The Pistorius Trial
did he purposely kill Reeva Steenkamp?
Pistorius and Steenkamp had been dating for 3 months when Steenkamp stayed at Pistorius' house in Pretoria on the fatal night of February 14th 2013.
What happened the night of the Murder?
The incident occurred in the early hours of February 14th 2013 in the bathroom at Pistorius’ home in Pretoria.
'Pistorius claimed Steenkamp was in bed and there was an intruder, who he shot four times through the bathroom door — then realised he had made a terrible mistake.' (Ryall, 2014)
The prosecution claimed the couple had been arguing and Pistorius knew Steenkamp was inside the bathroom when he intentionally shot her through the door.
Who is involved?
The Crime Scene:
The scene of the Murder.
The social impact of the Pistorius trial.
The trial has also put pressure on South Africa's legal system which was already deemed as widely controversial. This is because South African courts do not have a jury to give the opinions of the public like in the united States, there is simply a judge and two assessors.
What forensics were used?
'The trial of Oscar Pistorius has highlighted the use of forensic evidence, as well as the scientists who present it, in the modern criminal courts.' (Robins, 2014)
The trial has called upon ballistics experts, computer forensic teams, forensics experts,crime scene reconstruction experts and forensic pathologists.
Ballistics; determining the angle and direction in which the bullets were fired.
Computer Forensics; Currently working on getting access to Mr. Pistorius and Mrs Steenkamp's phones.
Forensic Experts; Observing and analysing the crime scene in an effort to find missing clues.
Crime Scene Reconstruction; Determining the Scene of the crime and how it may effect the case and incorporating it into the courts evidence.
Forensic Pathologists: Determining the time of Mrs Steenkamps death, what occurred leading up to her death and analysing any abrasions or ligatures present on her body to determine if foul play was present.
- The pathologist also said that Ms Steenkamp had eaten within two hours of being killed.
This seems to contradict Mr Pistorius' account - that the couple had been in bed for several hours before he woke. (Peck, 2014)
- The pathologist and ballistics described how the wounds on Ms Steenkamp's body were consistent with bullets being fired through a wooden object such as a door.
- Alexander, H 2014, 'Oscar Pistorius murder trial: March 13 as it happened', 13 Mar, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/oscar-pistorius/10697092/Oscar-Pistorius-murder-trial-March-13-as-it-happened.html>
-'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius explains how he killed girlfriend in affidavit 2013, YouTube video, MANewsDirect, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QZJ7CZqOX4>
- Peck, T 2014, 'Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem',The Independant, 10 March, <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/oscar-pistorius-trial-athlete-repeatedly-vomits-as-court-hears-graphic-details-of-reeva-steenkamps-autopsy-9181257.html>
- Robins, J 2014, 'Oscar Pistorius trial: a test case for South African justice', The Justice Gap, March, <http://thejusticegap.com/2014/03/oscar-pistorius-trial-test-case-south-african-justice/>
- Ryall, J 2014, 'Oscar Pistorius trial: What really happened?', news.com, 3 March, <http://www.news.com.au/world/oscar-pistorius-trial-what-really-happened/story-fndir2ev-1226843963931>