Prosecution in Oscar Pistorius Case to Challenge Six Year Sentence in SCA

By Staff Writer    16-Sep-2016 06:00 UTC+02:00
Oscar leaving court after his trial. Image: Timeslive.

Oscar Pistorius leaving court after his trial. In 2014 he was sentenced to five years in prison for homicide after shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. His sentence was increased to six years in 2016 after the SCA changed the homicide verdict to murder. The prosecution thinks six years is too lenient for a murder charge and wants the SCA to impose a harsher sentence.
Image: Timeslive.

Oscar Pistorius, who is currently serving a six year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s day in 2013, thinking she was an intruder, may remain behind bars longer than he expected if the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) rules in favour of the prosecution, which is advocating for a harsher sentence.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) revealed on Thursday that the State intended to appeal Oscar’s six year sentence in the SCA. “Today they filed papers in the High Court in Pretoria as a matter of formality and tomorrow they will be filing them in the Appeal’s Court,” NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said on Thursday.

In July, Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorious to six years in prison, increasing her initial five year sentence by only one year after the SCA overturned her homicide verdict and changed it to murder.

Masipa was heavily lambasted on social media for handing down a lighter-than-expected sentence, with some people accusing her of having a soft spot for Pistorious. The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years.

However, Masipa ruled that a longer term would not serve justice in this case. She said that in her view, the mitigating circumstances outweighed aggravating factors.

A few days after the ruling, the prosecution applied for leave to appeal the sentence, which it described as shocking and distrurbingly inappropriate.

However, Masipa dismissed the application last month at the North Gauteng High Court, saying she was not persuaded that there were reasonable prospects of success for an appeal. The prosecution then decided to escalate the matter to the SCA. If the SCA rules in favour of the prosecution, Pistorius may get a new, harsher sentence that could see him spend more than six years behind bars.

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