Published: Mon, June 20, 2016
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Date set for Oscar Pistorius' sentencing

Date set for Oscar Pistorius' sentencing

The double amputee is now awaiting the verdict of a re-sentencing hearing after having his manslaughter conviction upgraded to murder after shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

In his closing argument on Wednesday, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Judge Masipa now had no choice but to start with a 15-year sentence, the minimum term for murder in South Africa.

The defense wants a lesser sentence than the 15-year minimum for murder in South Africa.

The sentencing judge, Thokozile Masipa, is the same one who originally acquitted Pistorius of murder. His defense attorneys have argued that there is no goal in sending Pistorius to prison, instead asking for community service.

The State has accused convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius of disrespecting the court and Reeva Steenkamp, for not testifying during sentencing proceedings, but instead giving an interview to a British television station.

The victim's father Barry Steenkamp said on Tuesday that Pistorius must pay for his crime.

Pistorius was released from jail last October to live under house arrest at his uncle's mansion in Pretoria after serving one year of his five-year sentence for culpable homicide.

Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013, just days before she was killed.

"I never heard him apologise", Ms Martin told the court.

His sentence hearing began Monday and now the ruling will be delivered on July 6.

Reeva's family urged the court to release the images of their daughter during a sentencing hearing in Pretoria today.

He said the only way that Pistorius' belief he was shooting an intruder could qualify as mitigation would be if the court regarded an intruder's life as less valuable than Steenkamp's.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux said: "The accused was vulnerable because of his disability".

Dubbed "Blade Runner", Pistorius soared to worldwide fame after becoming the first amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Nel also addressed the argument that Pistorius is a "broken man" because of the grief from killing Steenkamp and the trauma that followed as the world focused on his case.

"It is three o'clock in the morning, it is dark, he is on his stumps", Mr Roux said, stressing his client's vulnerability.

He said: "I want the world to see".

Oscar Pistorius shuffled without his prosthetic legs through a Pretoria court on Wednesday to demonstrate how vulnerable he is without his artificial limbs.

He said Pistorius' decision not to speak in court could prove central: "It was a flawless opportunity to show the court that he does take responsibility for his actions".

Asked about the relationship between Pistorius and Reeva, Martin said her cousin only shrugged her shoulders when she was asked about being happy in the relationship.

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