It has been a tough week for the defense team in the Oscar Pistorius trial, after the long awaited psychiatric evaluation revealed on Monday June 30 that Oscar Pistorius knew the difference between right and wrong when he gunned Reeva Steenkamp down behind a closed and locked bathroom door in the early morning hours of Valentine's Day 2013. Since then, the defense has been doing their job, and trying to point fingers at every possible alternative to explain the mind of the man in the moments he pulled that trigger four times, killing his lover Reeva Steenkamp. USA Today reports that the most recent witness for the defense has attempted to illustrate Oscar Pistorius as a "paradox", while other testimony has shown that the couple had intended to move in together to a luxury Johannesburg home according to the Daily Mail on July 5. This testimony is the defense's attempt to illustrate that the couple Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp had intended to live a long happy life together in a live-in relationship, hoping to negate any notion of premeditated murder for Oscar Pistorius.
The Daily Mail reports that prior to Valentine's Day 2013, Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend were planning to move in together into a luxury Johannesburg home. The home is a reported nine million rand, or £530,000 which is the approximate equivalent of just over 900,000 USD. The Daily Mail reports that not only was a deposit put down on the home, but that Reeva was reportedly looking at websites pertaining to interior design on her iPad for the new home on the night that she died.
According to the Daily Mail, the home was luxurious beyond imagination. It was an 8,000 square foot location with two stories located on half of an acre of land. The home had accomodations for guests and live-in help, a pool, gardens, and four separate garages. It was the kind of home one would expect an international hero would live in.
The Daily Mail also reports that Oscar and Reeva had discussed this with friends prior to the killing. One of the friends reportedly claimed,
"He trained in Pretoria but could do his gym workouts in Johannesburg. They had talked about moving in together and were really excited about it."
But if this is the case, the question the court of public opinion keeps asking is, why hasn't the defense called in more character witnesses, more of these alleged friends perhaps, to corroborate this story?
The purpose of this latest testimony is for the defense to illustrate that Oscar could not possibly have been guilty of premeditated murder. This testimony is an attempt to show that Oscar intended to live a long happy life together with his beloved Reeva. But why is only one witness for the defense illustrating this concept?
For those that believe that Oscar Pistorius is guilty of premeditated murder, including the State, it is believed that Oscar and Reeva had a fight on the night in question. The State believes the fight was so bad, Reeva went running into the bathroom with her iPad, locking the door behind her, hoping to wait the fight out. Clearly that did not happen, or we would not be discussing this case today.
The State alleges that the relationship was over on the night in question, and that it was this fear of Oscar's, fear of losing his relationship and not fear of an intruder as Oscar alleges, that motivated him to pull the trigger four times while Reeva was behind that locked door. If this is the case, whether or not they were planning on moving in together would be irrelevant.
That claim too would also be negated at the moment that Reeva threatened or prepared to leave Oscar Pistorius if what the State alleges is accurate. It is one of many paradoxes in the case of the Oscar Pistorius trial, and in the relationship between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp. This seemingly tumultuous relationship is at the center of this trial, and what happened in that relationship is exactly what the State is trying to determine, while trying Oscar Pistorius for premeditated murder.
The word paradox has even been used by one of the most recent witnesses for the defense according to USA Today. In the last days of the trial, defense called Wayne Derman, a professor of sport medicine working at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Wayne Derman has testified that Oscar Pistorius is a "paradox" according to USA Today, saying that on one side of that paradox he is an international hero.
On the other side, Oscar is a disabled human being, that experiences significant limitations as a result of this disability. Derman wants Judge Masipa, the authority presiding over this case who will determine the fate of Oscar Pistorius, to believe that it was this weakened and disabled human who pulled the trigger that night, and not the international hero the world remembers.
Without a psychiatric report to show that Oscar's state of mind was weakened that evening, the defense needs something. This witness is the latest strategy of the defense to find other ways to illustrate a weakened mind incapable of premeditated murder, and a relationship that was loving and headed for a bright future.
According to USA Today, Wayne Derman testified:
"You've got a paradox of an individual who is supremely able, and you've got an individual who is significantly disabled. He has a specific fear of being trapped somewhere without being able to move very rapidly."
Derman further testified that Oscar Pistorius is afraid of flying, and that on the night in question, "fleeing was not an option" due to Oscar's disability. Derman postulated that Oscar was acting in a frenzy, and was not thinking clearly at all, hoping to negate any notion of premeditation.
Lead prosecutor for the State Gerrie Nel tore down that theory, saying Oscar made a lot of moves that evening that suggest his thought process was clear to some degree. In order for Oscar to shoot at anyone, he would have to find his gun in the dark, which reportedly was not located where he normally kept it, remove the gun from its holster, and then move down a "passage" between the bedroom and the bathroom as he was "scanning for the perceived threat". Nel asserted, according to USA Today, "The accused was careful before he entered the passage."
Testimony got testy after that according to Fox News. Gerrie Nel accused Wayne Derman of providing "character evidence" as opposed to the "physical evidence" he was required to provide. Derman only replied, "The truth would come before my patient."
Nel jumped on this asserting, "You cannot give evidence against your patient, sir."
An adjournment followed, but when testimony continued Wayne Derman attempted to illustrate that Nel was being unfair in his line of questioning. Prosecutor for the State alleged, "You're thinking of the point I'm trying to make, and you're not listening to the question."
Derman reportedly replied, "You put a statement. I'm not responding to a statement."
Derman's testimony will continue this Monday.
This testimony, and testimony of the new home Oscar and Reeva were supposedly about to move into, does indeed represent a paradox. On the one side we have the defense focusing on the PTSD and depressive components of the psychiatric evaluation that asserted that Oscar Pistorius knows the difference between right and wrong. What the defense is trying to show with this side of the paradox is that Oscar loved Reeva, and would never premeditate her murder.
WebProNews is one media outlet that finds this side of the paradox a little difficult to swallow. The PTSD that Wayne Derman is attempting to illustrate is irrelevant to many watching the Oscar Pistorius trial. As Web Pro News posed, "That is a rather condescending suggestion that seems to be at the heart of the defense's current tactic."
The state of the relationship between lovers Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp are at the center of this trial. Does it matter that Oscar and Reeva were looking at a home worth almost $1 million USD before she died? Does that paint the picture of a relationship that was meant to last?
Or was Reeva planning to leave Oscar on Valentine's Day 2013 after a heated argument? If so, do you believe Reeva was the victim of premeditated murder as alleged in the Oscar Pistorius trial? Is that fight the reason why she ran into the bathroom and locked herself in? Or did Oscar pull the trigger four times, after locating his gun, removing it from the holster, and making his way down a dark passage without his legs, in a moment of PTSD panic?
What do you think?