Oscar Pistorious has been sentenced to a maximum 5 years in prison. He also received a suspended sentence for his firearm conviction. The verdict was announced moments ago.
The South African athlete was found guilty of culpable homicide in September, but cleared of murder. The defence had argued and stated their case for house arrest, where as the Steenkamp family were keen for his to serve time in prison for his crime.
During the sentencing Judge Masipa said that Pistorius’s powerful coping skills have been “obscured” in favour of highlighting his vulnerability – and that this made her feel “uneasy”. She also said it would be wrong for it to seem as if there was “one law for the rich and another for the poor in this country.”
The judge also made a comparison with a case where a pregnant woman may need to be sent to jail. She argued that even in such a case, however vulnerable the individual, jail would be ordered if that is what the crime demanded. The prison system would be expected to provide for such a person.
The judge said that she hoped the sentence would offer some kind of closure for the Steenkamp family.
It is plausible that with good behaviour Oscar could be released within 2.5 years. Some well respected professionals were even suggesting he could be out within 9 months.