We Americans had the O.J. Simpson murder trial in the 1990s which provided the entire nation months in which to argue whether or not the black athlete was guilty or whether he was in the court room due to the color of his skin. Inhabitants of South Africa have their own version, the trial of famous legless runner, Oscar Pistorious who is accused of murdering his girl friend. Oscar claims he became frightened of noises in the bathroom fearing it was an intruder, and began to blast away. Alas, it was the girl friend who then died of wounds. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has argued that Pistorious has a bad temper, and this was the cause of the shooting. Oscar simply got into an argument and killed the girl. About a month ago during the trial, a surgeon who had cut off the legs of young Oscar argued that anyone in this condition a “generalized anxiety disorder” due to feeling vulnerable and weak in the face of danger. A month break was taken in the trial and Oscar was studied by psychiatrists.
The report is in. According to psychiatrists who spent hours with Oscar, “Pistorious did not suffer from a mental illness or defect that would have rendered him criminally not responsible for the offence charged.” In other words, he understood “the wrongfulness of his act.” I assume this means, unlike O.J., the verdict will be guilty. Of course, one never knows how a jury confronts a nation’s sport hero?