Blade Runner Challenge: What would you do?

In South Africa, a famous and wealthy Olympian athlete Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after he said he did know she was behind a bathroom door that he fired four shots through last year.

This brings us to the first instalment of Mr Live Wire’s new game show, “What would you do?”

Photo: South Africa Olympic star Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius on trial. (Courtesy
Photo: South Africa Olympic star Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius on trial.

Here is your hypothetical scenario: You and your girlfriend live alone and you hear noise coming from behind a closed bathroom door. You are armed. Do you:

(a) Shout out that you are armed and demand the person identify him or herself;

(b) Make a tactical retreat to your bedroom where you believe your girlfriend is, lock the door and call the police while holding your firearm for security;

(c) Spray up your own bathroom with bullets and then make an overseas call to Chaguanas lawman Johnny Abraham to ask what his head count was that night;

(d) Fire a solitary warning shot and shout at the would-be robber that you mean business;

(e) Demand your girlfriend flushes;

(f) Wish your girlfriend “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Your answer might qualify you to be a South Africa High Court Judge.

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  1. I live under a rock sometimes…because I don’t like to read all the bad news there is so honestly this is the first time I am hearing details of the case….if I shot at a bathroom door in my house, no doubt, it is my intent to kill someone behind the door….that’s my opinion….not quite sure why the prosecution set out to prove intent instead of murder….but the fact is he is guilty…and perhaps I am biased but I have no doubt he intended to kill his girlfriend….how many of you keep valuables in the bathroom?

  2. It’s not exactly the OJ Simpson trial.. but there are similarities..

  3. And bail has been renewed. Looks like in her eyes the state is completely incompetent

  4. Do you recall there was mention (if not evidence submitted) regarding his medication, or missed dosage?? It’s such a complicated matter, and when there are no witnesses, it makes it that much more difficult. I honestly wouldn’t want to be in the judge’s shoes on this one.

  5. After the Judge ruled that he did not shoot through his bathroom door by instinct but in a calculated decision; I think Oscar got off very lightly.

  6. The thinking here is that the prosecution said he planned to kill his GF. And they failed to prove that point.
    But he did kill his GF. The judge is saying this was accidental, and had he known it was his GF in the bathroom, he would not have shot.
    There is the whole context of south africa as well, where armed robbery is becoming commonplace. It’s a dangerous country, and Pistorious was personally robbed about three times in home invasions if I recall correctly. His friends have noted that when sleeping over at his house, he walked around with his gun at 3 AM in the morning sometimes, moving to confront if they woke up early for some reason.
    The common thinking, though, was that things were not good in their relationship and they had a fight. Or when she went into the bathroom, he found out he she was cheating (cell phone?) and he snapped and shot up the bathroom. Or they had both gotten high out of their minds for Valentines. Many what ifs, but the prosecution couldn’t prove any of it.
    And his story of what happened matched the evidence at the scene.
    So all we are left with is a senseless death caused by a series of very stupid decisions, and an overstressed , trigger happy sportsman. i.e. manslaughter. It still seems crazy that he could be free with a fine.
    That said, the insight into SA’s legal system was enlightening. Some would prefer to be judged by someone capable and qualified, rather than a jury of 12 of the lowest denominators in society.

  7. Shooting towards someone does not necessarily include the intention to kill? I cannot help but think that is an opening for a mistrial. Why did she phrase it so clumsily?
    I cannot help but think that we have not heard the end of this matter yet.
    I’m not saying that I don’t understand a manslaughter decision. But how the judge got there seems odd to me after statements like that.

  8. Not denying that the quote you mentioned seems dubious but it ultimately does not matter.

  9. That is the part that is most important in the verdict as it directly impacts whether the murder charge is applicable or not. The SA equivalent of manslaughter seems the direction this is headed.

  10. “Viewed in its totality, the evidence failed to establish that the accused had the requisite intention to kill the deceased, let alone with premeditation. The state clearly has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder. There are just not enough facts to support such a finding.”

    Masipa dismissed claims that Pistorius shot because of a reflex action. “He took a conscious decision, he knew where he kept his firearm and he knew where his bathroom was. This is inconsistent with lack of criminal capacity. The intention to shoot, however, does not necessarily include the intention to kill.”

  11. “Masipa ruled that Pistorius could not foresee that he would kill the person behind the door when he shot four times. Therefore he could not be found guilty of a lesser charge of murder.”

    I found that statement to be remarkable Kendall. It was a female judge by the way.
    I can understand if they could not prove motive. But how can anyone convince me that an adult shoots four times in the direction of a person without considering that the person might be killed as a result.

  12. The issue was lack of proof of menses. If it wasn’t premeditated, it isn’t murder but a lesser charge of manslaughter. I don’t know that I agree with him but I understand the verdict.

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