And Oscar’s psychology is such that “a mistake” (even when one is dealing with the loss of a human life) is sufficient explanation. Furthermore, it would appear his Uncle Arnold and his entire family seem to support the idea that if you kill someone “by mistake” that’s an acceptable excuse.
Actually, it isn’t. Before we go into this question in finer detail, and before we really start to wade through all the Legalese, let’s look at how Gerrie Nel interrogates Oscar on this idea of “a mistake’ as a sufficient reason for shooting someone to death (through a door, using four bullets to execute that ‘mistake’). First, let’s remind ourselves what the word mistake means:
Do any of those words begin to describe any version of firing four bullets through a closed door with the presumption that a person is standing on the other side of the door?
If the reader feels this ‘narrow’ version – in writing – is skewing Oscar’s narrative unfairly, let’s examine how Oscar deals with the question when it is specifically (and repeatedly) put to him. Gerrie Nel does just this in the opening seconds of his cross-examination.