Oscar Pistorius has begun his five-year prison term. Is the sentence too much, too little or about right—we want to hear from you in the one question poll below.
In a South African jail today, Olympic competitor, double-amputee and convicted killer—Oscar Pistorius—began his five-year prison term for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Earlier, the presiding judge handed down her sentence citing “gross negligence” demonstrated by Pistorius when he shot Steenkamp multiple times through a bathroom door in his home this past Valentine’s Day. Although his defense had asserted that Pistorius thought Steenkamp was an intruder, he was convicted last month for manslaughter.
The sentencing portion of the case took place last week. Heading into those hearings the judge stressed to Pistorius’ defense that she did not want to see his disability exploited as a means toward a reduced sentence.
While the prosecution sought a stiff jail term during sentencing, the defense did not overtly focus on Pistorius’ disability. It did however, actively pursue the argument that any prison time could be a death sentence for the disabled athlete, since he’s received public death threats from gang members who are already behind bars.
According to media reports, Pistorius could serve as little as 10 months in prison and then be moved to house arrest.
It is not clear whether the defense or prosecution in this case intends to appeal the sentence. Steenkamp’s surviving family members have said they believe the penalty fits the crime.
We’re interested in what you think, click the button below that you agree with most: