The lengthy, heart-wrenching saga of Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp headed to sentencing on July 6 as the families gathered in a South African courtroom. More than three years after the case started, the Olympic athlete, who is an amputee, faced 15 years in prison. The sentencing followed last December’s conviction of murder, according to the BBC.
However, the judge didn’t seem inclined to give him the max as the sentencing unfolded, and, in the end, she didn’t, giving him 6 years, the Guardian says. During the sentencing, the judge said it was important to correct the “misperception” that Pistorius had intended to kill Steenkamp and called him a “good candidate for rehabilitation.” She also said that deterrence and retribution are important, however. The judge in the case is Thokozile Masipa, said enca.com. She called Pistorius a “fallen hero” the Guardian says.
Pistorius, 29, shot South African model, Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend, four times through a locked toilet door in 2013. Pistorius competed in the Olympics using prosthetic blades, BBC says, and was the first amputee sprinter in the Olympics. His nickname is “Blade Runner.”
The case broke down into warring narratives. According to CNN, Pistorius maintained that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder, and he fired through the door because he was afraid for his life. However, prosecutors said that was implausible; they believed Pistorius murdered Steenkamp in an argument fueled by his temper.
According to Reuters, the court was to factor in whether to mitigate Pistorius’ sentence due to his disability and the time he’s already spent behind bars before prosecutors appealed the case. The court is also considering whether Pistorius showed remorse; he apologized to the family, although prosecutors argued he did not show enough remorse. Last October, after serving one year behind bars, Pistorius was allowed to live in house arrest with his uncle.
Here are photos from the sentencing:
Some observers on Twitter were upset by the 6-year sentence.