Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder.


The Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa [the ZASCA]]has found Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder. This was an expected result. Dolus eventualis as been recognised for centuries as a form of intention sufficient to return a guilty verdict. Firing 4 shots through a door, with reckless disregard for the possibility of death of the person behind the door, is a textbook example of that form of guilty intention.


It is most unusual for the prosecution to be able to appeal an acquittal. This can be done only where there is an error of law. The SCA set aside the trial judge’s verdict, on the basis of 2 errors of law: a failure to correctly apply the test of doluseventualis and a failure to take account of the totality of the evidence (with particular reference to the ballistics evidence of a police officer).