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Pistorius Verdicts Divide South Africa

Pumza Fihlani | BBC   in 
September 15, 2014

Two courts in South Africa are now debating Judge Thokozile Masipa’s verdict so far in the Oscar Pistorius trial – the court of public opinion and that of legal experts.

Legal experts say she followed the law impeccably, by looking at the evidence before her and then evaluating whether the state had proven its case.

But others have been unsettled by her ruling that Mr Pistorius was not guilty of murder, though she has yet to reveal her verdict on the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

While the law makes provisions for how criminal matters should be handled, judges, as custodians of the law, ultimately use their discretion.

Judge Masipa took the view that the state had failed to prove Mr Pistorius had intended to kill someone, so he could not be convicted of murder.

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