Oscar Pistorius Has His Manslaughter Verdict Changed To Murder
Oscar Pistorius’s manslaughter sentence has been overturned, and he’s now been charged with murder.
A South African Appeals court found the Olympic athlete guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013, when he shot her through their bathroom door – Pistorius claimed he thought she was an intruder.
According to the BBC he will now have to return to court to be re-sentenced for murder. He’s currently under house arrest after serving one year of his original five year sentence in jail.
Now the Supreme Court of Appeal has said the lower court’s decision was incorrect, as it forgot to correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – did Pistorius know that his actions might cause death.
Justice Lorimer Leach that by arming himself and firing at the door Pistorius must have known that whoever was behind the door would likely die.
The athlete’s lawyers maintained that he believed there was an intruder, but the judge said the identity of the person he shot at was irrelevant.
Pistorius is able to challenge the decision if his lawyers can argue that he’s had his constitutional rights violated, but legal expert Mannie Witz told the BBC there doesn’t seem to be any grounds for such an appeal.