Pistorius Appeal: Jail Term ‘Shockingly Low’
South African prosecutors have argued that Oscar Pistorius’ five-year jail term for manslaughter is “shockingly inappropriate” as they try to secure a longer sentence for the athlete.
The Olympian was not in court to hear prosecutor Gerrie Nel argue that Judge Thokozile Masipa misinterpreted the law when she ruled he did not intentionally shoot Steenkamp.
Mr Nel said: “The precedent set by this court is shockingly low.”
Defence counsel Barry Roux said the state had failed to show that the court had made a legal rather than factual error, so the conviction and sentence handed to Pistorius should stand.
The judge listened to arguments from both lawyers for almost three hours and said she would consider the legal issues before making a judgement on Wednesday.
Ahead of the hearing, Reeva Steenkamp’s mother told Sky News she hopes the appeal process will help her get the truth about her daughter’s death.
June Steenkamp said an increase in the athlete’s sentence will not make much difference to her family, but she hoped further court hearings might help bring together “missing pieces of the puzzle” surrounding the night he shot and killed her daughter.
She told Sky’s Special Correspondent Alex Crawford: “Anything that can get the truth is fine by me, but it won’t actually have anything to do with me.
“I have no influence about it, they’re going to be discussing the judge’s decision, which I just didn’t feel… was suitable.”
She said the long murder trial had not provided the answers she had hoped for.
She said: “I wanted the truth, but it seems some of the puzzle is missing. There’s only two people who know what happened. One of them’s my daughter, and she’s not here anymore.”
Asked whether Pistorius should serve a longer sentence, Mrs Steenkamp said: “What difference is it going to make to me? I wanted to see him go down the steps (to the cells).
“When he went down the steps, that to me was he’s going to pay for what he’s done, he’s going to be locked up.
“So it doesn’t really matter how long, he’s going to know that he can’t go around hurting people.”