The Trial Of Oscar Pistorious

On March 2014 Oscar Pistorious was on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He is a disabled South African runner, who competed in the Paralympic Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics. His girlfriend who was a professional model and was killed on February 14th 2013. Pistorious never denied that he shot her, but was adamant that it was an accident. He was then arrested and charged with her murder.

The murder trial was quite a sensation. You name it, every one was there covering this trial, including Brenda Wardle, a South African legal expert who covers high profile cases. She holds three degrees, one in Criminal Justice Administration, a Bachelors of Law, and a Masters of Law. She has the distinct honor as being a publisher on law, which includes an article on Presidential pardons, but her writing is not exclusive to law matters only, she just publish an autobiography entitled “To Kill a Fragile Rose-The State’s Case Against Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius.

Wardle is also a mediator and controller with the education system in South Africa, training about four thousand delegates in the last two years. Her firm was the host of a conference, on the topic,”Selected Sentencing and it’s Impact”,she was able to draw distinguished people in the law circle. Wardle has appeared on many news Channel discussing Pistorious trial, who was also looking at an illegal gun charge, when the trial began on March 3rd,2014 in Pretoria. The presiding Judge was Thokozile Masipa. Janette Henzen du Toit and Themba Mazibuko worked along side her. The case was going to be tried without the presence of a jury, because South Africa got rid of that system during apartheid.

Judge Maspipa states that the trial would be held in English, because Pistorius spoke English and, South Africa’s bill of right states that the person on trail has a right to a fair one and,the language spoken must be in a form that the accused understands, or should be translated in the accused language.

His lawyer Kenny Oldwage states Pistorious thought he shot at an intruder, and didn’t realize it was Reeva Steemkamp because he never knew she left the bedroom. Barry Roux another lawyers said that Pistorious genuinely believed he was acting in self defense, and insisted that under South African law the murder charges should be dropped and he should be charged with Culpable homicide (negligent unlawful killing of another person),other words manslaughter.

So many witnesses were called including people who heard screams and gunshots. His neighbor said he found him in prayer over the decedent. Phone messages were revealed between him and Steemkemp, sometimes not showing Pistorious in a good light.

Pistorious was eventually found guilty of manslaughter and was given five years, but was then released after serving just one year.

Brenda Wardle and many legal analysis were worried that the verdict was setting a bad example, because South Africa has one of the highest crime rate in the world.

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