Masipa Dismisses State’s Application to Appeal “Lenient” Oscar Pistorius Sentence

JOHANNESBURG – Judge Thokozile Masipa has refused the State the right to appeal the Oscar Pistorius sentence… which she herself handed down in July, giving the former Olympian a six-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

The State had applied for leave to appeal the sentence – which they felt was “too lenient”.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued: “It is shocking to think that a sentence of six years, from a starting point of 15 years, is appropriate. We say that the court, with utmost respect, viewed sentence as starting from a clean slate, where the court should not have. The court should have started at 15 years.” 

He also said that too much emphasis had been placed on Pistorius’ personal conditions, and that Pistorius never gave a reason for why he shot four bullets into the door.

Pistorius’s advocate, Barry Roux, said the sentence was not too lenient and asked the court to let the matter rest now.

“That is an effective sentence of eight years that he received. That is not lenient. Not at all,” he said.

Speaking today – Friday – in Johannesburg’s High Court, the Judge said she had considered all the submissions by counsel for and against the application.

“I have also had regard to case law that I was referred to earlier this morning. I am not persuaded that there are reasonable prospects of success on appeal or that another court might find differently,” said Masipa. Masipa originally found Pistorius guilty of the lesser “culpable homicide” charge in 2014… but this was later overturned.