The world can literally breathe a sigh of relief after the judge in the notorious case of Oscar Pistorius passed her verdict on Friday. Judge Thokozile Masipa found Oscar guilty of culpable homicide and, in addition, found that he was guilty of discharging a firearm in a public place.
It has taken six months and the evidence provided by at least thirty seven witnesses for the judge to come up with a verdict. Masipa had initially, on Thursday acquitted Oscar Pistorius of the charges of first degree murder or dolus directus or the lesser charge of common murder, which is sometimes referred to as dolus eventualis. When she resumed reading her verdict on Friday, the high court judge argued that, in shooting the gun through the closed bathroom door, Oscar had no way of knowing for sure that his actions would lead to the demise of the person behind the door.
Judge Masipa lent credence to the defence teams’ version of events as she highlighted the reliability of the state witnesses as a reason why it was difficult for anyone to believe their version of events. She went on to add that Oscar’s distraught nature immediately following the incident. This, the good judge argued, served to strengthen her resolve that, in firing the gun at the bathroom door, Oscar believed that there was an intruder behind the door. Consequently, she felt that he could not have been found guilty of pre meditated murder or common murder. However, she felt that he had been negligent in the way in which he had fired at the bathroom door. For this reason, she found him guilty of culpable homicide.
Moving on to the lesser charges of discharging a firearm in public places, a Judge Masipa found that the paralympian was guilty of one while she acquitted him of the other. She was suspicious of the incident where Oscar is said to have fired a gun through the sunroof of a car. She found that she could not rely much on the testimony of the witnesses that had been put forward by the state. On the contrary, she found Lerena to have been a good witness and that his evidence could be relied upon. She therefore acquitted Oscar of the incident of shooting through the sunroof of a car and convicted him of discharging a firearm in a public place. Oscar was further acquitted of the charge of illegal possession of ammunition.
The paralympian will be out on bail of one million while he awaits sentencing by the judge. It was announced that the sentencing in this case was schedule for next month.