March 15, 2014

Oscar Pistorius Trial From the Courtroom Week 2

I continue to follow the Oscar Pistorius trial very closely.  I have watched all ten days of the court proceedings in their entirety.  That's what you do when you're on disability and not working.  The viewing is bringing back many memories of my own days sitting in court day after day listening to all the facts, marking exhibits, swearing in witnesses, passing documents to the judge, etc.

I find it amusing how people who comment on YouTube are so oblivious to the court process.  Well, I shouldn't say that because that is a good thing because one the commenter has never been to court before for either a criminal, divorce, small claims, family court matter whatsoever and/or they have never worked in the legal field.  This would explain the comments related to why does defence counsel go around in circles with his questioning, he's so irritating, ugh, shut-up already, why doesn't he move on...and so on.

I will tell you this, Mr. Roux is extremely talented and knows exactly what he is doing.  In the same breath, so is Mr. Nel, the prosecutor.  They are both doing a good job.  Witnesses have all been considerable articulate and have answer all questions put to them to the best of their ability.

The accused is behaving as he should in a courtroom.  Keeping his composure when possible and being human when he is overcome with his emotions.  I don't see an actor in anyway, shape or form in Mr. Pistorius' demeanour.  He is a living person who smiles when he feels it, smirks when he disagrees with a witness in that "oh my God that's not what happened" sort of way, which is typical.  He retched and vomited during Professor Gert Saayman's testimony of the autopsy as horrific still photographs of the victim's body were on the visual aids in the courtroom.  The professor gave disturbing details in a scientific manner that to any person hearing them would be cringing, so I imagine if I were the person who inflicted all of this damage to a person I cared about and how it would impact me, yes, I may vomit as well and cry.

It's not that I feel sorry for the accused.  I feel empathy for this entire situation that has changed many lives. Lives that were not being wasted.  Reeva was just coming into her career as a model and television personality, a law graduate and advocate for charity.  Oscar a champion runner, supporting amputees, with an education.  Reeva's parents surviving the death of their only child.  Oscar's siblings doing their best to support him during this trial.  No one wins.  There is no satisfaction in the end.  When all of these matters are said and done, these people will move on with their lives and all of this trauma will be clung to their brains and hearts like adhesive that will never come off.  Not unlike all of us survivors of childhood sexual abuse.  

In week two of the trial details I found interesting were:

  • Reeva's stomach contents indicated she had eaten two hours prior, meaning she would have had to have eaten at 1:00 a.m.
  • Oscar did was on his stumps when he shot at the toilet door.
  • Two cellphones were located on the floor in the toilet room, one white, one black.  It will be interesting to see what the phone records show.
  • The gun was lying on a mat still cocked.
  • There is contradicting statements by police on who had gone upstairs and when.  Former South African Police Services colonel Schoombie van Rensburg testified that he was the first officer on the scene at 3:55 a.m. on February 14, 2013, and that he and former lead investigator Hilton Botha followed the blood trail to the first floor.
  • Mishandling of evidence and police competence in issue.
  • Oscar Pistorius a gun hobbyist and aggressive/immature in nature with the handling of such.
I still wonder if the couple was having an argument in the early morning hours, whether domestic violence is a factor, when was the last call made from Reeva's cell phone, how tainted is the physical evidence, the issues with officer's lying in their statements, did Oscar disturb anything upstairs when Dr. Stipp was present at 3:17 a.m., was the ex-boyfriend a factor, why did Reeva lock the toilet door (they had been only dating four months), were the curtains drawn...

I do have reasonable doubt towards certain facts, but so far none of the evidence proves whether the accused had intention or was the killing accidental.  

I for one from what I've heard so far about South Africa would not want to reside there. I'm surprised that Mr. Pistorius hadn't applied for citizenship elsewhere and with his celebrity like others of the same stature move to Los Angeles or the US in general.  Check out the crime statistics here. Pretoria Crime Stats  They are mindblowing.  

Read an article of a different view of living in South Africa.  Living in South Africa

I'll catch you up next week with details of week three.


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