11 September 2014

News Update: Oscar Pistorius will not be found guilty of murder


Oscar Pistorius will not be found guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp.

The stunning development was revealed as Judge Thokozile Masipa read her summation of the evidence Thursday in front of a packed courthouse in Pretoria, South Africa, and a worldwide television audience.

Masipa has yet to hand down her final decision, which is expected later today. Pistorious could still be found guilty of culpable homicide, a conviction that comes with no mandatory jail time. But a murder charge is out.


The prosecution, Masipa said, "failed to show requisite intention to kill the deceased, let alone premeditation." All along, the prosecution pressed for a conviction for cold-blooded murder. But the Blade Runner has always maintained it was a tragic accident, that he shot his girlfriend in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's morning last year in a moment of terror, believing that he was protecting them both from an intruder.

Masipa called Pistorius a "very poor witness," saying he was "evasive" in the face of prosecution questioning. Still, in her opinion that did not warrant a guilty verdict on the charge of premeditated murder, or even "dolus eventualis" – the grey area between premeditated murder and culpable homicide.

Under "dolus eventualis," if Pistorius should have foreseen that his actions could result in death, yet recklessly proceeded anyway, it still would have been considered murder in South African law. That would have come with a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Masipa ruled out a murder conviction based on several key factors:

• Phone records support Pistorius' timeline of events.

• Pistorius relayed his version of events – that he thought an intruder had entered his home – minutes after the shooting took place, and that his version did not waiver later in questioning. Masipa agreed with the defense that it would be "highly improbable" for Pistorius to have made
up this story so quickly.

No comments:

Post a Comment