Pistorius: Defense rests closing arguments on August 7 and 8

The Reenactment Video

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Good morning:

The defense rested this morning in the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Judge Masipa has scheduled closing arguments on August 7th and 8th.

The State’s written closing argument is due on July 30th.

The Defendant’s written closing argument is due August 4th.

The video is a reconstruction of the shooting and Pistorius carrying Steenkamp’s body downstairs. His sister Aimee plays the role of Steenkamp’s dead body.

Note that Pistorius does not exhibit emotional distress reliving the event and he has little problem moving on his stumps.

His right shoulder does not appear to bother him, which is surprising since he testified that he slept on the right side of the bed, instead of the left, because his right shoulder was bothering him.

The defense claims that the video was shot for trial preparation and they never intended to introduce it at trial.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has decided not to bring up the video.

This is our 1118th post. Please make a donation, if you appreciate what we do.

Thank you,

Fred

42 Responses to Pistorius: Defense rests closing arguments on August 7 and 8

  1. I believe he knew his girlfriend was in the bathroom and he is guilty…we shall see..i love HLN and all the crew…special shout to Mike Brooks..love that guy….

  2. ay2z says:

    Thank you for the opportunity, Fred.

    Channel 7 has shut it down. If they can claim violation of copyright, they must be confident that they have not done that themselves!

    (quote)

    “Oscar re-enactment video br…” This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Seven Network Australia.

    Sorry about that.

    (Unquote)

  3. Pdeadder says:

    Actually after seeing the video I was surprised at how much of his leg was left below the knee and never even expected him to be as able as he is.
    His disability is a shame but he’s an adult and seems to act so childishly.
    Speeding,shooting a gun in a restaurant,shooting out of the roof of a car,screaming at his previous girlfriend.
    He denies everything about all of these things but why.This makes him less credible to me.
    This video is bullshit to me .Mr Nell would tear these producers to shreds.
    The toilet in the video was in his uncle’s house.Pistorius’s toilet was 4.5ft by 3.5ft.I measured that off in my bathroom that is tiny.shooting in there 4 times he sure as hell meant to kill someone and I believe it was poor Reeva.
    There was no one 300 meters away I think that’s what they said but I can’t watch it again.
    Through all the commotion Reeva never uttered one word or screamed once but he was screaming constantly come on.
    Why is his bail application and that other thingy different than his testimony.
    Sorry for going on and on but that film is bullshit no wonder nobody used it.

    • Malisha says:

      Remember, that video was made by the defendant, with plenty of advice about how he should look and what he should do to appear to be sympathetic. I wouldn’t even put stock in his being much less “sure-footed” on stumps than prostheses from that video; I can look pretty wobbly myself when I want to and I have legs and feet and shoes and the whole 9 yards. He made this video and HE MADE IT THE WAY HE WANTED. Would we have thought much about a video made by Fogen at his sister’s house’s back-yard with somebody “acting the part” of a vicious Trayvon Martin trying to murder him? HA! I laugh upon his nose. 😆

    • that film is bullshit no wonder nobody used it.

      Yep, but I bet the story regarding its acquisition and the timing of its broadcast on Australian TV is quite interesting.

      Not sure, if I agree with Nel’s decision not to use the video, but he otherwise seems to know what he is doing.

      • ay2z says:

        If there was a jury, surely he would have been all over it!

        Comment by Judge Masipa this morning, shows what she thinks of those who leak documents as it has happened before, and she called the people who publish them, “theives”.

        Perhaps Nel knew the risks of adding to that violation and at this overdrawn case, may not have wanted to delay the trial further if the defense fought back.

        Much of the last days, seemed garnishes to add sympathy factor on top of the disability factor. The claim that witnesses refused to testify for public exposure of their voices, reasons. (maybe like Pistorius’s own father who wouldn’t even give the state an affidavit to support his son’s version about the ammunition). The defense wanted to test everything, yet there is no for the state to test whether these were the reason for witness non-appearances. Makes me think the defense is not just pulling out all the stops, it’s desperate to try to minimize the sentence their client may get with a guilty verdict in the main crime.

        • Yes, I think the last witness, especially, was a sympathy witness.

          The defense took an unexpected turn with the psychiatrist in the direction of mitigation, but in the end, Nel got the upper hand when he got Professor Derman to admit that OP intended to kill whoever was behind the door to the cubicle.

          Which was locked, btw.

          Reeva Steenkamp did that for a reason.

          She did not fear OP’s nonexistent intruder. She did not flush the toilet while she was in there and nothing but water was in the toilet bowl.

          Game, set and match.

      • Pdeadder says:

        Mr Leatherman says “Not sure,if I agree with Nel’s decision not to use the video.”
        It seems it was rather late,I mean who could he have cross examined about it?
        But I would have liked him to tear it to shreds.
        It’s interesting to get another lawyer’s perspective on trials.
        Do you think you would have approached the defence like Mr Nel?
        It’s obvious lawyers think differently maybe that’s part of the training.
        I think Pistorius was able to make his other girlfriends feel stupid in an argument but Reeva had studied law and could hold her own or better.

        • Nel could have obtained a copy of the video and introduced it.

          I think he’s pleased with the present situation and does not want to go off on a wild tangent.

          I would have cross examined using the same chronological moment by moment style that he used as well as his emphasis on impeachment by prior inconsistent statement. Those two methods can be quite effective.

          He is a master and used them very well.

          I don’t believe OP was anywhere near as smart as Reeva and I don’t believe she was interested in worshipping him and being his trophy wife.

          • ay2z says:

            and whipping girl.

          • ay2z says:

            The build up to asking Pistorius if he remembered what he called out to the intruders, OP said yes, he remembered and said that he told them to get out.’

            Nels followed with, ‘what did you say?’.

            After a long silence, OP said ‘Get the f**k out of my hause’! And became emotional. His second ‘Get the f**k out of my hause!’ sounded a register higher, not a ‘break’ in his voice, just as if he was placing his voice that much higher.

            The cries out in the SN video, had no high register like this, but breaking to a higher pitch at times.

            I believe Nel was right, that OP was crying out (and about) what he yelled at Reeva that night, and she did not get out fast enough for him.

            Once she was shot, she had to die or OP would have no chance in not being convicted of what he did.

  4. MKX says:

    Good ol’ Sanford might not want an assessor correct their sloppy work 🙂

    • ay2z says:

      LOL! don’t need to watch that clip to know exactly what was going on and said…..

      Dispute over Virgil handing over the samples from Ullam’s (the autopsy samples heading to the FBI for analysis). When the victim’s wife is shocked to hear this going on.

      “What kind of people ARE you anyway?”

      Followed by a threat to pull her husband’s company out of town if they didn’t allow the black policeman to do his job.

      Excellent film, except for being a little too politically early for an Oscar for Poitier. Film techniques, music (the incredible Q, and the catchy tune writers for Sam’s radio station), Steiger, and of course, the accidental little dog in the night.

      • MKX says:

        Steiger was a brilliant actor. And Poitier has his moments.

        The scene where he explains that there are two kinds of time to the island lady is another classic.

        A long time black male friend of mine who I like to talk film with for hours at a time, told me that the slapping scene would never have allowed Piotier to live back in the south he grew up in at that time.

        All in all, this film has stood up to time well. I rate it very high.

        • ay2z says:

          Yes, and the trip to get a car for Virgil, where he explains his role in helping the police, as ‘they need a whipping boy’. And in response, he is not seen as some foreigner who relates to them from the outside, but who is treated no differently.

          And the mechanic smiles and asks, ‘You got a roof?’ before taking Virgil’s suitcase and calling to his wife to tell her they have company.’ The glee of the children, especially the little boy, was priceless.

          • MKX says:

            This is classic:

            Gilespi: “I have the motive which is money and the body which is dead…”

            Tibbs: “Chief, he couldn’t have driven two cars…”

            Gilespi {stares blankly}

  5. Malisha says:

    The assessors are very important, especially as finders of fact. I think it is a very interesting way to arrange criminal trials. The system is described here:

    http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/democracy/3759-assessors-can-decide-pistorius-s-fate

    I was particularly impressed by the comment that “You wouldn’t want a layperson, who is an Afrikaner, making a decision in [Pistorius’s] case.” That is like saying (oh that it had been said!), “You wouldn’t want a juror who is a Florida white-privilege person making an influential decision in the Fogen case.” Exactly. Almost any Afrikaner would give this Afrikaner HERO a pass for one little killing. After all —

    • I did not realize the assessors could overrule Judge Masipa on the verdict.

      According to the article, the woman (Janet Henzen-du Toit) is an experienced criminal defense attorney. She has an Honours degree in psychology and Master’s degree in criminal justice and criminal prosecution. She is working on a doctorate in criminal law, criminal prosecution, evidence and constitutional interpretation.

      The man (Themba Mazibuko) is a recent graduate from university.

      I’m not certain, but I think I may like this system better than our flawed jury system.

      • Malisha says:

        I’m kinda partial to it myself. But I still believe that jury is better than judge, and that almost anything is better than court, period.

        What bozos we allow to don those robes!

        In the book “Hostage Child” published here in 1995, a South African judge’s comments made the point that a court is only as good as the society it sits in. Yes indeed indeed, Florida, yes indeed.

      • ay2z says:

        Interesting ‘co-incidence’ from some early AM reading. (section title , pg 8, in “Calvinism and South African women: a short historical overview”

        Quoted section:

        ‘Marie du Toit, the only Afrikaner Calvinist feminist’

        Who won the battle for the local white woman’s soul?

        While women in Europe obtained the parliamentary vote and started to be ordained in (Calvinist) churches in the first decades of the twentieth century, white Afrikaans-speaking women locally were kept firstly in concentration camps during the British–Boer war of 1899–1902, and secondly faced conditions of poverty and landlessness in the aftermath of the war. When in 1918 the Women’s Monument was erected for them in Bloem- fontein, it was an all-male affair. Two men were commissioned to write the history of Afrikaner women for the inauguration of this monument, Willem Postma (1918) and Eric Stockenström (1921) who both applauded Afrikaner women for their Calvinist submissiveness to the nation and their husbands. In an ironic twist of the sin-soul-salvation model, Postma (1918:125) depicted the Afrikaner woman as one whose “soul is too pure for politics” and who did not follow in the secular footsteps of her Dutch sister who is fighting to vote in parliament and in church. Postma (1918:158) acknowledged the influence of Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) on his thinking: the ultra- Calvinist Dutch statesman whose thinking was used locally to validate patriarchal politics both as far as race and gender were concerned.

        Unquote

        Continued on pg 9, re: in 1920, Prof. JD du Toit headed a “GENDER” commission for the most extreme Calvinist of all churches in SA. (natural law, women’s subordination, the undermining of Dutch women’s suffrage movement (but women still got the vote in Europe).

        IN SA, quote:

        “natural law” arguments against women voting were substantiated by Scriptural references, placing them in the realm of divine law. The recommendations were accepted by the Synod of the church and a copy was sent to parliament.

        Prof. du Toit’s sister, Maria Magdalena du Toit, was the one and only woman, reacted against these views.

        http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/4548/Landman-SHEXXXV_2_-Oktober2009.pdf?sequence=1

        (Gerri Nel successfully pointed out, without criticism or violation of OP’s religion or religious views during cross, that OP wanted to date a Christian woman, and that Reeva was not the first Christian woman he had indeed, dated).

        The article above is short and points out that the extreme Calvinist views in SA, were as biased against gender as race.

        This provides context for Nel putting OP’s desire for a Christian girlfriend, as well as other points on record (the arguments, the place of a well educated contemporary woman as subordinate to her boyfriend to always make him happy, “pray for him” in all the little things in his life).

        This context may not be lost on Janet Henzen-du Toit.

        • ay2z says:

          Pg 13.

          Quote:

          Conclusion

          ….
          Fifteen years after the dawn of democracy in South Africa, this colonising form of Calvinism is still having an adverse influence on the lives of women, keeping the views of Calvin himself on the freedom of women from being applied in local Calvinist churches.

          Unquote

        • Excellent catch. I basically don’t know anything about Calvinism, male privilege, female submission and white culture in South Africa.

          But I did recognize the name du Toit.

          I don’t think Reeva was into submitting to male authority and I suspect that was a problem for Oscar, although he would have regarded it as her problem.

          • ay2z says:

            And there the rub.

          • ay2z says:

            The guilt felt by Reeva, the conflict to love and to want to be loved, yet conflict within herself. Her mother, June Steenkamp, must feel this terrible conflict.

            The valentine’s gift that OP was not to open until the next day. That was curious. This was a three month relationship, not a long time. Was the affirmation of her love in that card, out of her personal feelings of guilt for wanting to be her own person and struggling to leave OP?

            “Get the F**! out of my house”!!

          • Exactly what I was thinking.

            She loved him but knew it wouldn’t work.

            He couldn’t handle the humiliation of rejection.

  6. ay2z says:

    Thank you, Fred.

    And one for everyone here, of this morning’s court proceedings.

    Gerri Nel and Barry Roux are two professionals who seem to have a lot of respect for each other as professionals and in the examples we have seen, and see today again, of how they communicate and cooperate outside of the courtroom.

    I didn’t even know how Pistorius was until the trial had been on for a \month or more in. I must admit to no tv, news, makes it easier to be selective and I watched mostly the equestrian events for London 2012. The case became intriguing for me, when watching the lawyers, hearing the arguments, and trying to keep up (impossible for me without the reruns!) with Gerrie Nel.

    And Judge Masipa’s manner is quite a lesson and sets the tone (which was tested again, under last witness and Mr. Oldwage).

    Judge Masipa too, has a disabling condition if appearances tell. Note her hands, and her hesitation steps as she climbs onto the court bench. If this is RA, she surely works through pain every moment of the day. An admirable woman. Whichever way this goes, Pistorius will have a fair deliberation and decision from this court.

  7. bettykath says:

    Just watched the video. It’s intent seems to be for the defense, showing OP’s version of events but the final version seems to be for the wider audience $$$.

    I can see where he is more vulnerable on his stumps. His movements aren’t as sure. He has to work to maintain balance.

    The video makes a big deal about how the forensics supports his story, especially from the point where he starts to break down the door. Of course, it does. But the story isn’t really about what happened after he shot her, it’s about everything up to that point.

    When did he realize that that he shot Reeva and not an intruder? How did he know it was Reeva on the other side of the door and not an intruder?

    My devil’s advocate can’t find a reasonable doubt.

    • ay2z says:

      bettykath,

      You might find this an interesting discussion, is there (in SA) a legal standard of reasonableness for a disabled person as distinct from reasonableness of anyone else who is not disabled?

      One retired judge believes that even in putative (sp?) self defense, there must be evidence of a real intruder, a broken window for example, as a first level of test, for Pistorius to have shot through a closed door, having imagined that there was an intruder in the toilet. He does not believe it is reasonable for someone in the sanctity and safety of their own home, to hear a bump in the night and from that alone, make the leap to shoot through a door without anything to support the idea of intruder.

      The GAD has been eliminated by the Weskoppies evaluation, but all of this is designed to create a test of reasonableness for a ‘disabled’ man as distinct from a non-disabled person.

      Interesting discussion.

      Part 1

      Part 2

      • ay2z says:

        And what the heck is a shabeem?? 😉

      • ay2z says:

        retired Judge Chris Greenland added a comment on his youtube channel page for the second video:

        Quote

        Christopher Navavie Greenland 1 week ago

        When placed in a situation of real or perceived danger is a disabled person relieved of the requirement to react reasonably???

        Unquote

        (whatever shabeem means, it was clearly a new category of person is allowed a new legal interpretation of ‘reasonableness’, or this judge has a sense of humour 🙂

    • ay2z says:

      I can’t see a third video to continue ‘after the break’, if anyone finds one, please add it.

      But there is a separate discussion with Greenland and Bongani Bingwa:

      Title

      ‘disabled Yes; unreasonable No’

      • ay2z says:

        btw, if you watch the other interview videos, this retired judge from Zimbabwe now in SA, he commented that the defense did not put up quite enough fuss about the ‘leaked’ video. Doesn’t seem if he really buys the impression that it was leaked by someone, OP’s PR team or whomever, without defense cooperation.

  8. bettykath says:

    So there is no rebuttal from prosecution. And the judge decided that the defense doesn’t get to use the prosecution’s psychiatrist?

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