It has been confirmed that Oscar Pistorius will be walking out of jail after serving just 10 months instead of his entire five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. South African prison authorities have said that Pistorius will be released on August 21, 2015 from jail on probation. He had shot his girlfriend at his home in South Africa.
The Paralympic star was sentenced to a five-year jail term in 2014 after he was convicted for the culpable homicide to Steenkamp. A state appeal against his acquittal on charges of murder would be due in November 2015. Steenkamp’s parents have said that the time of merely 10 months served by Pistorius is not enough for taking a life.
As per South African law, Pistorius is eligible for his release from jail under ‘correctional supervision.’ This applies to inmates who have served one-sixth of their sentence, and displayed exceptionally good behavior. Zach Modise, the Commissioner of Correctional Services in South Africa, spoke to media about the developments in this case. He said that the recommendation for Pistorius’ release was made last week by the case management committee of the prison where he is presently being held. He is being held at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria, South Africa. Manelisi Wolela, a spokesman for the Correctional Services, said that the conditions of Pistorius’ house arrest will not be made public.
Although it has now been confirmed that Oscar Pistorius will be walking out of jail after serving just 10 months, the decision will possibly mean a spell under house arrest for him. The prosecution in the meantime is getting ready to seek murder charges in this case once they appeal. The double amputee had shot and killed his girlfriend, Steenkamp, through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home. He had said during his trial that he mistook her for an intruder and believed that she was armed and dangerous.
In March 2015 Pistorius’ legal team had made many attempts to stop the prosecutor’s appeal, which were blocked by a Johannesburg court. The state prosecutors have said that Pistorius should have been found guilty on charges of murder and not culpable homicide. If he was convicted on those charges, he would have faced a lengthier jail term. Pistorius had been acquitted of murder charges, but he admitted in the courtroom that he had fired the shots that killed Steenkamp in the upstairs bathroom of his luxurious home on Valentine’s Day, 2013.
Pistorius’ girlfriend Steenkamp was a South African model and a TV star. The lawyer for Steenkamp’s parents, Tania Koen, said that though her clients had forgiven Pistorius, just 10 months in jail is not enough. She also said that it does not send out the correct message. Koen went on to say that allowing him to walk out after just 10 months after a sentencing of five years does not serve as the proper deterrent as it should. This decision is bound to reignite a fiery national debate in South Africa about the rule of law, and how it applies differently for people from different ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Pistorius had to undergo a surgery to amputate both his legs as he was born without the fibula in them. Both his legs were amputated below the knee while he was still a child. He was the first double-amputee to compete against athletes with able-bodies at the 2012 London Olympics. Due to this, he went on to become one of the most well-known sports stars in South Africa and around the world. It has now been stated that Pistorius will soon be walking out of jail after serving just 10 months, and put under house arrest.
By Ankur Sinha
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