Prosecutors appeal over Pistorius's 'shockingly' lenient murder sentence

04 November, 2017, 01:26 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • South Africa's state prosecutor will seek a harsher prison sentence for jailed paralympian Oscar Pistorius

The state argued the sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp should be extended to 15 years.

On September 18, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku confirmed the date for the hearing.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein is on Friday expected to hear the States' appeal to have Oscar Pistorius' jail term lengthened.

He had initially been found guilty of culpable homicide and received a five-year prison sentence but on appeal by the State was found guilty of murder.

Roux told the SCA that trial Judge Thokozile Masipa had taken all factors into account when she sentenced Pistorius.

First, they needed to apply for permission to appeal against Pistorius's sentence.

The prosecutors had earlier filed an appeal against the sentencing because they believed the six year sentence was "an injustice and has the potential to bring the administration of justice into disrepute" The minimum sentence for his offence was 15 years but the judge Thokosile Masipa approved a lesser sentence.

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Legal analysts say, however, it is more hard to get the court to change a sentence.

They were asked by the judges to also present their arguments for why, if their appeal is allowed, his sentence should be increased.

"What we are saying is the court exercised its discretion inappropriately, ' prosecutor Johnson said, calling the six-year sentence 'unjust".

"There is no true, gut-wrenching remorse", Johnson said.

He claimed Pistorius must have known that someone could be killed when he shot Steenkamp.

Barry Roux, lead defence lawyer for Pistorius, said the athlete was suffering from severe and worsening post-traumatic stress disorder over the case. Pistorius had both his legs amputated below the knee when he was a baby because of a congenital condition. "We can't magic away his disability".

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