The murder that shocked the sports world a few months back has come to a verdict. Oscar Pistorius, the South African former Olympic and Paralympic sprinter was sentenced to five years for shooting his girlfriend to death last February, on Valentine’s day. Although he got a five year sentence, Oscar Pistorius will probably serve 10 months, as his defense team hopes for. Others believe that the former sprinter will serve 20 months in prison because of the gravity of his crime.
Judge Masipa based the sentence on “gross negligence”, saying that Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeve Steenkamp four times through a toilet door in his home. Pistorius said that he had mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder and that’s why he fired the gun. Many found this explanation to be very stretched out and consider Oscar Pistorius a cold-hearted murderer.
The fiver-year sentence was not the only option Judge Masipa had for Oscar Pistorius. Other sentences considered were the suspended sentence and a fine, meaning that Pistorius would not have been sent to prison. Another sentence considered by Masipa was house arrest or a 15-year sentence.
Pistorius’ lawyers thought the sentence was too harsh and they argued for a three years sentence under house arrest and correctional supervision. The prosecutors asked the judge to send Pistorius to prison for at least 10 years.
Many consider Oscar Pistorius got away very easily with only a five-year sentence. A man outside the courthouse had a large sign saying “Are certain offenders more equal than other offenders before the law?”
Oscar Pistorius’ psychologist said that his client was emotionally broken after accidentally killing his girlfriend and had testified for his defense, saying that he believed it was an accident and that Pistorius didn’t have any intention of shooting the victim.
There was a supporter of Pistorius who brought three white roses and put them next to him, saying that “I just wanted to bestow a little bit of inner happiness on Oscar.”
What do you think of the Oscar Pistorius five-year sentence? Do you think he got what he deserved or that he got away too easily after so heinous a murder?
South African runner Oscar Pistorius, 27, will learn his sentence Tuesday, nearly seven months after going on trial for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Judge Thokozile Masipa will announce the punishment in the High Court in Pretoria, sentence that prosecutors argued should be 10 years in prison.
The Olympic and Paralympic runner was convicted of culpable homicide last month for shooting dead 29-year-old law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria in February 2013.
Judge Masipa is expected to take no longer than an hour to hand down the sentence. The cleared Pistorius of the more serious charge of murder, saying prosecutors had failed to prove his intent to kill when he fired four 9mm rounds through the door of a toilet cubicle in what he said was the mistaken belief an intruder was lurking behind it.
Oscar Pistorius’ siblings have criticised media coverage of his trial, on the eve of the South African athlete’s sentencing. Aimee and Carl Pistorius said they were anxious ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, and that the truth had been “twisted and manipulated” and “sensationalised”.
Speaking to South African broadcaster eNCA, Aimee Pistorius said there was “obviously a lot of anxiety” ahead of the sentencing, and that the last 20 months had been “very taxing”.
She said she felt “heartache for both my brother, our family and of course Steenkamp’s family and her friends”, adding that both families would struggle to move on.
“It’s something that you never really get closure on… It’s something that my brother will carry with him for the rest of his life.
“It is important for us that [Ms Steenkamp’s family] know that she was very much cared for and loved, and accepted as part of our family in the short time that she was with us… [Reeva] had a wonderful charisma and zest for life that she just exuded and it was easy to just fall in love with her.”
Defence lawyer Barry Roux said, however, that the double-amputee sprinter should be given community service because his sorrow and regret at being killing the woman he loved was the worst punishment of all.
He also said Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated as a baby, would face particular difficulties in prison.
The 27-year-old sprinter, known as ‘Blade Runner’ because of the carbon-fibre prosthetics he made famous at the London 2012 Olympics, could also be given a suspended sentence or house arrest.