Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oscar Pistorius Cleared Of Murder Charges, Awaits Final Judgment

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Oscar Pistorius did not commit murder the night he killed Reeva Steenkamp, but his conduct was "negligent," the judge at his trial said, suggesting she will find the Olympian guilty of culpable homicide.

There is no minimum sentence for culpable homicide in South African law. It's up to the judge to decide.

He did not intend to kill her, Judge Thokozile Masipa said.

As he fired four bullets into the bathroom of his home in Pretoria on Valentine's Day last year, he did not foresee the "possibility that he would kill the person behind the door, let alone the deceased, as he thought she was in the bedroom at the time," Masipa said.

According to CNN, evidence suggests that Pistorius genuinely believed the person in the bathroom was an intruder, although that is irrelevant to the case, the judge said.

Pistorius could have taken other actions when he thought there was an intruder, she said. "All the accused had to do was to pick up his cell phone to call security or the police," she said.

"He could have run to the balcony and screamed in the same way he screamed after the incident," she added, noting that Pistorius called security after the incident and could have done so when he heard what he thought was an intruder.

Earlier, while clearing him of murder charges, the judge said there were not enough facts to prove the most serious charge of pre-meditated murder. She said the case was based entirely on circumstantial evidence and dismissed the witness testimony.

She said the witnesses were unreliable as they were confused when giving testimony and said most of what they said weren't accurate. She said even if Oscar was evasive with some facts, and was a 'very poor' witness, it doesn't mean he's guilty of murder.

She explained that Oscar's reaction after killing Reeva shows he didn't have criminal intent, hadn't foreseen he'd killed her. She said he could not have faked his reaction minutes after the shooting.

She even dismissed the whatsapp message between the lovers, saying relationships are dynamic. She also said evidence did not support the state's claim of second degree murder.

"The state has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder. There are just not enough facts to support such a finding'- she said.

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