Oscar Pistorius’ Six-Year Sentence Sparks Outrage

Oscar Pistorius’ Six-Year Sentence Sparks Outrage1
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Jul 07, 2016

Some even went as far as describing Judge Thokozile Masipa’s latest ruling as shameful to South Africa’s justice system.

“First five years, now six years? [the judge] is an embarrassment to the justice system,” says Jacqueline Mofokeng, spokeswoman for the Women’s League of the ruling African National Congress.

“It is an insult to women in this country.”

Judge Masipa sentenced the South African Paralympic gold medallist after his original manslaughter conviction was increased to murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in December 2015.

Oscar Pistorius’ Six-Year Sentence Sparks Outrage2

The state and large sections of the South African public had demanded a 15- year jail term, the prescribed minimum term for murder, saying he had shown no remorse for the 2013 killing.

Paul Hoffman, a lawyer and director of rights group Accountability Now told AAP the reduction in the minimum sentence sought from 15 to six years, “seems to me to be unduly generous to Oscar.”

“It’s quite possible that having invested so much effort in the prosecution … that (state prosecutor) Gerrie Nel will saddle up again and ride out in an effort to get a bigger sentence,” he says.

The final sentencing also angered many users on social media, some of whom argued his race, and the fact that his victim was his partner, contributed to a short sentence.

Pistorius, 29, says he fired four shots into the toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home in the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind it.

Oscar Pistorius’ Six-Year Sentence Sparks Outrage4

His defence argued that his disability and mental stress that occurred in the aftermath of the killing should be considered as mitigating circumstances to reduce his sentence.

Pistorius, who stood impassively as the decision was read out, hugged members of his legal team and chatted briefly with his sister Aimee before being led away by police.

It was unclear whether the state, which has two weeks to appeal, would accept the latest sentence.

Pistorius’ defence team said he would not appeal and that their client would be able to apply for parole after serving half to two-thirds of the sentence.

The disgraced track star, who had the lower part of his legs amputated when he was a baby, was freed from prison last October after almost a year behind bars.

He was to serve the remainder of his five-year term under house arrest at his uncle’s house in a wealthy suburb of the capital. Pistorius had been living with his uncle ever since.


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