Target: Eric Leach, Judge, South Africa Supreme Court of Appeal
Goal: Support murder sentence given to Oscar Pistorius, South African Olympic athlete.
On Feb. 14, 2013, South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius fired four shots through a locked bathroom door. His girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, was in the bathroom, hiding from Pistorius during a heated argument. Steenkamp was struck in the right hip, right arm, and then, fatally, twice in the head. Pistorius claimed he didn’t “purposefully” shoot his weapon four times, and the South African court found favor upon him, handing down the lesser charge of “culpable homicide” instead of murder. Many in the States relived the horror of the O.J. Simpson trial and watched a famous athlete get away with murder.
Thursday, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal overturned Pistorius’ initial verdict and upgraded it to murder. In explanation of the court’s decision, Judge Eric Leach stated, “As a matter of common sense, at the time the fatal shots were fired the possibility of the death of a person behind the door was clearly an obvious result.” Thankfully, they got it right this time. Let’s applaud the South African Supreme Court of Appeal for finally giving Reeva Steenkamp justice.
Dear Judge Leach,
I want to thank you and your fellow judges for overturning Oscar Pistorius’ culpable homicide verdict and charging him with murder. I watched in horror as this young man got away with killing Reeva Steenkamp. Nobody fires four shots through a closed door without the intent to kill, and I was stunned by Judge Thokozile Masipa’s initial ruling.
Ms. Steenkamp died a horrific and violent death at the hands of a man of whom she was afraid. Your verdict is a positive step for women’s rights everywhere, and I appreciate you taking all of the facts into consideration and charging Mr. Pistorius with murder.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Rama