Judge Thokozile Masipa today continued to deliver her verdict on the Oscar Pistroious case, after yesterday declaring him not guilty of pre-meditated murder.
In what has been a hugely publicised trial, Oscar Pistorious was cleared of the charge of the pre-meditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp, but instead was found guilty today of culpable homicide, a charge similar to manslaughter.
As many passed comment last night and in the hours following her initial judgement yesterday, Masipa returned to the issue of dolus eventualis (that you would have an awareness of what the outcomes of your actions would be) and the fact that Pistorious fired repeatedly into a small bathroom cubicle where he knew there was someone. She moved to clarify her position on that, as well as adding that his conduct after the event was to call for help. She further outlined that he gave a version of events that could possibly be true, and the onus fell on the prosecution to disprove that beyond reasonable doubt, which she has judged that they did not.
She eventually moved to the charge that she had been hinting towards yesterday before the court broke up for the day, and found Pistorious guilty of culpable homicide, and he will face a sentencing hearing at a later date, where he could see a maximum of up to 15 years in prison. The charge of negligence in killing or culpable homicide can range from a non-custodial sentence to a long jail term, but given that Pistorious used a firearm this may fall on to the upper end of that spectrum.
However, there has been no discussion of the possible sentence by either legal team as they prosecutors were pushing for a murder charge, so a sentencing hearing would involve a further judicial process where further evidence from psychiatrists would be examined as well as possibly hearing from Steenkamp's family, according to The Independent.
He also faced several firearms charges, one related to shooting a weapon out of the sunroof of a car, of which he was acquitted, a second of discharging a firearm recklessly in a restaurant, of which he was found guilty, and a third, of illegal possession of ammunition of which he was found not guilty.