Reeva Steenkamp: To the living we owe respect but to the dead we owe only the truth

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Good afternoon:

The Guardian is reporting today:

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp expressed anger and disbelief on Friday after Oscar Pistorius was formally acquitted of their daughter’s murder, insisting: “Justice was not served.”

Amid growing discontent in South Africa at the verdict, the Steenkamps criticised judge Thokozile Masipa for being too lenient on the athlete, who was instead convicted of culpable homicide, the South African equivalent of manslaughter, and granted bail.

“This verdict is not justice for Reeva,” her mother, June Steenkamp, told NBC News. “I just want the truth.”

I agree.

Yesterday, I identified the core weakness in Judge Masipa’s decision acquitting Oscar Pistorius of murder and convicting him of culpable (manslaughter) homicide.

Under South African law, however, a judge cannot base a verdict on circumstantial evidence alone unless no inference except guilt can reasonably be drawn from it.

Her conclusion makes sense when viewed through the prism of the legal rules that she applied. However, it makes no sense to be forced into accepting a liar’s statement about his knowledge and intent when it is contrary to common experience and he has a powerful motive to lie.

I did not believe Oscar Pistorius because he lied during much of his testimony and I do not believe his story about shooting into the cubicle without making certain she was not there. He should not benefit because he killed the only witness who could contradict him.

1. The door to the cubicle was locked;

2. She had her phone with her;

3. Her bladder was empty;

4. There was no urine in the toilet bowl; and

5. Pistorius never mentioned hearing the toilet flush.

That’s all the circumstantial evidence that I need to confirm my belief that he lied.

“To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.”

Voltaire

47 Responses to Reeva Steenkamp: To the living we owe respect but to the dead we owe only the truth

  1. ay2z says:

    The BBC documentary published this week, aired earlier this week on BBC.

    9BBCDocumentary2014

    “Oscar Pistorius The Truth BBC Full Documentary 2014”

    “Published on Sep 16, 2014

    Oscar Pistorius: The Truth
    Documentary going behind the scenes of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, following victim Reeva Steenkamp’s parents as they prepare for the court case and interviewing them after the verdict is announced. …”

  2. ay2z says:

    Sad stuation, to threaten the judge.

    UK telegraph article:

    “Judge who found Oscar Pistorius not guilty of murder under police protection:
    Officers from notoriously fierce Tactical Response Team guarding Judge Thokozile Masipa’s home following threats”

    by Erin Conway-Smith, Johannesburg4:59PM BST 16 Sep 2014

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/oscar-pistorius/11099764/Judge-who-found-Oscar-Pistorius-not-guilty-of-murder-under-police-protection.html

    • ay2z says:

      And now racial hatred, bias against a female judge, have raised their ugly heads.

      Quote:
      “South Africa’s Legal Resources Centre, where prominent human rights lawyer George Bizos is a senior counsel, is among the groups that have expressed concern over the threats and verbal attacks on Judge Masipa since she delivered her controversial verdict.

      People may disagree with the judgment. However, attacking and threatening Judge Masipa because she is black or because she is female is simply unacceptable,” read a joint statement by three legal organisations.

      “Some of the remarks may even border on hate speech, defamation and contempt of court.”

      A survey by ROi Africa, a media monitoring firm, found that nearly 80 percent of social media posts about Judge Masipa were negative in tone during the two days she delivered her verdict. Many comments accused Pistorius of having “got away with murder” because he was a celebrity, the firm said.

      One image, which according to local media reports circulated on social media in South Africa, showed a group of children armed with long knives, with a caption saying they would wait for Judge Masipa at her house to discuss the case.

      Unquote

      • This reaction is inappropriate, mob-like and dangerous.

        Criticism of the decision is fair game, of course, but ad hominem remarks are out of bounds and threats to injure or kill are unlawful.

        • Malisha says:

          Well Well. I will bet these threats are NOT coming from dangerous “Black Thugs” but from fine upstanding white citizens of the former Apartheid state.

        • ay2z says:

          The legal organizations in SA, say fair to criticize the judgement, not the judge.

          The critics within the legal system, re the judgement, were much less represented than those who make up the numbers in social media, who are making their voices heard.

          Malisha, unless there is a faction of Malema’s cronies, to increase antagonism towards the government in general. Riding the coattails of this case for his own purposes? Why not, if he can use it.

  3. ay2z says:

    Another section from the BBC Steenkamp reactions:

  4. Greg Beasley says:

    The first four facts that you presented Frederick prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Reeva locked herself in the bathroom to protect herself from him during a domestic dispute. People are already accusing the judge of corruption. I wouldn’t go that far without proof but I will accuse her of lacking basic intelligence.

    • I doubt Judge Masipa is corrupt or stupid.

      I’ve known quite a few honest and intelligent judges who got lost in the letter of the law and reached a decision that did not make sense.

      To be fair, Faux McCoy agrees with her decision. I respect her intelligence and she has worked with abused women.

      Therefore, I think reasonable minds can probably reach different conclusions.

  5. ay2z says:

    Been a dyslexic morning!

    Whatever, the truth is owed to the dead, while we seem to only get ‘respect’ or the face of respect in the courts.

    Sorry about the important misquote.

    Found one part of the BBC interview, it’s a distorted version visually, why can’t people coordinate their recording or upload with original format is strange. But there it is.

  6. ay2z says:

    “……. but to the dead we owe only respect.”

    Does this really apply, ‘only’ respect? But the ‘truth’ is owed to Reeva’s parents, ‘the living’. They are Reeva’s placeholders in the realm of the living and they are owed ‘the truth’.

    A BBC3 interview was scheduled for after the verdict in which both parents spoke out. Reeva’s father, earlier called a big ‘softie’, as in soft hearted, and he said himself, he wanted to speak to Pistorius as it would help him.

    Now both parents are ready to meet Pistorius face to face, and they willl assuredly have hard questions for the admitted and obvious killer of their daughter. Accident? If Pistorius wants forgiveness from Reeva’s parents, he has the chance to meet them now.

    June Steenkamp is quoted in The Independent article: posted today, Sept 14, 2014.

    “I wanted the truth, I don’t think we got the truth,” June concluded. “That’s the whole point. We did not get the truth.”
    ….
    On whether she felt justice for Reeva’s death had been adequately served by the verdict of culpable homicide, which carries a potential jail sentence of 15 years, June said: “No, definitely not. Very, very disappointed. And very sad, it’s sad, you know? Because you want that for Reeva, justice for her. She died a horrible death. A horrible, painful, terrible death. And she suffered, you know? And he shot through the door. And I can’t believe that they believe it was an accident.”

    And Reeva’s father who wants to question Pistorius, is quoted as saying:

    ““We’re not the only people in the world that are going through a crisis like this, or have been through it,” Barry, becoming tearful, added. “But I’m sure that most people will understand, you know what we’ve been through, and I’d just like it to come to an end now. And for us to carry on.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/oscar-pistorius-reeva-steenkamps-parents-request-meeting-with-athlete-following-his-sentencing-for-culpable-homicide-9735566.html

    (don’t have a link to the BBC interview)

    • ay2z says:

      “…. the model’s father, Barry Steenkamp, has said he can only begin to come to terms with their tragic loss once he’s had the opportunity to question the athlete himself, face to face.

      During an interview with BBC 3, scheduled after Pistorius’ verdict of culpable homicide (the equivalent of manslaughter in the UK) was read on Friday (12 September) and broadcast as part of documentary Oscar Pistorius: The Truth on Monday (15 September), he said: “Before I forgive, forgive like any forgiveness, I want to talk to him first.

      “It won’t be anything nice or anything like that, but I’d like to sit down and talk to him. And I’m sure that will come about.”

    • It’s the other way ’round.

      “To the living we owe respect but to the dead we owe only the truth.”

      I got it right in the body of the post, but my dyslexic brain switched the two words when I typed the title.

      I posted it, realized my mistake, and corrected the title.

      • ay2z says:

        I did the same thing, and someone else posted the switcheroo version too but wondered why it made less sense to me this time around.

        But this was all my fault!

  7. Malisha says:

    I’m starting to think that the scenario was a bit more complicated than I originally believed it was. Now I’m thinking that the argument that was taking place between Pistorius and Steenkamp had to do with the fact that Steenkamp was beginning to see that Miss Taylor was right about “god’s gift to women” and she was perhaps voicing that belief. Oscar was not going to have a prominent beautiful blonde who commanded respect out there badmouthing him and he was fighting to keep her under control. She was leaving. She dressed and got her cell phone and he armed himself. Realizing she couldn’t make it out of the house safely she locked herself in the bathroom and began to call for help but he shot her dead. That’s how I’m thinking of it now.

  8. Malisha says:

    You can bet that if Reeva Steenkamp had grabbed Oscar’s gun and shot four bullets through the locked toilet door in the middle of the night, saying that she was frightened by a noise and thought it was an intruder, she’d be going down for murder I.

  9. The Daily Mirror is reporting:

    It was on November 4 2012 when Pistorius’s former girlfriend was watching the South African Sports Awards and saw her then boyfriend walking down the red carpet with ‘mystery blonde’ Ms Steenkamp.

    Before he got together with Miss Steenkamp, Pistorius had spent a year-and-a-half dating Cape Town marketing student Miss Taylor.

    She told the Mirror she feared he would kill her and even once hid his gun. She said she was also left with bruises and scars after she alleges he bit and pinched her.

    But Miss Taylor said it was not only physical violence that she suffered at the Blade Runner’s hands – she claimed she was also tortured mentally by him.

    She said: ‘Oscar used to lock me in his house and then go out. I had no food, I couldn’t get out. It was dangerous.’ She alleges that he would often stay out all night after locking her in.

    • Malisha says:

      It is an interesting comment on his character, the part about locking in his girlfriend. He wanted total coercive control. This is part of the picture with these gun-happy power-hungry self-appointed demigods. Unfortunately, our (and apparently other) legal systems kowtow to these types.

    • ay2z says:

      The leopard does not change its spots.

  10. Malisha says:

    What I’m taking away from all this, unfortunately, is:

    On both sides of all oceans,
    more powerful people may kill less powerful people.
    Most of the time.

  11. ay2z says:

    Quote from the guardian article about the uproar in South Africa about the Pistorius verdict: A lot of evidence was presented at trial about the killer’s reaction after the killing, Judge Masipa seemed to have considered at least some of it relevant.

    Quote:

    The judge was wrong to use details of Pistorius’s conduct after the killing, such as praying to God to save Steenkamp’s life, as evidence of his intention when he pulled the trigger, McKaiser added. “That’s the bit I deem to be embarrassing and not just wrong. It doesn’t matter what happened afterwards. These facts are irrelevant to the case.”

    Unquote

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/12/reeva-steenkamp-family-outrage-oscar-pistorius-verdict

    • Under US law:

      His reaction after the shooting is relevant because it has probative value.

      The argument against admissibility is that it’s self-serving hearsay.

      The argument for admissibility is that it was an excited utterance and present sense impression made while under the influence of the event. Both are exceptions to the hearsay rule.

      It’s probably admissible. But the question is how much weight should be given to it.

      I would argue not much since he had an opportunity to consider what his reaction should be and his emotional distress could have been caused by his realization that he had just destroyed his own life.

      • ay2z says:

        Yes, Masipa did not think his reaction post-minutes/hrs of the crime, could possibly have been fabricated or altered to suit a version as it was too soon afterwards.

        How long does Judge Masipa think it takes to recognized that you have ruined your own life to react as somewhat ‘upset’.

        Four shots, does Judge Masipa believe that the hip shot could have caused a silent reaction from the victim? She must have believed that to allow Pistorius to fire the subsequent rounds into the door and claim those following three rounds were ‘accidental’.

        Pistorius had to continue shooting if Reeva knew he was there, and she him. Point of no return to leaving her survivable.

  12. bonnie says:

    I don’t know if this link has been posted so sorry if it’s a repeat.
    I find it very interesting.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/forensic-scientist-in-disbelief-over-pistorius-verdict/

    • Thanks for providing the link. I had not seen it.

    • Malisha says:

      Oh Wow I didn’t realize in SA the prosecution could appeal!

      That puts new light on the matter. I was giving Masipa the benefit of the doubt because I figured she was making an appeal-proof decision to make sure Pistorius did some time for his crime, in view of the masses of money behind him and his ability to appeal forever while out on bond. But now that I see both sides in a SA criminal case can appeal, I reassess her decision as less than strategic. Now she (a) discounted the evidence that Oscar had plenty of time and opportunity (while grabbing his gun) to assess the situation better than he claims he did; and (b) ignored the evidence that he understood the likely effects of his conduct was somebody’s death and that person — date, mate or intruder — was not threatening him.

      • JJP says:

        In the United States, the prosecution is not allowed to appeal acquittals because of the double jeopardy clause, which forbids trying a defendant twice for the same offense. The interpretation is based on case law by appellate courts. Double jeopardy in South Africa does not prohibit appellate review.

  13. YQ says:

    I love that header! To the living we owe the truth, respect to the dead.

  14. John Guy said this same thing in his closing arguments, in the fogen trisl and the dunn trial.

    • Voltaire said it first. He was a contemporary and good friend of Benjamin Franklin and regarded as an intellectual giant of the Enlightenment and the father of the French Revolution.

      He was an elegant and witty rascal who raged against the monarchy and all forms of human oppression.

      Here’s another one:

      “To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.”

  15. ay2z says:

    Have a question for those with really good memories of the trial and documents.

    Re the 38 rounds of ammunition gathered from Pistorius’s safe, being held ‘for his father’, does anyone know if there was documentation that specified the calibre of the ammo or the father’s firearm that used these bullets?

    Interesting that this was not correlated to the handgun used by Pistorius in the watermelon explosion video. Pistorius gave exhaustive details to the court about this event and the gun, and the gun manufacturer’s country of origin and the purpose as a ‘trail walking to kill animals in self-defense’ gun.

    In the reading of charges, I have to review that again, as I thought it was not 38 ‘calibre’ or ‘mm’ ammo but 38 rounds.

    IF the two were one and the same, intended for the shoting range gun, then Pistorius would have admitted animus which Judge Masipa flatly rejected to find him not guilty.

    Also do not understand how Judge Masipa believed that Pistorius’s father was not any benefit to the state anyway. That is strange. Pistorius’s father could know that his son aspired to be a gun owner of the firearm that used this higher calibre load and could admit that on the stand. Or, in rejecting the state’s position, he could support his son by affirming that the ammo was his in temporary safe storage in his son’s safe.

    But whatever, the animus would be proven by the melon video, if the ammo fit that range gun Pistorius claims to have already made application to own.

    (planned to get one of these guns– see the video of day in court with the watermelon shooting video link

  16. The Guardian is reporting that Pistorius is planning on writing a book about the case.

    What a guy!

    • racerrodig says:

      That’s incredible…..what next, does he do a painting and claim it’s just to express his artistic side ??

      “It’s unfortunate that lately the “dead” never get their truth.’

      What’s worse is that the victims are painted as the bad guy and it’s all their fault any of this happened. THEN, some brainless clowns put the killers on a pedestal and donate top their criminal cause.

    • ay2z says:

      The newly crafted ‘author’ didn’t wait long, did he? He’s been a busy boy, during those times of trial.

    • Malisha says:

      The ability of the liar to capitalize on his successful lie is part of our whole-world culture, it seems. They out-victim everybody.

      Every psychopath gets “all the rights.” Others don’t get “all the rights.” I remember a woman who said, after seeing how a court case went, “When I die I want to come back as a pedophile.” I asked her why: “Because they get all the rights.”

    • girlp says:

      Unbelievable…What a narcissist.

  17. owl says:

    once a heroic, celebrated athlete, and an inspiration to the disabled…i can’t help but think his jealousy about other men, having captured the heart of a stunning woman, left him feeling powerless without a weapon. i recall reading he was without his prosthetic legs when he made his way toward the bathroom…though i may be corrected. this image of him on his stumps, half his stature, may be a crazed and irrationally jealous man? i may be unfair in this assessment.
    how crushing and outrageous that her parents must suffer and endure even his temporary freedom, and any nuance of his being excused at any level for the murder of their daughter.
    i cannot think like a lawyer. i’ve never served on a jury. the law is so foreign to my personal sense of justice.
    but there is a higher power. may she rest in his hands. free from violence.

  18. Disappointed says:

    It’s unfortunate that lately the “dead” never get their truth.

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