Juror13

True crime and trial opinions from a layman's perspective

Judge and Juror vs A Miscarriage of Justice?

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Judge and Juror vs A Miscarriage of Justice? by Nick van der Leek and Juror13 (courtesy South African Man website)

Did you know Judge Chris Greenland was the first non-white magistrate to be appointed in southern Africa? Did you know that he is very disappointed with the verdict Judge Masipa gave (one of the first black female judges in South Africa)? In RESTITUTIO, van der Leek described Masipa and her assessors as possibly too ‘unsophisticated’ for this trial. In the interview below Juror13 probes these and many other fascinating questions regarding the trial. What is refreshing is that Judge Greenland is not afraid to call a spade a spade, and to finger various mistakes (his ‘hook-line-and-sinker remarks stand out in particular.)

The audio, it must be said is not great, but the content is well worth the listen. A written transcript of the interview is available below.

Click here to learn more about Judge Chris Greenland, as well as to listen to the full audio interview:

http://www.africanman.co.za/?p=2840

TRANSCRIPT:

Judge Greenland Interview Transcript – Part 1

Judge Greenland Interview Transcript – Part 2

NOTE1: There are a few words throughout that were unintelligible and have been noted as “?”. I also took the liberty of removing most of my “ums”, “likes” and “you knows”… back to speech class for Juror13! 🙂

NOTE2: Judge Greenland has asked me to correct an error in one of his answers, pertaining to the appeals process. He now confirms that the Appeals Court would deal with both the verdict and the sentencing, should there be an appeal in this case. I have removed that portion of his original answer from the transcript per his request.

62 comments on “Judge and Juror vs A Miscarriage of Justice?

  1. Lulu
    September 27, 2014

    Wow. I just listened to all the audio – closely. AMAZING!!
    I’m left with a few thoughts and a few questions.

    First of all, I must confess that when I saw the initial comment made here by a Chris Greenland I didn’t actually think it was him. I mean, not THE Judge Greenland. Perhaps it was someone, probably it was someone, just using his info. I kept going back and forth, even as more comments appeared. It was not until tonight, hearing this audio, that I had definitive proof. Good grief – it was, it IS the “real” Judge Greenland. Well, I’ll be darned.

    Brilliant, thoughtful, frank, honest, in-depth interview. Wow.

    My initial question is this: Did I understand the Judge to say that, even if the state appeals, her verdict can be overturned but her sentence can’t ever be (unless the defense appealed first). If that’s the case, I will feel completely deflated.

    To the question of “why” Masipa’s verdict was what it was, I keyed in on his comments about Patrician vs Plebeian judges. She didn’t have the life experience, the street smarts to be able to “read” OP correctly. Her naivety is accessorized with rose colored glasses.

    More thoughts and questions later…

    Thank-you, Lisa for ALL you do!

  2. Lulu
    September 27, 2014

    PS… and an IMPORTANT PS:

    THANK_YOU, Judge Greenland!!!!!!

  3. Jason
    September 27, 2014

    Only had time so far to listen to the first 15 minutes but Judge Greenland has echoed my view already. If we forget about potential arguments with Reeva and the other conjecture and focus on what OP said he actually did etc …

    … then the EVIDENCE does point to OP INTENDING to shoot the intruder (I think Judge Masipa agreed with that), that he was fully conscious of that decision (Juror 13 you did a good job at the beginning to convey that), that he was DETERMINED to deal with the threat BY SHOOTING (he called out to the intruder to leave his house but shot the intruder as soon as the intruder made an effort to do so – shooting at the first sound), he shot at a CLOSED door, he shot a door whose HANDLE was NOT turning, he KNEW HE HAD DEACTIVATED the threat because he LEFT the scene of his shooting to return to the bedroom after off-loading FOUR bullets (not one and not emptying the full magazine), the DISTRIBUTION of the bullets showed he CHANGED DIRECTIONS OF HIS AIM BETWEEN THE SHOTS, and the nature of the gun revealed he had to PULL THE TRIGGER FOUR SEPARATE TIMES (it cannot go off accidentally four times).

    The EVIDENCE points to him intending to NEUTRALISE the intruder … that means to kill the intruder (he used maximum damage exploding bullets) … yet Judge Masipa suggests that OP did not knowingly think all these actions would lead to the death of the intruder … that seems to go against the evidence and Judge Masipa DID NOT EXPLAIN her reasoning – instead she bizarrely gave her reasoning for something COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to that question – which was did the State prove that OP knew it was REEVA behind the door – which is relevant for Dolus Directus of Reeva but not Dolus Directus of the intruder nor Dolus Eventualis of the intruder.

    His absolute INTENTION to shoot and kill the intruder led him to kill Reeva. He didn’t give the intruder time or the opportunity to get out of his house before shooting. He didn’t give REEVA the time or the opportunity to tell OP she was in the toilet – he SHOT as soon as she made a noise – … maybe the noise was her voice (? .. then that leads somewhere else but we have to focus on what can be “proven” and what is more consistent with the totality of the evidence) …

    Then we have the other evidence of OP telling Pieter Baba that everything was fine, of OP not calling emergency services immediately after shooting … he should have called the emergency services as soon as he shot … he should have called emergency services BEFORE he attempted to break down the toilet door. There seems to be some indication that as soon as he shot at the door there were elements of OP thinking that switched to “how can I cover this up” … based on some of the things that happened or did not happen after the shooting.

    I agree that OP saying in his phone call at 3.19 that he mistook Reeva for an intruder meant he actually mistook Reeva for an intruder but I do think it should have been easier to show that in the intruder scenario he intended to KILL the intruder.

    I believe the STATE did not run the perfect case. They should have focussed on OP MURDERING the INTRUDER and then added to it the possibility that he knew it was Reeva he was shooting at.

    The STATE should have developed a TIMELINE.

    Judge Masipa DID make a mess of her Judgement as per Prof James Grant has indicated.

    ps Only listened to the first 15 minutes of the interview but Juror 13 you seem like an accomplished news show host …

    • Jason
      September 27, 2014

      That should read

      “I agree that OP saying in his phone call at 3.19 that he mistook Reeva for an intruder DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN he ACTUALLY mistook Reeva for an intruder but I DO THINK it should have been EASIER to show that in the intruder scenario he intended to KILL the intruder”

    • Rita Castel
      September 30, 2014

      Jason, what you have so eloquently described is ‘culpurable homicide’ his acting with extreme force and negligent of human life”.

    • juror13
      October 2, 2014

      Thanks, Jason… But you are being too nice 🙂 my “ums”, “likes” and “you knows” are so annoying… I really need to work on those. I assure you, I am not accomplished, lol. Glad you found the material valuable.

  4. Jason
    September 28, 2014

    Sorry I am quoting a post of a post but in a nutshell I go along with the following:

    “Originally Posted by Judgejudi View Post
    Judge Greenland’s interview with Lisa

    “I as a judge, I would have rejected the whole of Oscar’s defence I think for any number of reasons, especially on critical issues. I would have said to Oscar, “You have not taken this court into your confidence. All the court can find is that you pointed the gun knowing you were pointing it at a human being and you pulled the trigger four times and killed a human being in a hail of bullets. That’s all this court can safely accept. The rest the court is still bemused and confused about. So I am not going to accept your version as to why you killed her, and that being the case, there isn’t a lawful excuse that you have advanced for this killing and you’re found guilty of murder”. So my decision would have been radically different from the court because I would have rejected Oscar’s defence entirely as opposed to just rejecting it on the narrow or very specific basis of foreseeability at the time that he pulled the trigger. That would have been my decision”.”

    My Comment:
    There is no doubt Oscar didn’t take the court into his confidence: He did lie (e.g. Zombie Stopper), he was evasive (e.g. couldn’t “remember” who drove him home after claiming to have been shot at on a motorway”) there are too many credibility issues with his testimony e.g.:

    Gun’s mysteriously going off in his hand
    Pointing but not aiming guns
    Crystal clear certainty in some aspects
    Complete lost of memory in other aspects
    Telling the person behind the door to get out of his house then shooting
    Two mutually exclusive reasons for shooting a) he feared he was going to be killed he intentionally shot to defend himself and Reeva b) he didn’t intentionally shoot, he was spooked by an unexpected noise and unconsciously fired without knowing what he was doing

    Too many factual loose ends that don’t make any sense e.g.:

    Jeans out the window
    Telling Baba everything was fine
    Not immediately calling security or an ambulance
    Searching and gathering black refuse bags

  5. jaymes
    September 29, 2014

    Also his negligence was so gross it borders along intensional killing.
    1. He hears bangs in bathroom cant even ask her, “did you hear that, what was it?” Not even wait for a response. She says nothing and he doesnt stop to think why?

    2. There are safer options eg escape together with RS via bedroom door. Instead he CHOOSES the gun and going on to ATTACK intruder.

    3. He is vulnerable on his stumps, yet boldly advances to the danger. That boldness was so misplaced.

    4. As a lisenced fire arm owner, he COMPLETELY disregards laws and rules. He would be expected to follows these to some degree. But no, he grabs gun, removes safety. With fingure on the trigger advances and fires 4X through a closed door. (He actually does identify his target. How else can we explain the neat bullet hole grouping, the direction change after the first, and that 3/4 shots were ON TARGET)

    5. He doesnt call security/activate alarm the minute he suspects its RS. He has many cellphones to do this. Infact he tells them “everything is fine” and yet some one is dying/or has already died in his bathroom.

    Dear Judge, if such GROSS negligence does not warrant max custodial sentence, then what does? Such is the negligence i, and many other, see the INTENTION behind it.

  6. jaymes
    September 29, 2014

    Dear Judge
    If I kill and then found by my neighbours cyring and sobbing claiming it was a mistake, must that even be a consideration in determining my guilt/innocence. How much weight do you put my immediate reaction after the killing vs physical evidence vs concocted fairy tale of events?

    I was so dissapointed by this. And if the LAW allows this, again, I am so disappointed in it.

  7. jaymes
    September 29, 2014

    And shame, we’ve heard so much of Mr OP. ie his vulnerability, his ptsd, his fear of intruders, hypervigilence, fearfulness of loud bangs etc etc.
    What about the REAL victim? How fearful was she? And we know she was through he own words. How vulnerable she must have been in that house. OP at least had a gun with deadly bullets in it, what weapon for defense did she have? Lets imagine the terror and pain she felt as the bullets exploded from the gun, through the door and hitting her 3X. If indeed she was still alive imagine the pain she was in. Please dont tell us it was a painless death because neighbours heard her scream, not just a man cry.

    The sentencing needs to reflect the above. We do not want to hear Mr OP’s cries for sympathy any more. He doesnt deserve it. Did he feel confident enough to give the court true version of events? No.

  8. Jason
    September 29, 2014

    I mentioned black refuse bags because Ms Brenda Wardle mentioned it and I had heard about them from others but when I look into it – it doesn’t seem incriminating. It seems that black plastic bags were only looked for AFTER his neighbours, Dr Stipps and local security had arrived – it was the testimony of the police afterwards who arrived later – they found the body wrapped in towels and trash bags after Reeva had been declared dead by Dr Stipps. So I wish to withdraw my comment on OP having searched for black plastic bags before the neighbours, Dr Stipps and Baba arriving.

  9. miktal
    September 29, 2014

    Thought I was done with this case but it keeps dragging me back in!

    Lots of things about OP`s overall behavior are just not natural or what you would expect if the events happened as he said. For example, all he says to anyone after the shooting is, I thought she was an intruder…..and that`s basically it. But put yourself in that situation. You`ve just innocently shot and killed your loved one, not realising that they had gone to the toilet behind your back. Would you not be trying to explain what happened?

    I don’t know how I missed her getting up
    I only just spoke with her in bed
    I didn’t hear when she got up
    Why didn’t she say something?
    I was so scared I thought an intruder had some in
    Why didn’t I check?

    All of these questions are normal for someone wanting to relieve the burden of their guilt/remorseful feelings. Remember, OP didn’t call Oldwadge that night so he wasn’t advised to keep his mouth shut. He just said as little as possible because he hadn’t sorted out his version yet.

    Also, think I`ve said this before, but there is really no point in highlighting that OP “had his fingers in her mouth to help her breath” or that he was “praying to god to save her”, when his first call after finding Reeva still alive was NOT to emergency services.

    Christ this gutless coward makes you nauseous.

  10. Lulu
    September 30, 2014

    http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-Problem-with-the-Oscar-Pistorius-Judgment-For-Dummies-20140928

    ProJusticio – September 28, 2014 at 10:42

    Roger — there has to be an appeal.However please note that even if it succeeds and the verdict were altered to Guilty of murder, the Appeal Court cannot change the sentence unless OP appeals his sentence and the State then cross-appeals for an increase in sentence.

    —————

    QUESTION:

    Given that his sentence can’t be changed, why go to the trouble of appealing at all?

  11. Rita Castel
    September 30, 2014

    Let’s all face it, the prosecution failed to prove their case …not guilty does not mean innocent .

    • DJ
      September 30, 2014

      Yeah true Rita. It means his story is “reasonably possible” in eyes of the judge and her assessors, and if given the benefit of a number of doubts, lol. That means it “might” have happened (just about). We can’t say for certain it didn’t. 🙂

    • DJ
      September 30, 2014

      But reserve the right for scepticism lol

    • DJ
      September 30, 2014

      P.S. Weird thing about that judgement: It was as though Oscar’s testimony simply did not occur, since they pretty much went with the bail affidavit, and did not highlight a single specific contradiction in his evidence, except for the “plethora of defenses”, and that is something which i find extraordinarily strange. I don’t know if their “doubt” can be termed “reasonable” as they didn’t describe why his contradictions were not prejudicing him. Lack of analysis on major themes of the trial cannot lead to a genuine & lasting confidence in the conclusions IMO.

      • juror13
        October 2, 2014

        Hey DJ, great point… “it was as though Oscar’s testimony simply did not occur”…

        It was interesting to me when the Judge said that in following with Masipa’s judgement, it appears the court would have acquitted OP right after the completion of the state’s case because they threw out everything that was offered. And even though Oscar did nothing whatsoever to advance his denial of intentionally shooting at the person behind the door, she still let him off the hook. Another great point by Judge Greenland – Masipa rejected that Oscar could foresee that he would kill anybody… but the question remains, what did he foresee/what was his intention in shooting in a good grouping with hollow point bullets at a person four times? The Judge offered no explanation.

      • DJ
        October 3, 2014

        @Juror13. I completely agree with that. This case was determined on “externals” (screams, helps, sobs etc) with little in the way of analyzing the “internals” (oscar’s narrative) – it was almost like the judge panel couldn’t be bothered to criticize it, admitting it “did not make sense” and a bunch of other problems, but saying “because of the timeline, it tipped it in his favour”. I really did feel he wound up able to say more or less anything since they didn’t trouble themselves to explain why the issues that were identified were not a problem for his evidence in general.

        They definitely misunderstood how “tailoring” works since they commented that the open window and closed door supported his version that these things moved and made a startle noise as he approached bathroom. Only trouble being, neither is mentioned in the bail, the window appears first time in plea, and the door slam, in cross-exam. This is WELL after the fact. Clearly, there is no support from either the window or door, in their recorded conditions, for whether they slid or slammed. The judge writes it as though there is independent support from the fact they were open / closed respectively. But there is none.

        This is a simply failure to reason correctly.

        I really wouldn’t have minded if someone had argued that PTSD could cause progressively reliving an experience, adding more information with time as traumatic memories resurface (like the door slam). This would be a valid line of reasoning, had it been presented/debated in court and then used in the judgement.

        It’s just the naivety of saying the shut door is evidence of a door slamming before which bothers me. What other versions could Oscar have said, except one where the door was closed? How is a door closed only consistent with a slam before? Worse still, how does a door being closed IMPLY it was slammed and serve as CORROBORATION that it was slammed. It cannot.

        Such reasoning obviously means nothing in his story is problematic, but that is a reflection on the reasoning, rather than the story!

  12. Rita Castel
    September 30, 2014

    Why did she acquit him of the sunroof incident charge? That I see some bias…she discarded 2 eyewitness against his..With her, there is no sense in being a witness in any case…

    • miktal
      September 30, 2014

      Nel wasn’t really that bothered about those charges. He only bought them in to backdoor character evidence for the main charge, as Ulrich Roux pointed out.

      Ex partners make terrible witnesses, as Masipa correctly said, it was clear Sam still had an axe to grind with OP. The minute she started blubbering about how he cheated on her, (HELLO!!! Silly Cow! He is on trial for Reeva`s brutal murder!!!) all of her testimony was effectively thrown out. Fresco blatantly lied himself so again, his testimony went out.

      Another case of Masipa not believing he is innocent but has no other option but to accept his version.

      • Rita Castel
        October 1, 2014

        Well, Judge did say that Taylor had a ‘ring’ of truth …so why did she dismiss it?

      • DJ
        October 1, 2014

        Hmm, and people accused of murder make terrible witnesses as they have such a strong motive to lie lol. Masipa showed herself capable of navigating all the COMPLEXITY of how people may be biased, yet communicate some truthful things, but still gave no weight to Sam Taylor’s evidence, in general. Which is strange. Sam confirmed various things in Oscar’s favour.

        Her story about him getting angry was not outrageous. Lots of people get angry. And it corroborated Reeva’s text messages about his “tantrums” and “snapping”. It should be noted down. It doesn’t mean he murdered Reeva, but it is much too simplistic to say an ex-partner can never give honest account. It may be “problematic” in one or two respects, but judge should be intelligent enough to separate wheat from the chaff.

        She doesn’t need to set precedent to say that there is no point a girl ever attempting to say a man was uncouth or aggressive because she won’t be believed no matter what she says?? If Taylor only said negatives about Oscar, point taken. But she wasn’t that carried away. She told the court about him going on missions around the house to hunt down sources of noises. She also confirmed the room was pitch dark with blinds closed. That’s supporting at least to some extent her impartiality. The absence of “wild stories” also encouraging. I felt the negatives were nothing worse than Reeva’s messages.

        Reeva even commented in a text about his womanizing. And in actual fact, Sam Taylor subsequently produced proof Oscar DID cheat on her, since he admitted it an email – not with Reeva, some other girl, a model, while they were dating.

        Judge shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss this girl’s evidence in my view.

      • DJ
        October 1, 2014

        Taylor also clearly did NOT collude with Fresco, since she dropped them both in it equally over the sun roof shooting. Whereas Fresco placed all the blame squarely onto Oscar. Again, Taylor seems to have given an unbiased account, because she records Fresco’s involvement as well as Oscar’s.

        I can completely see why Oscar could not be found guilty on that charge, due to discrepancies in these accounts. But it was pretty obvious what was going on, i’m not clear why the judge needed to indulge in sarcasm when summarizing the differences between the versions. It was pretty obvious Fresco was trying to limit his own involvement whereas Taylor was explaining it was both boys’ more or less equally involved.

        So, the incident happened, but the accounts are tainted more by Fresco than Taylor, in my view, is the most likely explanation. Just can’t see why Taylor’s evidence would be dismissed wholesale, it would need to have shown a greater bias for that!

        Taylor’s version about the break up is that the first she learned about Reeva was seeing Oscar and Reeva on TV together arriving at an awards ceremony – posing for photos. Was this ever disproven?

      • DJ
        October 1, 2014

        You know, every single time there is a truly horrific case in the news, such as children being tortured and killed, you read the investigation and without fail there will have been an incident where someone such as a policeman, or a social worker, was informed of the dangers years ahead of time, and decided the person saying it was “fantasizing” or “had a grudge” and simply ignored their claims.

        This has happened so often that it means real care and attention needs to be given before dismissing what people are saying.

        Sometimes even very wild stories were true, but people thought “that cannot be, it’s just too unbelievable” – and then a few years later some atrocity happened and it turned out it was true.

        Chilling isn’t it.

        Possible bias is not proof of actual bias. You definitely need a better reason than “was upset at break up” before completely dismissing someone’s evidence as “possibly important”.

      • DJ
        October 1, 2014

        Funny how the judge made no comment about Oscar claiming that he had learned during the course of the trial from someone that Taylor and Fresco were “seen out together” – only moments later to say that he had “no recollection” who told him.

        Why no comment about that from the judge. It struck me as obviously untruthful. It would be so easy to locate the person who supposedly told him that. And can you really imagine if he had been told that, for real, he would not be on the phone to Roux in space of minutes?

        I just have the impression the judge was not concerned if Oscar lied a lot.

      • Jason
        October 1, 2014

        DJ “You know, every single time there is a truly horrific case in the news, such … without fail there will have been an incident where someone … was informed of the dangers years ahead of time”

        Studies of workplace accidents reveal far more near-misses than actual accidents. By monitoring near-misses one can foresee potential for accidents and act according to reduce risk of the accident. A study of human behaviour reveals similar tendencies. Of course this is a probabilistic based phenomenon.

        The probabilistic tendency that I can see as regards the limited info. I have of OP suggests behaviour of extreme recklessness involving guns and when mistakes are made covering up and denial of responsibility. Not sure whether he has hunted animals on Safari like some of his kin have done.

      • DJ
        October 2, 2014

        @Jason.
        Good point about work place accidents, and probabilistic reasoning. Similar remarks apply to a specific employee as well, say for example, one that has had a poor record of missing meetings in the past, it is likely, they will continue to have a poor record in future. Or, those with good sales figures, are more likely to continue to have good sales figures. Employers rely a lot upon metrics to make predictions from past to future behavior. Yet, in court room, such evidence is used in quite a controlled way.

        There are one or two individuals who have spoken about OP’s supposed “anger” issues for which it’s hard to imagine why they would be bullshitting. For example, his former ‘stylist’ reports an alarming outburst because something was delayed; a former ‘room mate’ at the paralympics – at least, when he talked to a journalist at the time, that’s what he said; and a tattoist from Johanasburg who knew Reeva as well as Oscar advised Reeva to steer clear; in fact, Oscar himself said to Professor Schultz in his conversations that he had fallen in with a bad crowd in recent couple of years….

        Even one of Oscar’s very best friends, the son of Mike Azzie, who looked after his race horses, admits he is aggressive, but said he always thought that was a good thing, part of what made him a great competitor.

        So for Schultz to turn around and say he conducted a psychometric test and concluded Pistorius had below average ‘dominance’ and ‘no aggression’ is pretty far-fetched.

        Again, being aggressive does not make him a murderer: But being aggressive while persuading a psychologist, and subsequently a judge, that he isn’t aggressive at all, well that’s a problem in my view. It is sanitizing his personality clearly to avoid a negative inference about the events of the morning of 14th Feb 2013. I’d rather the panel of judge and assessors was able to make up their minds about what happened using information that was accurate.

        Based on what we can reliably know, there is no reason to disbelieve Sam Taylor’s claim about his angry outbursts.

      • Jason
        October 2, 2014

        DJ: OP definitely showed aggression to the person behind the door shouting for them to “get out of his house” then shooting four times with hollow point bullets at the first sound (locating target from sound?). He changed direction of aim midway through (V shaped arrangement of bullets).

        He gave two versions for his actual shooting: “intentionally shooting because he thought the person was coming out of the door” and the mutually exclusive ” unintentional unconsciously shooting because he was startled”. In the unintentional version he said he had bent elbows and was not aiming but rather pointing, and before he had time to think four shots went off. Thinking back to what Nel said – he was correct in saying the two versions are self-destructive: revealing he is not telling the truth as to WHY he shot at the door but was in fact covering up something. The second version cannot be true for various reasons.

        This fits in with OP denying he pulled the trigger at the restaurant and his testimony where he would suddenly lose all memory on a matter where before he had crystal clear certainty of memory … which related to areas that could be self-incriminating or areas that could be factually checked.

        So what exactly was OP thinking when he shot four times through the door given that we CAN discount what he said – because his two versions ARE self-destructive (one intentional and one unintentional) and hence this part of the testimony cannot be accepted as truth … which was the question Juror 13 asked.

        As the parents of RS said – they had the clear impression that OP was HIDING SOMETHING and still felt that they HADN’T BEEN GIVEN THE TRUTH. Ironically Judge Masipa AGREED with them saying OP was EVASIVE under oath, he only became EMOTIONAL under CROSS EXAMINATION where he didn’t have the comfort of knowing what the questions would be as he would have had for the Defence questions.

      • DJ
        October 3, 2014

        @Jason. Yeah the wording of the shout is important.

        I found it irritating this was changing, in quotation marks, to “Get out” in Masipa’s judgement.

        The defense did the same in heads of argument.

        There are entire cases founded on careful, natural analysis of a few words sometimes. The defendant claims a favourable meaning to their words but the judge weighs up the value of each word in a phrase and reaches a conclusion on what was “really” meant. Which might be very different – and lead to guilty verdict.

        Masipa and her panel had 1000s of words from Oscar which were amenable to a probing analysis of his “real” meanings, but did not get very far beyond the face value meanings of bits and pieces of what he said.

        It wasn’t a very academically rigorous judgement that’s for sure!

  13. DJ
    September 30, 2014

    Regarding Johnson’s 3:16 phone call.

    I have to query a comment in this interview where it is stated that ‘I never heard Johnson’s phone records being submitted in to evidence, and yet they used his testimony that he believed those shots were at 3:17 based on a cell phone call that he made. They used that time to say that that’s when the cricket bat broke down the door and that’s what everybody heard and the judge believed that.’

    While it is true that the central server phone records were not submitted, a fact which is in itself quite puzzling, some of the attributions of this interpretation to “Barry Roux” and then to “the judge” are unfair, in my opinion, since Gerrie Nel did nothing to suggest there may be a doubt about this phone call time.

    Please see state Heads of Argument in particular:

    Head 121, p72
    – call made at 3:16

    Head 137, p76
    – call made at 3:16 “and the shots were fired shortly THEREAFTER”
    – “in the region of 3:17”

    The problem is clear: Mike was on the phone at 3:16:13 and this follows his house search, it follows Mrs. Nhlengethwa hearing “help help help”, it follows them waking up and briefly talking. Each of those recorded events will take a little time, and it can’t all be achieved in the 10 seconds or whatever allowed between 3:16 an 3:16:13.

    The problem, and it really is a problem, is that the state has relied every bit as much on the collection of times of phone calls, and orders of events, as defence has done. The defence timeline is merely the logical consequence of data admitted by Nel as “common cause” i.e phone call times. This cannot be escaped, that the prosecution agreed to these data and utilised them in their own arguments.

    In order to reach a different conclusion, the panel would therefore have to deviate from not only Roux’s heads but also from Nel’s. This would be a little strange for a court, no? Without any prompting from the prosecutor, to surmise things were not as they seemed, that Johnson’s times were wrong, that Mike’s search was after his phone call not before, or other adjustments like this?

    I have a serious issue with the presentation of the “screams” arguments in the state heads anyway: The section as a whole is entitled “The state witnesses and the screams” – comprising a summary of the evidence of FOUR out of TEN witnesses (2 x VdM, 2 x Stipp, Burger/Johnson, 2 x Nhlengethwa, 1 x Oscar, 1 x Carice) and all of the data should be integrated into a model of what occurred. It is really unacceptable to make a story out of a subset of people like that. I find it particularly disturbing that the only mention of the Nhlengethwa’s is a couple of sentences right at the end of the section. It is not even commented upon that they phoned prior to 3:17, and did several other things prior to phoning, yet only heard the man calling out.

    If we are to have even a basic respect for principles of evidence then the inevitable conclusion of the arguments, as they were stated, is that the defence timeline must be accepted.

    Of course, it’s still possible Oscar knowingly shot Reeva, and that should have been the next question for the panel. They seemed to stop analysing much too early, when there was a lot left to think about. The ballistics and crime scene arguments were scarcely touched upon, which appears to be key failing in the rigour of the judgement.

    But so far as 3:16 goes, you will have to unfortunately point the finger at the prosecutors if there is some issue with this time point, since they have written their analysis in the same terms as Roux. I cannot honestly see how a judicial panel would be at liberty to invent their own interpretations of witness evidence unless the prosecution led such arguments. It would be a bit disturbing if they were expected to do that.

    • DJ
      September 30, 2014

      P.S. And of course I realise it might be argued that equating “female screams” to “male cries – in the voice of a woman” is, itself, replacing witness interpretations with something different.

      BUT: the order of events in relation to phone calls leaves no remaining options. Something has to give, whether it be the “female screams” or other data. And based on what was not contested by the prosecution, it has to be the “female screams”.

      We cannot have a man crying out “no, please, please, no” and “help help help” at the very same time as a woman screams in fear, unheard by the people 15m away.

      We cannot have contradictory facts as a reason to put a person in prison. Ever.

      So if the issue is with anyone, it is not Barry Roux or the judge – it is with the NPA since the collision of neighbour evidence was quite obviously going to happen and means it can only be:

      – there are traceable errors in witness records which were not traced even by the time the trial concluded.

      or

      – the error is the “female screams” is really nothing different to “cries like a woman” & the language gave an impression which was misleading.

      Either way, it’s an NPA issue .. not a defence or judge issue.

    • DJ
      September 30, 2014

      Final remark: Why would a professional guy such as Mr. Johnson, a man who kept very detailed and careful notes, make this kind of mistake? He struck me as the kind of person who would first check that his phone call clock time agreed with the actual time, something that would take just a moment, before writing down the time in his notes?

      Aware that he and his wife are likely to testify in a trial with international media coverage … I would expect him to check that.

      One would also have to assume he failed to notice it on his subsequent phone bill, as that would have the server time? It was a very important phone call. I’m sure he would have glanced at the date and noticed it. Again, knowing the significance of this phone call because it will be at the centre to his evidence in a famous case.

      Indeed, the notion he simply got it wrong becomes even more implausible when you consider the prosecution agreeing with the time. It became apparent from the exchanges in court many months ago that Barry Roux was striving to contradict screams using phone call times. Roux announced his strategy months ahead of time.

      The police would have rushed to ask Johnson, surely, if there could somehow be a mistake? And assuming they did so, the answer must have disappointed them. We are being asked to believe that the prosecutors would have allowed their case to be in jeopardy over something so simple as this hypothetical mistake??

      They surely would have solved it if there was an easy way to solve it. There is therefore no option but to question the screams themselves.

      • HelenUK
        October 2, 2014

        I can’t agree with you regarding Johnson. He quite evidently did not check his records and was unaware whether anyone else had checked them….we know this because he said as much on the stand. When Roux was cross examining him, he himself queried whether his time had been checked against a central server. So, IT pro or not, he didn’t check. And also bear in mind that he wasn’t sure whether the 3.16 related to the time he made the call, or the time he hung up. All he knew was that the call lasted 58 seconds. I do think the call of his time is crucial…things start to look very different if (for example) he actually heard the shots at 3.15 (ish) in line with Stipp.

        I do agree totally that the NRP and the police really screwed up here. They must have seen this glaring discrepancy very early on & made absolutely no attempt to address it – or seemingly to even raise it as a question with Johnson, who apparently didn’t realise that his call time was at odds with the State’s case.

        Most odd.

      • DJ
        October 3, 2014

        @Helen. OK … point partly taken. But having been cross-examined, Johnson could have gone home and still checked with his phone provider? In fact, it’s quite likely he might have done so, and then let the NPA know what the facts were. Because in any event, Nel accepted 3:16 as “common cause” facts at the end of his case. Nothing was amended or queried there by the state.

        It’s clear the state was conscious of the collision with the Nhlengethwas evidence, since Nel did at least TRY to amend in his closing speech, shifting his language from “3:17” to “in the region of 3:17” or “3:16-3:17”. In other words, Nel was consciously attempting to introduce some vagueness which might reconcile. If he was conscious of doing that, he would surely be conscious of the option to ring Johnson and confirm the call time in the hopes of a mistake?

        You’re otherwise forced to assume they did not consider something very obvious.

        “And also bear in mind that he wasn’t sure whether the 3.16 related to the time he made the call, or the time he hung up. All he knew was that the call lasted 58 seconds.”

        Was this actually a question in cross-examination? Because the original notes calculated the “shots” as soon after 3:17 on basis that the call started at 3:16, plus 58 seconds, plus a few more moments, then bangs.

        I agree if the 2nd bangs were at 3:15 the state’s timeline doesn’t have this glaring contradiction in anymore. But it is worth remarking that Burger’s evidence is still running into the following:

        [1] Volume of sounds possible given Reeva in a cubicle, door and window shut, at 180m. It would demonstrably require volumes of screams near to a “world record” to be audible, let alone intelligible, in Mrs. B’s bedroom. On the limit of human possibilities…

        Oscar’s next to bathroom window so can add 25DB, roughly. It’s much more in a credible range.

        Might not seem like these numbers matter but to put it into context I suppose if someone claimed they could run 100m in 10.3 seconds you might believe them, if they said they could run it in 9.7 seconds you would be very sceptical.

        This scenario is right on the limit to “possible”, and that affects the probabilities on whether this is realistic or not. Lin’s models can’t just be ignored as they showed it was going to be a struggle to make this work, no matter what. The sound level was simply put: “VERY QUIET” – and no amount of high or low pressure or prevailing winds or sensitive ears would change that…

        Can you really rely on very quiet sounds to interpret them? I don’t think so.

        [2] “Fading away”: This we know to be impossible for Reeva. It would be possible for Oscar breaking in to the cubicle.

        [3] “Help help help” or “help help help help” (Mr. Johnson) or even “Help help help help help help” (Mrs. Burger). With first 1-3 of these a ‘woman’. Well in fact no one else heard this. Not even the Stipps awake on their balcony at the same time. And if you compare the times Johnson+Burger report hearing a set of helps it just “happens” to line up, completely by chance, with Mrs. Nhlengethwa.?? As in, take their evidence, both houses, as given to the court. What do you find? The helps line up.

        WOW! Oscar got pretty lucky there, then. He “forgot” to include two collections of helps in his affidavit. This could have caught him out. Imagine if someone, like the Stipps, had heard both collections, with the woman in the first lot? Lucky for him no one heard both sets. Even luckier, the distant neighbours “thought” it was at the same time to the nearest ones – so it “appeared” as though it was really only 1 set of helps, even though – “in reality” – there were two collections.

        Oscar got pretty lucky there. You really think he did get that lucky? And he got lucky with the door fracture through bullet hole D as well. And lucky the Stipps didn’t see him or Reeva in the bathroom. And lucky Johnson’s phone call time indicated they woke up too late. And lucky Mrs. Van der Merwe thought his voice sounded like a woman. And lucky 3 witnesses had impression of “fading away” screams/cries after the final bang, which would be more consistent with himself than Reeva.

        I don’t believe anyone gets that lucky.

      • DJ
        October 3, 2014

        @Helen. Just one other comment. I can only suggest the original plan was to set to work on the credibility of the Nhlengethwas but during the course of the trial Nel formed the view that the female screams was probably a mistake.

        A clue would be the fact that in his heads when summarizing the evidence for the domestic argument he doesn’t include the screams.

    • Rita Castel
      October 1, 2014

      DJ , the timeline established by the defense was based on hard core phone logs data from the witnesses phones and from the security line records … that you or I were not privy to see, but certainly reviewed by Judge Masipa and the assesors. Ms. Neghenthwa, which the prosecution failed to call as a witness solidified that the FIRST shots had occurred at about 3:12-..She heard the last bang of the first shots heard by the Stipp’s, a few moments later heard male yell for help…@ 3:16:36 (44) Mr. Neghenthwa got thru to security on his second try. They did not hear the 3:17 bangs because they were talking on the phone for 44 seconds till 3:17:20. How do we know the 2nd sounds heard were @ 3:17? because Dr. Stipp’s phone record data indicated that he attempted to place a call to 10111 at 3:17 when he said he heard the 2nd round of sounds and his wife saw the clock read 3:17 as she entered the bedroom and heard the second set of sounds (cricket bat) .The Johnson’s heard female screams , female and male help help help called wrong security @ 3:16 and upon dropping the phone heard the second set of bangs (cricket bat). They did not hear the first sounds since they were still asleep.This all makes logical sense and Nel could not even touch this. He knew it and that is why he stayed away from arguing this timeline of events (which proved it could not be Reeva who was heard screaming, she had sustained her fatal wounds and would not be able to scream). Even when the judge asked him Nel about it at the end of closing statements Nel quickly replied and did not raise it up again. I dont agree with Masipa acquitting him on intent to kill the percieved intruder…That she did err in her explanation.

      • DJ
        October 1, 2014

        We have enough information to conclude the timeline in favour of defense is most likely correct. No reason to speculate on any secret information which makes this finding more watertight: Everything we need to make the same deductions, we already have.

        For people arguing there is a “get out” for the state, because Mr. Johnson’s phone bill was not entered as evidence to give a definite proof on the 3:16 time, my posts above are questioning that. I understand why people want to see such hard evidence, particularly since it is the only sensible way to salvage the female screams evidence. And it is true that the judge and her assessors did not see it either.

        The problem is it is so very unlikely to provide the solution. Johnson would be unlikely to fail to check the time was correct; he would be unlikely not to notice the time of such an important phone call on his bill – and to then seek to correct it; the point at which it becomes most implausible the 3:16 time is wrong is the point, months ago, where it became obvious Roux would argue from phone records to refute screams. If at that point Nel, Johnson, or the police, failed to double-check the time Johnson wrote down, and this very simple error turned out to jeopardise the entire case, it would be astonishing. Knowing how this contradiction was going to arrive between Burger/Johnson and the Nhelengethwas, as far back as April. And in theory of course, they should have known about it well over a year ago!

        It’s easy to say after the trial, well maybe the call time was wrong. But in my opinion it is highly implausible the state would allow their case to fail due to such a simple error in facts.

        In any event, 3:16 is the time written down in the state heads with the shots “soon thereafter”.

        People can criticize Roux or the panel but it is probable they are actually arguing against the facts here. And that the error lies in the misinterpretation of cries most especially by Michelle Burger, to a fair degree by Annette Stipp, Johnson to some degree, and Dr. Stipp the least.

        In reality the witnesses are not to be criticized because their deductions would be natural enough under the circumstances, and exacerbated by e.g. Sky News reporting images of bloodied cricket bat and going into massive speculations about the cause of that. As did all the media, prior to statements being given. I suspect Dr. Stipp kept his narrative closer to the facts because he gave his statement before the media wheels began to turn. For those that gave formal statements much later, they had already been exposed to too much influential images and data.

        I could write a long essay about how exactly the errors probably crept in, but i’ll save the hassle of doing that for now. Suffice to say that like a scientific experiment, you need controlled conditions without any sources of contamination, disturbance or tampering – by the media, the police, or the witnesses themselves. To some extent all three are applicable in more or less conscious or unconscious or subtle ways…

        It simply serves to illustrate the dangers of building a case out of witnesses, absent of visual correlates, when in fact the total number of witnesses is more than twice the number upon which the case is resting.

        This fault lies with the detective department. Under many detectives, Burger+Johnson evidence would never have gotten remotely close to trial as the error would have been clearly identified a long time ago.

        The problem, unfortunately, is that people tend to imagine that if certain witnesses did indeed hear Oscar crying out, then it can only have been the intruder that he was shooting beforehand. As though there is no case remaining for a domestic shooting.

        I find this bizarre. How can the impressions of a person at 180m make any difference to whether his original story is credible, about the fans and the noises, how can they solve his problems with the blood spatters around the duvet or the location of the magazine rack, how can they account for the coincidences in the pattern of his bullets, or make it any more comprehensible that Reeva did not respond to him yelling in the passage?

        How can errors by people in other houses make it less suspect that he “immediately” realised his mistake about Reeva’s whereabouts, without searching the balcony, or outside the bedroom, for her?

        Does it make it any less suspect that he said “i’m fine” to a security guard?

        So many other aspects to this case, but sadly, the witnesses BECAME the case. It was a gift to defense.

        I can’t criticize the panel, in good conscious, for ruling the intruder, since the vast majority of people i’ve discussed this with seem to rest their conclusion mainly on the timeline, which i believe is wrong. They have generally shown no tendency to separate the facts of witnesses from the rest of the facts, which is no different to what the panel itself did.

        So, i’m unsurprised really…

      • DJ
        October 1, 2014

        They say celebrities get a pass in court’s of law because of their money but another reason is because the media interest causes police and witnesses to get over excited and lose objectivity, these problems can be reflected in a biased case resulting, and provided the defense can prove it, it will shield the guilty party quite nicely.

        Oscar was protected by the state witnesses.

        Ironically.

      • DJ
        October 1, 2014

        Just a small factual point Rita: The 3:12 time point is speculative and not related to the evidence of the Nhlengethwas. It is rather the time at which Mr. Johnson estimates he first heard screams and went to the balcony. In his original notes, these happened on and off, before his wife woke up.

        If the shots came first and woke up Mike and his wife, as well as the Stipps, as well as Mr. Van der Merwe (and possibly Mrs VdM), and were before Johnson woke up, then I suppose we can reasonably infer that it was a few minutes before 3:16.

        The reason being could be quite simple. Three different households phoned at around 3:16: 3:15:53 (Stipps), 3:16 (Johson), and 3:16:13 (mike). That’s a bit of luck, right?

        The earlier the shots, the greater the coincidence of 3 houses ringing within 20 seconds of one another. TOther “triggers” apart from the shots could be “help help help” and perhaps a sense the screams were “coming nearer” as Annette recalls.

        This could correspond to Oscar returning to the bathroom from the bedroom – his proximity to bathroom windows would lead to louder and clearer cries heard in all three houses that phoned. This is the ‘escalation’. So, this might indeed be the trigger which caused people’s anxiety levels to increase to the point of ringing.

        It would make sense that the Stipps went back indoors in order to busy themselves with phoning – so, unfortunately, Annette did not see Oscar swinging the bat! it would be followed soon after by the bat noises.

        OK, i’m speculating a bit here: But since all three houses phoned within 20 seconds of one another, it suggests at least concrete triggers to cause the impression of a need to phone in the immediate moments, or minutes before. Otherwise, it’s just a coincidence. Could be, but i doubt it.

        This might be the reasoning of the panel in moving the time point of shots to 3:13-3:14. The panel gave no arguments as to why 3:12 was turned into 3:13-3:14, which is pretty bad. But it’s so common for people to latch on to a number simply as it was written down! 3:12 = made up number (it’s a guess). Just the same as people latch on to 3:02 (fast clock number from ONE person = Annette).

        All this proves is that details lead to greater belief in correct observations, something salesmen know all about lol :))

        In general the judgement is not well reasoned, which is the failing Judge Greenland points out: He would be quite happy to see oscar acquitted if all the arguments were sound. I can’t disagree with that.

  14. DJ
    September 30, 2014

    Just finished the audio… great interview! Thanks! 🙂

    • juror13
      October 2, 2014

      Thx for listening 🙂 Transcripts are up on the blog now, which may help for the sketchy audio parts.

      • DJ
        October 3, 2014

        Cheers – i could make it all out ok! 🙂 Really enjoyable discussion.

  15. Jason
    September 30, 2014

    ASIDE

    The Shrien Dewani case is going to be huge and of maybe more importance than the OP case in terms of Man – Woman Relationships. This is the odd case of newly wed young rich British Indian class going to South Africa for their honeymoon, a late night taxi ride, and the shooting dead of the bride. The Groom is charged with organising it.

    It might be stretched out because the Groom has been claiming all sorts of mental illnesses and it was a huge effort to get him extradited to South Africa to face trial – with accusations by the Grooms lawyers that he wouldn’t be given a fair trial in South Africa because of presumably their rubbish and prejudiced justice system … so South Africa had to give Britain’s Home Office all sorts of assurances that the Groom will be treated fairly and gently.

    • Rita Castel
      October 1, 2014

      He did orchestrate it…2 of the convicted killers admitted it..Hope the SA court of justice will judge right on this one.Get a good prosecutor…

      • DJ
        October 6, 2014

        Isn’t the case about whether the convicted killers are lying to spread the blame onto someone else? Rather than admitting it, they might simply be trying to make it sound like they were following orders. That will be the debate. If he is proven to have had any communication whatsoever with these people before their car was stopped…he’s toast. But, that’s another story. 😉

  16. jaymes
    September 30, 2014

    My problem with time lines is that there is uncertainity around them in trying to link them to what was happening in that house. I dont know why so much emphasis on them rather than the evidence in moments leading up to and during the shooting. What we DO know is a complete disregard of fire arms law, physical evidence showing shooting aim/change in aim to follow target, the bullets lethally found their target 3X , Not forgeting the clear undisputed evidence of Cpt Mangena.

    Call it intentional or negligence but the result is a person died and there is NO reasonable explanation that justifies the killing. Must the law just say, ” dont do it next time/please be more careful, you may go home now”

    Other offenders have done alot of time for less. Mr OP needs to sit. Thats the law, without fear, favour or prejudice.

  17. Rita Castel
    October 1, 2014

    Yes, he could not be convicted of intent to kill reeva, but certainly intent to kill the perceived intruder…

  18. Rita Castel
    October 1, 2014

    Who heard What and When?

    1:56 Ms. Merwe heard a loud female voice as if in an argument …however it could not be proven from where or who’se voice it was…

    First round of gunshots @ about 3:12 – heard by Ms. Merwe, patrolling officer, Stipp’s and Ms. Neghentwa heard the last bang of this round.* (They came to this approx time because of the time record of Stipp & Neghenthwa’s call to security although Mrs.Stipp read her clock to read 3:02)

    Female screaming heard AFTER the first gunshots: Stipps , Johnson’s, Mrs. Merwe (husband said, it was Oscar)

    Male voice yelling “Help, Help, Help” – Burgers, Dr. Stipp and Ms. Neghenthwa, and Clarice Stander

    Second Sounds (Cricket Bat banging)@3:17 ( common cause) Burger/Johnson, Stipp’s .

    NO ONE HEARD ANY SCREAMING BEFORE OR DURING THE FIRST GUNSHOTS. The deceased could not have screamed after the first gunshots, only Oscar could have…..This is the win for the defense case that destroyed the notion that Reeva was screaming before the shots. Nel did not GO NEAR THIS TO TRY TO argue or establish a different interpretation to this phone data timeline when he was invited to do so by Judge Masipa after closing statements.

    With that, is it still possibly reasonable that the accused knowingly shot Reeva behind the toilet door? what evidence do we have to prove that? Yes, there was the photos of the crime scene depicting the Duvet, pants on the floor and fans, ext . cord, position of magazine rack in the toilet room not corroborating his version, but was that enough to convict him for intent to murder Reeva? It seems like the judge did not accept that to be enough to prove beyond a doubt…

    • HelenUK
      October 2, 2014

      One problem with all that…..Mr Van der Merwe and his wife heard Pistorius crying AFTER they called security. We don’t know what time that was but we know it must have been after 3.16 (as Stipp and Mike were the first to call). So, realistically, they must have called at the earliest 3.17am – and then heard Pistorius crying loudly. Whatever time the bangs actually were, they heard no crying until after the second one.

      • Rita Castel
        October 3, 2014

        What is your question?? regardless Ms. Merwe heard the first set of gunshots….she never heard the second set of bangs(cricket bat).They heard Oscar crying which he was doing even when Stander and Stipps got to the scene,.

  19. jaymes
    October 1, 2014

    Timelines try to explain the banging, screaming, crying etc. Questions
    1. What were the bangs, cricket bat, gun or something else? We cant know.
    2. The screams were OP? Who says Reeva could not scream and sound like a man, under those circumstances?
    3. If we accept OP sounding like a woman, surely we can also play with the idea that Reeva could shout and sound like a man?

    You see my problem. However, we know OP armed himself, approached the danger, fired 4X, hit the target 3X, gave the person no chance to identify themselves or surrender. He was sure enough the threat was taken care of that he went back to the bedroom and returned. Did he know the intruder was dead? He must have, based on his actions. Did he know it was Reeva? Maybe not, but he knew there was someone behind the door that had to be killed, and he did.

    Is there a lawful reason why he killed? None that I’ve heard so far. He was very evasive and untruthful many a times. A poor witness the judge conceded.

  20. DJ
    October 1, 2014

    @Juror13. Comment about house damage: Mosaic is a danger.

    It was mentioned in the interview that damage such as to the bath, or bedroom door, could be making it more compelling there was a domestic scene: And this is what a “mosaic” view would deduce from these circumstances. Serious point here: This is a terribly risky form of reasoning. It will produce a lot of “false positive” results, or unsound convictions, if we reasoned in this manner in general.

    To consider just one example of the risk, consider the bullet hole in the bedroom door which was mentioned in the interview:

    If this bullet hole was caused in the same morning then where is the other damage which must be linked? A bullet cannot pass through a door and disappear afterwards. In fact it would strike the bedroom wall and leave a ricochet mark, with chips in the paintwork, similar to those in the bathroom. Even without a ricochet, there would be wood splinters scattered over the carpet, probably some large enough to see with the naked eye. There would also be a missing bullet casing or remnant of the projectile.

    None of this evidence exists. It doesn’t seem likely oscar attended to the carpet with a dustpan and brush and cleared away a casing before touching up the paintwork on his bedroom wall to hide the ricochet.

    It therefore appears that the hole must have been formed on another day, for another reason. But in the “mosaic” view, it is lumped together with other hints of domestic chaos to create a picture of “more violence” that specific morning.

    Having said that, the hole in the door does exist. It must have been made by someone, some day, probably Oscar, using an unknown instrument, probably a gun. It’s quite interesting that Oscar might have shot through one of the doors in his own house not only the time he killed Reeva but also for some completely unrelated reason on another day. It might be telling to his relationship with guns getting out of hand, in that sense.

    But still, it could have been for fun. I would have to be convicted on the basis of damage in my house implying i was a violent man lol. I might just be a very accident prone man… or one with idiotic friends that breaks things when drunk. lol

    Concept of the mosaic appears to be one of those which is too amenable to weak evidence being bundled together with strong evidence to make a “stronger impression” of a pre-existing picture of events one has in mind. This is fraught with risks to reaching incorrect conclusions about events. I think the hole in the bedroom door is a really good example as to how things can go wrong…

    • DJ
      October 1, 2014

      Soz. correction: “I would hate to be convicted of some crime on the basis of damage in my house implying i was a violent man”
      ……

    • Rita Castel
      October 3, 2014

      You are 100% correct about that. How about the dented silver plate by the bathtub? how did that happen? we know it was related to the incident.Was it from the accused banging down the door on a back swing ?

      • DJ
        October 3, 2014

        Do we know the bath dent was definitely related? I can’t remember any questions about it from Roux or Nel. It could be an unrelated tantrum is the first possibility.

        But, if it happened in same context, then it could be a back swing from the bat, definitely. He was striking the door frame and nothing was happening. He would have been getting frantic to break into that cubicle (accident or murder, it’s highest priority). So some wild swing damaging other things is possible.

        Another option is it was deliberate because he WANTED to make a lot of loud noise to draw attention to how much traumatized he was.

        A final option is after breaking through the door something frustrated him, like, thinking everything was going to go wrong, so he kicked the bath.

        With or without intent to kill, this would have been intensely stressful period of time, probably more so after shooting than before?

  21. Lulu
    October 2, 2014

    Lisa? Judge?

    I’m still hoping to get clarity on a question:
    —————
    Background:

    ProJusticio wrote on September 28, 2014 at 10:42:

    Roger — there has to be an appeal.However please note that even if it succeeds and the verdict were altered to Guilty of murder, the Appeal Court cannot change the sentence unless OP appeals his sentence and the State then cross-appeals for an increase in sentence.

    (Above Found Here: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-Problem-with-the-Oscar-Pistorius-Judgment-For-Dummies-20140928)
    —————

    MY QUESTION:

    If OP’s sentence can’t be changed, why go to the trouble of appealing at all?

    • juror13
      October 2, 2014

      Hey Lulu… sorry for the delay in responding. Great question, and it was something that was nagging me too. I was able to get clarification from the Judge that he did make an error on the sentencing portion of his answer. He confirmed with Professor James Grant that the Appeals Court does deal with both the verdict and the sentencing, in the event the appeal is successful. Makes sense. Because just as you said, why go to the trouble.

      • Lulu
        October 3, 2014

        WOO-HOO!!

        Full speed ahead on an appeal!!

        Thanks, Lisa!!

  22. Jennifer
    October 6, 2014

    Oscar is a professional & trained athlete …when an athlete goes for a combat/competition mode, he assess the surroundings including competitors & his base (people/items) to protect…With this intruder STORY, He must have played out the judge & some gullible peeps. BUT NOT THE WORLD..

  23. rita castel
    October 7, 2014

    It is not a miscarriage of justice by the judge BUT it is a huge fail for the prosecution. For example, i recall during the state’s case , i was awaiting for Nel to get Stander on the stand to tie up that loose end, he never did!! nor his daughter! they were the FIRST people OP contacted 2 min. after discovering who he killed, and they were the FIRST to arrive to the scene…. which ‘seasoned’ lawyer does that? Standers should have been put on BEFORE the Stipps….When the defence got Stander on the stand, Stander was well coached as to the timeline of when OP called and when he called ambulance…he was not confused about the sequence of calls as per the phone data…Yet, Dr. Stipp the only witness who heard the entire incident (2 sets of sounds) was NOT coached by Nel…In addition, when the Stipp’s both testified that they saw most of the lights on at the Neghenthwa’s home upon hearing the first shots and all thru…I was waiting for Nel to put the N’s on the stand to explain what they had heard when they made their call to security @ 3:16..but again Nel never did!! It was so obvious that Nel was excluding witnesses that would cast alot of doubt regarding OP knowing it was Reeva behind that door….So let us all STOP bashing this JUDGE for following the law of their justice system. A jury would have come to the same verdict on that charge …I know I would…

  24. Margaret Jakeman
    November 9, 2014

    In Carice Stander’s statement in court she stated Oscar went up to the bedroom, she followed to get Reeva’s handbag because the paramedics needed Reeva’s i.d. she then passed it on to Aimee Pistorius to give to Reeva’s mother. My question is are they breaking the Law?

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