BY Gracie Smith | Sep 20, 2014 01:25 PM EDT
Judge Thozokile Masipa's final verdict for the Oscar Pistorius trial was met with shock and indignation from the general public. The reaction had been so severe that several South African legal groups have expressed concern for the female judge's safety, Daily Mail reported.
Judge Masipa, one of the first black female judges in South Africa, was placed under police protection due to a "wave of criticism" that she has been receiving after acquitting Pistorius from premeditated murder.
The Blade Runner was found guilty of culpable homicide despite the prosecution's claim that he killed his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in cold blood.
The 66-year-old judge deemed the Paralympian gold medallist "negligent" when he "hastily" fired shots at the bathroom door on Valentines' Day last year, thinking that it was an intruder and not his girlfriend.
SECTION27, the Legal Resources Centre, and the Centre for Child Law described the criticisms aimed at Masipa to be bordering on "hate speech, defamation and contempt of court," according to CBC News.
Because of her verdict during the Oscar Pistorius trial, she was accused of being corrupt and even targeted her race as well as her gender.
"Attacking the judge's integrity and making insinuations of bribery or that she's not fit because she's a woman, or that she's black, means that you're breaking down the belief in the law," SECTION27 said on Tuesday.
According to CBC, many legal analysts agree with the final judgment. However, some believe that Pistorius should have been given a heavier conviction because the star athlete would have known that he could possibly kill someone by firing into the bathroom door.
Pistorius, who is currently out on bail, will be facing Judge Masipa again on October 13 for sentencing. With a verdict of culpable homicide, sentencing is at the judge's discretion.
Prosecutors have said that they will think about whether to appeal or not after October 13.
Do you think Judge Masipa's verdict for the Oscar Pistorius trial was fair?
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