One of the biggest stories of 2013 finally has a resolution, although it isn’t one many were expecting or hoping. South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, most known for competing in the London Olympics and sprinting with the help of prosthetic limbs, killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Pistorius claimed he did the act in self-defense, saying he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. In 2014, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide, which is a similar charge to manslaughter. However, the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned this decision and found Pistorius guilty of murder last December.
In South Africa, a guilty conviction in a murder case should mean a 15-year minimum sentence for the guilty party. In this case, however, Pistorius has only been sentenced to a six years’ imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend.
Why was Pistorius sentence so light? Is it simply because he’s a famous track star? According to the judge, Pistorius was vulnerable in his house and had been the victim of multiple burglaries. Due to his lack of legs, he was an easy target. Thus, the judge found his fear reasonable.
It’s certainly a special case, regardless of whether or not Pistorius is an Olympic hero. He is a disabled individual who was an easy victim for burglars. Still, the events of that night were tragic. Hopefully the victim’s family can get some semblance of justice, although to them, surely this sentencing is way too light.