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Appeals Court Doubles Oscar Pistorius’ Sentence
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Summary: An appeals court doubled Oscar Pistorius’ murder sentence to 15 years. 

Former South African sprint runner, Oscar Pistorius, was sentenced to six years in prison last July for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Although he was given a light sentence, the disgraced athlete sought an appeal–and this week he was punished for that decision.

  
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According to TMZ, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubled Pistorius’ sentence to 15 years. They stated that they agreed with prosecutors that his original sentence was “shockingly lenient.”

Pistorius murdered Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. He said that he had shot her through a bathroom door because he thought that she was an intruder. Prosecutors said that the paraplegic athlete had fought with his girlfriend beforehand and had intentionally killed her.

Steenkamp’s family spokesperson called the appeal ruling “justice for Reeva.” They said that they hoped that this was “the end of the road and that everyone can move forward.”

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Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said that Pistorius was unsuccessful in explaining why he had shot through the door and that he did not appear to understand “the gravity of his actions.” He also said that the first sentencing was insultingly too lenient and that it trivialized Steenkamp’s murder.

“I find it difficult on the evidence to accept that the respondent is genuinely remorseful,” Seriti wrote in his decision. “The sentence of six years’ imprisonment is shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivializing this serious offense.”



According to CBS News, this is the second time Pistorius has had his sentence changed. In 2014, he was sentenced to five years for manslaughter. The judge at the time said Pistorius showed remorse and would be given mercy.

“I am of the view that a noncustodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community, but a long sentence would not be appropriate because it would lack the elements of mercy,” Judge Thokozile Masipa said at the sentencing.

However, in 2015, Pistorius’ charge was changed to murder, and in July 2016, he was sentenced to six years in prison.

“He is a person well-trained in the use of firearms and was holding his weapon at the ready in order to shoot,” the court’s decision read. “He paused at the entrance to the bathroom and when he became aware that there was a person in the toilet cubicle, he fired four shots through the door. And he never offered an acceptable explanation for having done so.”

Pistorius still has the option to appeal the appeal, but it is unknown what the athlete’s next move will be.

The Pistorius murder case shocked the world because he was known as an Olympic hero because he had only one leg. He was known as The Blade Runner and The Fastest Man on No Legs, and he had earned acclaim at 2012 London Olympics because he was able to compete against full-bodied competitors.

What do you think of Oscar Pistorius? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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