#oscarpistorius Justice or scapegoat
One would think those calling for an appeal and a review and change in legislation that Oscar Pistorius was given a very lenient sentence and that the circumstances surrounding the shooting were so exceptional and unusual that it warranted a much tougher sentence. One of the cases mentioned in Court refers to a policeman who shot 8 times at 2 unidentified men who happened to be plain clothes police. He like Oscar believed his life was in danger. He was not given a custodial sentence although his training would have prepared him for these eventualities, 8 shots is far more excessive than 4 and he was trained to kill, therefore why was the matter of Dolus Eventualis not considered in this case and why aren't the likes of a certain university professors utilising their time, energy and unbiased expertise wanting an appeal in this case. Perhaps the university has a strict code on how university time is spent or if he works part time that all his off duty hours is taken up with wanting Oscar's case appealed because after all Oscar also thought his life was in danger but because it was woman who was killed and not two police man, perhaps society thinks their lives are more expendable. It is also interesting to note that part of his sentence was 3 years suspended the same sentence as Oscar got for the accidental discharge of a fire arm in a restaurant. I also respect unequivocally that it is wrong to shoot people without identifying who they are and much talk has been made of the fact that Reeva had not responded to Oscar, but in the case of the father who shot his daughter mistaking her for an intruder, I would also ask the same question, I however recognise that fear is a very powerful instinct, it is this instinct that has helped humanity evolve and not get wiped out by the many predictors that plagued ancient man, but it also results in our taking actions that in other circumstances we would not. In the cases I mentioned fear was the primary reason people took the actions they did resulting in the loss of life.
What seems to be forgotten is the reason people are fearful, if home invasions were such a rare occurrence then it would entirely questionable as to why anyone would assume a noise in the night was that of an intruder. However in the last few days yet another two people were killed by intruders. It would seem that the other message given to society is that occupants are far less likely to respond with force for fear of the consequences and will this see a higher number of fatalities by intruders. That is not to suggest that people should take the law into their own hands but rather what the government is doing to address this. It was also suggested or questioned as to whether Oscar got a fair trial. The world media descended on the Court, the words of the Judge criticising the media seem to have the opposite effect and all that was missing was for much of the media to don a grey wig with a badge announcing Judge in waiting. It was particularly interesting to note that it was decided the Dewani trial would not be televised because it was felt it would not be in the interest of Justice. So again another example of how Oscar was viewed differently, but again if it was not televised it would no doubt have robbed the world of the opportunity to watch the actorial histrionics of a prosecutor who at times seemed to be mistaken that the Oscar he was trying to win was a court case and not a statue. How can one case be viewed as being ok to televise and not interfere in justice while another the opposite ruling was made. What the televised trial did however show was just how bias and selective the media reporting could be and one would think that watching the round up of the day was in fact a different trial to that which took place earlier in the court room. Similarly it would seem that no regard was given to the emotional impact of having one's life dissected for all to see. It would seem that if one is famous, one ceases to be a person and becomes public property, possibly a real deterrence to staying in a country if one achieves fame. What seems perplexing however is prior to the sentence it seemed many legal experts felt that given his unblemished track record that a non custodial sentence would be considered. This was the sentence in the police man case mentioned above. In the recent Jub Jub appeal his sentence was reduced to 7 or 8 years for CH yet he had killed 4 children and 2 children were left with brain damage. Yet the state were demanding a 10 year sentence for Oscar. Does the therefore state look more favourable in the killing of children while joy racing under the influence of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, than killing one person in the mistaken belief it was an intruder.
It seemed strange that the ANCWL did not object to the dropping of charges in the case of the father shooting his daughter, child abuse and child deaths at the hands of their parents is very high. Yet they insist, despite the lack of evidence that Oscars case was one of VAW and therefore should the sentence should reflect the very high incidents of VAW in society. Personally I think the case of Annene Boysin would have been a very better case to champion. Oscars case however has as little to do with VAW as the father who shot his daughter has to do with child abuse. As a political organisation, surely they have a duty to respect the evidence presented in Court that setting their own bias agenda.
I think therefore the question that needs to be considered is whether Oscar was given a fair trial and is continued to be treated fairly or is he being scapegoated. How many times do the state want a verdict which is harsher than many convicted of a similar case overturned, how many times have the state attempted to change case law in order to be able to appeal a case. I somehow don't think this happens often which leads me sadly to conclude that the Shakespeare quote may be apt here ...Something is rotten in the State of .....