Oscar Pistorius defense rests; trial adjourned until August

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LONDON (CNN) — The defense in the Oscar Pistorius murder case rested Tuesday, bringing to an end the latest phase of a trial which has lasted longer than the athlete’s relationship with Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he killed.

Closing arguments will begin August 7, the judge ordered.

The long delay may be because of the length of time it will take the legal teams on both sides to review the transcript of the case, CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps said.

It’s thought to be as much as 4,000 pages long, covering a case that ran for 39 days between March 3 and July 8.

Pistorius, 27, admits firing the bullets that killed Steenkamp, but he says he mistakenly thought he was defending himself from an intruder. Prosecutors say the two had an argument and he deliberately murdered the model and law school graduate, who was 29.

Following closing arguments, the judge will have to decide whether Pistorius genuinely made a mistake or deliberately murdered his girlfriend.

If Judge Thokozile Masipa does not believe the athlete thought there was an intruder, she will find him guilty of murder and sentence him to a prison term ranging from 15 years to life. South Africa does not have the death penalty.

If Masipa accepts that Pistorius did not know that Steenkamp was the person he was shooting at, she could find him guilty of culpable homicide, a lesser charge than murder, or acquit him, according to Phelps, the CNN legal analyst.

A verdict of culpable homicide would leave the sentence at Masipa’s discretion.

By Richard Allen Greene

1 Comment

  • TheREALByeBye2TheCorruptRite

    “The long delay may be because….” and on and on.

    No, the long delay is because he’s an arrogant, overachieving wealthy turd. You or me would have been convicted long ago and sitting in jail by now.

    No, this isn’t the American justice system (which would have been over by now with a full acquittal), but it’s almost as bad: It’s South Africa and England! Two other societies owned and tightly controlled by the wealthy. Except they at least have nationalized, universal health insurace. Probably because they’ve long figured out that’s more economical in the long run, not because they are reckless purveyors of a welfare state.

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