Oscar Pistorius Sentencing: 15 October 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Good morning:

Here we go again: Welcome to Day 3 of the Oscar Pistorius sentencing.

The defense has been presenting a summary of St. Oscar’s Greatest Hits in support of a recommendation of 3 years home detention in a mansion with a swimming pool. A defense psychologist and a social worker have testified that he’s a broken man and doing time would destroy him.

Surprising revelation yesterday: Pistorius offered to pay the Steenkamps the equivalent of $34,000 but they rejected his offer as “blood money” and announced they do not intend to sue him for killing her. They just want justice for Reeva.

We have not heard much about her. That will change when the prosecution makes its presentation.

Watch the livestream and comment below.

Session 1

Session 2

41 Responses to Oscar Pistorius Sentencing: 15 October 2014

  1. Two sides to a story says:

    Hard for me to wrap my head around how lenient the S. African court system seems to be.

  2. cybelaw says:

    absolutely-for now….

  3. cybelaw says:

    OMG it looks like Oscar’s family can afford to buy many people! Can’t imagine that kind of money but all defense witnesses sound like bad soap opera actors….theyre all probably afraid not to take a bribe. cant blame them, people get threatened… poor Steenkamps think they’ll never see justice done but he will go off again on someone else, keep guns, break the law, start more fights because he has real enemies now- and then a Judge will nail him to the wall. He’s not going to become mellow going forward, Steenkamps will see justice, he will harm or kill again, just a matter of time…..

  4. Pdeadder says:

    IMO PIstorius knows he is not going to prison.
    Somebody has been paid off.This is just a show.

  5. SearchingMind says:

    Nel’s cross-examination of defense witnesses and Ms. Martin strongly suggests that Nel/the State (a) has not accepted the verdict of the Judge Masipa, won’t reconcile himself with that verdict and (b) will be appealing that verdict. Nel purposefully, it appeared to me, benched all his questions on the evident but unstated/implicit premise that Oscar armed himself, pursued Reeva into the “toilet-cage” where she took refuge and shot her dead there. Nel knows what the verdict is, but still goes at length into details over and over again about Oscar’s different versions of what happened and inquires of unsuspecting defense expert witnesses what they discussed with Oscar and what Oscar told/confirmed to them. Through Ms. Martin, additional testimony re a troubled relationship was entered into evidence.To me this is a sign of someone preparing for war. The Honorable Old Lady’s verdict does not make any sense whatsoever and no prosecutor in his right mind could ever accept it. What the Honorable Old Lady essentially did was (a) acknowledge that Oscar gave different versions of what happened, (b) choose the least harmful version for Oscar, while (c) pretending that there is no evidence to demonstrate that Oscar KNEW or MUST HAVE KNOWN that it was Reeva behind the door – begging for her life. This is compassion gone wild!

    • ay2z says:

      Was the court confused by detail of everything that was thrown at her that she forgot to (as Nel said in his earlier argument) “see the woods for the trees”?

      How could she otherwise loose sight of such a clear failure of logic by testing its possibility to be true?

      ( I assume that would translate in North America, as ‘forest for the trees’)

    • ay2z says:

      SM, doesn’t seem to matter if, in Dolus Eventualis, whether Oscar believed Reeva was behind the door or whether he believed she was in the bedroom, he acted against the threat from the bathroom, and that threat wasn’t any of the inanimate objects behind the door.

      Why did he shoot if he did not believe someone, a human being, was behind the toilet door? What made the wood moving sound, what did he think was lurking behind that locked door, with the ability to open the door to kill him? Doesn’t matter who it was, if it was a human being, INCLUDING Reeva.

      Putting Reeva in the bedroom does not disqualify her from the legal definition of a human being.

      • SearchingMind says:

        I disagree, Ay2z, and I think most experts on both sides are wrong in trying to fit every mouse Oscar throws out there in some legal dogma/doctrine, while Oscar laughs at them, quietly calling them fools in his distorted mind.

        My opinion is that Nel had it very right when he states that Oscar knew that it was Reeva behind the door. From the facts presented at trial, (including Oscar’s own admissions and several diff. versions of what happened), there were/are more than enough heavy weighing circumstantial evidence that an average person in Oscar’s situation must have known that it was Reeva behind the door. That was enough to convict Oscar of murder1 (circumstantial evidence has the same evidentiary force as direct evidence). Oscar won’t admit to what he knew and it would be foolish to expect him to. There was neither “error in persona” nor “error in objecto” nor has the case anything to do with “abberatio ictus”.

        The problem with the verdict started with the court’s acceptance of the “error in objecto” stfuff, in which case the perpetrator acts with awareness of a particular object, but harms a different object due to a mistake as to its identity. According to the leading legal doctrine, the mistake as to the identity of the victim is irrelevant – since killing any human being is a crime. But here is the dilemma: killing any human being is NOT necessarily a crime. Some human beings (e.g. the home owner) have the right to kill some other human beings (e.g. the armed robber who stormed into his home in the middle of the night). If Oscar had killed real armed robbers in his own home that night, there would not have been any trial at all and if he honestly mistook Reeva to be an armed robber, it would not make any sense to convict him of murder. In that case Judge Masipa got it right. Judge Masipa’s mistake however is that she believed the garbage put forward by Oscar.

  6. Disappointed says:

    Totally off topic but I love the new bold lettering. Easier on my old eyes.

    As far as OP is concerned he should have thought of his “disabilities” before shooting his gf. Hopefully the Judge sees through the ignorance of his defense. Send him to prison and not to country club.

  7. Read on Twitter from a SA legal analyst that #gerrienel is setting up an appeal of the JM’s verdict and is using the sentencing hearings as a setup for said appeal.

    • Malisha says:

      Actually, I hope so.

    • ay2z says:

      An article about the “unsuccessful attempts to justify Judge Masipa’s errors (expanded and revised)”.


      (past articles related to this latest ‘revised-expanded’ and ‘organized around themes vs different commentators’ version, are on the page above)

      Admit I’ve not read through this, and am not qualified to interpret or critique it, however, based on common sense and a rudimentary understanding of dolus eventualis. Did Judge Masipa allow Pistorius to have it both ways, accepting that he didn’t intend to kill anyone because he believed Reeva was in the bedroom? Is this fatal error in the application of Dolus Eventualis because the person in the cubicle happened to be Reeva and not ‘a human being’ ?

      From the article:

      “… it does not help to say this cannot be true because he thought the deceased was in the bedroom. This is the argument that Masipa seems to have finally settled on – and it is fatally flawed in logic. She says: the accused could not have foreseen the possibility of killing the deceased, or anyone else for that matter, because he thought the deceased was in the bedroom. The fact that the accused thought that the deceased was in the bedroom says nothing about what he thought about the presence of someone else in the toilet. Indeed, it is his defence that he believed someone else was in the toilet.”

  8. Malisha says:

    I have a question for Oscar:

    “If you could trade 15 years in prison for the life of Reeva Steenkamp, and bring her back to life and NOT have killed her,
    would you?”

    If he says yes, then OK, let him do his 15 years; maybe it will help him deal with his remorse, to feel he’s accepting the punishment.

    If he says no, lock his punk ass in that cell and check back with him in 15 years. By then he should be married to the squeaky little social worker.

    • bettykath says:

      Malisha, Interesting questions and followup. It would be a test of his remorse and guarantee that women would have 15 years without fear of St. Oscar killing them b/c they have to pee (and I don’t accept that is the reason she locked herself in the bathroom.)

    • SearchingMind says:

      Oscar killed Reeva because that’s what he wanted and needed to do. Faced with your option, Malisha, Oscar would be better off admitting to 2nd degree murder and spend 15yrs in prison (some people spend less for the same crime), while satisfying himself that he put that babe – Reeva – in her place, that he: Oscar The Ubiquitous, is thus The Man.

  9. ay2z says:

    Reeva’s parents may want to take the stand, but will they? Who is the witness and what is the aspect? Health?

    • ay2z says:

      Caught up on the Video 1 ending, thanks. One of the witnesses was mentioned by Nel as someone representing the correctional institution system (the man seated next to Nel?)

      And one, maybe two more.

  10. ay2z says:

    One witness, one important ‘aspect’ left. Will one of Reeva’s parents take the stand? June broke down quietly after Kim spoke about them but then was replaced not to leave the seat empty for the short time she took to regather herself before back. That was very hard for both parents.

    Even Judge Masipa had to ask Nel to speak up as Kim neared the end of her testimony.

    Barry Roux pushed to wrap up today, wanted to do only two questions, not a ‘cross-examination’ of Kim so this would save her coming back tomorrow.

    Even “if only two questions”, Nel objected, he must still deal with the one important ‘aspect’ and he was granted the time today for that before tomorrow.

    This sentencing hearing will be wrapped up tomorrow afternoon, Nel assured the court.

    (fell asleep during Verjeer’s testimony, woke up not long after Kim was already on the stand. What happened to the witness Verjeer was assuring everyone would be called to discuss the prison ‘no bath’ Veerjeer report facts for the defense? Suppose that was a false (hopeful get her out of a professional jam) promise. (Guess who will be on the State’s ‘no call’ list of probation officers after her false report info.)

  11. Nel paused his questioning and asked for an adjournment until tomorrow morning assuring Judge Masipa that he will finish tomorrow.

    She granted his request, reluctantly, because she has other scheduled matters for the next month or so starting Monday.

    She intends to finish this case this week.

  12. Dramatic emotional devastation.

    This category of evidence is called Victim Impact testimony. In a homicide case, a representative of the family testifies regarding the person and the impact of her death on the family and her friends. The evidence is relevant to sentencing and was officially recognized as important for judges (and juries in death penalty sentencing hearings) to consider in determining what sentence to impose.

    Victim impact testimony was not admissible in the US until 1992 when the US Supreme Court held that it was admissible in the penalty phase of death penalty trials. The decision was a result of the victim’s rights movement.

    It can be very powerful.

  13. Kim Martin is testifying. She’s Reeva’s cousin and 12 years older than Reeva. They were very close.

  14. Correction: Court will resume at 1:30 pm (7:30 am EDT)

  15. Vergeer was a terrible witness whom Roux didn’t even attempt to rehabilitate after Nel concluded his cross.

    Defense concludes its presentation of evidence with Roux reading a document into the record regarding the financial arrangements between the Steenkamps and Pistorius.

    He was paying them 6,000 R per month through last month to assist them to pay their rent. In anticipation that they might file a civil suit for damages, he offered a one time payment to settle their claim. They refused the offer and promised to pay him back. They also said they would not sue him.

    He said he did not want to be paid back and offered to place the settlement amount in a trust account in case they might later change their minds.

    They declined his offer and reasserted their intent to pay him back, whether he wants it or not.

    Nel advised the court that he has 3 or 4 witnesses and needs an hour to meet with one of them.

    Court will resume at 1 pm (7 am EDT).

  16. Vergeer is upset about condoms in prisons, apparently because she believes that the prisons are encouraging homosexual rape and she does not want Oscar to have to suffer that fate.

    I think they recognize that anal and oral sex happen in male prisons and the condoms are made available to prevent STDs and AIDS, which is a sensible response seems to me.

    • girlp says:

      Her education is lacking, some men and women who are in prisonfor long periods of time have same sex relationships because the opposite sex is not avialable this is only until they leave prison most of the time.The condoms as you said would help prvent STD’s and AIDS.

    • bettykath says:

      She agrees that there is no problem with consensual same gender sex. Her fear was rape but she couldn’t say the word.

  17. Court is back in session

  18. Still waiting to resume . . .

    Here’s a comment from the peanut gallery that says it all:

    Lauren Burley ‏@Lauriebeenthere 6m6 minutes ago
    @DavidDadic Enjoyed your take on #channel199 earlier. #Vergeer gets the PALOOKA award for non-professional court witness. CRINGEWORTHY!

  19. 15 minute tea adjournment.

    Resume at 5:15 am, EDT.

  20. Shall we serve him warm milk and baby pablum as well then? Would that be acceptable to him?

  21. SOME voluntary work.
    At his own place….


  22. I want to reach into the screen, and slap her.

  23. Look around the courtroom at the facial expressions of people looking at Vergeer.

    Incredulous disbelief.

  24. masonblue says:

    Here’s a couple of comments about Vergeer’s recommendations in the past.

    Nzinga Qunta ‏@NzingaQ 5m5 minutes ago
    This Vergeer lady did the probation for Sunday Rapist? She said he had remorse and would not re offend. He went out and raped again.

    Karyn Maughan ‏@karynmaughan 11m11 minutes ago
    Vergeer says Sunday Rapist confessed to sexually assaulting 3 teen girls. She said he was suitable candidate for correctional supervision

  25. Good morning everyone!

    Gerrie Nel continues to cross examine Anette Vergeer.

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