True crime and trial opinions from a layman's perspective
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Prof James Grant is now on the States team for the appeal. First hurdle is getting Judge Masipa to accept the appeal.
I think the appeal is now less about Reeva and more about sorting out issues of law especially dolus eventualis and whether or not it is acceptable to shoot dead an identified person in a shared home who is posing no direct immediate threat. It would certainly take away a possible line of defence to the partner who murders as a result of a domestic.
that should read “an unidentified person in a shared home …”
Reading the defense’s response I dont think she will grant it on the sentencing..Roux argued quite well..Juror13 thanks for posting it. Do you also have the response as to the conviction appeal?
Yes, I just added the 2nd link to that same blog post from today – check it out.
I agree. I think trying to get a judge to admit their own incompetence or admit their own failure in interpretation is going to be close to impossible. There would have to be some pressure placed on her from outside of the court to allow it. The Judge clearly had all the material evidence in front of her, clearly considered all the material evidence … I think that cannot be denied. The issue is in the overall interpretation and the explanation given for excluding Dolus Eventualis. The interpretation is within the boundaries of the powers given to the court. The main issue is in the explanation of the decision to exclude Dolus Eventualis.
From my experience of comparing the two head of arguments in the main trial – the defence was far more solid than the states. If the same is true for this appeal, the Judge will find it easy to decline the appeal.
Someone (a Mr Fossil) on the web sleuth website said the John Carlin Book “Chase Your Shadow: the Trials of Oscar Pistorius” was so full of inaccuracies that he was only able to get through the first few pages before giving up.
Yet I read a few reviews in British newspapers that claimed John Carlin meticulously researched the case and flew all over the world to interview people. John Carlin is a journalist at the British Guardian.
Then I read a review in the British Telegraph which quotes John Carlin as saying:
“It is Carlin who, perhaps, best sums up the Steenkamp book. He observes: “The Steenkamps grieved, but in a perverse and cruelly unexpected way their daughter did more to swell her family’s fortunes in death than ever she had in life.”
Which I found to be utterly contemptible and disgusting both by the Daily Telegraph Reviewer and Mr John Carlin, whose own book retails at £17. It is such a stupid thing to say – anybody following the case knew it almost killed Reeva’s father and it probably has taken years of both Reeva’s parents lives.
See last paragraph of review in
Ps maybe you can contact your associates at web sleuths to bring this to their attention especially Mr Fossil.
The main issue I have is that Mr Carlin is character assassinating The Steenkamps because his book is in direct competition with theirs.
Secondly both the reviewer Ms Harriet Alexander and Mr John Carlin “best summarise” the Steenkamp book as a money grabbing exercise over their dead daughter (“swell her family’s fortune”)
I find this so appalling that if you or Nick could do something about it – I think it would be good to get these dreadful journalists brought to some sort of account.
ps I haven’t be able to find a direct quote from John Carlin and I presume it is in the actual John Carlin book itself. So at the moment it is just a quote from Harriet Alexander.
Jason, totally agree with everything you say. There is a response on the Telegraph which you might want to read.
Carlin writes about his book in The Guardian and it is even worse than the telegraph.
How anyone can write they have thoroughly researched the case for their book and then claim they have no idea what happened, is beyond me and he will not receive any money from me for his book.
In my view, Masipa had already made up her mind for whatever reason and someone analysed it well on here.
The only way she could bring a not guilty verdict for premeditated murder, was by discarding all the evidence from the neighbours, and be deluded that he did not intend to kill a human being when he aimed four lethal bullets into the loo. He knew what those bullets could do.
The benefit of a guilty verdict is the prosecution will reveal all they know.
The lack of opinion by so many people involved in this case is very troubling and something that Nick and I discuss in our book #RS, coming out this week! We hope you check it out and let us know what you think. There is no room for indifference in these matters and as usual, you will get our brutally honest take on what we have observed.
Hartropp on here pointed out that in the crime scene photographs the key to the loo is on the outside, which is even more horrific.
It heartens me a great deal that so many people care what happened to Reeva Steenkamp.
She did not come from a rich family, but was doing her best to be successful in her own right. I like that.
“If” one believes OP testimony then he picked up the key from inside the toilet then opened the door from the outside rather than the inside – so the key would be left on the outside (I am not sure whether he said he unlocked the door from the inside nor from the outside in his testimony).
Judge Masipa agreed that OP intended to shoot but that he didn’t intend to kill. But this argument fails for at least three reasons
a) Reeva DID die.
b) The bullet trajectories are aimed at chest and head high for someone sitting on the toilet or crouching in the corner. Judge Masipa doesn’t explain why OP would think the person behind the door was standing. If he knew the person behind the door was standing then he must have realised it was Reeva.
c) The judge accepted that OP was thinking about ricocheting bullets before he fired (reason why he didn’t fire a warning shot)
d) Black talon bullets can kill if fired at “waist high” through loss of blood. OP would know this.
e) He fired four times with a change in direction then stopped.
f) In his testimony he “realised” for certain it was Reeva without checking outside the bedroom and without turning the lights on to properly look for Reeva inside the bedroom.
g) When he “realised” for certain it was Reeva he didn’t call the emergency services. Someone else called the emergency services the Standers or Dr Stipp.
The difficulty with the appeal is that the Judge did consider the evidence but her interpretation lacked a proper explanation. It lacked a proper explanation because it couldn’t be explained. It was arbitrary and inexplicable in the sense mentioned by Judge Greenland.
Jason : one correction in g. Oscar did call 911 after he hung up from Stander…it is in the phone data records. The main argument for me is to tell Judge Masipa ‘who shoots 4x with talon ammunition into a small cubicle if not to kill?? What did this accused think would happen to the person behind that door? just be injured??
With regard lack of morality worthy of opprobrium we have the following:
a) Defence asking OP to read out Reeva’s Valentine card to OP. I am certain that Reeva left this in her bag and never gave it to him. Almost certainly she would have waited for a special moment to give it to him during Valentines Day and may not have given it to him if OP didn’t demonstrate a likewise commitment to her. I suspect the Valentines Card was stolen from Reeva’s bag after he killed her and after he and others took away Reeva’s possessions for “safeguarding”
b) The explanation the Defence – OP gave in explaining why Reeva may not have answered OP when she was in the toilet and OP was screaming at the toilet door: he recalled a childhood incident when Reeva was scared. Aside: This actual explanation created a contradiction that was not picked up in court: if OP knew Reeva had reason to be silent (for fear) why did he not check to see where Reeva was before firing?
c) In the defence head of argument opposing the appeal they misrepresent the comments of the Reeva parents saying they were satisfied with the decision.
All three represent clear deliberate misrepresentations and misappropriation of things written, experienced and said by Reeva and her parents in order to cynically benefit OP and the Defence. This I find immoral. But it is for this very reason why the legal profession has such a poor reputation as in “would you trust a lawyer?”. This is why having good Judges is key to the whole system of justice.
sorry to disagree with you Jason : a. is shear speculation b. you have a point there C. I personally heard June Steenkamp state to reporters she was ‘satisfied’ with the sentence as she walked out of the courtroom after sentencing. I also recall posters stating if it is acceptable for the parents why should we not be ok with the sentence?
Hi Ruthy I often disagree with myself so that’s no problem but I would like to explore (a) a little further
I) would it also be speculation that Reeva gave him the Valentine Card rather than leave it in her bag?
2) Did OP open the Valentine Card after he killed Reeva or before? Maybe someone could answer that – I am not sure whether there was anything on testimony regarding when he opened the card.
On the stand, as he blubbered, OP stated that he waited until Reeva’s birthday last year to open the gift and card. Her birthday is in August and he stated the wrong birth date when he gave his testimony. Could have been nerves, or could have been bullshit. I say the latter 🙂 So according to him, he waited 6 mos after he killed her to open it.
Ruthy, my impression of June Steenkamp’s statements to reporters, is that she and her husband just wanted to get out of that court house and away. They were in shock at the verdict.
They may not have known he would only serve ten months anyway, there would have been pandemonium if she had told the journalists at that moment that they were not satisfied.
The television cameras were there and the press were crowding around them so they had to push their way through. If she had said NO! It would have erupted.
It is difficult for outsiders to second guess them, but they are Christians and believe they must forgive, furthermore, they would not want OP harmed in prison.
I cannot believe the prosecution and police have not revealed the true story to them.
Jason, see your point about the key now.
As far as the black talons and injuries go, the pathologist said any one of the three injuries would have killed her because of loss of blood.
Her hip had been blown away and her upper arm amputated, so it would be arterial blood.
So, apparently he will have to serve a sixth of his sentence before being considered for house arrest. Meaning he is likely to serve a maximum of 10 months in jail. For killing his girlfriend.
The South African justice system has not done itself proud here http://tinyurl.com/m672dlv
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