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Oscar Pistorius Gets 6 years Sentence for Girlfriend's Murder


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from Reuters:


South African Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius was sent back to jail for six years on Wednesday for murdering Reeva Steenkamp, less than half the 15 year minimum term sought by prosecutors.


Pistorius, who fatally shot his girlfriend four times through a toilet door, has already served 12 months in prison for her death. But the original manslaughter conviction was increased to murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in December.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, whose sentence at the initial manslaughter trial was criticized by women's groups as too lenient, said she had accepted the defense argument that a lesser punishment was appropriate.


"Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court," Masipa said. "I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice."

Pistorius, who stood impassively as the sentence was read out, hugged members of his legal team and chatted briefly with his sister Aimee before being led away by police.


Women's rights groups say Pistorius has received preferential treatment by the justice system compared to non-whites and those without his wealth or international celebrity status. His backers say he did not intend to kill Steenkamp.

The state and large sections of the South African public had demanded a 15 year jail term, the prescribed minimum term for murder, saying he had shown no remorse for the 2013 killing.


It was unclear whether the state, which has two weeks to appeal, would accept Wednesday's sentence.

Pistorius' defense team said he would not appeal and that their client would be able to apply for parole after serving half to two-thirds of the sentence.

The track star, who had the lower part of his legs amputated when he was a baby, was freed from prison last October after almost a year behind bars. He was to serve the remainder of his five-year term under house arrest at his uncle's house in a wealthy suburb of the capital. Pistorius has been living with his uncle since.


The judge agreed with defense that the Pistorius who shot Steenkamp in the early hours of St Valentine's Day was not the gold medal winning athlete but a vulnerable 1.5m tall man.


She said that there was no indication at all that the deceased was in an abusive relationship with Pistorius. She also said there was no evidence there had been a row between Pistorius and Steenkamp before her death, as suggested by the prosecution.

Pistorius says he fired four shots into the toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home in the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind it.

His defense argued that his disability and mental stress that occurred in the aftermath of the killing should be considered as mitigating circumstances to reduce his sentence

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Roses are red

Violets are glorious

Never sneak up

On Oscar Pistorious....


Well, that is unless you're his new cellmate in which case it's best to turn your head and accept the inevitable Oscar ya murdering scum.

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He got away with it and then instead of keeping his mouth shut like he did throughout the whole trial refusing to testify he gave the bbc or some other british news outlet an interview describing everything and people were outraged he was retried and sentenced to 6 years.. imbecile.

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The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years but judges are allowed to take in mitigating circumstances for a lessor sentence.  And that is what Judge Thokozile Masipa did.  She bought into Oscar's sob story and believed he suffered enough.  You would think that Oscar was the victim here and not the murdered woman.


Most observers of the sentence believe the judge was very sympathetic to Pistorius.  I would call that an understatement.  The judge who passed the 6 year sentence was the same judge who found him guilty of manslaughter instead of murder a couple of years ago.  Not surprisingly she again gave a lenient sentence to Oscar.


Oscar will likely serve his sentence in the hospital wing of the prison like he did last time.  He would not be thrown in with the rest of the prisoners who are pretty tough and violent.


With good behaviour and with time already served, Oscar could be out in as little as two years.  Its possible we could see him in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

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