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Oscar Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murdering Reeva Steenkamp | Edos News
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Home / News / Oscar Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murdering Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murdering Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murdering Reeva Steenkamp pistorius in dock 2
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 will come Friday (12th September, 2014). She did reveal in the waning moments of Thursday’s summation that she determined Pistorious to have been “negligent,” which means he could still be found guilty of culpable homicide, a conviction that comes with a maximum of 15 years in prison but carries no mandatory jail sentence.

“He acted too hastily and used excessive force,” Masipa said.
Pistorius also faces gun charges that carry potential prison sentences. But a murder charge is out, for the time being anyway. The prosecution can appeal the decision and, if they do, Pistorius could still be convicted of murder.
 

Oscar Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murdering Reeva Steenkamp Oscar Pistorius n Reeva
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp
All along, the prosecution pressed for a conviction for 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 locked behind a bathroom door.

In her summation, Masipa said the prosecution “failed to show requisite intention to kill the deceased, let alone premeditation.” She also ruled out 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.

Oscar Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murdering Reeva Steenkamp Oscar Pistorius profile 008
Oscar Pistorius in one of his sporting events
Masipa ruled out any murder conviction based on several key factors:
  • Phone records support Pistorius’ timeline of events.
  • Witness testimony that Pistorius and Steenkamp were heard arguing prior to the shooting was not supported by the established timeline.
  • 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 waver later in questioning. Masipa agreed with the defense that it would be “highly improbable” for Pistorius to have made up this story so quickly, and that his version remained unwavered throughout questioning even without access to his original statement or evidence from the scene.
  • The prosecution’s case was built largely on circumstantial evidence.
The main point of contention is the interpretation of the law around dolus eventualis. It could be argued that it should be interpreted as when someone ought to foresee they could cause death, but recklessly proceeds anyway.

However, if Pistorius is convicted of culpable homicide and the judge hands down a stiff sentence, it’s highly unlikely that the state will appeal. If she acquits him entirely, an appeal would be expected.

By Edos News

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