Mock Trial: Oscar Pistorius

(Contributed by Karma Quick and Asit Panwala)

Pamakids conducted their own trial by jury of Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  Judge Karma Quick held court at the home of Andy Chan and Malinda Walker.  The famous blade runner is currently charged in South Africa with murdering his girlfriend of four months, Reeva Steenkamp.  Mr. Pistorius is alleged to have shot Ms. Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013 at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.  Prosecutor Nadim Hegazi led the state’s case against Mr. Pistorius, while defense attorney Asit Panwala vigorously defended his client.

"Oscar" Lee Novich swears in.

“Oscar” Lee Novich swears in.

Testifying on behalf of the prosecution were: former detective Hilton Botha (Tomas Palermo), who inspected the scene of the incident; Gina Myers (Danielle Bisho), Reeva Steenkamp’s best friend; and Samantha Taylor (Malinda Walker), a former girlfriend of Mr. Pistorius.  Testifying in defense were Kevin Lerena (John Spriggs), a good friend of Mr. Pistorius, and Mr. Pistorius himself (as played by Lee Novich in an Oscar-worthy role).

Prosecutor Nadim Hegazi (L) and defense attorney Asit Panwala (R).

Prosecutor Nadim Hegazi (L) and defense attorney Asit Panwala (R).

Mr. Hegazi repeatedly emphasized that Oscar’s version was patently unreasonable.   He argued that Oscar would have awakened Reeva Steenkamp prior to shooting his gun if he believed an intruder was in the house.   He described him as a reckless man who owned tigers.   Meanwhile, Mr. Panwala described Oscar as a victim of a horrible tragedy.   In a country beset by violence, Mr. Panwala argued that Oscar was only trying to defend his home and his girlfriend when he accidentally shot her.

Judge Karma listening very carefully to the arguments.

Judge Karma listening very carefully to the arguments.

A jury of 7 individuals deliberated the evidence. The jury ultimately hung as to what charge Mr. Pistorius is guilty of.  4 individuals found the blade-runner guilty of murder, and the remainder found the defendant guilty of manslaughter.  Generally, most Pamakids had a bad feeling about Oscar’s actions.

[Editors note: As of this posting, Oscar Pistorius is due to reappear at Pretoria magistrates’ court.]


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