Justice in the Republic


Oscar Pistorius is on trial for murder in South Africa, and reports of it indicate that "justice" in those parts may be even more bizarre than in these United States.

A "plus" first, though: one witness, a former girl friend, recalled that Oscar was once stopped for speeding (MacLarens "speed" soon after one changes from second to third gear) and the cop saw a gun lying on the seat. Did he pull his own, shout "freeze!!" and call for  backup? No. He contemptuously emptied the magazine on to the floor and then drove off. Oscar put the bullets back in place and shot one into the air and they both laughed. Seems cops there aren't so uptight.

But the big minus is that there is no jury. Oscar is accused of deliberately shooting his (subsequent) girl friend, and judgment will be handed down by a female, feminist judge. One. The sort that any US defense lawyer would do his utmost to exclude from a jury.

Pistorius has been without feet since soon after he was born, but has persevered to win big in the paralympics, using special, springy prosthetics; he's the "blade runner." I saw a cruel comment that in this courtroom he "doesn't have a leg to stand on." Unhappily, it may be so - regardless of actual guilt or innocence.