AFTER THE TRIAL
So what will happen to Oscar Pistorius now? If he somehow escapes serious penalties, will this add to his already excessive sense of entitlement to special treatment, and lead to further escapades and misconduct?
Even if he receives a severe sentence, it’s almost certain, so long as his family help carry the costs, that he will appeal, presumably at each court level up to the Constitutional Court.
His legal team will doubtless demand that he remain on bail until the final appeal is over, so there could be a lengthy period in which he is a convicted criminal, facing a substantial sentence, but out on bail.
This would inevitably be a stressful period of prolonged suspense. Judging by other episodes which have been reported, at a nightclub, and snapping at a reporter’s naïve, irritating but standard question, there could be further occasions in which he behaves gracelessly, and with rapid fury which better fits the Prosecution picture of him than his Defence portrait.
But even if fully exonerated in legal terms, it’s hard to imagine he could regain anything like the life he left before. Would Sponsors be uninterested, and crowds unlikely to cheer, even if he tried running again? Already Oscar Pistorius WILL be allowed to compete at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games if he has served his sentence, organisers announced.
But if, as seems likely, he does get sentenced to time in prison, whether lengthy or brief, how is he likely to handle that situation?
Speculation rather depends on whether one accepts the Defence version which was so unconvincing, or the finding of the neutral shrinks at Weskoppies who found him normal.
Celebrities may have a harder time in jail than others, especially if convicted of a nasty and unsympathetic crime. Or like we had just seen in the “Waterkloof four” case, he could very well BUY himself comfort and security in prison….
If he behaves like the crushed blossom Roux describes, and takes his plastic bucket along he may attract hostility, as bullies always appreciate fresh meat displaying vulnerability.
If he behaves as reported in nightclubs and elsewhere, as a cocky guy with a sense of entitlement, and absolutely no sense of responsibility for his choices and actions, bragging of family connections and wealth, he could attract really serious aggression.
But if he is the Oscar we all believed before the trial started, a man who showed courage and calm determination in facing and overcoming adversities, displaying humility and friendliness, it would probably go a lot better for him, and he may even cope well.
He could use the time to train, or gain educational qualifications, as he will need to find a new line of work when he emerges.
The prison authorities will face challenges, in seeking to provide adequate safety and care, while avoiding the appearance of giving especially favourable attention.
One such challenge, for instance, will be how to address issues of potential suicide attempts. Roux has claimed that Pistorius is seriously depressed. Then again Roux is no expert in the field of psychiatry.
One of the assessors several times interrupted the Judge with whispers, twice leading to a short adjournment : one must wonder what this was about. It’s really unusual, and not explained.
THE OTHER CHARGES
Since Pistorius committed punishable weapons-ammunition offenses and knowing he took great joy in his irresponsible and public firearm antics he could receive a substantial jail sentence yet. (The illegal ammunition charge alone was sentencable to up to 15 years of incarceration.)
Of course some of the nuttier Pistorians would refuse to believe him guilty of anything, even if he produced a full and detailed confession, and a security tape was discovered revealing that events precisely matched the State case.
It’s more than a joke to say that henceforth people would hesitate to visit him at home, and would refuse to use the toilet when he was around.
This is not the end for Oscar. Every lay person has become legal experts and want to judge the merits of the case rather than allow Judge Masipa and her assessors to do what they are trained to do. There is always the danger that an even bigger fate awaits him in the end. If the prosecution doesn’t nail him, or if he escapes jail, he might be nailed outside… one night in some bar someone will get him…
On social media we found this comment: “Personally, Id put him alone in a room with a loaded gun and a Bible and pen and paper … see if the gun goes off by itself. ” Another said: “If i had an opportunity id remove both his arms.. then say no no i did not do it they just fell off My Lady.. they just fell off … then I’d cry a little..”
There are only two people who know what happened and the rest of us are just speculating. Before you judge the court and the judgment and the legal system, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you know enough about medicine to be able to remove your own appendix?
- Do you know enough about engineering to be able to build a bridge?
- Do you know enough about automotive mechanics to be able to repair your car’s ABS system?
- Do you think you could drive a straddle carrier (to load containers)?
- Do you have a law degree? Have you ever prosecuted, defended or judged someone in a real case? Then what makes you think you know enough about the law and the litigation process to be able to second guess the court in a trial you didn’t even attend?
Only the insanely deluded would think they have these skills when they so obviously don’t.
However, The legal system is there to serve the people and people are not supposed to be serving legal practitioners, otherwise there is no need for its existence.
Here is what possibly could happen. Pistorius will receive a two year prison sentence, suspended for 5 years. In other words, no time in jail unless he is convicted of something similar in the next 5 years.
However, in addition to the suspended sentence he will be required to do one year Community Service. This will be manna from heaven for the PR boys and the newspapers. Stand by for endless pics of Pistorius doing good deeds for the ‘disadvantaged’, Pistorius laying a couple of bricks for an RDP house, while tearful ‘disadvantaged’ look on in admiration – you get the drift.
Then low and behold after magnificent efforts by PR and Media, Pistorius is ‘forgiven’ and welcomed back into the bosom of the public. Lucrative advertising and endorsements then flow in a golden stream.
Let us remember this. Trials have never been about the truth. Trials are about what can be proved.