Pretoria, South Africa, June 15, 2016 – Oscar Pistorius seeks court’s leniency by showing his vulnerability in a courtroom, walks without prosthetics.
Sitting before a court filled with people, Oscar Pistorius lowered his head as his lawyer, Barry Roux asks him to remove both his artificial limbs. As he takes off one sock after the other, people looked on attentively, while others turned away. He draws up his legs to reveal deformed stumps like thin wood attached to his knees.
He appears to put much effort in keeping his balance as he takes one step at a time, with his head down, focused on the floor. As he walked across the opposite side of the courtroom, spectators allowed him the same attention he was used to as a champion competitor, yet in a sorry light.
It was almost unimaginable to see Oscar Pistorius barely able to walk normally when the public mind is pre-conditioned into seeing a superb athlete. Also known as “the fastest man on no legs,” one would almost expect Pistorius to jump up to a start and move freely across the floor. At the high court in Pretoria, spectators were invited to witness an unlikely side to the first amputee sprinter and olympian.
The purpose of the defense was to show to the court how vulnerable Oscar Pistorius was without his artificial limbs when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the bathroom of his home. Pistorius was jailed in 2014 for manslaughter charges. He was released after a year and moved into house arrest. He contends up to this day that he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder. The initial findings for manslaughter had been overturned after an appeal, and Pistorius has been convicted of murder.
Pistorius and the defense team hopes to sway the court’s decision against a longer jail sentence. Judge Thokozile Masipa moved the sentencing until July 6th.
Reeva Steenkamp was shot on Valentines day of 2013. She was 29 years old.
Photo courtesy: Jim Thurston/Flickr.com