Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Oscar Pistorius & Louis C.K.: "We will have so much murder."

Should we accept more excuses for killing people? I don't think so but now that final arguments have been filed for the judge for the Oscar Pistorius case, the world is waiting for the answer to that question. The problem is that if Oscar's reason for shooting Reeva Steenkamp is accepted, then it will be like declaring open hunting season on spouses and significant others. We in America have been moving closer to that too ever since the concealed gun laws changed so that it is largely ok to carry around a concealed gun or other weapon. But back to Oscar. Here is the argument his team has been making for months:

Oscar killed Reeva, his girlfriend who was staying in his house with him. They had been seeing one another only a few months. By Oscar's own admission he was more into her than she was into him. Their text messages showed that he was acting more and more like a jealous and controlling boyfriend and she was having some serious doubts about him and his temper.

His story is that he woke up, heard a noise, thought an intruder had broken into his house and that the intruder locked himself into his bathroom. Oscar sleeps with a gun at hand so he got up, walked to the bathroom and fired his gun four times into the bathroom door. He didn't bother checking Reeva's whereabouts. His only explanation for why he felt so threatened by an intruder is that he is missing his legs beneath the knee and therefore is more anxious than most about his safety. He also claims crime in South Africa is much worse than anywhere else so that most people live in fear. However his house sold for about half a million dollars and the mining engineer who bought it said that its being in such a safe neighborhood was its chief selling point.

There is so much fishy with Oscar's story that one hardly knows where to begin with all of the ways it stinks to high heaven. But let us assume that story is true, and I don't think any of us do, isn't his "reason" for killing ridiculous? A person is in a locked bathroom in his house and he just opens fire? He uses lethal force with no more reason than that?

If this kind of thing becomes an OK reason for discharging a weapon then anyone who has got a spouse or significant other he or she is sick of only has to suddenly develop an overwhelming sense of fear over intruders and then let rip. Are you ok with that developing in our law? I'm certainly not.

Marius du Toit, a South African criminal defense lawyer and a former prosecutor, states what seems to be the prevailing opinion among criminal defense attorneys in South Africa as to the outcome:  “I would think that it will be between culpable homicide and murder,” Mr. du Toit said, referring to murder without premeditation, a lesser charge. “I don’t know if the state has done enough for murder, and I think Oscar Pistorius may have done too much for culpable homicide.” That kind of murder conviction carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Premeditated murder carries the far harsher mandatory life sentence with a minimum of 25 years.

The comedian Louis C.K. has in his stand up act a section about if suddenly murder were no longer a crime that we'd be killing one another right and left. He gives examples and they are of behavior devolving to killing those who are just preventing you from doing what you want to do. I hope the intruder excuse is rejected or otherwise, like Louis C.K. says, we will have so much murder.

The below three Louis C.K. stand up comedy shows are now streaming on netflix. I have seen them and they are great. Amazon Prime is also streaming free stand up shows of  his.

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