Oscar Pistorius

It is arguable that most persons would recognize the name Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius is a twenty-nine year-old male South African Sprint Runner who had both of his legs amputated below his knees when he was a mere eleven months old due to a congenital defect. As a result, he was the first athlete to compete at the Paralympic Games and furthermore the Olympic Games, entering spring events for below-knee amputees in Paralympic Games in addition to non-disabled sprint events.

As of late, Pistorius is not being acknowledged for his athletic accomplishments. In 2013, Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeve Steenkamp, within his home on Valentine’s Day. Pistorius claimed that he believed Steenkamp was an intruder within his home and his actions were a result of self-defence to protect himself from an intruder.

His trial has been a tremendously drawn-out process, likely a result of the court’s inability to determine a punishment for Pistorius. Prosecutors assigned to the case were hoping to sentence Pistorius to a minimum of fifteen years in prison, though their hopes became complicated when defence lawyers had requested for zero jail time, and furthermore requested for Pistorius to complete charity work with children as opposed to going to prison entirely.

At first, Pistorius was believed to have killed his girlfriend intentionally considering they had been in an argument the same day, however one year later Pistorius was acquitted of such accusations and was sentenced to one year in prison after being convicted of manslaughter.

As of today, however, I learned that Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison, with the judge assigned to such case categorizing Pistorius as a “fallen hero.”

I personally feel as though Pistorius is encountering a lot of disproportionate favouritism  within the context of the crime he committed. South Africa’s minimum sentence for murder is fifteen years, however the judge stated that “substantial and compelling circumstances” were in effect in the murder which prompted him to give Pistorius a significantly lesser sentence.

Do you believe Pistorius’ sentence is fair?



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