Oscar Pistorius Walks on Stumps at Sentencing Hearing in Effort to Elicit Sympathy from Court (Video + Pic)
Disgraced Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius took off his prosthetic legs in a South African court on Wednesday in an attempt to elicit sympathy from the judges deciding his fate.
Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in his home on Valentines Day in 2013. In 2014 he was convicted of culpable homicide, the South African equivalent of manslaughter, and sentenced to five years in prison. However, prosecutors appealed this decision, and in December 2015 an appeals court convicted him of the more serious charge of murder.
Pistorius was in court this week for his resentencing hearing. All along he has claimed that he believed he was shooting an intruder in his bathroom, that he was dealing with serious anxiety at the time, and that he was feeling especially vulnerable that night because he was not wearing his prosthetic legs. On Wednesday, defense lawyer Barry Roux asked a visibly upset Pistorius to remove his prosthetic legs and walk around in front of Judge Thokozile Masipa to demonstrate this vulnerability.
“He suffers from an anxiety disorder,” Roux said. “We know that from uncontested evidence that when he was on his stumps, his balance was seriously compromised, and without anything he won’t be able to defend himself.”
Was Masipa moved by this display? We’ll have to wait to find out. Her sentence is expected to be handed down on July 6.
Hat Tip – [New York Daily News]