Oscar Pistorious Shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympian described by a judge as a “fallen hero,” was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in a South African prison for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in a ruling viewed by some as too lenient.
However, Judge Thokozile Masipa appeared to anticipate criticism of a jail term that fell far short of the normally mandated 15 years for murder under South African law, declaring, “Our courts are courts of law, not courts of public opinion.”
Pistorius, who shot Steenkamp through the door of a toilet cubicle in his home in 2013, was asked to stand and face Masipa as she announced his sentence in a wood-paneled courtroom in the South African capital, Pretoria. He was calm after the ruling, embracing his aunt and tearful sister before being led down a courtroom staircase to a holding cell ahead of being taken to prison.
Most South Africans believe that He should have been sentenced to 15 years in prison instead. He was previously convicted of Manslaughter.
The Judge noted that Pistorius had fired four times—not once—through the closed toilet door and spoke of the devastating effect the crime had on Steenkamp’s family.
Pistorius’ defense lawyers had asked for no jail time at all, saying he should be allowed to do charity work with children.