Prison Sentence for Ex-Olympian Oscar Pistorius in Girlfriend's Death More Than Doubles
The former track star, known as '"Blade Runner," was charged with the murder of model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Disgraced former paralympian Oscar Pistorius will spend more than two times his original sentence stemming from the 2013 murder of his girlfriend.
Pistorius, a double amputee, was originally sentenced to six years, which the court determined was too ‘lenient’ in the Valentine's Day shooting death of 29-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp.
Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said Friday that the decision in South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal to uphold an appeal against his original six-year sentence was unanimous, according to The Associated Press.
When imposing the original sentence in 2015, Judge Thokozile Masipa said he believed a longer prison term would have been inappropriate because ‘it would lack elements of mercy.’
But Seriti said the athlete should have been given the minimum 15-year sentence for murder.
Since Pistorius, 31, has already served a year and seven months behind bars, his sentence was raised to 13 years and five months with the possibility of parole in 2023.
Pistorius was convicted of shooting his girlfriend multiple times with a 9mm pistol through a closed bathroom door. He had claimed during the trial that he believed she was an intruder in his home when he fired the fatal shots.
Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry were emotional at the decision, but said they believe justice for their daughter has been served, The AP reported.
Pistorius has been held at Atteridgeville, a prison for sentences of six years or less.
The question now is whether the decorated champion will be transferred to another facility, like the notorious Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in central Pretoria, which was the scene of capital punishment during the era of apartheid in South Africa.
Pistorius' lawyers may appeal the ruling at the highest court in South Africa, the Constitutional Court.
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