Oscar Pistorius To Be Released On Parole; Appeal Hearing Scheduled For November
Oscar Pistorius, accused of killing his girlfriend and subsequently sentenced to five years of jail time last October, will be released on parole in August. The decision came after South African prison officials made a recommendation that Pistorius be placed under house arrest for shooting Reeva Steenkamp beginning August 21, having served 10 months – one sixth of his initial sentence – in prison, acting National Commissioner of Correctional Services Zach Modise said.
Pistorius, the 28-year-old double amputee sportsman, was arrested last year for culpable homicide, a South African equivalent for manslaughter, and given a five-year sentence for killing Steenkamp on February 14, 2013, as reported by abc.net.au.
A Pistorius family member said, “Oscar will be released on parole by the end of August.”
Correctional services also confirmed the news. Commissioner Modise said, “He has been recommended for correctional supervision on August 21. Normally, this will mean house arrest with one hour of free time each day.
“As he progresses, we will relax these conditions.”
Modise further added that the committee’s recommendation came after the athlete showed good behavior during his arrest in the country’s capital, Pretoria, according to TIME.
Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela announced that the conditions of his house arrest will not be released publicly.
The Steenkamps’ lawyer Tania Koen said that although parents Barry and June had forgiven Pistorius for killing their daughter, they said that “ten months is not enough.”
According to The Guardian, Koen said, “[Steenkamp’s parents] are shocked by the fact that Oscar Pistorius will be receiving parole and going out on 21 August. They don’t think 10 months is enough for taking a life. Whether it was Reeva behind the door or anybody else behind that door, it doesn’t send out a proper message and it doesn’t serve as a deterrent.”
However, the Supreme Court announced that an appeal made by prosecutors to increase the severity of Pistorius’ conviction will be heard in November. The appeal was made on the basis of the argument that Judge Thokozile Masipa did not correctly interpret the law when she made the verdict that Pistorius did not intentionally kill Steenkamp when he shot her four times.
A Supreme Court official said, “A specific date has not been set yet, but we can confirm that the appeal will happen in November this year.”
If found guilty of murder in the appeals hearing, Pistorius could be sentenced to at least 15 years in jail.
Pistorius, also known as the Blade Runner, earned the reputation of being amongst South Africa’s most reputed sportsmen. He also was the first amputee to contest against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.
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