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Oscar Pistorius Prosecutors Ask for Appeal of Ruling in Murder Case
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Summary: The prosecutors working the Oscar Pistorius murder trial have filed a request to appeal the ruling. 

The trial judge in the case against Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been requested to permit an appeal of his conviction on the charge of culpable homicide by the prosecutors who worked the case, according to ABC News.

  
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The prosecutors are also asking for an appeal of Pistorius’ five-year sentence, claiming that the punishment issued was too lenient.

To read more about Oscar Pistorius, click here.

Pistorius was charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year. Pistorius, 28, fired four shots into a locked bathroom.

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Pistorius said that he fired the gun because he thought an intruder was in the bathroom who wanted to attack him.

The judge who presided over the trial, Thokozile Masipa, sentenced Pistorius to five years in prison after convicting the athlete on a lesser charge of culpable homicide.



Gerrie Nel, the chief prosecutor on the case, told the court, “I say with utmost respect, too much mercy is shown. Perhaps the element of mercy was over-exaggerated.”

To read more about South Africa, click here.

Nel said that Pistorius should have been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

“We are appealing the acquittal on the conviction of murder,” Nel said. He also said that the court did not take all of the circumstantial evidence into account when sentencing Pistorius.

Nel said that the court must consider that another court could reach a different decision about the case, which means it has no other option but to grant for the appeal to take place.

“An innocent woman was shot and killed in most horrendous circumstances. The deceased must have been unbelievably fearful before she died … And it was caused by the gross negligence of this respondent,” Nel argued. “The accused fired four shots. He knew there was someone in the cubicle with no escape … He didn’t fire blindly – he knew where the person was. This was a person trained in the use of firearms. There can also be an instance where too much mercy is shown to an accused. Based on all the facts, we say that the element of mercy was over-exaggerated.”

Nel will be allowed to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals to hear the appeal if the court does not grant permission.

To read more stories on legal appeals, click here.

The lawyer for Pistorius, Barry Roux, said that the court made the right decision and the state is only allowed to appeal on issues of law and not fact.

Judge Masipa will issue her ruling regarding the appeals application on Wednesday.

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