Oscar Pistorius’ Innocence Comes Down to His Testimony

Oscar Pistorius’ fate comes down to his testimony regarding the fatal shooting of his former girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. However, on Friday, March 28th, 2014, the judge in the murder trial delayed proceedings until April 7th, 2014.

Who is Oscar Pistorius? He is a South African Olympic runner whose legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. On February 14th, 2013, Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, whom he fatally shot at his home.  Pistorius claims he shot his girlfriend by accident, mistaking her for an intruder in his home and opening fire through a closed bathroom door. Prosecution’s theory is that they had an explosive argument that led Pistorious to commit this murder. After around two weeks, the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014. Now, it’s up to the defense to bring forth their witnesses.

So who will be their key witness? Pistorius. Although Pistorius does not have to testify, his innocence rests within his testimony. He already admitted to the killing, so he needs to persuade the court that this was truly an accident and he did not have the mental state required to be convicted. South Africa does not have a jury system, thus the judge will deliver a verdict with help from the two assessors. If convicted of premeditated murder, Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison. He will still face jail time even if he is convicted without premeditation.

I cannot wait to hear what Pistorius will testify to. No doubt in my mind the prosecution will try to catch him in a contradiction. I am most interested in what he will say to the prosecutors when they cross him on what went through his head when he heard a women screaming from the bathroom. Did he still think it was an intruder? Did he ever consider that the “intruder” was his girlfriend? Why he felt the need to shoot his gun four times? Moreover, I am curious as to whether he actually felt he was in imminent danger. These are all questions I need to hear answered before I make my own verdict in determining whether he acted reasonable.  You know, he did not have his prosthetic legs on at the time- I will consider that as a factor, too.

Picture: Oscar Pistorius

Source: Oscar Pistorius Trial

One comment

  1. In a recent article I read, it was relayed that Pistorius’ counsel, Attorney Brian Webber, told the press that pathologist Professor Jan Botha will likely be the defense’s first witness. This is rare in South Africa, where procedurally a defendant will be the first to testify, if doing so at all. Pistorius counsel indicated that prosecution was notified of personal circumstances Botha has, and subsequently agreed to the procedural switch. Once Pistorius does testify, I believe he will be cross examined heavily on intent. It may be difficult for him to negate the presence of intent, considering the circumstances alleged. However, intent is subjective.


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