Judge Thokozile Masipa has rejected the state’s bid to appeal the six-year ‘lenient’ jail sentence pronounced on Oscar Pistorius for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius was given a six-year sentence in July this year which he is currently serving in Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru prison but the State insists it’s too lenient and he should serve the minimum penalty of fifteen years.
The judge rejected the appeal on Friday, August 26, declaring the state was coming down too hard on Pistorius. She also said it was “so wrong” that despite the Olympian showing real remorse, the State claimed he only showed “some regret”.
Speaking in a High Court in Johannesburg, Masipa said, “the man was crying, he was praying.”
She continued, “I am not persuaded that there are reasonable prospects of success for an appeal. The application for leave to appeal against the sentence is dismissed with costs. What does the State want? 10 years? What is the practical effect of that?”
Defense attorney for Oscar Pistorius, Barry Roux stated that the State was only “dragging out legal processes and subjecting the former Paralympian to continued uncertainty.”
In 2014, Judge Masipa gave Pistorius a five-year sentence for culpable homicide for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013.
He had served a year out of the five-year sentence before the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned Masipa’s verdict and ordered her to sentence him for murder instead in December 2015.
The minimum penalty for murder in South Africa is fifteen years which is why the State are calling Pistorius’ sentence ‘lenient’. They claim he should receive the minimum of fifteen years.
Allwomen.com reported that Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued about the judicial system maintaining consistency in its rulings rather than deviate and make conflicting judgments as it “induces a sense of shock”.
Nel said about serious offenders, “a severe, standardized and consistent response from the court is required.”
According to Nel, Pistorius’ claim that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder should not be “a mitigating factor” because Steenkamp’s life wasn’t more important compared to the intruder.
Pistorius’ defense, Barry Roux secured a shorter sentence by listing his client’s “disability and emotional state” as mitigating factors.
Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp four times while she was in the bathroom stall as he thought it was an intruder at his Silver Woods Country Estate residence.