Oscar Pistorius: The Sentencing Options

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Judge Thokozile Masipa's decision to convict Oscar Pistorius of the

South African equivalent of manslaughter has provoked outrage among

those who think he has literally got away with murder.

She decided that he did not intend to kill his girlfriend Reeva

Steenkamp when firing four shots through the door of his bathroom on

Valentine's Day last year and was therefore guilty of the lesser

charge of culpable homicide.

This means the disgraced Paralympian no longer faces the possibility

of life in jail with 25 years without parole – the sentence for

premeditated murder.

Judge Masipa also acquitted him of what is known elsewhere in the

world as second-degree murder – which would have meant at least 15

years behind bars (unless the defence had provided "substantial and

compelling" reasons why he should not serve it).

The verdict of culpable homicide leaves the judge with a wide range of

possible sentences.

It does not carry a minimum jail term, but she can still put him

behind bars – or pass, for example, a suspended prison sentence.

Other punishments include correctional supervision (including house

arrest), a fine, or a combination of these options.

Pistorius also faces sentence for illegally discharging a firearm in a

public place. This carries a potential fine as well.

Judge Masipa's perceived leniency prompted protests outside the court

and on the internet and led to her being given police protection.

However, in the recent sentencing of men convicted of violent crimes

against women she has been anything but lenient.

Last year, she sentenced a robber and serial rapist to 252 years in jail.

And in 2009, she sentenced a police officer to life in prison for

shooting his wife dead at a police station.

:: Watch a Sky special programme with all the developments as they

happen in Pretoria live from 8am on Tuesday on Sky News, Sky channel

501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 132 and Freesat

channel 202.

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button