Oscar Pistorius found not guilty of ‘premeditated murder’ in South Africa

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Ugh. I’m going to try to wade through this nonsense, but if there are any experts in South African law who want to yell at me, be my guest because this is confusing. The verdict (or partial verdict) came back today for Oscar Pistorius. On Valentine’s Day 2013, Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his then-girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, and he was charged with multiple crimes involving the killing, including homicide and multiple gun charges. I think (??) he was found not guilty on most of the charges today.

After months of hearings, the judge in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius said on Thursday that there were “not enough facts” for him to be found guilty of premeditated murder, the most serious charge facing the double amputee track star. The judge, Thokozile Matilda Masipa, also found that, while Mr. Pistorius acted “unlawfully,” he could not be found guilty of a lesser form of murder in the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, whom he shot and killed in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013, in the mistaken belief, he has said, that she was a burglar at his home.

Sitting in a wooden dock in a dark suit, white shirt and black tie on Thursday, Mr. Pistorius slumped forward and sobbed as the judge spoke.

But her ruling did not amount to an acquittal. Shortly before she adjourned the hearing for lunch, she said there was also the charge of culpable homicide to consider — the least serious offense, which offers the judge wide discretion in sentencing. Premeditated murder, by contrast, carries a minimum 25-year term.

In his version of the shooting, Mr. Pistorius, 27, has said he awoke from his bed and heard what sounded like a window opening in the bathroom, making him think that an intruder had entered his home. Then, walking on the stumps of his legs in a darkened passageway, with a handgun thrust out before him, he opened fire on a locked toilet door. Only later, he testified, did he suspect that Ms. Steenkamp was inside. When he broke down the door with a cricket bat, he said, he discovered her bloodstained body.

“Before I knew it, I had fired four shots at the door,” Judge Masipa quoted Mr. Pistorius as saying, as she listed the various ways he described the shooting during the trial. At times, he said he shot “in the belief that the intruders were coming out” to attack him. At other moments, he said “he never intended to shoot anyone” and had not fired purposefully at the door, the judge said. Part of Mr. Pistorius’s evidence, she said, was “inconsistent with someone who shot without thinking.”

Ms. Steenkamp, Judge Masipa added, “was killed under very peculiar circumstances,” but “what is not conjecture is that the accused armed himself with a loaded firearm.”

Nonetheless, the judge ruled, the prosecution’s evidence to support a charge of premeditated murder was “purely circumstantial….The state clearly has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder,” she said. “There are not enough facts.”

Much of the trial, in 41 days of testimony since it opened in March, has revolved around Mr. Pistorius’s state of mind and intentions when he opened fire. During cross-examination in April, Mr. Pistorius sobbed, wailed and retched as he recalled the events surrounding Ms. Steenkamp’s death. While she accepted that Mr. Pistorius “would feel vulnerable” because of his disability,” the judge said, he had been “a very poor witness” and had been evasive and “lost his composure” under cross-examination.

[From The NY Times]

Judge Masipa also said that Pistorius’ angry, controlling texts to Reeva did not “prove anything… because normal relationships are dynamic. Human beings are fickle.” So, she believed that Oscar Pistorius was not an angry, controlling, jealous man who would fly off the handle and murder his girlfriend during an argument. I guess. I’m also thinking that “culpable homicide” is sort of like manslaughter in the American legal system? Like, Oscar behaved recklessly and that’s why Reeva is dead? Sure. Here’s hoping. I will update with any news.

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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223 Responses to “Oscar Pistorius found not guilty of ‘premeditated murder’ in South Africa”

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  1. Dorothy#1 says:

    I’m shocked! I really thought he’d be found quilty!!

    • Bubulle says:

      Yes me too, unbelievable, I feel sorry for Reeva’s family.

      • denisemich says:

        Well the complete verdict has not been given yet. Maybe he is guilty of the lesser charge. SA law is not US law. I really don’t understand how they make the determination.

      • lehcar says:

        From what I’ve been reading, ‘culpable homicide’ is the equivalent to manslaughter, and Oscar could walk away without a prison sentence. It is bull****.

      • Bubulle says:

        I know this is not the complete verdict but it feels like he is gonna get a lesser sentence.

      • Gina says:

        I feel sorry for Reeva…

      • delorb says:

        I’m wondering why she didn’t clear up EVERYTHING. If you’re going to rule, rule on it all. Don’t leave us hanging, judge. Damn, I said hanging judge for a judge that won’t find him guilty of anything. Bah.

    • MrsB says:

      Me too. My husband said from the beginning he would get away with it. The worst part is that this guy has major emotional issues, and I’m afraid Reeva will not be the last person he hurts.

    • Josephine says:

      He may yet be found guilty. This is only the verdict as to premeditated murder. There are other murder charges (more equivalent to a “heat of the moment” charge in the US). I believe most legal scholars were not surprised by this verdict because there wasn’t evidence that this had been a planned murder. I bet he is found guilty of the lesser murder charge.

      • Esmom says:

        Hopefully. I agree that it didn’t seem premeditated but his fixation with firearms and crazy temper seemed to be a lethal combination in the heat of a moment. Ugh, I cannot tell you how much he makes my skin crawl.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I work for a State Bar. Nobody her was surprised with this verdict for the first and most aggregious charge. There was no hard evidence to prove he knew it was Reeva and chased her down to kill her. I have more faith in the culpable homocide charge. I beleive he did it on purpose but in the heat of the moment and it’s much easier to prove negligent homicide. The burden of proof would only need to show stupidity and basically self-preservation prevailed v. any attempts to protect a fiance in the home. I have wanted to ask him from the beginning if he did in fact beleive Reeva was elsewhere in the home, why did he not seek her out first and stay with her? Even if what he claims is true, he had little to no regard for her safety – merely his own. I don’t beleive his claims. I’m just saying they don’t make sense – not for a normal person, especially a man, regardless of his disability. If my husband were wheel-chair bound and he thought intruders were in our home, he’d be looking for me FIRST! Not going after the intruders with no idea where I was.

      • homegrrrl says:

        I read there was a bat with blood and hair samples of Reeva’s, which indicated he hit/pummeled her and chased her into the bathroom where she was shot through the door. It chills me to recall these details. Am I accurate here? If he chased her first and then shot her, wouldn’t that rule out “I thought it was a burglar?”

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ homegrrrl: You’re right … but what you read wasn’t.

        The idea that the cricket bat was used to hit Reeva was a rumour from February, before the autopsy and forensic reports were done. The Daily Mail (and a few other tabloids) claimed that was what police had said to Reeva’s family.

        In the trial, the prosecution didn’t even try to suggest that happened … and you can bet if there was any physical evidence supporting the claim they would’ve led with it!

    • Gina says:

      It’s not just the Land of the Free good old gun loving America where the guilty are found not to be….the devil is doing the happy dance….but let him praise evil because Oscar the crying grouch will join him in his eternal pit of fire. May the beautiful innocent victim of his murderous sick mind, the lovely Reeva, rest in heavenly peace with the angels.

      • matilda11 says:

        Oh for heaven’s sake. Are you telling me that an American jury would have unanimously decided that he is guilty of premeditated murder, beyond reasonable doubt? You are basing your personal verdict on emotion, not reason. He is NOT going free, he will very likely be found guilty of culpable homicide, in other words killing her due to negligence.

      • Gina says:

        to matilda11: Yeah some intruder came to his residence to take a dump. Of course he would shoot him. Don’t all people with the intent to kill or rob you first use the bathroom. He is cold blooded and ruthless. Don’t be fooled by his tears, the poor girl never knew what hit her. Other than the obvious, the thing that upsets me is she only knew him for a couple of months. Ladies beware of whom you think is “the one.” Insanity comes in all kinds of packages, sometimes handsome, but there is usually always something that makes you think…this isn’t right, if you ever get that feeling……run as fast as you can. Might save your life.

    • Janet says:

      This sucks. I feel sorry for her family.

    • joan says:

      That judge is really WEIRD. The accent doesn’t help — some South Africans sound like they’re strangling.

      But she doesn’t make sense and referring to his crying is ridiculous. Why not refer to him showing up to court with a new GF already? A super-young new GF. Disgusting.

      He better get locked up for something.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        Oh sorry, wrong place. But I gotta say I find it mildly offensive that you refer SA accent in this manner. It is like the most poetic accent to our ears (not really). And judge is not weird, she is just applying the system.

      • @maybeiamcrazy I think the ‘weird’ is that she can honestly say those text messages are part of a ‘normal’ relationship. That a woman can say this makes me want to puke. Right after I curb stomp Oscar.

    • Sabrine says:

      I wasn’t shocked. I just knew he would get off. I don’t why they bothered with a trial because it was a foregone conclusion that he would be found not guilty. Another sports star gets away with murder.

  2. Dani2 says:

    Im so f-cking upset right now. I don’t know where to begin. I can’t say I’m entirely surprised but I’m upset all the same.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Ugh, I want to slap that stupid judge. People kept saying he would get away with it, and I just didn’t believe it. I am so disgusted right now.

      • Bex says:

        I think the judge made the only fair decision she could. Apart from Pisorius no-one knows what happened in that room that night. He probably did murder her but unless he confesses to that how does anyone know for sure?
        Hopefully one of the lesser charges will stick. I would imagine however with appeals and whatever he won’t see the inside of a prison cell for a long time, if at all.

      • Jayne says:

        I loved that in South Africas most high profile case since maybe the Mandela trial in the sixties was presided over by a black woman. SA still has a long way to go on both race and gender social equality but still, that was such a great thing to see.

        I ‘m really confused how she didnt find intent, surely if you fire a gun at door that many times you have demonstrated intent. But she did just say that his actions were negligent and that he used excessive force so she clearly has no intention to a acquit!!

        Plus how great is it that she is making him wait to tomorrow to hear the verdict?! Let that worm squirm one more night.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Bex
        Ridiculous! I was the foreman on a jury for a murder trial and it’s ludicrous to say that just because he DIDN’T CONFESS, you can’t find him guilty. You consider the evidence and you make the determination based on that. His story was utterly laughable. FAIR?? To whom? Certainly not to that poor woman that he murdered in cold blood. Just another example of a famous, rich man getting away with murdering a woman with little or no consequences.

      • Bex says:

        Good names.
        I was probably sloppy with my wording, what I was trying to put across was that she obviously found that there wasn’t enough evidence to reasonably convict him on that charge. Without a confession she therefore has to consider the lesser charges.
        I also felt it was unnecessary for you to say that you ‘want to slap that stupid judge’. For a coloured woman in South Africa to have reached her position she most certainly isn’t stupid.

      • Tammy says:

        The evidence does not support premeditated murder. Was he reckless? Yes. Careless? Yes. But you need intent before the action to prove premeditation. I am not saying it wasn’t premeditated but there was no evidence to support premeditation. The text messages show he’s abusive jerk but it’s a stretch to argue based on the text messages that he set out to kill her.

        However, the text messages & previous incidents of aggressive behavior show he’s an angry , abusive jerk. His actions that night show he was very reckless and careless & him not looking for her first if he truly believed an intruder was in his house indicate he killed her in a fit of rage. That’s not premeditation, that’s manslaughter.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        There was a similar case in the US, where a man shot an unarmed teen as she knocked on his doors in the middle of the night, because he thought she was an intruder. She was actually in a car accident and needed help. He said he shot in fear and self defense, he thought someone was out to harm him.

        He was found guilty of murder.

        http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/07/justice/michigan-porch-shooting-trial/

      • Lady Macbeth says:

        Agree with you, Dani and Goodnames. Shocked and upset.

      • Tammy says:

        @Tiffany…the guy in Detroit was found guilty of second degree murder. Second degree murder is different than premeditated or first degree murder. The difference is the definition and sentencing. You don’t need intent to be convicted of second degree murder. First degree murder either gets you life without parole or death penalty. Second degree murder has a minimum amount of time that you must serve before parole but you can also get life in prison.

        You’re also comparing US legal system (jury trials) with South African legal system (judge trials). The judge has not finished ruling yet. He could still be found guilty of culpable homicide,

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Clearly I am not a legal expert…but I just don’t see how he could be found not guilty of premeditated murder. He DID intend to kill someone. Perhaps he didn’t want to kill the specific person whose life was actually taken, but he intended to kill someone.

      • Diana B says:

        @Tiffany, that’s exactly it. With the evidence they have they can’t prove he set out to kill her specifically and that is what intent is. You set out to do something on some previously defined person or object and it has to be your intention to do that something on that someone or object. If some element changes along the way your crime or the degree of the crime automatically changes.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Bex
        First, I did not know she was black when I made that statement. Second, just like white people, there are brilliant black people and there are stupid black people. There are brilliant judges and stupid judges. However, I should have said I think her decision was stupid, not her, regardless of her race. And FYI, I assume you aren’t American because we do not call people of color “colored” for at least 40 years. That is considered an extremely racist, derogatory term.

        To everyone saying this crime was not premeditated, I disagree, especially since I understand that in South Africa, premeditation just means I picked up the gun and shot you with the intention of shooting you. It doesn’t mean “preplanned” as it does in the US. He intended to kill whoever was in that bathroom, and it makes absolutely NO SENSE that he didn’t know it was her. Anybody. Anybody shooting a gun into a closed door of their bathroom, knowing their “loved” one was at home, would be certain it wasn’t them before shooting. It is insane to say otherwise. And who breaks into a house and runs and locks themselves in the bathroom? His story is just ridiculous, and he killed that poor, innocent women, on purpose, because he was in a rage.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        @GNAT Judge Masipa cannot let her emotions dictate her decisions. She has to let cold hard facts to find him guilty of murder and there are not enough “facts” to prove that. Thokozile Masipa is a highly accomplished judge. She is not stupid. I believe he is guilty, maybe the judge believes that deep within her too. But she can’t act on it.

        Ps. Coloured is the term that is used for mixed race people in South Africa. It is not a deragotary term. Actually that is how mixed race people like to call themselves.

      • Tammy says:

        @GoodNamesAllTaken- Premeditation in South Africa is similar to premeditated in the US. It means cold, calculating and planned. However you can be convicted of intentional murder without it being premeditated. There are three kinds of intentional murder in South Africa: 1) dolus directus- actual intent to kill 2)dolus indirectus- Intent to do something that indirectly causes someone to die & 3) dolus eventualis- Reckless action that you know should cause death. What you are describing is intent but not premeditation under South African law.

        What people were saying is that the prosecution did not prove premeditation… completely different that saying the crime wasn’t premeditated. The evidence does and did not support premeditation. I respect that you disagree but the evidence is not strong enough, not beyond a reasonable doubt. Killing someone in a rage does not equate with premeditation, either. It’s what is called second degree murder in the US. Shooting through a closed door, not knowing who it is (if you believe him) is not premeditation, either. It’s reckless and there is intent, but it is not premeditation…not under South African law. But it is murder.

        Keep in mind the entire verdict has not been read. There is still culpable homicide and gun charges, yet. I believe the judge did say she found his actions that night unlawful.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Ok, Tammy and maybeiamcrazy, I hear you. It just makes me so angry because I believe he had every intention of killing her. Thank you Tammy for your very clear explanation of intentional murder. And maybeiamcrazy, I just mean if Bex is on an American website, it is not advisable to used the expression “colored” as she may unintentionally offend people. I assumed she didn’t know that.

      • Montréalise says:

        Tammy – the judge has ruled not only that it wasn’t premeditated murder, but that it wasn’t murder, period. She stated that when he fired four shots through the toilet door, he didn’t think “subjectively” that he could kill the person behind the door.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        Gnat now I get it. I though you found it offensive. The term “coloured” does not even require your tan to be darker. For example my uncle is “coloured” while my dad is white which is pretty stupid but well… quirks or apartheid.

        And I agree with you. It boils my blood that he may get away without any jail time but I wasn’t waiting for him to be found guilty of pre-meditated murder so I am not shocked at all. One of my cousins studies law in SA right now and he believes he will be found guilty of culpable homicide. I hope he gets at least 10 years for that.

      • Tammy says:

        @ Montrealise- I was explaining what premeditation and intentional murder was under South African law, not what the judge had ruled. She stated in her reasoning his actions were negligent that night but he had no intent to kill her. The judge has not ruled on culpable homicide or gun charges, so he could still be convicted on those charges and see jail time.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Just another example of how justice for women around the world is hard to find. Sigh.

    • Josephine says:

      There are other murder charges pending – this just means that the judge does not believe that the murder was planned out ahead of time.

      • AntiSocialButterfly says:

        Thank you. Of course people are disappointed that he will not be convicted of the highest offense, but the judge finds culpability as she sees fit while administering the laws of her country.

      • SuePerb says:

        There is no other murder charges pending. He was found not guilty of premeditated murder and not guilty of murder without premeditation (sounds silly but there is a difference in the two). The next ruling is on culpable homicide (manslaughter) and the judge almost hinted (with what she said about excessive force and him being negligent he will be found guilty of that.

        As someone who followed the entire trial. I agree with the judge. The prosecution did not have a great case, they were clutching at straws.

  3. Nikki says:

    Wow, so sad. Literally getting away with murder :(

  4. PunkyMomma says:

    Been following this all morning. And I just don’t understand how he got off on the premeditated charge. As of 8:05 am EST, the judge still hasn’t handed down the complete verdict.

    • LadyMTL says:

      The only thing I can think of is maybe they didn’t find him guilty of premeditated murder because it came after an argument? I’m no expert in SA law but let’s say they had a fight and he shot her, that wouldn’t necessarily count as premeditated, would it? Like…he didn’t sit there and plan out how he was going to kill her, he got pissed off and lost his temper and did it. (Not making excuses for him!)

      IDK, this is very confusing. I believe that he’s guilty as f*ck of killing her, I guess now it’s a question of semantics.

      • PunkyMomma says:

        Yes. It’s just a question of semantics. In some states here, if he took the time to put on his prosthetics, and then shot Reeva, it would be premeditated murder. (I realize that he contends he did not have his prosthetics on when he shot through the door.)

      • Montréalise says:

        If he shot her in the heat of the moment, during an argument, that would be murder without premeditation. However, the judge has already ruled that out, as well.

    • Tapioca says:

      If you planned to kill your partner isn’t shooting her through a door – which wouldn’t even guarantee a fatal shot – in your own house with no alibi and no scapegoat literally the stupidest way to go about it? Heck, he didn’t even go outside to break a window to lend credence to his story!

      He’ll be found guilty of something, don’t worry. The SA justice system is well aware the eyes of the world are watching.

      • Diana B says:

        Exactly Tapioca.

      • persephone says:

        He didn’t plan to kill her no, but he they fought, he got very angry, grabbed a gun and then fired at her through a door. He didn’t “plan” it like a plot, but the premeditation was there the instant he got a gun with powerful bullets and fired FOUR TIMES through a door. He didn’t go about to kill her, he killed her because he was angry and lost control. When he shot, I believe he knew it was her behind that door.

  5. Jem says:

    It’s the OJ verdict all over again.

    • Tammy says:

      No it’s not. The judge has yet to rule on culpable homicide.

      • mayamae says:

        I agree. The OJ trial had a lot of racial tension that allowed the defense (wrongly in my opinion) to cast doubt on the police and forensics. There also was a verdict that split very clearly along racial lines, leaving people to question the motive of the jury (I have no opinion on that).

        If you’re looking for an American athlete that got away with murder to compare him to, we have plenty of those. Starting with the former football player who, while attempting to intimidate someone and amuse himself, shot and killed his bodyguard. I can’t remember his name, but it was around the time of the Robert Blake trial.

    • Ronny'sgirl says:

      More like the George Zimmerman, his defence was the same. I was so scared of the blackman that I shot without thinking and it seems to have worked

      • Doesn’t it always work? I mean as long as you’re white and have money. Pretty sure it’s always the black man’s fault when he’s shot I mean he should know that his blackness is a threat to white safety. [yes that is sarcasm]

  6. Talie says:

    I’d say they’re corrupt, but … We let off plenty of murderers too.

    • bravocueen says:

      We also convict plenty of innocents.

    • matilda11 says:

      Who are the “they” that are corrupt? South Africa has an excellent legal system and while I agree that what he did was wrong, it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that he planned to kill her. Thank heavens we have judges in South Africa who do not find people guilty of murder because they feel emotional about the case. People who don’t understand our Roman-Dutch law system should not judge it!

      • repro says:

        +1

        I think there’s a lot of people here that just seem to want blood and that’s that. There was nothing here to call this premeditated murder. If they had had some knock down, drag out fight in front of some people, and then the next day he goes out and buys a gun, and then a day later she’s dead — YEAH, you can easily conclude that it might have been pre-meditated. But here there’s just nothing that really points to that and the Judge recognized it. That was fair, regardless of how much people want to see Pistorius pay. Fact is, it wouldn’t shock me if he got off entirely. No one knows what went on there that night, other than that it ended in a terrible tragedy. Even being a bad witness doesn’t necessarily make you guilty. When there’s no third party eyewitness to what’s happened, it’s really tough to reach conclusions that you can depend on. Look at all these guys in the news lately that spend 30 years in jail and DNA samples wind up getting them off. Someone thought they were guilty too. When there’s no reliable eyewitness, this stuff gets really tough.

    • Ronny'sgirl says:

      Was George Michael Zimmerman not guilt verdict due to corruption ???

  7. lucy2 says:

    I hope he is found guilty of the culpable homicide charge. Maybe they didn’t have enough to prove premeditated, but he absolutely shouldn’t get away with it. Even if it was an accident, he was reckless and cost someone their life.

    • Gia says:

      I agree. The verdict so far has been the right one (IMO) but there must be some accountability for his negligence. And I hope the manslaughter verdict includes some jail time. Even though I don’t think it was intentional, you can’t unload a gun into a locked bathroom under those circumstances.

  8. Abbott says:

    So Ray Rice should’ve claimed he thought he was being mugged.

    We need a S. African legal expert up in here. I’m so confused by this verdict (partial verdict? verdict: the extended remix?) and why it’s going on so long.

    • SecretlySurfing says:

      A good analyst is Kelly Phelps. As a South African, a site called News24 is OK.

      • Pager90 says:

        Kelly Phelps is AWFUL she’s been Pro Pistorius from the start. IMO
        Can’t stand her,she’s so biased toward helping Oscar, he views always seem so slanted towards pro Oscar. Can’t stand watching her.
        I turn the channel when I see Ms.Phelps face appear on CNN and go to BBC News because , BBC has a better legal person doing the coverage.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      As far as I can tell, the SA judge has the option to consider guilt and innocence on lesser charges for the specific offense committed (killing someone) rather than being constrained to provide only a verdict of guilty or innocent for the specific charge brought by the prosecution, like in the U.S.

      That’s why deciding which specific murder charge to file is such a big deal for prosecutors in the U.S. — if you decide to file for first-degree murder rather than manslaughter and the defendant is ultimately found innocent, you can’t then go back and file second-degree murder or manslaughter charges for the same offense, due to our double jeopardy protections. Thus, U.S. prosecutors have to consider carefully what the most serious charge is that they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and will only file first-degree murder charges where the evidence of premeditation is overwhelming and/or the details of the crime are extraordinarily heinous. In the U.S., I doubt very much that first-degree murder charges would ever have been brought (or should have been brought) against Pistorius, as much as I loathe the guy and think he should be locked up for life — premeditation is an extraordinarily difficult bar to clear at trial.

      In SA, however, it looks like the prosecution can aim for the most serious charge the judge *might* agree with, in hopes that at least a conviction on a lesser charge will ultimately be returned. Sadly, I think a conviction on culpable homicide was always the best result that could be expected here — the evidence, while very suggestive, is not as strong as one would wish.

      • Size Does Matter says:

        Lesser offenses are often included in the US. The question is whether the prosecution wants to ask to have them included, because it can give the judge or jury an “out” that the prosecution doesn’t want to see used.

  9. solanaceae (Nighty) says:

    This is outrageous… It’s the only thing I have to say…

  10. Tifygodess24 says:

    It’s sad but since this all started I believed he would be found not guilty. He clearly has anger/emotional issues and this poor woman lost her life because of it . The trial was a mess and his lawyers were trying to pull every card out there, it just became a spectacle. Hopefully they charge him with something because he killed her and needs to serve time. Just goes to show the justice system ( here and around the world ) is terribly flawed.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah but at least it requires more rigor to reach a verdict than trial by media.

      • Chris2 says:

        That’s my pre-eminent feeling too Chris. Bloødy horrible angry man with a fatally short fuse and a very manipulative personality……I certainly privately condemned him based mostly on that, and thank gød I have no power in a courtroom.

        Maybe a lesser charge is being sentenced right this minute, as surely tis homicide, but a question of degree/intent. If he remains free, I’d hope at least he’ll have a lifetime ban re guns and any other weapon, because if he *is* judged to be innocent, he is still not fit, temperamentally, to be armed.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      Young people need to read books about emotional abuse – there is so much of it in the name of Love and that is why women like Reeva stay, and get these consequences. I want to put warnings in those Bride magazines – the wedding ring can stand for a heart but can also stand for a boxing ring if you are not careful about your choice of partner. There are types that like women with low self esteem – to easily control and others who like the power of bringing a woman with high self esteem ‘down’. Patricia Evans book The Verbally Abusive relationship is excellent for people to recognize red flags in their relationships if they feel something is off.

  11. karen says:

    At the time you have put this story up (2pm ZA time) the judge has not finished giving her verdict. The legal teams have just come back into court after the lunch break, awaiting judges arrival…
    Local press is reporting that she has ruled out premeditated murder (was not proven by the state) but no other judgement given yet. Could still get culpable homicide (which is indeed same as manslaughter). No judgements yet on the gun charges.

  12. Sabrina says:

    The verdict is not yet complete. He could most likely still be found guilty of culpable homicide. It’s also very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was pre-meditated which is what is required for a guilty verdict on that grounds.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      When does the judge determine whether he’s guilty of culpable homicide?
      Will we have an answer today?

      • Pager90 says:

        Tomorrow ,hopefully.

      • Jules says:

        No. The court adjourned for the day at 2:30pm our (SA) time. They will renew sentencing tomorrow 9:30am. Verdict may come through tomorrow afternoon but could even be next week as Judge Masipa goes through every piece of evidence on all charges. (So not just killing Reeva but also the gun charges)

        Live streaming of the verdict can be found here – http://ewn.co.za/Features/oscarpistorius/live-blog

        (Obviously nothing happening now as court is adjourned but there is a feed of tweets and updates etc) Live streaming will resume tomorrow our (SA) time 09:30am

    • Pamela says:

      I wish I understood law better. This is so confusing.

      I can see why pre-meditated wasn’t proven. …sort of. I guess I am confused about the definition of pre-meditated. For example, if he had stated that he got up and shot through the door, knowing she was in there…would that be pre-meditated? Or would he have to of stated “I laid in bed awake, waiting for her to go in the bathroom and after an hour she finally did so I got up and shot through the door knowing she was in there”?

      And are there various ty[es of manslaughter? Because I feel like if I was driving in the rain, slid and killed a pedestrian….that , to me, is very different from shooting through a door in my own home—not knowing who was behind the door, and mpore importantly, NOT knowing that my 2 family members were NOT behind the door.

      • Tammy says:

        Shooting someone behind a closed door only shows he was reckless, doesn’t show he had intent. Premeditated requires intent and that is very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • Rae says:

        I don’t know about South Africa, but here for premeditation, it wouldn’t take any type of confession or statement from him, but the prosecution would have to provide evidence that there was some type of planning involved. For example, let’s say this happened at her house, not his, AND again let’s say he did not normally carry a weapon on him, but he had taken a gun with him to her house that night. The prosecution would argue the fact that he took a weapon to her house shows premeditation. Something like that. But the evidence has to support it.

        Also, each state has their own laws for murder and manslaughter, and there are several different degrees. However, your example of your car skidding and killing someone wouldn’t fall under any manslaughter label under most laws unless you were somehow acting recklessly or negligently, like you’d been drinking or speeding.

      • SuePerb says:

        Premeditated murder would be if he planned to kill her. He could have meant to do it a minute before he shot to have been premeditated. But it would have been his intent to kill her.

        The second charge he was cleared of was Murder Without Premeditation which is that he intended to kill whoever was behind the door. The prosecution didn’t prove that either. This part of the ruling could end up being a reason for an appeal by prosecutors who do not agree with the way Judge Masipa applied the law.

        The next charge (which I guarantee he will be found guilty of) is of Culpable Homicide (Manslaughter) as the judge already said he acted unlawfully and knew someone behind the door may be killed or injured.

        Hope this helps :)

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “The second charge he was cleared of was Murder Without Premeditation which is that he intended to kill whoever was behind the door. The prosecution didn’t prove that either”

        I don’t understand how that point wasn’t proven. It was essentially admitted to.

      • SuePerb says:

        No, the defence stated that if Pistorius definitely wanted to kill the person behind the door he would have shot higher. They said he was in a state of panic when he pulled the trigger. The prosecution did not prove that he intended to kill the person, and the judge has said that he acted unlawfully and negligently that the person behind the door COULD have been killed or injured. Which is why he will be found guilty of Culpable Homicide.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I guess I place more weight with the number of shots (4) than with the difference in inches of height. He shot her in the shoulder, so clearly he was not aiming for ankles and shins. To say that he shot at mid-body and not head height and therefore he didn’t intend to kill seems a very fine, and unreasonable, hair to split.

      • SuePerb says:

        The first bullet hit her in the hip which caused her to fall, so there was no high shots at all. This was not disputed by the prosecution. Also there were more bullets in the gun which were not fired. This is the way forensics and the law works. They do split hairs over inches. Both sides split hairs over mm’s during the trial

  13. Beatrice says:

    Why does it always surprise and anger me that the famous can get away with anything?

    • Brin says:

      It’s shameful. I feel so sorry for her family.

      • Amy says:

        That’s exactly who I’m thinking of today. The Steenkamps must be horror-stricken. It’s like being violated all over again.

    • Nicolette says:

      I know how you feel and I share your sentiment. It seems celebs and sports figures have a different judicial system. Justice is deaf dumb and blind when it comes to them. It’s appaling that yet another has committed a horrible crime and the feeling is he will walk away. My heart goes out to Reeva and her family, they both deserve justice.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        It doesn’t just apply famous people, it is more about wealth. The stars get more attention for their favorable court dealings, but it isn’t because they are famous, it is because they are wealthy.

    • Christin says:

      Unfortunately, this can happen to non-famous people. For the past 40 years, the woman who married my uncle (sorry but I cannot refer to her as aunt) has lived a life of freedom after admitting to walking up behind him and shooting him (accidentally, she claimed). She caused my family an inordinate amount of grief, yet she continued her life as if she were just an innocent little thing. No apologies; no apparent remorse.

      My sympathy goes to Reeva’s family. Victims just don’t have a voice.

    • JennieK_NS says:

      It’s important to understand that at this point he hasn’t gotten away with anything. The verdict hasn’t been handed down on all charges yet. The only charge that he has been found not guilty on is premeditated murder, because the judge found that there was not enough evidence to support a theory that he woke up, knew Reeva was in the bathroom, and that he fired through the door with the intent on killing her. There are still other charges — including the American equivalent of manslaughter — that are still to be decided.

      If he walks out of that courtroom a free man tonight with absolutely no guilty verdicts levied against him, then we will all have cause to rail against the system. But Justice hasn’t finished having her say just yet.

    • SuePerb says:

      I don’t think he has got away with anything because he is famous. I watched the entire case and the prosecution’s case was weak for murder. Manslaughter, yes, but not murder. They proved nothing over the entire case.

  14. PHD Gossip says:

    South Africa’s O.J. Simpson.

    • kibbles says:

      +1 Just like OJ, I get the feeling that Oscar will also dig his own grave. Someday in his future he will end up in jail even if he gets away with this murder. People like this do not stop until the justice system puts them behind bars.

  15. Nick says:

    I am disgusted. All I can hope for is that his conscience eats him apart.

  16. Sixer says:

    There’s a deal of chatter about the Judge’s application of ‘dolus eventualis’ only to Reeva, rather than to a potential intruder in the acquittal on the second charge. Lots of internet chatter on that. Back when I’ve fully understood it!

    • SuePerb says:

      There was 2 charges he has currently been acquitted on. Premeditated Murder and Murder Without Premeditation.

      Premeditated Murder is the plan to kill someone.

      Murder without Premeditation (dolus eventualis) is the intent of killing someone say behind a door, knowing that when you pull the trigger they will die. It makes no difference who was behind the door, whether it was Reeva or a burglar. The Judge has said there was not enough evidence (prosecution did not prove their case) that Pistorius shot with intent to kill the person behind the door. She is saying that he is guilty of negligence and was unlawful that he shot when he knew the person COULD have died or been injured. Although the Judge dismissed the defences theory that if he definitely wanted to kill he would have aimed higher, it must have played some part in her decision as she said it is not proven that he intended to kill the person behind the door.

  17. Adrien says:

    His career is dead anyway. Good luck, Orenthal James Pistorius.

  18. Lizzie says:

    The culpable homicide charge could mean jail (there is no minimum sentence) or probation.
    Who knows what’s going to happen.

  19. Ali says:

    Not guilt of murder is correct. There was no evidence to prove that. Manslaughter conviction should follow.

    • megs283 says:

      Yeah – from what little I understand about the South African court system, he can still be found guilty of something, right? This is just saying that he didn’t plan it in advance (which I agree with – I think he’s GUILTY AS SIN, but I don’t know if he went to bed that night planning on murdering Reeva.)

      (ETA – Obviously I think he should serve YEARS AND YEARS in jail and I’ll be livid if he gets off – but I’m holding out hope that justice is served)

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        He can still be found guily from “culpable homicide”. If he does, he weill get jail time or probation. I am hoping for jail time.

    • siri says:

      I agree, it’s a correct verdict. People confuse a lot here.

  20. Laura says:

    RIP Reeva. I hope everytime he closes his eyes he sees her face.

  21. Cristi says:

    The thing is, even if found guilty of culpable homicide, it carries no mandatory prison sentence. So basically, we can assume he’ll be free and clear. I think the outcome would be much different if it were a jury trial. And I can honestly say that if he were tried in America, he would have been found guilty. Different burdens of proof in different countries. Then again, we let guilty people go every day and convict the wrong ones quite a bit too. It’s the interpretation of laws that causes the dilemmas. Too much gray area in many cases.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Probably not of first-degree murder, however. Premeditation is a key element of the first-degree murder charge, and is (rightly) quite difficult to prove. In the U.S., the level of proof which must be reached is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” for criminal charges. No way was that reached here for the premeditation element. And I say that as someone who would like to see Pistorius rot away in prison.

  22. kibbles says:

    I’m sort of surprised but sort of not. It’s South Africa. I don’t know a lot about the legal system there, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it is incredibly corrupt and that judges are often paid off. Domestic violence is also not something that most countries outside of the western world take seriously. Even in the West, women still have problems seeking justice against their abusers. If you are a woman in a country in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, well, let’s just say the law probably won’t be on your side if you are unfortunate enough to have a violent boyfriend or husband.

    • Lady Macbeth says:

      +1,000!

    • Grumpy says:

      South Africa is an incredibly developed country with the most democratic constitution in the world. Our constitution protects against hatred of all kinds (race, sex, gays, lesbians etc)

      Have you ever visited South Africa or done any research on our country? It is very far from the deepest, darkest Africa of your imagination.

      Oh and I would call our country very much “Western”.

      The reaction so far within SA (I live here) has been one of disbelief but we are still hopeful for a culpable homicide conviction and so hopefully jail time. He does not have much support here. I would not say the courts are corrupt here however the police service is definitely not the best. Our prosecution teams are excellent but they have to work with what the police provide and sadly it is not up to par. I would say its the SAPS (South African Police Service) who really let our judicial system down.

  23. Kushkins says:

    Hi Kaiser

    As a South African, I will try and explain to the best of my ability.

    Judge Masipa says that the state failed to prove that it was premedited murder or murder, and that Oscar has dimnished capacity to defend himself in a fight or flight situation, and that it is has been proven that he suffers from General Anxiety Disorder.

    But he is still going to face judgement under calpable homicde, and for that he can get up to 15 to 20 years in prison.

    I am in no way, shape or form excusing what he did but these are the facts she is presenting to us.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks for posting this! I’m very glad to hear that there’s still hope that Reeva and her family will get some justice.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      @Kushkins – Thank you explaining the law in your country.

      I suffer from a GAD, diagnosed. I’ve never bought that defense. Maybe as a male he’s conditioned to fight when the anxiety escalates, but I think to make the jump to diminished capacity due to GAD as a murder defense is absurd. I hope she throws the book at him – i.e., twenty years.

    • GiGi says:

      I agree. Gertie Nel laid out a purely circumstantial case, introducing such huge suppositions that it made it hard to distinguish the facts. IMO, Nel did the prosecution no favors here. I’ll be very keen to hear the rest of her verdict.

      • Jules says:

        Unfortunately Gerrie Nel has to rely on what the South African Police Service gather during their investigation. The SA police force is far from perfect (in fact, the majority are extremely weak)

        I think its unfair to lay the blame at the prosecutions feet, Gerrie Nel is an excellent prosecutor with many years experience. He has won cases against Barry Roux (Oscar’s advocate) in the past. The police bungled the investigation and he unfortunately has to work with what he is given.

        I am a South African living here and this is my opinion.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Thanks for explaining it in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

      Also, good to know that in SA anxiety is just cause for murder. Then again, the victim’s just a woman so who really cares.

      I hope this punk gets 20 years.

    • MsMercury says:

      Thank you for explaining this. I didn’t know about the Anxiety disorder….I hope he gets 20 years.

  24. Sarah says:

    Does Reeva’s family still have time to file a civil suit??

  25. L says:

    You have got to be kidding me. I’ve never shouted at the screen at something here before-but I very much swore out loud when I saw this.

    Not-guilty my rear end.

  26. Pager90 says:

    He may still be going down for HOMICIDE…we will find out tomorrow . Court has gone on Break.

    Can’t stand him.

    RIP Reeva.

  27. Gina says:

    He killed her all over again. Oh wait, my boyfriend is in the bathroom right now, but wait, maybe it’s someone here to harm me…..where’s my gun, that’s right I don’t have one. What a prick….can anyone say O.J.? Bless her soul, cause she can’t rest in peace.

  28. Erm says:

    That judge is looooooooving drawing this out.

    I’m absolutely disgusted. DH is not surprised and thinks the judge was paid off.

    I hope Pistorius is tried in the court of public opinion and found guilty–ie he can never hold his head up in society again, even if he walks free. I hope he gets a terrible case of Lady Macbeth, but I doubt he has the speck of conscience required for it.

    Also, thank you Kaiser, for posting this and giving us a place to vent!

    • Lady Macbeth says:

      If he ever gets around me, I will kill him, he doesn’t need my case XD
      Then I would blame anxiety and that I was fearing for my own life in the presence of an infamous murderer.

  29. shaboo says:

    I find it unbelievable that she stated that he couldnt be found guilty of murder because he had no way to know his action of shooting 4 bullets through a door could lead to someone’s death.

    What also doesn’t make sense is that she then came back after a break and seemed to be heading towards a culpable homicide verdict stating a reasonable person would have foreseen the death of whoever was in the cubicle. Contradictory much?

    Additionally, how can she repeatedly state pistorius is an unreliable witness who has been dishonest, and then believe his story of events.

    • Jules says:

      I agree with you 100%

      So do the majority of South Africans – we can’t believe/understand this.

      It appears that we mere mortals do not understand the law as those schooled in law seem to be saying that Judge Masipa is sticking to the letter of the law very precisely. I am concerned that this sets a precedent that see’s people getting trigger happy within our communities. It seems absolutely ridiculous that he can shoot 4 times (not once – which could seem accidental) into a very confined space, admit that he shot the gun, admit that he is the reason Reeva is dead and then not be convicted of murder! It doesn’t matter whether he knew Reeva was behind the door, he still intended to shoot at the “intruder” behind the door. (In his version) What did he think shooting 4 times would do? I think that shows intent to kill regardless of who was behind the door.

      In my opinion he knew she was in there and he hasn’t been truthful. Gerrie Nel pointed out how Oscar was tailoring his evidence. I would have had at least some respect for him, if he had come out and told the truth and accepted accountability.

      I can just say how disappointed we all are so far, we’ve been watching at the office and people are depressed by the whole thing. The majority of us want him to rot in jail for what he has done.

      Anyway, we will see what tomorrow brings – we are hoping that he is at least held accountable for culpable homicide and that the judge gives him 20 years – you cant take away the fact that Reeva lost her life, he must pay.

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      The homicide is not pre-medicated beyond the reasonable doubt. It was not planned beforehand ( or we do not have enough proof to consider it pre-medicated). The judge has to follow the law precisely. I don’t know, people who thought he would be found guilty of pre-meditated murder had been very optimistic but not really realistic. There is still culpable homicide which I think he will be found guilty of since the negligence the judge is talking about is in line with it. I hope he gets a long jail time.

  30. Pager90 says:

    I think he’s still going to get 15 to 20 yrs for calpable Homicide.

    He’ still may be going down. IMO but we will see what happens tomorrow.

  31. belladonna says:

    I am not sure how anyone could be surprised by this. If you read the court transcripts there was absolutely no evidence available to prove that he killed her intentionally. Unfortunately and fortunately, one can not be convicted of a crime based on opinion. The only facts that were there were ones that indicated that he indeed shot her but that it was an accident… but that doesnt mean that’s what happened either.

    I feel horrid for Reeva and her family, I always have.

    • Sam says:

      I’m with you. I’m a lawyer and frankly I was a bit shocked that they pursued it as an intentional homicide case. They had a lot of speculation, but nothing that could really nail him. I have no clue how South African law works, so I’ve largely refrained from comment on it. This was one of those cases in which there’s only two people who know what happened and one is dead and one is insisting it was an accident. I’m not sure how else this really could have resolved, really.

      • hannah says:

        it’s Casey Anthony all over again . Prosecution thinking trial by media is all they need and they end up overcharging .

      • Sam says:

        It’s also George Zimmerman Part 2. Charging him with murder was stupid. They should have thrown all their energy into proving manslaughter and the result may have been different. Same with Casey Anthony (they probably could have nailed her on fraud, abuse of a corpse, etc.) This does not shock me in the least.

      • SuePerb says:

        Absolutely. I thought if they were going to pursue a murder case they would have their timeline at least straight. But the prosecution timeline of events made absolutely no sense at all. If the prosecution was to believed by the judge he would have fired 4 shots, then ran back to the bedroom, screamed for help on the balcony, then ran back and fired more shots (which there was no extra bullet holes anywhere), then ran back to the bedroom and put on his legs, then quietly smashed the door down, dragged Reeva out, and carried her down the stairs. In their timeline everything from the first shots happened in about 2 minutes. No one could do that in that short time, yet that is what the prosecution said happened.

        They had no focus on the charges, and no case for murder.

    • GiGi says:

      Agree completely. I kind of felt they could have built a really solid case against him… but instead went fishing with talk about the argument which may or may not have happened. Seriously, the prosecution spent SO much time about the argument or things which surrounded it (stomach content, jeans placement, etc.) that I feel like they lost the case in these speculations. It was just too much.

      I mean, he clearly killed her, stop talking about WhatsApp and get to it!

  32. Frida_K says:

    Why is it that my first thought was of Ray Rice and Janay?

    Where is the justice for women in this world?

    Will OJ Pistorius at least be given a sentence for another degree of culpability? And some jail time?

    The only thing I know for sure is that I hope that Reeva’s family knows that there is a huge amount of support for them from all sides. My heart breaks for them.

  33. Jayna says:

    This makes me sick.

  34. JessSaysNo says:

    I had a gut-feeling he would be acquitted despite fully believing this guy is a psychopath abuser and killer. I have almost zero faith in our justice system but yet I am still sooo disappointed in this. A grown man can murder his girlfriend in cold blood, despite witnesses saying they heard screams of a woman and against ALL logic get away with it? I know SA (and most of the world) favors rich white dudes but this is a disgrace.

    Because he cried and vomited when hearing about his murderous actions the judge was so easily manipulated into thinking he was simply a scaredy-cat little punk ass bitch instead of seeing how he is a bully and murderer.

    • Betti says:

      Um – actually if you read the Judge’s statements you will see that she basically branded him an unbelievable witness (aka a liar) – his and his defence’s behaviour were also called out. I don’t think the judge has been fooled – she has to act based on the evidence and facts presented to her which were shaky at best from both parties. She can’t charge him with premeditated murder as there was no factual evidence to support this.

      There are still the firearms charges – which could send him to prison. It isn’t over for him yet.

      Thou I do wonder WHY she adjourned early before finishing her verdict – there’s something fishy around that.

      • Pager90 says:

        There’s c. homicide charges yet and gun charges. He can still go to prison for years and years.

      • Hannah says:

        Betti. The judge branded all the witnesses that heard a woman scream -fighting before the shots, unreliable. Yet she accepted his inconsistent version of events, despite labelling him a very poor witness. She has basically bought into his story at the end of the day.
        Because of his disability and supposed anxiety disorder she is making excuses for his behaviour. Now people with anxiety disorders can argue that they shoot before thinking because they are so anxious??
        The defence managed to make him the victim in this case instead of poor reeva.
        If this was a poor man with no money for the best defence lawyer around I doubt the outcome of the trial would be similar.

      • SuePerb says:

        If the witnesses were believed (that it was a woman screaming and not Pistorius) then she screamed after she was killed. That cannot have happened. They said the woman screaming was in the 2nd shots, not the first set. It was proven there were only 4 shots, which aligns (time-wise) with the first set of shots. The second set was the cricket bat and the only person capable of screaming at that time was Pistorius, not Reeva.

        If you laid out the timeline of events, the only timeline which made sense was Pistorius’ version, not the prosecution. If the prosecution’s version was true there would have been double the bullet holes, and had him run to the bedroom balcony screaming for help (which witnesses heard) mid way through him shooting.

      • Danny says:

        Disagree @supurb. The many inconsistencies in his story were excused by judge mapata.
        What person claims to be protecting his partner but does not check where said partner is before firing 4 shots into a small cubicle. His story does not make sense whatsoever.
        Add to that the way the judge explained a person afraid of their partners as part of normal dynamics in a relationship, this particular part of the verdict was a disgrace.

      • SuePerb says:

        Judge Masipa has a history of being hard on those who commit domestic violence, so many thought the prosecution would walk it in because of her stance where this is concerned. Did you watch the entire trail? If so, lay the timeline out that the prosecution says happened – it does not make sense unless time stands still, therefore the only other version offered was Pistorius. As strange as it seems it does make sense. Yes he lied over a lot of fine details, but his timeline of events do make sense. Whether or not she believed him saying to Reeva “call the police” as he ran into the bathroom we will never know as it was not disclosed exactly what she believed and what she didn’t.

        4 texts out of 1900 does not constitute an abusive relationship. Nothing else from her letters and cards show he was abusive. The prosecution didn’t even call her friends and the family of who she was living with to say she was scared of him. I have more texts on my phone of arguments with my hubby.

  35. Pager90 says:

    It’s not over yet. He may still get 15 to 20 yrs and possibly even more with gun charges added.

    Hopefully he will get a prison time if a homicide charge happens.

    RIP Dear Reeva. Thoughts go out to her family.

  36. Maum says:

    Well the South African legal expert on BBC news went out and said he was a 110% convinced Pistorius would be found guilty of culpable homicide tomorrow morning. Combined with the gun negligence offences which were proven in court it is more than likely that he will end up in jail.

    He was surprised that the judge didn’t give her verdict on the charge before adjourning though. It would have made sense for her to deal with the murder/manslaughter charges today in full and address the gun charges tomorrow.

  37. msw says:

    @kaiser, the judge certainly did NOT state he couldn’t be a controlling man who would fly off the handle. She said the texts were not EVIDENCE of that, and she is right. It is speculation and conjecture. I’m completely unsurprised by this. The prosecution didn’t have evidence to make a case for premeditated murder. (Even if that is what happened.)

    I haven’t followed this too closely because it is so upsetting and his histrionics just make me angry. From what I have seen, though, this would have been the right call in an American court. It is extremely difficult to prove premeditated murder, and the evidence in the case for premeditation is pretty much all conjecture. But I hope they throw the book at him and toss his ass in jail on a homicide or criminal negligence charge. His actions are defenseless.

    • Hannah says:

      @Msw
      His ex girlfriend told the court that he was a man who could get very angry. Pretty sure there was an incident where he fired a gun in anger when stopped for speeding. It wasn’t just the text messages. There was a consistent image of a man who was gun mad with a bad temper if you believe witnesses.

      • msw says:

        Which is not evidence that he intended to shoot and kill her that night. It is only evidence that the is an a-hole, and you cant convict someone of premeditated murder because he is an a-hole. All it does is paint a picture of someone who is capable of murder, but you still have to go based on the facts. Otherwise, you are just guessing, and that isn’t enough for a conviction.

  38. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I think PunkyMomma meant “we” in the collective sense. as in “society”.

    I agree that men are the ones largely committing the raping, murdering, beating of women and I share your anger, Jess, but I agree with Punkymomma that we can’t expect men to change on their own and women need to be involved in the overhaul of the way society views us.
    We need women AND men to teach our young men that women’s bodies don’t belong to them. I think it takes hearing it from both a strong female role model (ideally an involved parent) and a strong male role model.

    Raising men to be feminists is a start, but for that to happen, we need strong women to model that behavior for them, to show that we are equal.

    Edit: What happened?
    original comments deleted? Oh well…

    • Chris2 says:

      Goodness TOKitten
      I added a supportive comment to yours ^^ and it seems to have been outlawed!

      Anyway, “+ 1000″, as they say.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Ha ha..thanks, Chris. I appreciate the reply as my comment is now sitting alone in all it’s glorious buffoonery.

      • Chris2 says:

        As Marx* said: “Glorious buffoons of the world, unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains!”
        * Ethel Marx of Railway Cuttings, Neasden, that is. Gœd knows which chains she had in mind.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      Not alone.

    • blue marie says:

      Agree with y’all.. And I’m watching the news, so you mean to tell me this douche may walk away with no repercussions? This infuriates me..

      Oh and that happened to me the other day on the Brady thread, I tried to apologize and it never posted..

  39. capepopsie says:

    Hold your horses ladies, the verdict will come tomorrow.
    It was a far shot to get premeditated, but I´m sure he
    will go down on culpable homocide. AND as someone has said,
    judge Masipa is definitely not stupid! But she can´t go with the public opinion
    she can only follow South African law.

    • Pager90 says:

      Exactly! It’s not over. There is more coming tomorrow.
      He will hopefully be charged and do time.

      People, he could very well get years behind bars, lets please wait and see the final verdict on all of this.

  40. Addison says:

    Just proves that everywhere in the world domestic violence needs to be taken seriously.

    Any man I know who thought someone might be breaking in would turn to the person they were sleeping next to and ask if they heard something. At least alert them that someone could be there. Have them leave the room for their safety and call the police. He killed her!!!

    I am no criminal, but if I would want to rob a house I would enter in a room they are not likely to be in. The dining room, living room or kitchen. Burglars usually case a house and learn your habits. They would know which rooms are main living areas and go in hrough there.

    He’s famous to them. To me he is shameful and the justice system has once again failed to protect women from violence.

    Pathetic.

  41. joe spider says:

    Wait until the judge has finished/passe sentence. Which won’t be until Friday.

  42. kri says:

    Although I understand the letter of the law, as explained to us by @Kushkins, I am still disgusted. It is OJ all over again, and the man gets away with it again. It has to stop. I would also like to thank all of you who read my post yesterday on the abuse of Janay. All of your responses to me gave me so much love-let’s hope there is some kind of justice for Reeva, if not from the legal world, at least from Karma.

  43. greenmonster says:

    So if a woman texts her boyfriend “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me… I do everything to make u happy and to not say anything to rock the boat with u. you do everything to throw tantrums in front of people,” that’s the dynamic of a normal relationship? No, it is not. If you can’t say that he is guilty of first degree murder without a doubt – that is one thing (in dubio pro reo – as sickening as it is). But don’t send the message, that those kind of texts are normal in a realtionship!!

    • Hannah says:

      I am disgusted and sick. I can’t believe this judge argues this could be normal behaviour in a relationship. They hadn’t even been dating that long they should have been in honeymoon phase of the relationship. Clearly that was not a healthy relationship. Really disappointed in how this judge worded this. Irresponsible even.

      • JessSaysNo says:

        I agree. Very irresponsible and ignorant.

      • Lady Macbeth says:

        Yes, totally irresponsible and ignorant. Once again, emotional abuse is considered as normal behaviour in a relationship. We didn’t need a judge (woman!) stating that again!

    • I Choose Me says:

      True. I do understand the judge’s ruling as it pertains to premeditated murder but I do not get how she can call that NORMAL.

      ETA: Actually, now that I think about, and in pondering the many comments about Janay and Ray Rice, I realize that many, many people of all walks of life still think this way. Plus I understand the judge is 66 and from an older generation. She’s probably used to domestic abuse being treated as a ‘private matter’ between couples. It’s a mindset that sadly, does not appear to be going away anytime soon.

    • hmmm says:

      That mindset has nothing to do with age.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Not individual age no, but I still maintain that it could be a generational thing. For instance, I grew up in a generation when corporal punishment was still considered acceptable in schools.

    • msw says:

      You guys are getting upset over something she did not say. She never said or implied normal relationships are like this. She said NORMAL PEOPLE have dynamic relationships which are unpredictable. The only question here is why she implied OP is “normal” when she knows he is not.

      • Danny says:

        Sorry she strongly implied that this happens in relationships. She referred to it as a possible dynamic between normal people. I don’t think people are as you say getting upset over something she did not imply . It was incredibly dismissive of any feelings reeva might have had. And it’s a very unfortunate way of articulating it. It’s not normal for a woman to be afraid of her boyfriend, and it’s frankly sad to see a female judge make excuses, even if she was to aquit him, she could have handled this in a different manner. It sends a the wrong signals.

      • msw says:

        But it IS a possible dynamic between normal people. She didn’t say she condoned it or thought it was a healthy relationship situation. No one in their right mind thinks this was a normal, healthy relationship. To say she thought this is “normal” behavior for a relationship is a vast oversimplification of what she actually said, to the point where you have changed her meaning.

        If that doesn’t make sense, I don’t know how else to explain it.

  44. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I’m sick. I believe he knew she was in there and shot anyways because he was angry. He sounds like a controlling douchebag with a hair trigger temper. I hope he at least gets guilty on the lesser charges but who knows anymore. It seems like guilty people walk free all the time, especially if they are rich and famous.

  45. Grant says:

    Ugh, I hate this guy.

  46. Rita says:

    The judge is a 66 year old black woman, one of only two who have risen to such status in the South African judicial system. She seems highly capable, in control of her court at all times, and not swade by opinion or media. This is the judge I want on the bench if I am ever accused.

    The judge concluded only that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. She was under a lot of pressure but in the end, her judicial integrity and character prevailed. I’m sure she will find him guilty of negligent homicide.

    This sort of judge gives me hope for South Africa.

    • Danny says:

      I would be scared to go to South Africa with judges like this. Violent society where people get away with murder because of money and privilege.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        Well, the texts and abuse are not a proof of murder. The fact is we don’t know anything beyond the reasonable doubt. And it is not enough to find a man guilty of murder in South African legal system( and many others). South Africa does have a solid law system if the crime is reported. With this case I trust Judge Masipa to find him guilty with “culpable murder”.

      • matilda11 says:

        Really? You know this … how? Because our fair justice system will not convict a man of premeditated murder just because people *think* he is guilty? With our history, when so many people were convicted without due process, there has to be very compelling evidence. As I have said before in this thread – stop making stupid, ignorant statements. There is a world outside of the US and there are other, possibly better, justice systems. We don’t have the death penalty, and the “lesser” charge of manslaughter (= culpable homicide) can have a very similar prison sentence.

      • libertyIII says:

        Isn’t Janay DEFENDING her husband? The justice for women in abusive relationships often does not happen because they stay with the abuser and often high-profile relationships have perks e.g. financial, that the women don’t want to sacrifice. This case is and was never about justice for women, this is about a shoddy police investigation and insufficient evidence to prove he set out to kill her. If you lived in South Africa, perhaps you would understand the fear people experience on a daily basis because of the out of control crime in this country. By no means does this excuse his actions, but I believe it could have been a tragic mistake. Only one person knows and the other is dead and gone. We weren’t there, perhaps we should not judge too harshly.

  47. Marianne says:

    I’m really not surprised as there wasn’t really enough hard evidence that he pre-meditated it.

    But, he could still convicted of manslaughter since he was the direct cause of her death.

    • FingerBinger says:

      I’m not surprised either. The police doing almost everything wrong really hurt the prosecutor’s case imo.

  48. Pager90 says:

    I teared up when the judge said Reeva didn’t scream or would not have had a chance to scream. It seems every part of the trial has wiped away Reeva’s voice. Her text were basically thrown out, her screams were said to not exist by the judge or the neighbor hearing her screams basically called unreliable. It saddens me terribly that not only her life was snuffed out by this monster-Oscar,,but any attempts made in court for her to be heard were just pushed to the side as not meaning anything in her trial. It’s Very sad.
    I feel for her mother having to sit and hear and see all she has, because of this monster-Oscar who killed her daughter.

    I really hope he gets many years for the homicide and gun charges.

    • Lady Macbeth says:

      Yes, I found that incredible too. She didn’t die from the first shot so she certainly screamed. And her fear of him present in the texts was wiped out as it was normal. Normal… on which planet? My husband never sent me texts like that. My ex did, and I nearly got killed before and after the report. Unbelievable, they killed Reeva again.

  49. I Choose Me says:

    I understand the judge’s reasoning but it’s still so damn upsetting. What stands out to me is that the door was locked and he had to break it down with a cricket bat. If you leave your boyfriend asleep in bed and go to use the bathroom, why would you lock the door? Shut it yes but lock it?

    I know, I know it’s more than probable that some people lock the door automatically when they go into the bathroom but it’s just ONE MORE THING that makes me think he’s guilty as hell.

  50. Diane says:

    South Africa’s own OJ

  51. nicegirl says:

    Shocked, disgusted and saddened for Reeva and her family.

  52. Guest says:

    Dating someone should not end in one’s death. Reeva deserved so much more.
    Oscar’s defence put South Africa on trial; a cowardly but effective strategy especially when one considers that country’s recent history.
    After the final verdict I will choose to ignore any data concerning the depraved spoilt person – Oscar P.

  53. taxi says:

    Among the many inconsistencies in Oscar’s stories, the one which struck me as most absurd was that he thought Riva was in the bed when he got up. Even in a king size bed in a pitch dark room, I believe he’d have known whether or not he was alone in the bed. If awakened by a noise & before getting up to get a gun & find the source, I firmly believe someone would, by touch or whisper, alert one’s sleeping partner to the possibility of threat.

    I hope, after getting the maximum penalty the judge can impose, that Steenkamp’s family can file (and win) a suit for the SA equivalent of wrongful death. I hope that OP is forever finished as a product spokesman/endorser & that his career is over.

    Please, if he “writes” a book about his side(s) of the story, do not buy it & announce in advance intent to boycott the publisher. If he is convicted of lesser charges, will he be entitiled to receive compensation for participation in interviews for a film or TV movie? Let’s hope not.

  54. Montréalise says:

    I am very disappointed In the judge’s decision to dismiss the text messages between OP and RV as irrelevant, saying that “Normal relationships are dynamic and unpredictable sometimes”.
    No, my lady, it is NOT normal for a woman to be afraid of her boyfriend. It is NOT normal for the boyfriend to lose his temper and go apesh*t every time the woman talks to or pays attention to another man. It is NOT normal for a man to verbally abuse and denigrate his girlfriend. It reminds me of the O J Simpson trial, where a (female) juror told the media that the prosecution’s evidence that OJ had stalked and abused Nicole before her murder had no relevance to the case.

  55. emma says:

    terrible.

    Shooting doesn’t mean intent to kill? That’s going to open up something awful that I don’t think the courts are going to want to deal with.

  56. Jana says:

    O.J., Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman and now Oscar Pistorius…I’m starting to think that televised trials always equal Not Guilty verdicts. I am just sick for yet another victim and her family who haven’t gotten justice.

  57. kath gy says:

    Dint u just no that Soz Gina happen reminds me of the oj Simpson case and look where he is now ! Oscar will get his cumupense I HOPE.!!! RIP reeva

  58. He was found not guilty of murder period, end of story. He is still on the hook for being a reckless dumb ass for mistaking his girlfriend for an intruder(s) in his bedroom suite because he heard a window open and a door close. Most importantly and accurately, Masipa categorically ruled out Oscar Pistorius murdering Reeva, in particular, by intention or malice. She believed correctly that he did indeed mistake her for an intruder, which is not to say that he wasn’t an idiot for doing so. But still a terrible misjudgment in a moment of panic and paranoia mixed with legitimate and warranted anxiety doesn’t not add up to blowing away your girlfriend in a rage. Not murder!

    • Trashaddict says:

      You should not be confused into thinking the judge might personally think him guilty of intentional murder (if not premeditated). She cannot let her personal judgment supersede the evidence that was provided. She is saying is that the prosecution has not provided enough hard evidence to convict. Which is another travesty. But I would guess she knows that if she passed a judgment of homicide, it would not stand up on appeal, no matter what she might think. At least she has a voice on the bench to basically say his story is FOS. That’s the subtext of her ruling.
      Reeva, I hope and believe that someday your family will be able to be able to find peace. My heart goes out to your family for losing their beautiful, talented daughter. If Pistorius gets off completely, I hope everywhere he goes, he will see people wearing a button or tee-shirt with Reeva’s name on it.

  59. Emily C. says:

    That abuse is seen as part of a “normal” relationship is the heart of the problem. There is no way he did not know it was his girlfriend, and there is no way one could not intend to murder someone when shooting at them multiple times. Murdering someone you’re in a relationship with should be a GREATER offense, not a lesser one. The crime of passion, “heat of the moment” bullshit is a relic of a legal system in which a man owned his wife, and it needs to die. I hope South African feminists are all over this.

  60. Maria says:

    Two year trial almost…there has been loads of money slowly floating to who matters in my opinion.

  61. Jarredsgirl says:

    This is the problem with the legal system. It is all based on what evidence is available, and it is de-constructed in a very rational, critical way. The thing is, humans do not always act rationally, we are emotional creatures and looking at the facts alone will not give you the full story. Of course, it is difficult for a third party to understand the emotional dynamics behind every action a person takes, if not impossible. The legal system, as it is, is not the best way to deal with criminal behaviour, in my opinion, though I’m really not sure how else to go about it.

    I’m a little upset that he was acquitted. I don’t know what happened that night, but if he gets away with this, I just feel like Reeva is being utterly disrespected… Though I think he will be charged with manslaughter. Here’s hoping.

  62. Ellis Alter says:

    Affluenza strikes again! It’s heartening to know that it isn’t only in this country in which money can get you off a murder charge. She was screaming in the toilet, neighbors heard her, he shot her until she stopped screaming. It’s how he knew where to aim the 4th final kill shot. How sickened would you be if this was the way your child died? His parents must be so proud. Almost as proud as the parents of the new girlfriend, allowing their daughter to date a guy that murdered his last gf. Like unto like. I know one Parent that is going to have the last word, no matter how much Bible thumping Bloodrunner does.

  63. Jade says:

    I can’t find fresh updates online yet. While I am upset, it’s clear that the prosecution did not prove premeditated murder beyond reasonable doubt. That being said, he still has to face culpable homicide charges so I would hold back jumping on the judge and SA justice system.

  64. Pager90 says:

    Oscar has been found GUILTY of culpable HOMICIDE!
    Oscar found GUILTY!!! Of culpable HOMICIDE!
    Manslaughter of Reeva.

    Hope he gets maximum years!

    Also guilty of one of the firearm charges ! The one that took place In the restaurant .

  65. Linn says:

    Maximum Sentence of 15 years and no minimum sentence. I hope he doesn’t walk out of there with a couple of month.

  66. Marlaann says:

    Wait until he slips up….these things aren’t one offs.

  67. jayne says:

    What a shock, he is guilty as sin what on earth is the matter with the judge

  68. jasrina says:

    Don’t worry. Oscar Pistorius will get EXACTLY what’s coming to him at some point. Remember O.J. Simpson? After all of his lying about not killing his wife, he finally screwed up and ended up behind bars for a long time. Karma is a BITCH!!!