Judge Thokozile Masipa, Pretoria High court judge has finally sentenced Oscar Pistorius to 6 years imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
According to Judge Thokozile Masipa, there were “substantial and compelling circumstances” that warranted that Pistorius should not serve the initially intended 15-year minimum sentence for murder.
“The life of the accused will never be the same … He is a fallen hero, who has lost his career, and been ruined financially. He cannot be at peace.”
On December 2015, his manslaughter charge was overturned to murder when the prosecution appealed. The recent 6 year sentence appears to be lower than the expectations of the people who think Justice must be served.
Judge Thokozile on that note said the court had a duty to correct the wrong notion that the accused, Oscar Pistorius deliberately killed his girlfriend. On the counter notion of the public the judge said this:
“Our courts are courts of law, not courts of public opinion.”
On the rejection of Pistorius Lawyer’s appeal to a non-custodial punishment and need to be hospitalized, the High court judge maintained that his sanction should be “unpleasant, uncomfortable and painful”. Thus, the 6 year imprisonment.
During the hour-long court session, the judge also took cognizance of the effect of the incident on Reeva Steenkamp’s family.
“The pain runs deep and … the impact of the accused’s conduct on the family of the deceased has been devastating.”
After the verdict by Judge Thokozile Masipa, Anneliese Burgess, a spokesperson for the Pistorius family says the family is hopeful that the whole legal battle has come to an end.
“To a certain extent there is relief that this is the last chapter, that they won’t be coming back.”
The state still has 14 days to counter the court’s verdict. Until then the defense team (Pistorius lawyers) said it would not appeal against the sentence.
Many have accused the judge of being too lenient with Pistorius’ sentence. The judge says Pistorius can apply for parole after serving half(3 years) of his sentence.