Crime News

Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius Gets 5-Year Prison Term


Double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to a five-year prison term over the killing of his girlfriend, model and law school graduate Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year.

In her decision, Judge Thokozile Masipa cited the “gross negligence” he exhibited when he shot Steenkamp, 29, several times through a bathroom door in his home while under the impression that she was an intruder, the Associated Press reported.

The sentence came seven months after the start of the trial. The case  has gripped the nation, shifting the media’s attention to the life of Pistorius, also known as the Blade Runner for running with the aid of prosthetic legs.

“The following is what I consider is a sentence that is fair and just both to society and the accused,” Masipa said.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Judge Thokozile Masipa”]

I am of the view that a non-custodial sentence would send a wrong message to the community. On the other hand, a long sentence would not be appropriate either as it would lack the element of mercy.


Last month, Masipa absolved Pistorius of the murder charge filed against him but found him guilty of culpable homicide, which is equivalent of manslaughter charges in the United States. Culpable homicide  usually carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and the prosecution demanded a minimum of 10 years.

Pistorius’ lawyer Barry Roux said the athlete could be released after 10 months and serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. However, some South Africans feel the jail sentence was too light.

“I think it should have been 10 to 15 years and the only reason that it’s less is because of his contribution to society and his disability,” said Ilanit Chernick, 22, of Johannesburg. “I think he will be out within the next year or two because of good behavior, which is an injustice to the justice system.”

Pistorius was once a darling of the press as he is the only person who was able to compete in both Olympics and Paralympics held in 2012.

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