Sprinter Oscar Pistorius' Prison Sentence Increased to 13 Years for Murder

Sprinter Oscar Pistorius' Prison Sentence Increased to 13 Years for Murder

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The court will honor time served, but that still gives Pistorius over 13 years in prison. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

A judge in South Africa's Supreme Court has more than doubled the sentence handed down to athlete and double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, who murdered his girlfriend in February of 2013.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a bathroom door, mistaking her for an intruder-at least, that's what his defense argued.

Since his arrest after shooting to death his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013 on Valentine's Day, the state petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal, arguing that Pistorius' six-year sentence was too lenient.

A spokesperson for Steenkamp's family said the ruling had "verified there is justice".

The year before he killed Steenkamp, Pistorius became the first double-amputee to race at the Olympics when he competed at the London 2012 games.

This sentence constitutes the minimum sentence for murder in South Africa - fifteen years - minus the time Pistorius has already served.

The judgment by the SCA was unanimous.

"They feel there has been justice for Reeva".

"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. "She can now rest in peace", Koen told the AP.

"But at the same time, people think this is the end of the road for them... the fact is they still live with Reeva's loss every day". The lower court had earlier justified the shorter sentence and deviated from the now prescribed 15-year sentence by citing mitigating circumstances such as rehabilitation and remorse.

"The sentence...with respect to murder is set aside and substituted with the following: the respondent's imprisonment for 13 years and five months", said Judge Legoabe Willie Seriti, according to News 24.

Friday's Supreme Court decision also has possible consequences for where he is held for the remainder of his sentence.

They noted he had apologized to Steenkamp's family, but that did not fulfill the court's requirements.

  • Terrell Bush