Pistorius trial.

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Rover the Top
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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover the Top » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:45 am

...and yet the South African lawyers who've criticised the judgement point to that being where the error was made. The prosecution produced a gun licence test where Pistorius had acknowledged he didn't have a legal right to shoot at intruders when there was a gate between them, that you didn't have the right to shoot at an unidentified target. The paranoia may be explainable, but surely that doesn't override the law? Otherwise, you end up with a nonsense legal position where you're allowed to shoot anyone so long as you say you thought it was someone else who you mistakenly thought was attacking you because South Africa.

Some of the lawyers have been tweeting that they hope there's an appeal form the prosecution even if they're satisfied with the sentence, because they're worried about what precedent has been set.

Tweets from South Africa suggesting the sentence actually means 10 months in prison and the rest under house arrest.

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by RoryoftheRovers » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:14 am

No, you're right it shouldn't override the law. However given all involved live in a nation where there is this notion of paranoia might exist, it will affect how events are perceived. We're viewing this from a culture where guns and violent house invasion are rare.

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover the Top » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:11 pm

With all due respect, I'm not. From a British point of view, hearing a bump in the night and reaching for a gun is an alien concept for most people. I don't think his explanation would even pass as a defence in this country because it's so detached from what anyone would be expected to do. But I can accept that in a country where there's a higher fear of being attacked in your own home, you might keep a firearm near you, you might panic when you hear a strange noise in the middle of the night. You can stretch that paranoia to explain why he didn't do several very obvious things in his version. But you still get to the point where he fires four shots at someone through a closed door, which flips over from protecting himself to neutralising the perceived threat before it comes. Put it this way, if it had been an intruder slumped dead in the toilet instead of his girlfriend, he'd still be on a murder charge under South African law, right?

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Gibbon » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:15 pm

Rover the Top wrote:With all due respect, I'm not. From a British point of view, hearing a bump in the night and reaching for a gun is an alien concept for most people.
Personally I reach for my 50cm long cudgel-like Maglite...purely because it's dark you understand.

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover the Top » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:53 pm

"...the accused entered the bathroom, where he proceeded to flash his torch four times at the toilet door..."

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Gibbon » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:23 pm

:D

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rovertheseas » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:33 am

Rover the Top wrote:"...the accused entered the bathroom, where he proceeded to flash his torch four times at the toilet door..."
"…sending the intruder, who, unbeknownst to the accused, was none other than his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, into an epileptic fit which resulted in fatal wounds akin to bullet-holes…"

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover the Top » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:28 am

Gibbon was seeing Steenkamp too? At last, we have Pistorius' motive... :yeahright:

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Dan » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:36 am

I'm not sure what I'd do if I discovered my other half in a bathroom at night with a torch-wielding gibbon :yeahright:

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover the Top » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:42 am

Scream like a girl so loud neighbours half a mile away could hear you? Then hit a door with a cricket bat to make a sound like a gun going off to scare it away?

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by RoryoftheRovers » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:05 am

Rover the Top wrote:With all due respect, I'm not. From a British point of view, hearing a bump in the night and reaching for a gun is an alien concept for most people. I don't think his explanation would even pass as a defence in this country because it's so detached from what anyone would be expected to do. But I can accept that in a country where there's a higher fear of being attacked in your own home, you might keep a firearm near you, you might panic when you hear a strange noise in the middle of the night. You can stretch that paranoia to explain why he didn't do several very obvious things in his version. But you still get to the point where he fires four shots at someone through a closed door, which flips over from protecting himself to neutralising the perceived threat before it comes. Put it this way, if it had been an intruder slumped dead in the toilet instead of his girlfriend, he'd still be on a murder charge under South African law, right?
Good question, I don't know. It would certainly put some of the arguments above to bed. If I can work out where to start, I might search for recent case studies....

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover the Top » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:20 am

I've asked a South African law teacher on Twitter for confirmation on that, he's not replied though... :( The self defence argument would be stronger, but I can't imagine it's legal to kill someone simply for being in your toilet.

As an aside, South Africa's goalkeeper has been shot dead at his girlfriend's home by 3 intruders...

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover Ryan » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:56 am

It's too early for a shot stopping joke then? :yeahright:

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by Rover the Top » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:37 pm

The prosecution have appealed against the judgement and sentence.

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Re: Pistorius trial.

Post by mrblackbat » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:56 pm

Hardly surprising.

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