Reeva Steenkamp: To the living we owe respect but to the dead we owe only the truth
Saturday, September 13, 2014
The Guardian is reporting today:
The parents of Reeva Steenkamp expressed anger and disbelief on Friday after Oscar Pistorius was formally acquitted of their daughter’s murder, insisting: “Justice was not served.”
Amid growing discontent in South Africa at the verdict, the Steenkamps criticised judge Thokozile Masipa for being too lenient on the athlete, who was instead convicted of culpable homicide, the South African equivalent of manslaughter, and granted bail.
“This verdict is not justice for Reeva,” her mother, June Steenkamp, told NBC News. “I just want the truth.”
Yesterday, I identified the core weakness in Judge Masipa’s decision acquitting Oscar Pistorius of murder and convicting him of culpable (manslaughter) homicide.
Under South African law, however, a judge cannot base a verdict on circumstantial evidence alone unless no inference except guilt can reasonably be drawn from it.
Her conclusion makes sense when viewed through the prism of the legal rules that she applied. However, it makes no sense to be forced into accepting a liar’s statement about his knowledge and intent when it is contrary to common experience and he has a powerful motive to lie.
I did not believe Oscar Pistorius because he lied during much of his testimony and I do not believe his story about shooting into the cubicle without making certain she was not there. He should not benefit because he killed the only witness who could contradict him.
1. The door to the cubicle was locked;
2. She had her phone with her;
3. Her bladder was empty;
4. There was no urine in the toilet bowl; and
5. Pistorius never mentioned hearing the toilet flush.
That’s all the circumstantial evidence that I need to confirm my belief that he lied.
“To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.”