Moving on from LNS and the curious case of Oscar Pistorius

News of LNS decision not to strip Rangers of titles has been met with some major, though not unsurprising disdain among many football supporters. When I first turned on the radio on Thursday afternoon to hear the news I was not at all surprised with the learned Lords judgement. Simply put, LNS arrived at the correct conclusion.

The problem when a judgement of this nature arrives is the cry of injustice, the shock, the belief that something sinister has been at work for such an outcome to have existed. The simple fact is that the decision was correct. I have said before, and shall again here; that a basic understanding of legal processes should be taught in schools. Situations such as this confirm my reasoning as to why. LNS, or any Judge or Sheriff in any court/tribunal in the land be it legal or independent is not there to make up rules or laws. LNS, or anyone else in his position has a duty to FOLLOW the rules, to follow them and apply them in the manner they were designed (as long as they are in accordance with other law in legal cases). It does not matter how badly written the rules are, it does not matter any blatant loopholes that may or may not exist and it certainly does not matter how much of an injustice that some offended party may feel. The rules are applied and a verdict reached.

LNS reached the correct verdict. Instead of heralding the Lord as insane, bent or incompetent I think people should perhaps show some respect to a man who has a far better understanding and knowledge in this process than they will ever have – no matter the wealth of blogs that they choose to read with unfaltering faith.

One this that I am certain of is that this matter will not be going anywhere soon. Instead of moving on, like Scottish football needs to, this matter will drag its heels in the sand and more fool those that linger on such matters because it will only be to their own detriment. There are people out there on Twitter and Facebook and the like in utter despair. Physically hurting inside that they did not get their own way, and that is the bottom line: they did not get THEIR way. Blame the rules for that, not LNS.

I have been very critical of Rangers in the past few years, as more and more of the story regarding their demise was exposed. I am suspicious and unsettled at the direction the club appears to be taking at present also. I understand the direction taken by Charles Green but I cannot condone it and the sectarian singing that once again reared its ugly head in recent weeks is testament to the fact that if you advertise to the idiots in the manner Green has then you will attract them and as much as their coin should be appreciated at this time, the baggage that they bring with them is not worth any money in the world.

As critical as I have been, it is time to move on from this saga. We live in a country facing far bigger issues and if nothing else has come to the fore in all of this it is that online blogs, Twitter and the like were INSTRUMENTAL in the breaking of the Rangers story. There are literally THOUSANDS of people who publicised every last detail of the Rangers saga and brought it to the public attention to such an extreme that the papers and televised press had no option but to acknowledge the contribution of the internet community.

If the same amount of people turned their attention to some of the real injustices in Scotland then perhaps we could have some of that dirty laundry aired in public also. After all, it is all in the public interest. Some intelligent thinkers were discovered during the Rangers saga and I would urge those people to take some of the support that they have gathered through the whole debate and turn it beyond football, beyond religion and to Politics. One of the recurring arguments throughout the Rangers debate regarded tax money that was not paid into the public purse. I will not flog that dead horse here again, but I would urge some of those people to dig a little deeper and see the true extent, nationwide, of tax avoidance whilst the normal joe soap like you or me pay to support it.

Don’t stop at Rangers. The death rattle of that matter has arrived; but there are bigger and better things to achieve.

* For clarity, this piece is simply regarding the judgement made by LNS. It is not vindication of Rangers or a victory dance.

Oscar Pistorius:

Like many I awoke in shock to find out that the world’s most famous paralympian has killed his partner. The first breaking news over the first few days seemed to convince the world that Oscar was a cold bloodied Murderer, the case was open shut and Oscar Pistorius would be going to jail for a very long time.

As happens in many of these cases, facts were both eliminated and smudged by the press authorities and the trial by media had begun.

Some of the facts are not disputed in this case. In the middle of the night Oscar Pistorius fired shots through a closed bathroom door  killing his partner.

Now, for many people this is clear murder. Of course it is, he fired the gun and those shots killed. This however is not quite how the law works. The physical act may certainly have brought about her death by his actions but in a court of law this is not necessarily paramount to murder. It is the mental element where this trial will need to be proved, beyond reasonable doubt (99% v 1%) that Oscar Pistorius deliberately intended to kill his partner or brought about her death due to his wrecklessness.

The evidence is quite simply a mess with very little provable facts. Eye witnesses are obviously out of the question although two witnesses turned up that heard screaming. The problem here was the police report stated this was from 600m then changed to 300m. So which is it? To be frank with you, that evidence is as much use as a string coat hanger. I challenge you to listen to someone screaming from either distance in the pitch black and tell me with certainty that someone is being attacked and not just engaging is some really good sex!

Secondly, his legs. If Oscar was wearing them then that’s strike one for a murder charge as it would suggest that he was not in a hurry to defend himself or his property. The police report states that the bullet holes in the bathroom door suggest that he WAS wearing his legs. However, Oscar claims that he was not and the police have written that they had no reason to doubt his account. The question here is simple: was he or wasn’t he wearing his legs and what do those bullet holes really show? A gun fired at a normal, hollow wooden door from short distance would most likely have ripped a hole of such magnitude that it would be difficult to determine a projected path. That is something we will need to wait until the trail to find out but definitely something on which this trial could hinge.

The bloodied cricket bat. Was this used to beat his partner to death? It would not be difficult to prove by a medical practitioner- but this has not been suggested leaving me to presume that it was not.

There was a drug issue, the press first reported that banned steroid substances were found at the home though these reports were later unfounded leaving another black mark on the prosecution case. ‘Roid- Rage’ has been seen in many cases to lead to irrational behaviour and lead to cold bloodied murder. One high-profile example of this regards Chris Benoit, former professional wrestler who killed his wife and kids before taking his own life – a crime attributed to years of steroid abuse and brain injury.

Finally the possibility to an intruder being in his home was discredited due to the security measures in place at his home. Security is big business in South Africa, a beautiful yet lawless country where crime is incredibly high. Report suggest that Oscar had windows installed in his home that had particular security interests to prevent intruders, the only window in the house that did not? – his bathroom where the shooting happened. Reports also suggest that it was close to this window that a ladder had been left by workmen carrying out a job at his house. Is it unreasonable, unforeseeable that Pistorius could not have believed that his house is under attack in those circumstances. Every man wants to protect his home and family. A man in a vulnerable position such as Oscar – with no legs and therefore a real physical disadvantage may be MORE likely to use his gun in such a situation than any normal man.

We will no doubt find out more at his trial, a trial in which I will be paying particular attention. The evidence so far has come from a long and drawn out bail hearing. A similar hearing in Scotland would not have lasted for days on end but would rather have been held in private in under an hour. In Scotland, Oscar would have gone to jail until his trial. He would not have achieved bail.

Another important thing to remember in this trial is that there is no jury system in South Africa. This is probably advantageous in this situation as it removes the pre-fabricated opinion of Jurors and leaves the decision on a basis of law at the hands of a learned judge.

Obviously we are not privy to the evidence that will be led by the prosecution in South Africa, however I am sceptical as to their ability to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that Oscar Pistorius is guilty of murder. Personally, a charge of culpable homicide is more appropriate for me and in the end I would not be particularly surprised to learn that Oscar Pistorius, upon sentencing, does not spend a single day behind bars.

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One Comment on “Moving on from LNS and the curious case of Oscar Pistorius”

  1. ian.cottrell@talk21.com Says:

    Saw this and reminded me of your recent blog……….

    As a sassenach with no real connection to Scotland apart from a “blue nose” brother in law and the fact I go golfing each year with him and about 15 other true and loyal Rangers fans, I do enjoy your “ramblings” – if you excuse the expression!

    Take care and please keep them coming – an oasis of sense and reason in a sea of hate and bigotry!

    ________________________________


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