Self defence is justifiable but killing an unarmed intruder who has surrendered to you would not be justifiable. And in this case you have an element of negligence, where you assumed it was an intruder and assumed they posed a grave threat to you, all through a closed bathroom door.
Yes. The way I see it the defense and Oscar himself must prove that he really was fearing for his life and really had gotten death threats. That way the defense can argue that he was on edge and then a "shot first" mentality could be more reasonable.
Problem is he hadn't filed cases against those threats. If he had done that the situation would look better for him. Now it's just his word. Unfortunately his own word doesn't count for much at all because he is the accused. IF the defense has a witness that can prove that Oscar was on edge close to the incident and also had recieved threats he got a decent case. Doubt they have one. So they will likely rely on character witnesses but then they get another dilemma.
They need him to be a good and trustworthy person, but they also need to make it reasonable that he's impulsive and lacks some self control, or the story of shooting an intruder is not believable at all. Versus a smart prosecutor they can easily torpedo themselves trying a stunt like that.
Many people believe "if there's an intruder in my home, I have the right to do whatever I want to them, regardless of if they are armed, in any position to harm me, or even if they're surrendering." But that's not what the law says.
Very true. Many people misunderstand self defense and also confuse it with other laws like your rights as a civilian when encountering a crime in progress. You are fully allowed to do a "citizen arrest" but not at any cost.
The only reason many people still get away due to self defense is that if you catch a crime in progress, the criminal could act in a threatening way and give you a reason to use your gun, like reaching for his own gun or trying to rush you with another weapon. But if the criminal just makes a run for it or even locks himself into your bathroom (whyyyy) you cannot kill them.
What speaks for Oscar is that he's crippled and can then argue that he was extra vulnerable and possibly that he can prove he lived in a dangerous area and the idea of a dangerous intruder being in the house was very reasonable.
His big problem is that he had the intruder cornered (which also meant Reeva was safe if he assumed she was still in bed) so then the shoot first mentality makes even less sense from a self-defense perspective.
Situation was under control and he could have talked to the intruder, fired a warning shot, called loudly for Reeva so she could call the police while he guarded the exit from the bathroom. He had many options and picked a very strange one