Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius reached new levels of public anger when, after only a year, he was let out of prison and onto house arrest after being found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
However, today an appeals court found that Oscar Pistorius was not guilty of culpable homicide, and instead upgraded his charge to murder.
The court found that the original judge for the case, Judge Thokozile Masipa, had made errors of law. From The Guardian, the errors are as follows:
The appeal judges said Masipa was wrong in her application of dolus eventualis, as Pistorius “must have foreseen” that firing into the door could cause the death of whoever was behind it.
Masipa also wrongly conflated the test of dolus eventualis with dolus directus in accepting the defence argument that he did not know the person behind the door was Steenkamp meant he could not be guilty of murder.
Masipa’s verdict was premised upon an acceptance that Pistorius did not think Steenkamp was in the toilet, but this was also wrong: the key thing is that the perpetrator knows his actions could kill that person, whoever it is.
The failure to take into account all the evidence amounted to a failure in law.
To make things a bit clearer from the legal mumbo jumbo, Justice Eric Leach said this as he read out the ruling:
“I have no doubt … the accused must have foreseen and therefore did foresee that whoever was behind that door might die. The identity of his victim is irrelevant to his guilt.”
So, Pistorius’ charge has now been changed to murder. However, while speculation was high that this meant Pistorius would return to jail, the South African National Prosecuting Authority ruled that he would remain under correctional supervision – house arrest at his uncle’s home – until he appears for re-sentencing before the high court in Pretoria.
No date has been set for the hearing at time of publication.
The full appeal court judgement can be read HERE.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Andolu Agency / Getty.