Oscar Pistorius Has Sentence More Than Doubled By Supreme Court Of Appeal

Tricia Pearson
November 25, 2017

Today (Friday), South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal increased Oscar Pistorius's prison sentence from six years to 13 years and five months, taking into account the time he had already served.

Pistorius claimed he thought she was an intruder.

The 31-year-old was initially convicted of culpable homicide, but that was later upgraded to murder and he received a six year jail term last year.

Pistorius, a double amputee whose legs were amputated at the age of one because of a congenital defect, rose to prominence as a Olympic sprinter competing against able-bodied athletes.

Pistorius was originally sentenced to five years in prison in 2014. South African law sets 15 years as the suggested minimum for murder, though this can be reduced depending on the circumstances.

Tania Koen, a spokeswoman for the Steenkamp family, said: "This is an emotional thing for them". He was imprisoned for six years beginning July 2016.

Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled the state failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius was guilty of premeditated murder, but may still be guilty of culpable homicide - equivalent to the United Kingdom law of manslaughter.

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Judge Masipa ruled that although the Steenkamps had suffered a great loss, Pistorius' life and career were also in ruins.

Pistorius' lawyers have just one avenue open to them if they want to challenge the new sentence handed down by the Supreme Court, and that is to appeal to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa.

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

This is the third time Pistorius has faced a different sentence in the case. He was reportedly not in court on Friday to hear the decision on his sentence.

Oscar Pistorius reacts in the Pretoria High Court on September 11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pistorius failed with an appeal to the Constitutional Court previous year to challenge his murder conviction.

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