Tag Archives: Blade Runner

Oscar Pistorius due back in court

South Africa Pistorius Trial

The murder trial of fallen South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius resumes on Thursday for closing arguments after months of gripping testimony that captured the world’s attention.

It will be a final showdown between two of the country’s top legal minds: defence lawyer Barry Roux, and senior state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, nicknamed “Bulldog” because of his brutal style of questioning.

The hearing is set down for two days before Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is then expected to adjourn the case for a couple of weeks before delivering her verdict. South Africa does not have trial by jury.

Pistorius, 27, is charged with murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the night of Valentine’s Day last year.

The double amputee athlete, known as the “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic limbs, claims he mistakenly shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door, believing she was an intruder in his upmarket Pretoria home.

Prosecutors argue that Pistorius deliberately killed the 29-year old law graduate, who had been his girlfriend for three months, after an argument.

If convicted on the main charge of premeditated murder, the sprinter faces a minimum of 25 years in jail.

The trial resumes after a month-long break, during which Pistorius – who is on bail – was involved in a bar scuffle in a Johannesburg nightclub.

Pistorius was sent by the court for 30 days psychiatric observation after a defence witness testified that he suffered from “generalised anxiety disorder”.

A panel of mental health experts found that he did not suffer from a mental disorder when he shot Steenkamp and could be held criminally responsible for his actions.

– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2014/08/06/oscar-pistorius-due-back-in-court.html#sthash.4L6lnRLf.dpuf

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Oscar Pistorius trial moves into final phase

OP and Roux

The murder trial of South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius is moving the trial into its final phase, with the prosecution submitting a summary of its case.

The prosecution in the murder trial of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is to submit a summary of its arguments to the judge, moving the trial into its final phase.

The handover of the documents will take place behind closed doors on Wednesday.

Pistorius’ defence team will follow the same procedure on August 4.

The 27-year-old double-amputee athlete has been on trial since March 3 on charges of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model.

A total of 36 people testified over 39 days.

The defence and prosecution will publicly present their closing arguments on August 7 and 8, after which Judge Thokozile Masipa will issue her verdict.

There is no trial by jury in South Africa, so Masipa alone will decide Pistorius’ fate.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a closed bathroom door in his home in the capital Pretoria on Valentine’s Day last year. Pistorius says he took her for an intruder.

The sprinter, whose legs were amputated at the knee as an infant because of a congenital abnormality, became the first amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 London Olympics.

If found guilty of premeditated murder, he could face a life sentence of at least 25 years in prison.

Source: http://www.sbs.com.au/

Oscar Pistorius – Anxious or angry ?

reeva

NEARLY at the end of his murder trial, doubt is being cast on Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s state of mental health. A forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Meryl Vorster, has diagnosed Pistorius with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Today, under pressure from prosecutor Gerrie Nel who wants to establish the truth about Pistorius’s sanity and whether his lawyers are using GAD as a “fall-back defence”, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that he should be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for independent assessment. Because the testing will take 30 days, and it will need to be scheduled, this could mean a lengthy break in the court case.

Pistorius’s trial has already been going on for two months. Why is his state of mind being questioned now on the brink of a verdict? What is GAD? And does Pistorius in fact display symptoms of GAD?

Vorster’s evidence was requested by Pistorius’s defence, presumably to mitigate a verdict of guilty. GAD is not classed as a mental illness in SA, but Vorster claims it would have made Pistorius paranoid about security and it would have affected his ability to judge the “wrongfulness” of shooting without seeing his target. “People with generalised anxiety probably shouldn’t have firearms,” she added.

GAD is a relatively new diagnostic category that first appeared on the scene in 2000. As its title implies, it is a catch-all category that classifies people suffering from a range of anxieties. It is no surprise that it is the most common cause of disability in the workplace in the USA because it covers every conceivable symptom of anxiety.

The principal symptoms listed for GAD are:

  • Sense of dread
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling constantly “on edge”
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance.

The GAD sufferer has chronic and exaggerated worry and tension that leads to lack of self-esteem, social withdrawal, and work difficulties. The GAD sufferer also typically anticipates disaster.

Is this Pistorius? And, more importantly, was this Pistorius at the time of Reeva Steenkamp’s murder? Or in the past?

It goes without saying that, guilty or not guilty, being accused of the murder of one’s girlfriend would make even the most innocent and level-headed defendant anxious. Perhaps especially so in the case of Pistorius whose overriding ambition to overcome his disability and his family losses has driven him relentlessly to win a seat among the gods. He has a great deal to lose.

Vorster described Pistorius’s reactions in court – the recurrent retching and tears – as “genuine”. The implication is that Pistorius would not react like this if is he was guilty. But why not? There is just as much reason for him to be anxious if he is guilty – if not more.

It is understandable that, whatever his feelings for his deceased girlfriend, Pistorius would find it hard to stomach this catastrophic blow to his career and reputation. He may well be retching from the realisation of his own self-destructiveness.

While Pistorius would be crazy not to be showing signs of anxiety during his trial, does this mean that he suffered from anxiety on the night that Steenkamp was murdered and prior to that?

Vorster points to a history of trauma and loss as Pistorius grew up, starting with the amputation of his legs when he was 11 months old, to the divorce of his parents when he was aged six, to the death of his mother from a drug reaction following surgery when he was 15. She describes his manic training sessions as a defence against overwhelming anxiety.

It is true that such traumatic losses have repercussions in later life if they are not acknowledged at the time.

But Pistorius does not easily fit into the description of a GAD sufferer. His determination to win and to be better than his fellow sportsmen who are abled is significant.

At the age of 13 months he was fitted with prostheses and at 17 months he was walking. His mother allowed him no slack as a child, expecting him to perform equally with able-bodied children. Pistorius tells a story of his mother getting her two sons off to school, telling her older son to put his shoes on and ordering Oscar to get his legs on – “And that’s the last I want to hear of it.”

Early on in his sporting career, his boxing trainer, Jannie Brooks, admits that it was six months before he realised Pistorius didn’t have legs.

There may have been little comfort available for Pistorius as he was growing up, but he seems to have been given huge confidence in his abilities and his aspirations along with being unusually gifted in sports.

In an extended interview with Pistorius, the New York Times journalist Michael Sokolove was struck by his “uncommon temperament – a fierce, even frenzied need to take on the world at maximum speed with minimum caution. It is an athlete’s disposition, that of a person who believes himself to be royalty of a certain kind – a prince of the physical world.”

This is not the picture of an anxiety ridden man but more of a narcissistic demi-god who will take on the world to achieve his ends – and who might feel he is above the law.

Gods and demi-gods don’t like to be crossed or to lose. A former girlfriend describes Pistorius, after being stopped for speeding by the police, taking the gun by his side and shooting a lamp-post.

In his fiery correspondence with Steenkamp, Pistorius comes across as possessive and controlling. Steenkamp complained that Pistorius “picked” on her and told him, “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and how you will react to me.”

Despite Pistorius’s physical triumphs, the ever-present frustration of having to manage his disability would also explain his sudden unleashed anger. Whatever judgment may be made about his sanity, is this Pistorius’s real Achilles heel?


Credits:  http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/oscar-pistorius/58519/is-oscar-pistorius-anxious-or-just-angry-an-analysts-view#ixzz31x8WJAH4

“Matters before the Court” ~ The Murder of Jill Meagher.

A blogger made this comment on his/her blog:

“History is littered with examples of innocent people who were jailed as a result of fabricated police evidence”.  

The topic related to social media and the impact of mainstream media on matters before court.

My response ~

“I don’t understand what social media has to do with innocent people jailed as a result of fabricated police evidence. Honestly, how can fabrication of police evidence have anything to do with matters before the court? How can that be seen as contempt? There was no fabrication of any evidence when Bayley took investigators to the crime scene and admitted to raping, killing and burying Jill Meagher. It was good old police work – get a confession and lock the murderer up.

If you say that reporting of facts by police [to the public] are highly prejudicial, then who is in contempt? The police sharing info with the media? Or the media conveying that info [to the public]? If police don’t want certain info published, then why make public statements? In that case, I would say, the problem lies within the police force and the court should perhaps hold the police in contempt.

The public are permitted to sit in on a trial.

If a person from the media is sitting in on the trial, why is that journalist not allowed to write about his/her day in court and the happenings?

If the court is so concerned about coverage, why not change the rules completely? Don’t make court documents available, don’t get the public involved at all. Keep it a secret. Perhaps the police should then not rely on the media to spread the word should a crime be in progress or have happened. Perhaps CCTV of Bayley never should have been released to the public. In fact, it was totally unnecessary to have shown the CCTV footage. If the footage was shown to LE only, they would have realised Bayley was known to police. The publication of CCTV footage during peak hour on national television was totally and utterly unnecessary! They DID not even need the help of the public. All they had to do was show the footage to a few police officers, parole board members, etc.

However, when it became clear who the suspect was, the police went into overdrive trying to silence the media on any further coverage. Why? Because it became clear that this man was in fact a REPEAT OFFENDER out on parole! The public became enraged by this news and demanded answers. But all of a sudden NO questions were to be asked. NONE. Be quiet, because the MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT! Yes, before the court. Hasn’t it been before the court before and before that and before that? Yes, but no one is allowed to talk about it. Why? Because the parolee will not get a FAIR TRIAL or it can INFLUENCE THE JURY or the parolee’s HUMAN RIGHTS before a fair and impartial jury. The trial will be in jeopardy.

About your use of the word “history”. Before advanced DNA testing a numerous amount of innocent people were convicted of crimes they did not commit.

The opposite also happened. A lot of cases became unsolved and the perpetrators are still walking free because they were never apprehended.

Across the world a lot of cold cases are now being successfully prosecuted because of DNA samples being preserved for the future.

Luckily because of MSM and DNA, a lot of cold cases are being opened again and it is wonderful that families of victims can, for the first time, get closure, acceptance and best of all, come face to face with their loved one’s murderer in a court of law!

I applaud the media for their efforts in bringing the truth to the people of any country, the people that work to earn a honest living. These citizens have a right to know who and what they are subjected to. Jill Meagher had the right to be safe. She was shown no mercy. None. Her dignity was stripped away from her when she was repeatedly raped by a serial rapist then buried in a shallow grave next to a road!”

Oscar Pistorius ~ Bullets kill … so does a baseball bat.

The world knows who Oscar Pistorius is, also known as Blade Runner.  No formal introduction is necessary as Oscar is seen as an inspiration to many people.   Or is he really?

The latest trend on social media comes in many forms, some serious, some with added Bible verses, some comical and some just weird to say the least.

Being a born South African myself, I know how close the nation hold the Bible to their hearts especially in times of need and times when comfort is needed.

In the last 48 hours a lot of people have taken to Twitter and social media to post inspirational tweets to Oscar.   Tweets like these:

@TheGodLight: God always saves the best till last, so that you will appreciate a blessing when it comes.”@OscarPistorius

and

@PrayInFaith: Get rid of your of worries. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. -1Peter 5:7″@OscarPistorius

It seems to me that Oscar will receive blessings from the gullible.

Cliché ‘s like “Only God is the Judge” or “We are not allowed to judge” or “Don’t judge” are well known phrases used among people that believe all murderers and killers should not be subjected to the rules and regulations of a Government of a country.  As long as you believe that God alone is Judge, you can do what you want in life.

Until of course their loved one gets murdered like Reeva Steenkamp did.

By uttering these cliché ‘s they themselves play the role of judge and jury …

On another note…

A poster on our Facebook page  commented saying some people have already made up their minds and labelled the accused as a murderer.

https://www.facebook.com/Justice4ReevaSteenkamp

Every crime has its own qualifiers.  Every crime tells a story.    Where else can we arrive at if the evidence steer us to an intentional killing?  What do we have so far?   We have ONE victim,  TWO weapons used by ONE person.   One of those weapons was an “overkill”.

This was my answer to the poster:

It is not a matter of me deciding whether he is guilty or not. But if you want my opinion? Yes, I think he murdered her.

Her family saw her body. They themselves saw the extensive head injuries she got. As mentioned in the media, investigators and detectives also conveyed this information to the family.

The extensive injuries were not caused by the ONE bullet that hit her in the head, like I mentioned it has been reported that she had extensive head injuries. A bloody baseball bat was found at the crime scene. I can safely say, that he allegedly hit her with the baseball bat.

Question, do you think he hit her with the bat after or before he shot her? You don’t have to answer me, just think about it.

If the hit with the bat came first, then he has a very very good reason to shoot her. Why? Because if she would have survived the hit to the head, she would have been hospitalised and lived to tell what he did to her. If she told the world what he did to her, his career is as good as gone. Also, her mother warned him that if he hurt her daughter she will have him on his back. In other words, she warned him. So, in my opinion, he had motive at that point to shoot her.

If the hit with bat came last, well, why on earth would you shoot someone and then hit them with a cricket bat? What will be the reason behind that?

The Prosecution charged him with premeditated murder. The bloody bat and the extensive injuries to the victim’s head is most probably the reason behind that charge. He hit her with a bat out of anger, then realised what he has done and then decided to shoot her. The shooting in my opinion was an act he did to support his “intruder” story. That is where premeditation comes in. He had time to ponder the fact whether to shoot or not. Premeditation can be a few seconds. If the prosecution can prove that he hit her with the bat and THEN shoot her, he will be toast… BURNED toast.

My second point… Why carry her body downstairs. She was still alive and must have been in an immense amount of pain from the injuries she sustained. Not just that, but to carry a seriously wounded person can cause more damage, especially to the neck and spine. She was still bleeding too, as is evident in one photo where fine drops of blood are spattered over the couch downstairs.

In my opinion, he tried to divert attention away from the initial crime scene. There was NO good reason to carry a fatally wounded person downstairs. NONE. Last I heard, all paramedics can climb stairs. Paramedics can go up mountains with all their gear.

He tried to get her away from the initial crime scene and guess what? It worked for him. Paramedics came in and tended to her and never saw the actual crime scene, (toilet).

Lastly, as some of you will know, I am an avid crime sleuth and have read of these type of crimes 100’s of times. I have learned and realised after my years of following crime, that an innocent person does NOT call his friend, his manager, his dad, his uncle or whatever if your partner is shot or injured. You call the emergency lines (911 in America, not sure of the number in South Africa). An innocent person does not seek help for himself in a situation like this, but seek help for the injured person.

So, just from these few examples I gave, I personally belief that the accused made himself guilty of a very serious crime.

Blood spatter on the couch downstairs in Oscar Pistorius' house.

Blood spatter on the couch downstairs in Oscar Pistorius’ house.