January 19, 2022

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Oscar Pistorius, Olympic Runner Convicted of Homicide, Is Up for Parole

Oscar Pistorius, Olympic Runner Convicted of Murder, Is Up for Parole

JOHANNESBURG — Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic sprinter who garnered international headlines after killing his girlfriend in 2013, might quickly be paroled from jail, South African corrections officers mentioned Monday.

Mr. Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, by means of a locked lavatory door in February 2013. He claimed that her death was an accident, and that he had fired his gun within the perception that an intruder had entered his upscale house in a Pretoria suburb.

He was convicted of manslaughter — later upgraded to homicide — and sentenced to fifteen years. And on Monday, the Division of Correctional Providers mentioned Mr. Pistorius, 34, had served half his sentence, making him mechanically eligible for parole beneath South African regulation.

However first Mr. Pistorius should face his sufferer’s dad and mom as a part of the parole-consideration course of — a prospect they sounded distressed by on Monday. The dad and mom are “shocked and shocked” at having to contemplate the athlete’s freedom ahead of they anticipated, a lawyer for the household mentioned.

At one level, Mr. Pistorius was not deemed eligible for parole till March 2023, however his lawyer requested South Africa’s Supreme Court docket of Attraction to take into consideration the greater than 500 days the athlete had already served in jail after his preliminary conviction for manslaughter.

Mr. Pistorius was at first sentenced to 5 years in jail on that conviction in 2014, however after prosecutors challenged the decision, the Supreme Court docket of Attraction replaced it with a finding of murder. The trial decide raised his sentence to 6 years, however then prosecutors appealed that, too, describing the penalty as “shockingly too lenient” for homicide.

In 2017, the Supreme Court docket of Attraction more than doubled the sentence, to fifteen years, the minimal for homicide in South Africa.

Jail has “taken its toll” on the celeb athlete as soon as nicknamed the Blade Runner, mentioned Julian Knight, Mr. Pistorius’s lawyer. “When Oscar is ultimately launched on parole, I don’t suppose he’ll be anyplace just like the Oscar that went into jail,” Mr. Knight mentioned.

Mr. Pistorius, whose legs had been amputated under the knees when he was an toddler, gained worldwide fame by competing at a excessive stage, utilizing carbon fiber prosthetic blades, and received a number of gold medals in Paralympic Video games. After a prolonged combat with sporting authorities he received the fitting to compete towards able-bodied athletes and ran within the 2012 Summer season Olympics in London, however didn’t win any medals.

Mr. Pistorius, who has been serving his sentence on the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria, has already attended a number of rehabilitation applications to arrange for parole, a correctional companies division spokesman mentioned.

He may also endure psychological evaluations and meet with a social employee and spiritual chief earlier than a mediated “victim-offender” dialogue along with his sufferer’s dad and mom, June and Barry Steenkamp. Solely then will a parole board take into account his case.

The Steenkamps are girding themselves to satisfy with their daughter’s killer, although they’ll decline to take action. The authorities have already contacted the household to start the method.

Ms. Steenkamp has publicly mentioned her Christian religion compels her to forgive Mr. Pistorius. Her husband was described as not having discovered the identical closure.

“He’s at all times mentioned he needs that assembly, as a result of he’s received questions,” mentioned Tania Koen, the Steenkamps’ lawyer.

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