Oscar Pistorius Murder Case: Judge Masipa Denies Request To Appeal


Judge Thokozile Masipa has thrown out the move by the state to appeal the controversial Oscar Pistorius murder case.

The judge dismissed with costs the state’s bid to appeal the six-year sentence which she handed down to Paralympian Oscar Pistorius in July.

The sentence was punishment for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a crime he committed on Valentine’s day, 2013.

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Pistorius, who shot his girlfriend Steenkamp dead through a toilet door, claimed he mistook her for an intruder. Consequently, he was found guilty of culpable homicide.

After severe investigation and state intervention, the charge was later upgraded to murder. However, deviating from the prescribed sentence for murder, he was sentenced to an effective six years in jail.

In July, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that six years for murder is a “disturbingly inappropriate” sentence. Thus the authority requested for leave to appeal the sentence handed by Pretoria High Court Judge, Thokozile Masipa.

However, the defence contends that the six year sentence was fair considering the mitigating factors surrounding the case. Besides, Pistorius already served nearly a year in prison and about eight months under house arrest.

Meanwhile, after hearing submissions from both the state and Pistorius lawyers, in the High Court in Johannesburg on 26th August, Judge Masipa said she was not persuaded that there were reasonable prospects of success on the appeal. Thus she dismissed the appeal.

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In 2014 Judge Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in jail based on a culpable homicide conviction. The conviction was set aside by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in December last year and replaced with the murder conviction.

During proceedings of the Oscar Pistorius murder case, his lawyer, Barry Roux, asked for justice to be tempered with mercy. He pleaded for the usual minimum sentence of 15 years to be reduced.

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