Judge sentences Oscar Pistorius To 6 years
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) —
Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Oscar Pistorius to 6 years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
The Washington Post reports, the minimum sentence for murder under South African law is fifteen years unless the judge finds mitigating circumstances justifying a lesser penalty. Judge Masipa said she her reasons for a lighter sentence included demonstrations of remorse by Pistorius, successful participation in rehabilitation programs, the fact that he’s already served 12 months of his original sentence and that he isn’t a violent person.
Judge Thokozile Masipa began Wednesday morning with the background to her decision of Pistorius’ sentence. The double-amputee Olympian faces a possible 15-year jail term for shooting Steenkamp in 2013, although Masipa can give a reduced sentence if she believes there are compelling circumstances to be lenient.
Masipa asked Pistorius to sit on his wooden bench in the Pretoria courtroom while she explained the reasons for her decision.
Steenkamp’s parents, Barry and June, sat on the other side of the courtroom, which was packed with journalists and other observers.