The premise of how eerily similar Olympian Oscar Pistorius’s case in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is to that of the 1994-95 O.J. Simpson case in the slashing murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her acquaintance Ronald Goldman — including this one, OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL PARALLELS OJ SIMPSON’S TRIAL TWO DECADES EARLIER posted today on eCanadanow.com — has circled the globe many times over since Pistorius shot Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.
And, indeed, there are some similarities, such as:
- Both of the accused were famous sports heroes,
- Both of the victims (or at least one of the victims in Simpson’s case) were beautiful blonde women, whom the accused either supposedly loved or at one time loved,
- Trials in both cases captivated large numbers of the public
- Trials in both cases were televised.
That’s about where the parallels end, though.
It seems to me that much more was different than similar in those cases, including:
- Pistorius admitted that he fired the gun that killed Steenkamp, Simpson not only denied wielding the knife that slashed Brown and Goldman, he claimed to have been in Chicago, a couple thousand miles away from Los Angeles where Brown and Goldman were murdered.
- A single judge weighted the evidence and delivered the verdict in Pistorius’s trial as opposed to 12 jurors in Simpson’s trial,
- Nothing I read or heard about the Pistorius case raised the notion that anyone tried to play the “race card,” unless someone wants to try to make something of the judge, Thokozile Masipa, being black and Pitorius white. So far as I know, no one did.
- While Pitorius wasn’t convicted of premeditated murder, neither was he acquitted and walk out of the courtroom a free man as Simpson did. Instead, Judge Masipa, found Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide. Although he has yet to be sentenced, culpable homicide generally carries a sentence of five years in prison.
It seems to me that all these two cases really had in common was that the defendants were celebrated athletes accused of killing beautiful blonde-haired women they either loved or formerly loved. But, what kind of headline would that make?
Jerrianne, You are right on the mark here. If this case resembles any in the past, oddly enough it is that of Claudine Longet who was convicted of negligent homicide in the shooting death of her lover, ski champion
Spider Sabitch. The testimony was eerily similar in one detail. After an alleged accident in which she shot Spider she immediately began efforts to save him including calling 911, trying to resuscitate him and sending her children up the road to guide an ambulance to the house. She also rode with him in the ambulance. The judge in South Africa sited Pistorious’ efforts to get help for his lover as well. It showed a lack of intent to kill. In Aspen all those many decades ago, Claudine served 30 days in jail and then went on with her life.
Linda, would it be OK w/you if I post your comment on my Anatomy of a Trial Facebook page as a comment on the status update with the link to this blog post?