Published: Mon, November 27, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Oscar Pistorius's Prison Sentence Has Been Doubled

Oscar Pistorius's Prison Sentence Has Been Doubled

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal increased the prison sentence of Oscar Pistorius from six years to 15 years on Friday morning.

But on the night of Valentine's Day 2013, Pistorius killed Steenkamp, his girlfriend at the time, while she was in the bathroom.

Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide (what would be manslaughter in the U.S.) in September 2014, but released on house arrest just over a year later.

However, the Supreme Court of Appeals upgraded the "culpable homicide" charge to murder two months later, resulting in the six-year prison sentence, but both prosecutors and Steenkamp's family argued that the sentence, handed down by oft-criticized judge Thokozile Masipa, was too lenient.

Pistorius must serve at least half of the 13 years and five months - almost seven years - before he can be considered for parole.

Pistorius, who has argued he believed Steenkamp was an intruder, will serve an outstanding sentence of 13 years and five months. He was given six years of jail time for the killing.

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Pistorius should have been sentenced to the prescribed minimum of 15 years for murder in South Africa, said Justice Seriti as he delivered the verdict that was reached by a panel of five judges at the Supreme Court in the central city of Bloemfontein.

Friday's Supreme Court decision also has possible consequences for where he is held for the remainder of his sentence.

When he realised Reeva, who had spent the night with him, was not in the bedroom, he broke open the toilet door, found her slumped over the toilet bowl and took steps in an attempt to save her life. "And he never offered an acceptable explanation for having done so".

They noted he had apologized to Steenkamp's family, but that did not fulfill the court's requirements. And, she added, he is not a violent person.

It remains unclear if Pistorius's legal team will appeal this most recent decision to the highest courts possible. According to the AP, his lawyers can still challenge the new, lengthened sentence with South Africa's Constitutional Court, the country's highest court.

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