Pistorius Sentence Expected Tuesday

Closing arguments are over in the Oscar Pistorius case. The judge is expected to rule Tuesday. Prosecutors asked for 10 years. The defense asks for house arrest and community service. From the defense closing:

Roux said there was also "no conscious unlawfulness" from Pistorius. He described Pistorius' suffering, both emotional and financial, since the Feb. 14, 2013 shooting.
"He's lost everything," Roux said of Pistorius, once an inspirational figure who became the first amputee to run at the Olympics in 2012. "He was an icon in the eyes of South Africans."

...."He's not only broke, but he's broken. There is nothing left of this man," Roux said. He said that Pistorius "hasn't even the money to pay for legal expenses. He has nothing left."


The prosecutor continues to substitute his opinion for the judge's ruling. He said, "The negligence borders on intent." That's not what the judge ruled in dismissing the murder count. His conduct was negligent. There was no finding of intent. He also resorted to false hysteria.

Mr Nel suggested that the public might "take the law into their own hands" if the judge showed any greater leniency.

This prosecutor has been over the top since day 1. First he overcharged the case, now he ignores that the judge found Oscar not guilty of murder and makes up stuff about lynch mobs forming in protest of a lenient sentencing decision.

Thankfully, public opinion is irrelevant to the judge's decision. The "interests of society" are not driven by or synonymous with public opinion. Oscar's lack of prior criminal history and life circumstances must also be taken into account.

House arrest and community service are punishment. They fit the crime and the offender. Prison is not warranted in this case. I hope the judge agrees.

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  • Display: Sort:
    "He has nothing left." (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 18, 2014 at 10:04:00 AM EST
    So, he could use a few years of free room and board.

    Without revisiting all the elements of this case, I can say that there is nothing in the definition of liberal which requires believing this defendant.  

    The case is neither about the bombast and sarcasm of the prosecutor nor the soothing demeanor of the defense counsel.  It is not about Oscar's unrelentingly public pathos.

    And it is not about the well documented depravity and indifference which plague the American justice system.  Nobody was railroaded.  No racism.  No old-school police tactics or torture.  No suppressed exculpatory evidence.  No DNA test will point at a one armed mystery perp.

    I have to disagree (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by nyjets on Sat Oct 18, 2014 at 10:21:27 PM EST
    "House arrest and community service are punishment. They fit the crime and the offender. Prison is not warranted in this case."
    For the crime Pistorius was convicted of, house arrest and community service are NOT punishment. He unlawfully took the life of another. His actions were reckless and inexcusable. I am not saying he should serve a life sentence, however some jail time is most certainly warranted.

    I Would Add... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 01:50:17 PM EST
    ...it's not right for a legal professional to condemn the behavior of other legal professionals in other countries just because it's not the same decorum as here.

    Then using that as some sort of reason why a guilty person should not go to jail.  Not sure that tactic is any different that the one Mr Nel is using, well except for his might be legal in South Africa.

    If it's violating any rules in South Africa, state that, otherwise it's just opinion from an outsider, which definitely is no reason to influence the punishment of a man already found guilty of numerous crimes.


    And Mr. Nel (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 02:16:34 PM EST
    is called a "bulldog" because this is his reputation - the fact that some people are shocked that he's actually calling out Pistorious on his story is just plain silly.

    And Barry Roux (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 02:28:27 PM EST
    Is not a saint just because he's a defense attorney.  He's a guy doing a job - that is, to zealously advocate for his client, which he is and has done well. He's been called a "legal gun for hire" who is not motivated by altruism from court watchers.

    And Roux had his share of criticism about his style as well - called an "attack dog".  It isn't just Nel that has been obnoxious at times.  He even has an internet meme going.


    I was on a jury (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 03:56:42 PM EST
    where the doctor, hospital and  insurance attorneys were pretty aggressive in questioning family members regarding the truthfulness of their claims in a civil suit. Called them out big time and pretty much triple teamed them into mush to win their case.

    IMO "shocked" defense is meant to elicit sympathy for the client. The majority of the defense has been built around poor, poor Oscar. It has been fairly successful so far.


    Well, they are punishment (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Reconstructionist on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 05:08:02 PM EST
     because they are sanctions imposed for a crime which  deprive a person of liberty. Whether they are sufficient punishment for this offense and this offender is a matter of opinion.

      I agree they are insufficient in this case which involves a very serious offense causing the ultimate harm to the victim, regardless of one's view of his intent.

      I also tend to think he is VERY fortunate to have received the benefit of the doubt as to his state of mind and avoided the presumably punishment that would be applied if convicted of a higher degree of homicide.

      A finding that shooting four times  through a closed door when a person does not know who is on the other side is merely negligent is quite favorable, and that's not even bringing up the very real possibility many other judges (or jurors in a jury trial) might very well have found his claim not to know who was behind the door somewhat less than credible given the facts.

      In my personal opinion he's already way ahead of the game


    This article informs us a person (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 19, 2014 at 04:09:54 PM EST
    during trial in South Africa for killing another human being was diagnosed during trial as having a brain tumor. He was sentenced to prison:

    Poor Bernie Madoff (none / 0) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 04:23:20 PM EST
    Couldn't they have tossed him a paltry billion, or, two? I thought we had done away with cruel & unusual punishment.

    If the pain and suffering inflicted on Oscar by his lamenting the loss of just one victim was a legitimate mitigating factor in reducing (eliminating) his jail time, Bernies' screwing thousands of retirees out of their life savings would make his forced evacuation from his Park Avenue Penthouse equivalent to a "Crime Against Humanity."