Oscar Pistorius' Sentence Upped To 15 Yrs. By South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal

Oscar Pistorius leaving the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2016. Karel Prinsloo/Agence France-Press - Getty

Oscar Pistorius leaving the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2016. Karel Prinsloo/Agence France-Press - Getty

There is some justice for Reeva Steenkamp in South Africa this morning. The sentence of her former lover and killer, double-amputee Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been doubled to 15 yrs by South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal. The sentencing follows an appeal of Pistorius' original sentence of 6 yrs. for manslaughter to a conviction for murder.

Mr. Pistorius argued that he accidentally shot Ms. Steenkamp, firing four bullets through a bathroom door in the belief that an intruder had entered his Pretoria home. Only when he smashed down the door did he discover that he had shot Ms. Steenkamp, Pistorius told the court.

Prosecutors disagreed, saying he had killed her in a jealous fury after an argument in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. Thokozile Matilda Masipa, the High Court judge who presided at Mr. Pistorius’s initial trial, sentenced him to five years for manslaughter in 2014, but prosecutors challenged the verdict.

In July 2016, Judge Masipa handed down a six-year sentence for murder, confusing legal analysts. “I am of the view that a long-term imprisonment will not serve justice,” Judge Masipa said at the time. “He’s a fallen hero who has lost his career and is ruined financially.” 

Writes The New York Times: "

On Friday, a panel of five judges ruled that Mr. Pistorius should have been sentenced to the 15-year minimum term. In a written ruling, the judges echoed the prosecutors’ assessment that the previous sentence was “shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivializing this serious offense.”

The ruling said that Mr. Pistorius “displays a lack of remorse and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions.”

It was not clear whether Mr. Pistorius’s lawyers planned an appeal to the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest tribunal."