Some people interested in the Oscar Pistorius trial could be reeling at the direction in which Judge Masipa is going. Certainly, many people are outraged, and are convinced the ruling is going in the wrong direction.
Eusebius McKaiser at iol has made a few points that will make you think.
“She did not apply the law to the facts correctly. She should have found Pistorius guilty of murder but instead offered unconvincing legal justification why she decided not to.”
Masipa believes the state failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius intended to kill Steenkamp, and that the ‘weak circumstantial evidence’ of Whatsapp messages and a possible quarrel were not enough evidence.
McKaiser goes on to explain a piece of South African law:
“In between premeditated murder and culpable homicide – which rests on proving the negligent killing of a person – we have two other murder categories in our law: indirectly intending to kill someone (and doing so) or foreseeing you would kill someone and reconciling yourself to that outcome (and then doing so).”
We can rule out indirect intent, as this did not happen. What we need to concentrate on is dolus eventualis, says McKaiser.
“Could Pistorius have foreseen that shooting at the bathroom door four times would kill someone behind the door? Yes. Did he, knowing that, refrain from shooting? No.”
McKaiser goes on to explain that Pistorius was in complete control of his thoughts and actions. He wanted to get four bullets through the door. Therefore, he should have been found guilty of murder.
“We have to ask what Pistorius was thinking. Pistorius told us he thought Steenkamp was asleep in bed. Judge Masipa believes him and takes this as proof that Pistorius did not desire the death of someone behind that bathroom door.”
According to McKaiser, Judge Masipa failed to apply the law to the evidence.
Why did Judge Masipa think the requirements of dolus eventualis was not met? Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you are), the results in law can be subjective. Judge Masipa believes Pistorius’ version of events, which some believe is a ‘misapplication of the law’.
“It’s not legally relevant that Pistorius genuinely didn’t think Steenkamp was in the bathroom. The murder charge holds so long as he believed SOMEONE was there, foresaw that four shots in that direction could kill them and reconciled himself to that outcome.”
We can only wait and see what happens in the courtroom today, but we can confirm that many people are already very unhappy with what judgements have already been passed. Have a read at these angry Twitter reactions.
Read the full view of McKaiser at IOL
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