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Judge Masipa hands a 6 year sentence to Pistorius for the murder of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in jail for murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day three years ago.
Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down the sentence, which was less than half of parliament’s recommended minimum 15-year jail term for murder, at the South African High Court on Wednesday as June and Barry Steenkamp, Reeva’s parents, watched from the public gallery.
Pistorius, 29, showed little reaction as the judge read her decision. “A long-term of imprisonment will not serve justice in this matter,” she said.
“The accused has already served 12 months, he is a first offender and he is not likely to re-offend.”
Masipa originally convicted Pistorius of manslaughter and gave him a five-year sentence. In December, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that he was guilty of murder, citing “errors of law” in the first verdict. The Constitutional Court decided on March 3 that Pistorius couldn’t appeal the murder conviction.
Factors of mitigation outweighed those of aggravation, and Pistorius had shown remorse for the killing, Masipa said. “He’s a fallen hero who has lost his career,” she said.
Pistorius will have to serve half of his sentence before parole is considered, Marius du Toit, a criminal-defense lawyer at Du Toit Attorneys, said by phone. “She definitely erred on the side of caution with a lenient sentence,” he said.
Pistorius’s lawyers won’t appeal the sentence, eNCA television reported, without saying where it got the information. Known as the Blade Runner because of his J-shaped prosthetic blades, Pistorius was granted 10,000-rand ($669) bail and ordered to remain under house arrest. He’s been serving part of his previous sentence for culpable homicide at his uncle’s home.
Pistorius won six Paralympic gold medals and was the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympic Games. He was born without fibula in both legs, which were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old.
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