Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oscar Pistorius. Will it FINALLY ever end?

Finally, FINALLY, there is some progress in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. No need to recount the events of that tragic day. Everybody knows about the gunshots through a bathroom door, etc., etc. The only question is, and ever was, did Pistorius knowingly shoot Reeva Steenkamp, or was it a case of mistaking her for an intruder and a horrible accident?

Remember, the incident itself took place on Feb.13, Valentine's day of 2013 -- over a year and a half ago. After the trial FINALLY got started, a year later, it has dragged on for months. And it's not like the prosecutors and defense counsel have been in court every day slugging it out with their various unproveable theories. Far from it. The reason this has dragged on so long is because of the judge, one Thokozile Masipa.

Her Honor seems prone to more delays, adjournments, and vacations than the US Congress. Granted, Pistorius has remained free on bond, likely because of his world-class stature/fame, rather than rotting away in a cell somewhere like a "common" defendant would, while the marathon trial continues. It's likely few would consider him a "danger to society" or a flight risk. For that matter, where could a guy like Pistorius possibly go and attempt to hide?

Still, this trial is approaching the absurd in its length. And that falls on Judge Masipa. She long ago heard all the evidence, or lack thereof, and it's solely her call to make. Yet she drags it on, and on, and on.

Further granted, Masipa is only human and perhaps she relishes her time in the international spotlight. After all, had you ever heard of her before this case? Not me. And when it's finally over, we may never hear of her again. Remember a guy named Lance Ito? He was the judge in the super high-profile OJ Simpson murder trial back in 1994. Heard a peep about him since? Me neither. See what I mean?

But the 15 minutes of fame thing with Masipa appears to be out of control. It's turned into over 15 months, and STILL it isn't over.

Mercifully, she FINALLY handed down a partial ruling. In a rambling, semi-intelligible opinion from the bench, she decreed Oscar Pistorius would not be found guilty of murder. The prosecution had not met its burden to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt. So Oscar won't be spending time in prison until Chelsea's still unborn child runs for President or William Shatner gives up his TV gigs.

However, she went on to say Pistorius acted negligently, which legal analysts have said could result in Judge Masipa finding Oscar guilty of "culpable homicide", though she didn't say so herself.

Culpable homicide is comparable to manslaughter. In other words, the defendant didn't intend to kill the victim, but through his/her carelessness, a death resulted anyway. Kind of like backing over your own grandma in a Walmart parking lot. That will normally spell trouble. You didn't mean it, but were supposed to have better control of your vehicle. One might have to do a little time for such an unfortunate incident. In Oscar's case, such a finding could result in anything from a few years in prison, to a slap on the wrist. No jail time. It's up to the judge's discretion.

So just when the Honorable Thokozile Masipa was about to address such a finding, incredibly she adjourned court. AGAIN. They'll be back in a day or two, and maybe she'll plod along some more. Or maybe she needs another vacation while she "deliberates" further. It would be nice to have a long overdue verdict sometime in the near future. But with a judge like that -- who knows? Many hairs have turned gray/white or fallen out while waiting on her to come to a decision.

Of course, when she FINALLY makes her ruling, there will be the matter of sentencing. No doubt, that will come later. In Masipa's case, likely much later. But hey, with a little luck, maybe Her Honor can wrap this up by the time Chelsea's just "showing" a little bit with the future Prez in her womb.

Here's hoping. Meanwhile, Pistorius has to keep twisting in the wind waiting for his fate to be determined.

Guilty of a lesser charge or totally innocent -- it's WAY past high time for Judge Masipa to FINALLY start making calls regarding Pistorius.

It's one thing for her to milk her "15 minutes". But this has become ridiculous. Even William Shatner would blush.


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