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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:53 PM

Reeva Steenkamp's killer will have a bench trial

South Africa doesn't have trial by jury. I think, in this case, it may help keep the "cult of personality" from coloring the verdict ala Robert Blake.

Reeva Steenkamp was her name.

65 replies, 3191 views

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Reply Reeva Steenkamp's killer will have a bench trial (Original post)
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 OP
BainsBane Feb 2013 #1
joeybee12 Feb 2013 #2
KamaAina Feb 2013 #6
joeybee12 Feb 2013 #12
malaise Feb 2013 #29
aquart Feb 2013 #51
joeybee12 Feb 2013 #55
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #3
BainsBane Feb 2013 #5
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #18
REP Feb 2013 #48
redqueen Feb 2013 #8
BainsBane Feb 2013 #13
redqueen Feb 2013 #23
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #10
BainsBane Feb 2013 #14
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #16
BainsBane Feb 2013 #17
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #20
redqueen Feb 2013 #21
BainsBane Feb 2013 #24
Bake Feb 2013 #4
BainsBane Feb 2013 #7
Bake Feb 2013 #11
BainsBane Feb 2013 #15
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #19
Bake Feb 2013 #27
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #22
redqueen Feb 2013 #25
HappyMe Feb 2013 #26
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #43
Bake Feb 2013 #28
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #31
Bake Feb 2013 #32
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #33
Bake Feb 2013 #34
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #37
dsc Feb 2013 #52
Bake Feb 2013 #35
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #38
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #44
HappyMe Feb 2013 #40
Bake Feb 2013 #41
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #45
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #46
Bake Feb 2013 #49
DevonRex Feb 2013 #56
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #42
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #9
polly7 Feb 2013 #30
CBGLuthier Feb 2013 #36
riverwalker Feb 2013 #39
Avalux Feb 2013 #47
TorchTheWitch Feb 2013 #50
BainsBane Feb 2013 #54
TorchTheWitch Feb 2013 #61
BainsBane Feb 2013 #63
TorchTheWitch Feb 2013 #65
JI7 Feb 2013 #57
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #58
TorchTheWitch Feb 2013 #60
BainsBane Feb 2013 #53
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #59
BainsBane Feb 2013 #64
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #62

Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:00 PM

1. I continue to be shocked by this

All the more after reading that he shot her through the bathroom door and claims he thought she was an intruder. Pistorius seemed like a really great guy when I saw him covered at the Olympics last summer.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:03 PM

2. He was also apparently very paranoid..he slept with a gun under

his pillow

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:06 PM

6. Apparently steroids were found in the house

'Roids do terrible things to the mind as well as the body.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:10 PM

12. This story gets weirder and weirder...

Really awful tragedy

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:56 PM

29. Ding ding we have a winner

He will soon join Lance Armstrong as one more fraud

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:12 PM

51. In South Africa, windows are barred.

If it's paranoia, it's national.

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Response to aquart (Reply #51)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:29 PM

55. Ithink it is national, from what others have posted...nt

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:04 PM

3. And a history of domestic calls

It's interesting to read comment by South Africans on "gossip" sites, and how the majority of them knew him as a very arrogant guy with a history of assaulting women, including arrests. Very different from the Golden Boy story we were sold.

The court info from today is just insane -- his story is ridiculous. He murdered her, and he was not offered bail today.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:06 PM

5. actually I heard that wasn't the case

Mind you, I'm not defending a murderer. The guy clearly killed Reeva. The only question now is his degree of culpability.

But his girlfriend of five years claims he never threatened her and the case where the police were called to the house had to do with a disturbance at a party rather than a call involving a partner.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:19 PM

18. Yes, it was

Including assaulting a woman he didn't know.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:57 PM

48. I found an incident of him being arrested for assaulting a woman in 2009

http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/13/safrica-pistorius-arrest-idAFLD49099320090913

And yes, we got the Super Crip narrative (disabled people who accomplish anything cease to be individuals with faults and become an inspirational narrative instead of an actual human being).

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:08 PM

8. A lot of abusers manage to seem like great people to the public.

Often it's only those closest to them who know the truth.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:14 PM

13. true

thought earlier partners have generally experienced their rage.

Truthfully, you just don't know people. I agreed to serve as a reference for a student of mine applying to the border patrol because he wanted to use it as a stepping stone into the FBI. He had to go through a federal background check, so when the federal officer came to ask me about him, I said he seemed like a nice, "even keeled" young man. I must have repeated "even-keeled" two or three times. The government ended up delaying his clearance. A few months later, the guy took his girlfriend hostage, killed both her parents, before eventually killing yourself.

Moral: you don't ever know people, and don't use me as a reference for the federal government. I've got zero credibility.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:24 PM

23. Very true.

You have to spend years close to someone before you really know them. And even then, if they're a sociopath, you still won't.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:09 PM

10. OJ was really beloved before he was revealed to be a serial domestic abuser

and murderer.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:15 PM

14. not the same

at all. Everyone in Nicole's family knew OJ was violent.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:17 PM

16. Give this case a few days or weeks.

We'll see how many details emerge.

Also note that Nicole Brown Simpson had been married to him for years, allowing for a significant legal paper trail to develop.

But, none of that was known.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:19 PM

17. good points

I'm just shocked. I wasn't shocked by OJ, or most of these other cases involving athletes, but I am by this one.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:21 PM

20. No incident of domestic violence surprises me.

Domestic abusers can be anyone. Athlete, doctor, lawyer, drug dealer, etc.

Not saying that a doctor is as likely to be a domestic abuser as a drug dealer, but that you definitely see it from every socioeconomic class, from guys who are beloved and charming and popular and successful.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:21 PM

21. One report on the news this morning was of the comments made by the mother of one of his exes.

This was a teenager he dated for a short time. Can't remember well enough to quote but she said she was afraid of him and afraid for her daughter and that she was extremely happy when they broke up. Actually I think she said he dumped her. Regardless, she was obviously relieved.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:24 PM

24. I didn't see that

As Greek Tragedy pointed out, we'll probably be hearing more stories like this in coming weeks.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:04 PM

4. I'll stick with trial by jury, thank you.

Juries occasionally get it wrong, but not usually.

Judges, on the other hand, often do.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:06 PM

7. He admits to killing her

The only issue now is whether it was intentional.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:09 PM

11. And again, I'll stick with a jury.

Juries determine the facts; judges determine the law, at least in the U.S. judicial system.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:15 PM

15. I hear you.

I like that we have trial by jury as a right.

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Response to Bake (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:21 PM

19. We often have a choice to have a bench trial

And, some people take that option, feeling they get a fairer trial that way.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:53 PM

27. If I'm a defendant in a criminal matter, I'll take a jury ANY DAY.

Yes, you can waive the right to trial by jury, but there are rarely cases where you'd want to do that.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:22 PM

22. Depends. Jury trials in the deep south during the civil rights era

were absolutely abhorrent. Guaranteed acquittal for any white man accused of killing an African-American. Or Jew. Or civil rights activitst.





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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:25 PM

25. An excellent point that many might not consider.

Thanks.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:28 PM

26. This was the same case in SA.

It is the reason that they went to bench trials.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:48 PM

43. That's what I read

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:55 PM

28. Depends on your point of view, and this isn't the 1960s.

If I'm the defendant, I'll take a jury trial any day. Only the defendant has that choice.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:58 PM

31. Of course defendant will take a jury trial if he's rich and a celebrity.

Or if the jury pool is likely to acquit him based on bias factors.

Similarly, jury trials didn't work so well for black defendants in the south, when they bothered with juries.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:10 PM

32. Again, this isn't the 1960s anymore.

Pay attention.

If you're a defendant, ESPECIALLY IN THE DEEP SOUTH, take a jury trial.

Or don't. If you want to go to prison, take a bench trial.

I know what I'm talking about. I practiced law in Mississippi. But you do what you want to do.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:12 PM

33. Sure, and if you're a celebrity who has limitless resources and has an adoring

public, you go for a jury trial.

Heck, even a has-been like Robert Blake got a pass for murdering his wife.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #33)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:16 PM

34. You've already decided he's guilty as hell, just like Robert Blake.

Remind me to strike you from any jury on any of my cases. Or don't. I'll remember.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #34)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:22 PM

37. I'm not likely to sit on a South African jury, or one in Mississippi, so

go ahead and strike my name.

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Response to Bake (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:12 PM

52. I don't know

as a gay man would you advise me the same way? I am asking, not being snarky. When I lived there, I figured if I ever were to be tried I would go judge if it became known I was gay.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:21 PM

35. You go to Jefferson County, Mississippi and tell me who's serving on juries.

It's poor folks, both white and minority. I'll take a jury there any day.

There's a reason Big Business called Jefferson County MS a "judicial hellhole." Look it up. The jries there were FAIR. Both civil and criminal. And tell me you'd rather have a bench trial there. I know the judges there. You do not want a bench trial unless you're a blithering idiot. And that's just one county in MS. Is that Deep South enough for you? Try Hinds County, MS. I know those judges too. I'll take a jury trial there. ANY DAY.

This ain't the 1960s any more.

Good God.

Bake, Esq.

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Response to Bake (Reply #35)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:28 PM

38. This guy ain't standing trial in Jefferson, MS.

He'd be standing trial in South Africa, where he's a huge celebrity and has been treated as an inspirational hero, etc etc etc.

Imagine if Ole Miss won the BCS championship. Do you think a trial involving their QB or head coach would have a truly unbiased jury?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #38)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:50 PM

44. Exactly, which is why I think this will be a more legit trial

SA went to bench trials because of the severe biases of juries, as well as influences of rich whites. Judges are held to a very high standard, so the bench trials tend to be very fair, for both victim and defendant.

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Response to Bake (Reply #35)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:32 PM

40. South Africa is far worse

in regards to racial issues. Apartheid is what forced them to go to bench trials.

http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/unit.php?id=11

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid_in_South_Africa

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:56 PM

41. I can't speak to S. Africa. I just resent the bias against all jury trials.

Somebody referenced jury trials in the US South--that's what I'm addressing. I'll stick with a jury any day, anywhere in the US.

The bias toward bench trials here seems to be because the opiner wants a conviction rather than a fair trial. I rest my case.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #41)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:51 PM

45. Jury trials can be more fair, they can be less fair.

Depends on the circumstances.

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Response to Bake (Reply #41)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:52 PM

46. My OP is about a South African case

And, in the US, bench trials are also fairer for certain people.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #46)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:05 PM

49. Very, very rarely would a criminal defendant in the US want a bench trial.

Maybe if you were a bankster charged with fraud, you might want a bench trial. That puts a LOT of power in one person's hands.

But hey, you do what you want. I'm not your lawyer.

Bake, Esq.

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Response to Bake (Reply #35)


Response to geek tragedy (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:48 PM

42. Right, or where the jury may be biased because of media, etc.

Casey Anthony lucked out with an intelligent jury, but in most cases, she would have done better with a bench trial, especially with the judge she had.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:09 PM

9. K&R

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:58 PM

30. She had such a great future ahead of her. I hope her family gets justice, whatever that may be.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/19/reeva-steenkamp-funeral-south-africa

Steenkamp's uncle, Mike Steenkamp, told reporters after the funeral that his niece wanted to be an activist for ending abuse against women. "Unfortunately it has swung right around, but I think that the Lord knows that her statement is more powerful now," he said.


http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/02/14/who-was-pistorius-girlfriend-reeva-steenkamp/

The model had previously described herself as a person with a “passion for cars and cooking and prefers to read a book on her off days and spend quality time with friends and family.” She was an active Twitter user and tweeted to her followers late on Wednesday night of how excited she was about Valentine’s Day. “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???” she asked. Steenkamp was also a promoter of domestic violence awareness and re-tweeted a message on Wednesday advising people to “wear black this Friday in support against #rape and woman abuse #blackfriday.”

Most notably, the model sent out the following tweet on Feb. 10:

I woke up in a happy safe home this morning. Not everyone did. Speak out against the rape of individuals… http://instagr.am/p/Viq8nNwPRy/


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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:21 PM

36. Jury or Bench, the sad thing is most in america do not get EITHER any more

The majority of cases ending in plea bargains after the prosecution applies a little pressure.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:31 PM

39. the problem with his story

why would she have locked the door to use the bathroom 7 yards away from the bedroom, too far to hear or see anything?
I don't know about you, but if I were dating a guy for 3 months, were very intimate, considering marriage, and just had sex, I wouldn't be so bashful as to need to lock the bathroom door to pee in the middle of the night in a bathroom down the hall.
His story makes no sense. No woman would do that. He cannot explain the locked door in his his scenario of events.

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Response to riverwalker (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:57 PM

47. Unless she went in there and locked the door to get away from him.

That's certainly plausible, if she was afraid.

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Response to riverwalker (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:07 PM

50. she fled to the bathroom to get away from him

Apparently, you've not read much of anything about this case. He bashed her head with a cricket bat in the bedroom, shot her once in the bedroom and she then fled to the bathroom to try to protect herself from him, but he shot her three more times through the bathroom door. She wasn't in the bathroom because she needed to pee. The assault began in the bedroom, and she fled to the bathroom to try to protect herself from him.

Her autopsy revealed she had a skull fracture from being bashed in the head, and she was hit by four bullets three of which were through the bathroom door and the first being in the bedroom. She was wearing her nightclothes, her Ipod was on the bedroom floor, her overnight bag was in the home, and the bed had obviously been slept in by two people.

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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #50)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:18 PM

54. where did you read about the autopsy?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #54)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:56 PM

61. one of the articles I read or several of them

I've been keeping up with this incident and read tons of stuff. I have no idea which one or which several it was.


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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #61)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:56 PM

63. the autopsy hasn't been released

A few news reports cited unnamed sources. It's too early to know that sort of thing yet. Lots of false information gets out soon after crimes.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #63)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:21 PM

65. and people also leak info to the press on "big" crimes

No idea if the info is correct or not - it's just what I read.


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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #50)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:37 PM

57. i haven't read the details but if what you say is true that seems the most likely Case

i thought she wasn't staying in the house with him that day. i thought he was alone and she was going there to surprise him.

but if she was already in the home it makes no sense to assume the other person in the home is an intruder before thinking of the person who should be there.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #57)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:48 PM

58. CCTV shows her being there from late afternoon on

She was in her nightdress, had an overnight bag and her electronics were by her side of the bed, where she had obviously slept.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #57)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:54 PM

60. one of the many articles

I can't remember which one. I've spent a lot of time since the incident reading about this case since "who dunnits" and "how they dunnits" have always been fascinating to me. I read lots of articles so I can't remember which one it was or if it was several. I guess you could do a google search.

According to excerpts from his affidavit he says that she was in the home and he supposedly thought she was in the bed though he also says the bedroom was pitch dark. Yet he also said that moments before he was in the bed and she was on the bedroom floor doing yoga. So his defense is that though he knew Reeva was in the home he thought there was an intruder locked in his bathroom. Yeah, right. But he has to stick to the intruder story (ridiculous as it is) since that's what he said to the three people he called after shooting her rather than calling for police or EMT's.


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Response to riverwalker (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:17 PM

53. good point

I hadn't thought of that.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:54 PM

59. This is the story he told in court today

He awoke and closed the balcony door and git a fan, all without his legs.

He got back into bed, and heard a noise in the bathroom, which is only a small "toilet stall" bathroom.

From the bed, he shot his 9mm four times through the bathroom door 22 feet away.

Only then did he notice Reeva wasn't in bed.

He put on his legs and used the cricket bat to bash in the door. He dropped the bat in her blood.

He then called his friend.

He waited a few minutes.

He then called his family.

He was alone for about 20 minutes and carried her downstairs. not calling the EMTs. No one did.

His friend arrived. And then his family. EMTs were called. She was alive when his friends and family arrived. She was dead by the time the EMTs arrived.

That's the basic story he told at his hearing today.

The Judge didn't buy it either, and denied bail.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #59)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:57 PM

64. Even if his story were true

that's got to earn him jail time.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:04 PM

62. I'm not buying his story either. I hope justice is served.

I think this was murder from what I have read about the evidence. It's really sad.

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