Oscar Pistorius Verdict Changed To Murder In Death Of Reeva Steenkamp
People were upset when Oscar Pistorius, double amputee paralympian once referred to as “The Blade Runner,” was found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) in the death of his girlfriend in 2013. You may remember, Pistorius awoke one night and claimed he thought an intruder had locked themselves in his bathroom. The result was Pistorius plugging the bathroom with four shots through the closed door. The actions ultimately claimed the life of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
In October of this year, people were upset again to hear that Pistorius was getting released from jail in South Africa after just one year (1/6 of this sentence). The remaining four years of the original sentence were to be spent under house arrest.
Finally, today, those same people can rejoice at the finding of the South African Supreme Court appeal which has changed Pistorius’ original verdict of culpable homicide to murder.
Judge Eric Leach ruled Thursday that the Paralympic gold medalist should have foreseen that his firing of a gun would have killed whoever was behind the door, regardless of whether he thought it was Steenkamp or an intruder.
Under South African law, a person can be sentenced to up to 15 years for murder. The judge can use his or her own discretion when sentencing for murder, so it is unclear if Pistorius will get the maximum sentence. Pistorius, who won’t actually be sentenced until sometime next year, will return to jail after getting a taste — somewhat — of freedom since mid-October.
Pistorius and his legal team do have the right to appeal, but only if they feel as though the athletes constitutional rights have been violated. While possible to make a case for, it is a high threshold and the criteria is often times hard to meet. According the BBC, legal expert Mannie Witz claims there is no such grounds for an appeal.
After more than two years, it seems we can finally close the book on Oscar Pistorius and let Reeva Steenkamp and her family have the peace they deserve.