Oscar Pistorius trial resumes today

Monday, May 5, 2014

Good morning:

The Oscar Pistorius trial has resumed in Pretoria, South Africa.

They’re in the defense case and have completed two sessions. The first witness today is Johan Stander. He was the manager of the gated neighborhood where Pistorius’s residence is located. Pistorius testified that he was the first person he called after the shooting.

Open two windows in your browser and split your monitor screen so that you can display this article on one side with the video on the other. Join us in the comments as Crane and I blog.

Session 1

Session 2

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15 Responses to Oscar Pistorius trial resumes today

  1. Pat deadder says:

    Another thing apparently the man who worked for him lived on the premises so why didn’t he call him for help.
    This is bullshit.

  2. Court recessed early today.

    Defense called two witnesses today, Johan Stander and his daughter Carice Stander Viljoen.

    Both believe Pistorius’s story and described him as extremely upset.

    I don’t believe they helped the defense very much because everyone knows he was upset.

    The issue is why did he shoot through a locked door?

    He could have been just as upset, if he shot her in a rage and realized that he blew up his life.

    • Malisha says:

      Or he could have been very upset because it wouldn’t do him any good to be cool as a cucumber right after murdering his girlfriend.

  3. Nel line of the day.
    Nel: You said in the statement something different, why would you add to your statement now?
    Stander: I made a mistake M’lady
    Nel: But why did you make that mistake?
    Stander: (silence) I made a mistake

    At that point the witnesses bias was palpable.

  4. Pat deadder says:

    Is it possible to have an echo and hear the shots twice.

  5. Johan Stander was the manager of the gated neighborhood where Pistorius was living at the time of the shooting.

    He provided police with two written statements.

    He was asleep in his bed at his residence around 3 am on the morning of the shooting. His residence is 350-400 meters from the. Pistorius residence (about 1 minute drive).

    Pistorius called him at 0319 hrs. He said he shot Reeva by mistake believing she was an intruder. He asked him to please come over.

    Stander’s daughter drove him to his house. She told him that she heard a scream before the phone call.

    The front door was slightly open. Pistorius was extremely upset.

    Pistorius asked him to drive her to the hospital.

    His daughter told him to put her down.

    Dr. Stupp (?), who lives behind Pistorius, walked up and said he heard 4 shots, screams and 4 more shots.

    He said call an ambulance.

  6. bettykath says:

    hearsay seems to not be a problem

    • In the US, judges are presumed to know the rules of evidence and correctly determine how much weight to give it.

      In our system, juries determine the facts and judges decide the law, including what evidence should be admitted or excluded. In other words, they screen the evidence.

      The purpose of the hearsay rule is to exclude evidence that might confuse or mislead a jury because it has little value or weight.

      When a defendant waives his right to a jury trial, the judge becomes the fact-finder. They are familiar with performing that function because they do it at every hearing where the parties disagree about the facts that are essential to decide the outcome of the hearing. Pretrial suppression hearings, where the testimony of a defendant conflicts with the testimony of the arresting officer regarding a material matter (e.g.,whether the defendant voluntarily consented to a search of his residence) are a good example.

      Judges cannot decide how much weight to give to testimony unless they hear it, so they usually opt to let everything in when they function as the fact finder.

      As a result, you will rarely see lawyers object to questions asked by opposing counsel during hearings when a jury is not present.

      Gerrie Nel provided a good example today of the major exception to this rule when he briefly objected to the continuing hearsay nature of Stander’s testimony by noting that the prosecution does not dispute that Pistorius said certain things to Stander. It does dispute whether any of those things were true (i.e., offered to prove the truth of the assertion).

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