It seems that Pistorious has now made an addition to the number of celebrity individuals who have, ultimately, gotten away with murder due to their wealth, stature and power. Is the criminal justice system flawed?
O. J. Simpson, the famous ‘Juice’, was found with an abundance of evidence implicating him in a vicious and violent crime. With the support of an incredible legal team, he was found not guilty. A few years later, the Juice was arrested for assault – and then later again other violent crimes. His track record proved the man had a violent aspect to his personality, but still was allowed to go through. It can be argued that the wealth that can afford such a legal team helped him escape these charges.
Oscar Pistorius, the famous ‘Blade Runner’ was recently found not guilty of murder, but rather culpable homicide. He was sentenced to a five year imprisonment, despite again having an abundance of evidence implicating him in the crime and making him the prime and only suspect in the Reeva Steenkamp murder. A large proportion of the sentence will be spent under house arrest, rather than behind bars. Legal experts expect he will spend just 10 months in a correctional facility. The valuation of Reeva Steenkamps life is just 10 months.
The question that Judge Masipa asked was: ‘Is he a reasonable man?’ And it is certainly a difficult question to answer. A man with a profusion of wealth and power could lose aspects of rationality. To be so far removed from reality could have negative implications on a man’s sanity. But is it enough to drive him to an abnormal fear of shooting several times through a closed bathroom door in the middle of the night? It would appear the appeals of his legal team have presented Pistorius as a reasonable man and one incapable of repeating such an act. For what reason, though, would a man have a firearm by his bed? That doesn’t imply reason or rationality to me. But to what extent does it imply intent?
On the other hand, recently in Manchester, a teenager was released on bail despite being charged with the murder of a sixteen year-old. A court heard the individual to be considered as reasonable and rational; one capable, it is assumed, of not committing such an act of atrocity. Here, no powerful legal team has been provided; rather, the court and the justice system have heard a plea that seems feasible to them. Although he is on bail under ‘strict conditions’ such as not travelling the world, staying at his house, and promising to turn up to his trial, a young boys life has been taken away and as a result a correct and proper punishment should be given. Not freedom and liberation.
To me, Pistorius has gotten away with murder. The stern hand of justice, despite the comments of the Steenkamp family, hasn’t issued anything that ultimately absolves him of his crime. Rather, it has given him a slap on the wrist and four years of promising not to leave his house. If you want to get away with murder, make sure you’ve got a ton of money.