Oscar Pistorious back in court
The former paralympian, Oscar Pistorious who received a six year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is back in court today (26 Aug. 16). This is because the state is arguing that the six year sentence the athlete received was too lenient. The judge who handed down the sentence, Judge Masipa is expected to be in attendance at the appeal.
State prosecutors are seeking permission to appeal against Oscar’s six year jail term. The National Prosecuting Authority says that the sentence is too lenient. They argue that it is not any better than Oscar’s set aside conviction of manslaughter. He had received a sentence of five years but was out after serving two years, this was because of good behaviour. The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is fifteen years however can be lowered in exceptional circumstances. Judge Masipa found there to be exceptional circumstances thus handed down a sentence of six years. This decision has been widely criticised.
The defence team is going to argue that the continuation of the matter is not in the interests of justice. However, the National Prosecuting Authority is of the view that had a different judge heard the matter they would have come to a different conclusion to that of Masipa’s. The court hearing is to be held in Pretoria.
Oscar Pistorious was recently in hospital. it is rumored that he attempted to commit suicide. the official statement made about his hospital visit was that he hurt his wrists from a fall. The continuation of the trial is likely to cause Oscar more mental anguish which is like to have an adverse effect on his sanity which has come under scrutiny a number of times.