropriate applications, throughout this trial. He has once again provided a thorough take on the verdict, particularly as it relates to Dolus Eventualis, and believes that the State should appeal.

You can read it here:

http://criminallawza.net/2014/09/13/pistorius-remains-in-jeopardy-of-a-murder-conviction/

When I heard Judge Masipa utter the words that Oscar clearly could not have foreseen the possibility that he would kill the person behind the door, my jaw dropped. So I guess that means that Sean Rens was a useless witness too. Sean Rens came to court with Oscar’s gun competency test results and also testified about Oscar’s time spent at the range, and proficiency with shooting. There is no question that Oscar knew the law and it is illogical for the Judge to assert that he didn’t. But more importantly, he absolutely was aware of what four hollow point bullets would do, thanks to the watermelon video that Nel showed at the beginning of Oscar’s cross-examination. Of course Oscar could foresee that he would kill the person. He foresaw that he should not shoot at the shower because the bullet could ricochet and hurt him. Too bad he didn’t give that much consideration to the person in the toilet. Add to that the legal issues that Professor Grant highlights on his blog and it certainly does seem that the Judge got this part of the verdict very wrong.

She did however decide to find him guilty of Culpable Homicide.

Culpable Homicide: Negligent, unlawful killing of another human being.

Ironically, her reasoning used to determine Culpable Homicide was that the accused must have foresaw the possibility of the death of the person behind the door and was negligent in his actions.

How is this possible? She said exactly the opposite when she found Oscar not guilty of Dolus Eventualis. I’m confused. She goes on to say that he should have taken a different course of action such as calling security or Johan Stander after hearing the window open and before firing his gun. Well ok then. Thanks for your sudden bought of common sense.

We move on to Count 2, the illegal discharge of firearm out of a sunroof. Darren Fresco and Samantha Taylor both testified that this incident did take place. The Judge states that Fresco was not an impressive witness and he was proved to be dishonest. She points out the evidence of Darren driving over 200km/hour and blaming it on Oscar during trial. She actually spent more time criticizing Darren’s credibility than she ever did Oscar’s.

She next questions the sincerity of Samantha Taylor’s testimony as she and Oscar did not have an amicable split. Even though the Judge felt there was a “ring of truth” to her testimony, she could not ignore that Darren and Samantha gave differing details about the event and made the determination to acquit Oscar on this charge.

I was not surprised by this verdict, and actually could go one step further and say that I agree with it. I too did not find Darren to be an impressive witness. I do think he held back and potentially may have changed some of the details of that day to preserve his own reputation. I don’t want to totally throw him under the bus. I give him credit for his courage to get up on the stand against his ex-friend. He probably wanted to do the right thing, but was just in a difficult spot and didn’t want to get himself in any further trouble. As for Samantha, I just feel bad for her in general. In the last few days she has chosen to finally reveal the true nature of her relationship with Oscar via media interviews, and it was pretty disturbing.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ex-girlfriend-how-oscar-pistorius-terrorised-4206556

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/48-hours-to-air-special-on-oscar-pistorius-verdict/

Next is Count 3, the illegal discharge of a firearm at Tasha’s Restaurant. Oscar was correctly found guilty on this charge. Although Oscar tried to point blame at Darren Fresco for handing him a loaded weapon in a public place, the Judge countered that it was Oscar who requested to see the weapon in a crowded, public place. The gun went off in his possession therefore it was his responsibility.

Finally, Count 4, the illegal possession of ammunition. The Judge found Oscar not guilty, to which I disagree. She cited case law which illustrated that the accused not only had to possess the ammunition but they also must have had the necessary mental intention (animus) to use the ammunition. The Judge claims that the State did not provide this evidence but she seems to forget that Sean Rens did provide a receipt for 7 new guns that Oscar had purchased, and was pending the proper licensing. One of those weapons was a .38 Special, the exact ammunition that was in his safe. Is it not reasonable to consider that gun purchase as animus?

After the verdicts were rendered, the Judge then heard some brief arguments about whether or not Oscar should be granted bail while pending sentencing. Can you take a guess what she did? Well of course she granted bail. Sentencing will be held on October 13. I’m sure we can all expect it to be a light punishment, if any.

In the meantime, there is much discussion about the State appealing the verdict. Yes, that is correct… in South Africa the State can appeal according to section 310 of the Criminal Procedure Act, if there is a potential error (question) in law. Gerrie Nel is reportedly investigating this possibility and I think the grand majority of us agree that an appeal would be more than… reasonable.

243 comments on “Oscar Trial – Was the Verdict… Reasonable?

  1. HelenUK
    September 18, 2014

    @Sierra

    Sorry, but I still disagree with you. You are assuming the answers when, in fact, she did not even ask the questions.

    All of her reasoning for finding him not guilty of Eventualis related to Reeva. All of it.

    It’s that simple.

    It may be that she does believe he he shot intentionally but not to kill THE INTRUDER but she never, ever said that. She said he could not forsee that the deceased was in the toilet because he thought she was in bed and that he can’t have intended to kill her because he was sobbing and crying to god afterwards.

    A) Reeva being in bed says NOTHING about his intention to the intruder

    B) Sobbing over Reeva (which is logically irrelevant anyway) indicates (perhaps) that he didn’t intend to shoot HER…says nothing about whether he intended to shoot/kill the intruder.

    And sorry, it is is truly absurd to even try to suggest that this man, or any man, who is:

    Of sound mind
    Knows right from wrong
    Is trained in firearms and KNOWS what they can do
    Acts with intention and thinking straight…

    ….does not forsee that he would kill a human being who is behind a door when she shoot four times directly at them.

    That is so incredible that it MUST be addressed. Masipa’s reasoning? He was crying so didn’t mean to do it.

    Ludicrous.

  2. maggie
    September 18, 2014

    I agree with you entirely Juror 13 – that is the only reasonably possibly true version.
    Judge Masipa is clearly in the early stages of dementia – I honestly had all the faith that she would reach the only possible verdict. I am angry, disappointed, shocked and speechless …..
    I would be petrified to be anywhere near Oscar Pistorius – looking at his past behavior towards girlfriends, athletes, friends, anyone who challenges him, and the way he murdered Reeva I will even go further and say I believe we have a serial killer here …..why else would he have ordered a pump action shot gun, an automatic rifle, 2 smith and wessons etc ……was he planning a mass shooting at a Mall……it wouldn’t surprise me – the bloke is sick.
    Bring on the appeal Gerrie Nel……..

  3. James
    September 18, 2014

    OK – I am now offering this as my official refutation of Judge’s timeline.

    This is to show not that there is some exact preferred timeline – but simply to show that her supposed reconciliation introduces contradictions at least as bad as the ones she is supposedly resolving.

    JUDGE HELD.

    OP/Roux’s version is that OP screams like a woman until he breaks down the door at 3.17.

    The screams die away after the final bangs (Johnson/Stipp)

    4 witnesses mistake OP for a woman.

    Mrs Stipp is mistaken about 3.02 – its really 3.12

    Reeva does not scream before 3.12

    Reeva does not scream after 3.12 due to incapacity.

    REASONING

    It is required by Roux’s timelime that Johnson & co hear OP screaming at 3.17 and mistake it for a woman.

    They also hear “gunshots” at 3.17 that are actually bats.

    After he finished calling security for the 2nd time at 3.16 both Mr and Mrs N are awake.

    They are hearing OP shouting.

    They hear “help help help”

    Mr & Mrs N are next door neighbours whereas Johnson is very distant.

    Therefore Mr & Mrs N must hear screams until the bats at 3.17

    Yet they do not.

    They hear no bats at 3.17

    Therefore the only viable conclusion is that there are no “gunshots” after 3.16 by the security log clock.

    In my view, this proves that Mr & Mrs N only wake up after all the bangs are finished.

    It also proves that the first sounds are heard much earlier than 3.12

    But neither of them hear any bats @ 3.17

    • maggie
      September 19, 2014

      Except the time lines and noises were not on trial …a killer was on trial because a young lady was brutally shot four times behind a closed door of a tiny cubicle.
      Why has it suddenly become so relevant as to the times the witness’s heard the blood curdling screams and shots in the middle of the night? Why did the judge ignore the actual etails of the crime???? By focusing on the timelines tells me one thing, and one thing only ……there was a hidden agenda as to reaching that shocking verdict.

      • James
        September 19, 2014

        Well if you see my other posts – I entirely agree

        But the judges factual findings are set in stone now – so it is interesting to examine how they are incorrect.

      • Marsha Matheson
        September 19, 2014

        i agree to a point…the timeline exposes an agenda to make sure that the gunshots are not at 3:02 because that would pose a big problem for op version….reeva was supposed to be alive until 3:23ish and eearly time would directly contradict pathology report that says reeva could not live more than a few minutes. By moving time of shots to 3:12-3:14 they make his version more plausible. I wish state had refuted this blatant denial of their own witness – a.stipp.(Last shots could not have been cricket bat but gunshots…states version)..

    • maggie
      October 27, 2014

      Breaking news …..appeal has been granted. Yay !!! Thank you Jesus.

    • Lulu
      September 18, 2014

      ps. It’s a global grassroots petition.

    • maggie
      September 19, 2014

      Thank you Lulu – I signed the petition. Nice to see there are the sane one’s among the brainless wonders who don’t seem to have any compassion for how Reeva was shot in cold blood – with FOUR shots – and how terrified she was and the horrific way she spent the last moments of her young life …….Time lines .;…Kiss my ass.

  4. SierraDrawn
    September 18, 2014

    Judge Masipa ruled that Oscar could not be found guilty of murder because his firing of the gun must go to intent. Oscar intended to keep himself and Reeva safe from an intruder (this is a finding of fact), therefore Oscar had no intention to kill Reeva, it goes to follow that his negligent action of not making 100% certain of Reeva’s location and his negligent action of firing a gun into a small toilet cubical, goes to the heart of negligence. But the court can NOT put a hypothetical intruder in Reeva’s place in order to find that if Reeva had been an intruder THEN Oscar would have been guilty of murder.

    The judge even warned against the court’s being allowed to speculate when it came to why Reeva had taken her phone to the toilet. To speculate what crime Oscar would be charged with IF Reeva had been an intruder is simply not lawful and would set a dangerous precedent.

    The judge dismissed the charge of premeditated murder of Reeva, she also dismissed the charge of murder of Reeva, not an intruder. It follows lawfully and logically that the lesser charge of murder could not be speculated to in a hypothetical situation whereas “what if”. Masipa did not address the question of “what if” because it is not the courts place to speculate a hypothetical that they know is erroneous.

    I do understand that people disagree with the logic and the application of the law that has been set forth in Masipa’s rendering of verdict. I personally see the logic and think that she made the only application of law that she could.

    So again subjective intent was and is the salient point from which all reasoning flowed in Masipa’s decision to find Oscar not guilty of murder.

    The reason I refer to quote the verdict is because it is the verdict that is being argued against.

    It does’t matter what anyone thinks could possibly reasonably be true other than Judge Masipa. The judge and her assessors have spoken unanimously, and I think the judgement was logically and legally sound.

    Hopefully I have expressed myself clearly.

    • maggie
      September 19, 2014

      And hopefully you will have the same distorted opinion if one of your daughters or sons are shot in cold blood, four times, when hiding behind a locked door of a tiny cubicle. You sound as if you are an OP supporter ….blind to the actual lies and the deed.

    • Marsha Matheson
      September 19, 2014

      although i can appreciate your comment (above) but i would just like to say that i think her interpretation of the law has come under some fire from her legal colleagues, as well as those of us following the trial. What is in dispute from what i have read and heard via internet is the verdict…no one is allowed to shoot anyone unless under imminent threat. op clearly was not and prosecution case was that no matter who was in the cubicle he knew that he was going to kill whoever was in there with the bullets he was using,etc. Even if you believe he did not intend to kill reeva, oscar was not under any imminent threat but shot 4 times into a small space. A defenseless person died as a result of his actions.

      • lovelyd24
        September 21, 2014

        Sorry this is Sierra for some reason my ID is showing up as part of my email I used to sign up in order to be able to post.

        Anyhow, I believe Masipa was clear on the difference between the courts allowance for subjectivity and objectivity in her finding of fact and application of the law. I also thought she was clear in her finding that Oscar could not be found guilty of intent to kill a hypothetical person who did not exist.

        I know many people disagree with me.

    • crackzn
      September 20, 2014

      I think you are confused.

      If I intend to shoot and kill A but miss and kill B I am stil guilty of murder, not culpable homicide.

      Its ludicrous to the extreme given op gun training and knowledge about his zombie stoppers to say he couldnt have forseen the person in the toilet would be killed when fired the shots.

      He was so calculating that he fired once, paused and adjusted his aim a fired off 3 more rounds. Sound like an accident or negligence to you?

      • lovelyd24
        September 21, 2014

        Yes it sounds like negligence to me. To say he was calculating and adjusted his aim after the first shot to take better aim is simply not supported by the evidence.

      • crackzn
        September 21, 2014

        It is supported by evidence.

        Have you seen the angle of the first shot and the last 3, the first shot is at 1 angle and the last 3 are at another.

        Cpt Mangena, Dixon and Wolmarans all agree on sequence of shots and that means the defence accepted there was a pause between the first and second shots.

        This was proven by the location of the wounds.

        Also, do you know that was no noise that caused him to fire?
        He claimed it but it was then proven under cross examination that there was no noise.

        OP said there was movement in the toilet that caused him to fire and then changed it to the sound of wood moving.
        He stated the door never opened and the handle didnt move and he was left with only he magazine rack that could have caused the noise he heard
        Again state and defence experts agreed the rack never moved that night due to the blood spatter and pool of blood around the legs of the rack.
        Also, its location in the toilet, up against the far wall, make it impossible for it to have been bumped as RS was standing up against the toilet door when she was shot.

        You are talking from a position where its clear you not aware of all the evidence, I cant blame you but even if you take away the screams ballisitic, forensic, photographic and OP version of events show he is lying about what happened that night.

    • maggie
      October 27, 2014

      You have just been proven wrong – it has been announced that the NPA has won the appeal to overturn the verdict and sentencing.

  5. Clara Bow
    September 19, 2014

    How does this judge consider OP’s emotional state after he killed Reeva as a reason for her verdict? Witnesses testified that the screaming stopped after the shots were fired. OP testified that upon actually seeing & realizing he had shot Reeva – that he did not scream out in agony but that he was sad or broken or some other stupid thing. Even Gerrie Nel questioned how upon realizing what he had done he did not scream out in anguish but instead was silent. OP waited for witnesses to arrive before he started his histrionics about what he had done. And, yes at that point he realized he had just murdered Reeva & yes he was freaking out about it. But, for any judge to use behavior AFTER the fact as a reason for a not guilty verdict is simply incompetence.

  6. maggie
    September 19, 2014

    Timeline??? Who cares! The fact is that 4 credible ear witnesses, who all had absolutely nothing whatsoever to gain by giving their truthful evidence of hearing a woman’s blood curdling screams and shots, simply testified as to what they heard in the middle of the night. Of course the defense created doubt and used ‘timelines’ – they are paid to do that, lawyers are the most incredible liars when defending an accused person.
    If I was woken in the middle of the night by terrified screams and gunshots the last thing I do is make a mental note of the precise time of each noise. You only look at the time as a quick reference to see what the time is – not to the exact second.
    Whoever agrees with that shocking verdict is not seeing the simple facts of the crime – and that is, there was a fight, he scared her, he threatened her with his gun, she tried to get dressed, her pulled her jeans off hence they were inside out on the floor (lying partly on top of the duvet which the state proved was on the floor during the crime), she ran terrified, screaming blood curdling screams (which what Stipps, Burger and Johnson heard ….), she slammed the door locking it, he was in a rage (which he is known for), strangely she was standing up fully clothed facing the door – she fell onto the magazine rack – which he testified to hearing when he tailored his evidence – he knew her position, he changed his aim – bullets c and d finished her off.
    Of course he panicked when he realized she was dead ……he realized he had killed her in rage, now he was buggered …..the quick story about an intruder was probably already in his mind as this was not the first time he threatened to kill a girlfriend – see Sam Taylor’s story.
    C’mon people !!! Whatever you justify about Judge Masipa’s unlawful, biased, shocking verdict, the fact is that is simply that the law is an ass – she failed to take the scene of the bedroom into account, which was all proof of the accused’s lies and tailored evidence.
    She only based her verdict on HIS bullshit lies – and for some unholy reason she turned a blind eye to the state’s brilliant evidence and Gerry Nels dynamic role he played as a prosecutor as he proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused’s version was so improbable it could not be reasonably possibly true.
    There is more to this then meets the eye – argue all you like – he is guilty !!!! The Judge is biased – for what reason ??? She certainly did not reach her verdict fairly and thoroughly.

  7. Peter
    September 19, 2014

    “But the court can NOT put a hypothetical intruder in Reeva’s place in order to find that if Reeva had been an intruder THEN Oscar would have been guilty of murder.”

    So when I murder A and say that in my head I thought I was murdering B … I cannot be charged with murder?

    • maggie
      September 22, 2014

      That is exactly why the verdict is unlawful. This will open up a whole new escape route for future crimes of passion – anyone who kills their partner in a rage will use the intruder defense. And get away with cold blooded murder.
      Any more questions ……..Peter????

  8. Lulu
    September 20, 2014

    Two questions:

    1. If they go for an appeal and Masipa doesn’t agree to one, what happens then?

    2. Separate from that, if it was determined that Masipa suffered with early onset dementia during the trial, what would happen to the case? A retrial?

    • crackzn
      September 20, 2014

      Cadre deployment or dementia.

  9. James
    September 21, 2014

    The bottom line is that Mike N is not a witness to the shooting.

    His comment on any shots is hearsay.

    All he does is confirm there were no gunshots or screaming after he work up sometime prior to 3.16

    Here is his X from J13

    He didn’t hear the incident.
    He was still sleeping
    He hear no blood curdling screams
    His wife confirms crying but no screaming

    In short – the incident was over before he calls security – even before he wakes up.

    Here is the incontrovertible proof that all shots and bats were over mins before 3.15.51 (Stipp) / 3.16 (Mike N)

    “Mike also says that he told Nel he was surprised to hear about what the further away ear witnesses heard that night, but theorizes that perhaps he was still sleeping at that time and that’s why he didn’t hear the whole incident.

    Nel asks, “you never heard any shots?” Mike says no. Nel asks him if he heard any sounds that would be similar to a cricket bat breaking down a door. Mike says he did not hear any bangs like that, nor did his wife.

    Nel asks Mike if he ever heard anyone scream. Mike says he only heard a man crying very loudly. He agrees with Nel, that in consultation when they talked there was no mention of screaming.

    ….

    Nel says, you know from following the case that the Stipps gave evidence of a woman screaming. He wants to know if Mike heard a woman screaming. He says, no, he did not. Nel also points out the testimony of Burger stating that she heard blood-curdling screams from a woman that night. He asks Mike if he heard that. He says, no, he did not. And Nel points out that Burger heard 4 gunshots at 3:17am. Did he hear that? Mike says it’s quite interesting to hear what others heard, but he did not hear any of those things. He only heard the crying.”

    So the conclusion is clear.

    Stipp & Mike N corroborate each other and are on the same security log clock.

    So we should dismiss the clock of Johnson as no effort was made to show how his clock relates to the clock of Stipp / Mike N

    The final bangs heard by stipp with screams are the ones that wake Mrs N

    No shots/screams happen after this.

  10. marianmik
    September 21, 2014

    What about the trial assessors ?? Have not seen any discussion about them … they played a major role, yes ? I found the following on their background:

    Themba Mazibuko and Janet Henzen-du Toit were appointed by Judge Masipa before the trial began. They are there to help the judge decide whether Pistorius is guilty or not. Despite the media hype surrounding the case, not much has been said about the two assessors.

    Mannie Witz, an advocate with the Bridge Group at the Johannesburg Bar, says Mazibuko is “fresh out of university” and comes from an academic background. Other than that, little is known about him.

    Henzen-du Toit, on the other hand, is well known as an advocate who has defended murders and rapes, says Witz. She joined the Pretoria Bar in 1998, before leaving for the Rebel Bar in North West in 2003. She became a member of the National Forum of Advocates in 2005 and also presided over trials as an assessor during this period. In 2006, she returned to Pretoria and joined the Legal Aid Board. In 2010, she became a unit manager in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

    A profile of Henzen-du Toit published by Beeld newspaper earlier this month pointed out that she was an expert in criminal justice. She has an Honours degree in psychology and Master’s degree in criminal justice and criminal prosecution. She is working on a doctorate in criminal law, criminal prosecution, evidence and constitutional interpretation.

  11. James
    September 21, 2014

    Last clue as to why the Judge’s findings are manifestly incorrect

    Mrs N reports crying & help help help BEFORE her husband Mike N calls security.

    OP on his own version is screaming until he finished breaking down the door.

    Crying can only happen once he finds Reeva

    Given Mrs N only hears one set of bangs – the ones that wake her up and her husband hears no bangs – this proves that all shots and cricket bats are finished before she wakes up AND before Mike N calls security at 3.16

    Which is exactly what Mike N testified.

    So this shows that adjusting the Stiipp’s timeline to make it later is illogical and unnecessary.

    This is why Nel asked the Court to focus on the broad strokes.

    Everything remains largely logical if you ignore bizarre implausible contentions

    The Stipp’s hear OP smashing the place up.

    They hear two voices – corroborated

    They hear him shoot Reeva.

    The N’s hear far less because they were asleep AND they are on the other side of the house away from the bathroom

    There is no reason to require that the final blow needed to break in the panel was heard by anyone.

    There is also plenty of evidence that there were more than 4 cricket bat strikes in the bathroom.

    I remain amazed at the departure from common sense whereby the judge has taken the most contorted view of the evidence to agree with Roux’s nonsensical and highly implausible version

  12. Rita Castel
    September 24, 2014

    Juror13, Please review this portion of the Roux’s closing argument regarding the first sounds, screaming, second sounds…This is why Judge Masipa had to acquit the accused of direct intent to kill Reeva: He did indeed prove that it could not be Reeva’s scream that was heard by many ear witnesses between the two sets of shots…

    • Jason
      September 24, 2014

      Okay according to the Defences explanation of the objective telephone Dr Stipps used his phone only twice during this period: at 3.15 and 3.17 and not three times. That he called security once and not twice, That there was no call to security that didn’t go through and only one call that did go through. The Defence say that the 3:15 call was when he notified security and 3:17 was the failed 1110 call.

      The Defence say they know that Dr Stipp got through at 3.15 because they have the testimony of Peter Baba who took the call at 3.15 am with Dr Stipp and went to Dr Stipp house spoke to Dr Stipp who spoke from his balcony, then Peter Baba and Dr Stipp arrived at the accused house at 3.22.

      Basically the Defence say the objective data combined with Peter Baba’s evidence show that Dr Stipps evidence is wrong in at least several key points and that in sum this brings his whole testimony into question on reliability.

      • Rita Castel
        October 29, 2014

        Yes, Jason you are truly on the ball. Judge Masipa said Stipp’s evidence was credible but he got his timing and sequence of calls wrong as per the phone data which was uncontested by Nel. This made his memory of sequence ‘unreliable’ Roux was correct regarding the chronology of events. Even if one would say that the first set of shotsheard at 3:02 am as per Anette’s looking at the clock, that would still leave the ‘FEMALE” screams heard after that to be Oscar’s. Personally, I think the clock read ‘3:12″ rather than 3:02″ and she missed the ‘1’ in her reading?

    • Jason
      September 24, 2014

      Basically the State should have put more weight on Pieter Baba’s evidence and the call where OP said “things were fine” … instead the State focused more on white man doctor’s evidence, which the defence show was unreliable in several key details, ultimately weakening the States case.

    • maggie
      October 27, 2014

      BREAKING NEWS – NPA HAS BEEN GRANTED AN APPEAL …..YAY!!!

      • juror13
        October 27, 2014

        They are filing papers for an appeal… nothing has been granted yet.

    • Rita Castel
      October 29, 2014

      i do disagree with Roux’s argument regarding the Stipp’s seeing the light on in OP’s bathroom right after the first shots. How else did Stipp know which house the shots, screams came from? it had to be that they saw the lights on at 3 am!! They were the only witnesses who directed security to the correct house and that heard the entire incident. However, Nel did not contradict this…again he failed.

  13. maggie
    September 24, 2014

    Rita, It is a criminal lawyers job to defend his client by creating doubt, lying, building a defense to keep the accused out of jail.

    The evidence the state provided proved beyond reasonable doubt the facts all reasonable intelligent people already knew, that nobody would shoot his girlfriend (OR and intruder), 4 times through a door of a tiny toilet cubicle, without intent to kill that person, and that ultimately the law is an ass.

    You and the judge, for some sinister reason, is blind to the facts, hence the focus is conveniently placed on making the ear witness’s sound like the culprits. Oye vay!!!!

    Juror 13 I fully agree with your version of the events and I pray that Gerri Nel will win an appeal so that justice will be served. It’s my opinion that judging by how fare OP is up the judge’s ass that he will walk. What a shame. As if SA needs judge’s who are against the course of justice, and who make their verdicts to protect criminals. And we wonder why crime is rife in SA – it’s the justice system. The laws are irrelevant, all you need is a judge with dementia,

    Thank you Gerrie Nel for being a voice for the silenced lamb. No thanks to you Judge Masipa for turning a blind eye to the hard, cold evidence produced by the state, instead believing the weak version of the accused and his defense team and all there “expert” witness’s who turned into complete morons when cross examined by Gerrie Nel. The defense case was a joke, and as for the star witness – which case has judge Masipa based her verdict on ???? Certainly not the OP trial …….

    • juror13
      September 25, 2014

      Hi Maggie, just FYI that I edited a few parts. Just trying to keep the conversations from getting too heated. I appreciate everyone’s opinions here, even when they differ from my own.

      • maggie
        September 25, 2014

        Google Gerrie Nel Fan club with a letter from a high court judge, Chris Greenland, confirming that the verdict was quote “an ARBITRARY rejection of that which any sentient mind would accept. The whole approach is irrational….and that CANNOT be the law.
        It certainly cannot have anything to do with JUSTICE.” unquote.

        Getting heated is the understatement here. A young woman, someone’s daughter, was brutally shot and killed, hiding in fear from a man she loved, in a tiny cubicle, screaming blood curdling screams, to no avail, as he continued shooting until her still lifeless beautiful body lay limp on the toilet floor, with blood pouring from her head into the toilet bowl. Does not one expect anyone with any form of human compassion and respect for the law, to at least acknowledge the complete and utter despicable way Reeva’s life was taken from her. It is truly sickening and disparaging knowing there are human beings out there who do not appear to be moved by this horrible tragedy and the horrific way Reeva spent the last minutes of her life, instead applauding a not guilty verdict of an accused who was adept with guns and gun laws, is known for his rage and uncontrollable behavior, has a history with abuse of girlfriends, made a complete idiot of himself on the witness stand as he tailored his bullshit story, listening to the faux witness’s of the defense, with total bias and lies, watching the brilliant Gerrie Nel’s cross examination of each one of the defense witness’s, showing them up as anything but expert, proving beyond all reasonable doubt that the intruder story was so unreasonable that it could not reasonably possibly be true..

        And we have to read on a blog someone’s cooing over the defense as having had “a Perry Mason moment” I shake my head in despair. Yes, I get heated.

      • juror13
        September 25, 2014

        I understand and share your anger and frustration, Maggie. There are so many things that are wrong with this case and the outcome. It’s very disturbing.

  14. Rob Roman
    September 25, 2014

    Great article, and it reinforces how Judge Marsipa completely rejects multiple strands of circumstantial evidence. She’s right that you can say with some certainty that the final shots of the cricket bat must be around 3:15, but she totally discredits what noises awoke people and made them call before those shots and she supposes that Oscar is responsible for ALL the sounds the witnesses heard coming out of the house and that all those things are heard in the defenses very short time frame.

  15. maggie
    September 26, 2014

    There is too much discussion about time lines and ear witnesses’s.

    Its simple….. there are only three facts that prove him guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, and they are

    1) There was no communication whatsoever between the deceased and the accused prior to the fatal shots. He heard a noise, he did not hear her get out of bed, she did not answer him when he told her to hide and call the police. Hello????? Anybody home????….Judge???………….did you get that part???

    2) A person trained in the use of guns and who knew gun laws would have fired a warning shot and would not have proceeded to shoot at the door knowing full well someone was behind that door of a very small space as his life was not in any danger, there was no cause for self defense.

    3) Anyone who is still very much alive, who has locked herself in a toilet, who hears her partner shouting, would have contributed to the shouting herself. There is no way that Reeva was not screaming – there was no way that Oscar did not hear Reeva screaming.

    The above 3 facts are enough for a premeditated guilty verdict.

    That is the only evidence needed to convict a person who shot and killed someone under the circumstances of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial as presented to the court.

    • maggie
      September 26, 2014

      Oh …..one more thing …….was the door actually locked? Only Oscar knows. Personally? i don’t believe the door was locked – he said he found the key on the floor inside the toilet cubicle. Yeah right.
      Why didn’t he bash the door down with the cricket bat instead of firing four shots?? He was armed – the judge should have deduced that an intruder was not a threat. He intended killing his imaginary intruder.
      Is that the action of a reasonable man?

      • maggie
        September 26, 2014

        So Reeva locked the door, took the key out of the key hole, then placed key on floor ……why would she do that m’lady??
        Let’s go further and say key fell on floor when he bashed the first panel out the door prior to shooting her, so he could see where to aim???
        That’s a possibility m’lady.

  16. spqr2014
    October 3, 2014

    Juror 13

    Ironically, her reasoning used to determine Culpable Homicide was that the accused MUST have foresaw the possibility of the death of the person behind the door and was negligent in his actions

    Delete “must” and insert “should”.

    Agreed however that the judgement`s stated ratio decidendi for acquittal of murder dolus eventualis is flawed.

  17. Rita Castel
    October 6, 2014

    In USA Lawyers typically confer with their witnesses prior to their testimony and coach them. Why would Gerrie Nel not have gone thru the phone log evidence with Dr. Stipp and explain to him what the times for his calls were to prepare him ? is that allowed in SA?? Baba, and the stipps got their sequence of timing wrong…and Nel should have known that before putting them on the stand.

  18. maggie
    October 27, 2014

    APPEAL HAS BEEN GRANTED TO NPA – LET’S WAIT AND SEE……

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