Oscar Pistorius Was Mentally Sound When He Killed His Girlfriend, Evaluation Concludes

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 30 2014 2:53 PM

Oscar Pistorius Was Mentally Sound When He Killed His Girlfriend, Evaluation Concludes

Oscar Pistorius at South Africa's Pretoria High Court in March 2014.

Photo by Alon Skuy/The Times/Gallo Images - Pool/Getty Images

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius did not suffer any mental illness that would have affected his actions when he killed his girlfriend, a 30-day psychiatric assessment ordered by a South African judge concluded.

Pistorius's trial resumed on Monday after a month-long hiatus for the evaluation. “At the time of the alleged offenses, the accused did not suffer from a mental disorder or mental defect that affected his ability to distinguish between the rightful or wrongful nature of his deeds,” said state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, summarizing the findings of the assessment, which have been accepted by both the prosecution and defense.


The case that has dragged on for months, with court proceedings occasionally stymied by the athlete's "frequent sobbing and occasional vomiting," as the Wall Street Journal puts it.

The defense team is expected to finish presenting its evidence in the next few days. South Africa doesn’t have a jury system, so Pistorius’s fate will be determined by the judge and two assessors. If found guilty, the 27-year-old runner could face life imprisonment.

Irene Chidinma Nwoye is a writer and former Slate intern in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.


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