Finally, we have a decision. Judge Masipa acquitted the blade runner of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp although it is possible that he may be convicted of “culpable homicide” otherwise known as manslaughter.
The judge found the witnesses who allegedly heard arguing between Pistorius and Steenkamp to be unreliable. She believed that those witnesses had failed to separate what they knew personally from what they had heard from others or through the media. She also didn’t find the whatsapp messages between Pistorius and Steenkamp to be anything other than the type of back and forth that exists in any relationship that has its up and downs. As I mentioned in a previous post, the prosecution needed to establish a motive for the crime and were not successful in doing so. The whatsapp messages never had anything direct as “I will kill you” although Reeva Steenkamp had admitted that she was scared that he would “snap” at her. Ultimately, the judge was unconvinced that Pistorius intended to shoot his girlfriend.
As with any big case, media tried to turn it a symbolic representation of a greater problem within society such as domestic violence, but each case must be judged on its individual facts, not on whether it advances some greater cause. Certainly, each of us is against domestic violence and I am personally appalled by how the Ravens only terminated Ray Rice after the video of the assault was leaked by TMZ. However in Pistorius’s case, there was never any evidence that he actually had assaulted Steenkamp previously or that he intended to kill her rather than a person whom he believed to be an intruder. It’s a tragedy of mythic proportions.
I believe that the judge will find him guilty of “culpable homicide” tomorrow.