Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years for Culpable Homicide
OSCAR PISTORIUS HAS been sentenced to five years in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on St Valentine’s Day last year.
He was also given a three-year suspended sentence for gun charges.
Handing down the sentence today, Judge Thokozile Masipa emphasised that the “decision on sentence is mine and mine alone”, despite the presence of two assessors in the courtroom.
She told the court that sentencing is an imprecise and imperfect procedure and that there are a number of appropriate sentences often available to criminal judges.
As she came towards her conclusion, she said that nothing she could do today would “reverse what happened on 14 February 2013?, but added that she hoped her decision would give closure to the Steenkamp family so they could “move on with their lives”.
She said that to reach an appropriate sentence, she was “duty-bound” to consider the nature and seriousness of the offences and the personal circumstances of the accused, as well as the interest of society.
Sentencing is about finding a balance, Masipa added, citing retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation as important factors.
Judge Masipa spent over 60 minutes delivering her rationale for the sentence. She said she was “satisfied” that the South African prison system can deal with people with special needs, an argument used by the defence lawyers as they tried to help the Paralympian avoid jail time.
“I have no reason that the accused would present the correctional services with an insurmountable challenge,” Masipa added.
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