What a peculiar ole broad is Lady Justice. We can have a straight forward case where something happens that is not complicated, but by the time prosecution and defence get done making a mess of it all, everybody is confused.
The Appeal Court of South Africa has declared that Oscar is guilty of murder; that is to say, the unlawful taking of a human life, with malice aforethought.
I held from the start that if I find that there is a person in my house, and if I go and get my gun with the intention of killing that person, I had better have compelling evidence that I had no other option to neutralize the threat, if it was a threat, than to kill that person.
In the defence that was presented, Oscar said that there was someone in his toilet and that he fired four bullets through the door in the intention of killing that person who he considered was a threat to him. For all he knew the person might have simply dropped in to have a shit. I could not understand why he was charged with simple manslaughter. Of course it was an act of murder, clear and simple.
This was South African law, so I assumed that things work differently there, but under common sense law if I aim a gun at another person and deliberately pull the trigger and I send a bullet into a vital organ(s), I have committed an act of murder. Even careless handling of a gun that is discharged, killing someone might be considered an act of murder if we should have known what the outcome would be.
I cannot say that this is what happened in this case, but the often repeated senario goes as follows: an argument breaks out between man and woman. It escalates with the woman running off to the bathroom and locking the door. She is followed by the man who bangs on the door, shouting "open this door!" Now the original argument is forgotten by the man. He is simply royally pissed off that the woman has locked the door. "I will break this door down!" he declares.
I have been in this situation a couple of times. The first time I didn't handle things all that well. I stayed at the door banging and yelling. Eventually things calmed down and we made up. The second time when she went into the toilet I said, "Well, I'm going out!" I went out, and while I did have a couple of drinks, which might have made things much worse when I got back home, in fact I had such a good time while at the club the argument was forgotten by the time I got home.
This could be all the difference between living in a country that allows its citizens to own guns, or not. The argument that ends in the small hours of the morning with a slap, where there is no gun in the house, perhaps ends in someone lying dead on the kitchen floor if a gun is handy.
Finally, Justice has been done. I am personally saddened for both families because one family has lost their young daughter, and Oscar, a person who overcame such an overwhelming disability has ruined his life and a very promising career. For me he was the pin-up boy that said, "Never give Up!"
It's all so sad!
Copyright (c) 2015 Eugene Carmichael