Has The Justice System Failed Reeva Steenkamp?

The Late Reeva Steenkamp

The Late Reeva Steenkamp

Our heartfelt condolences go to the Steenkamp family whose daughter was killed whether intentionally or not. The loss of a child, sister, and friend can never be appeased by a lengthy jail sentence or even by taking the life of the killer even if he had been convicted of murder. As the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius case was read, Reeva Steenkamp’s family was disappointed. Many citizens and advocates of Reeva including many domestic violence advocates claim that this is a miscarriage of justice.

However, due to the varying nature of the testimonies given, we will never be completely sure whether the blade runner willfully intended to murder his girlfriend. The police in this case remind me of the OJ Simpson trial. The police were so confident that this was a closed case of murder that they neglected to follow protocol which all worked in Pistorius’ favor whether he is a guilty man or not.

Perhaps, South Africa should consider the jury system which would have afforded the Steenkamp family an opportunity for the case to be tried by a jury of his peers. However, there are many issues at stake. The issue is now how much jail time Pistorius will receive. While the Judge has discretion it might behoove her to give him a stiffer sentence just in case this case is appealed and goes to trial again. Another trial would be a gamble for Pistorius who could be found guilty of murder.

Unfortunately it’s up to the Steenkamp family to pick up the pieces of Pistorius’ immature actions. All they know is Reeva is gone and the man who killed her is about to be free. As for the Pistorius family, it might behoove them to sit down and contemplate why bad behavior seems to haunt their family. Not too long ago, Oscar’s brother killed someone else. Whether the killings are intentional or not, this is probably a serious family issue to consider.

Whether we believe Oscar Pistorius is guilty or not as global citizens we should allow Reeva’s family to decide which direction the case should take. After all it is their daughter, sister and friend who they have lost. We hope the memory of Reeva Steenkamp is not lost in all the discussions of judicial mambo jambo.


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