By now most of you are familiar with the tragic Valentine's day killing of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius, South Africa's famed "Blade Runner." Pistorius's claim that he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar, shooting her through a bathroom door, has left me full of questions. He knew that his girlfriend was in the house -- she had fallen asleep in the bed beside him. Why then he did not first assume what seems most rational -- that it was his girlfriend in the bathroom making the noise? Why didn't he verify that his girlfriend was not safe in bed beside him? Or even turn on a single light?
This week saw an odd juxtaposition: The too-cute images of idealized love and prezzies for your sweet (brought to you care of Valentine's Day) sat side by side with grim speculation about violence visited upon one intimate by another in the Patrick Brazeau and Oscar Pistorius cases. With any allegation of a despicable act, public reproach follows -- but the judgment seems particularly swift when the incident involves suspected domestic abuse. Let's hope our well-founded indignation at violence against women doesn't supersede our equally laudable tradition of considering an individual innocent until proven guilty.