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Should Oscar Pistorius Have Taken the Stand?

VIDEO: Should Oscar Pistorius Have Taken the Stand? The Oscar Pistorius trial has been a hot topic, and after him breakdown on the stand today, the questions shift to legal opinion.  Legal analyst Karen DeSoto appears on ABC News to discuss the issue with Michelle Franzen, who asked, “was this a risky move?” Karen indicated that putting your client on the stand is always a risky, a calculated move for any defense attorney.  Was it an error here, and did his emotional meltdown help or hurt?

“Yes, putting a client on the stand is always a risky move” Karen noted, especially because the client in this case is speaking to a judge, not a jury. But the biggest problem that Oscar Pistorius faces in this case — according to Karen — is the inconsistencies in his story that are not adding up.  

Watch Karen on ABC NEWS with Michelle Franzen Here

The natural inclination of a man  awoken from his sleep believing that there was an intruder in the room would be to establish where loved ones are, and protect them. he didn’t do that.  And if they were sleeping, as Pistorius claims, why was he in street clothes rather than nighties? Also there are discrepancies between his timeline and that of neighbors. So who is the judge going to believe?

A client taking the stand is a very risky move.  Having Pistorius take the stand has now opened him up to cross-examination, and I believe that it will ultimately hurt his case.   Emotions simply don’t carry the same weight with a judge that it does with a jury. It’s all about the facts.


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