Prosecutor appeals Pistorius’ six-year sentence, calls it ‘shockingly’ lenient

PRETORIA, South Africa, July 21 (UPI) — Oscar Pistorius‘ six-year sentence for murder will be appealed by South African prosecutors who said Thursday it was too lenient.

A statement by the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa said an application for an appeal was submitted Thursday. In the statement, the prosecutor called the sentence by Judge Thokozile Masipa “shockingly too lenient,” and said it has “resulted in an injustice.”

Pistorius, 29, a double-amputee track star and Olympic and Paralympic athlete, admitted shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013 through the bathroom door of his home, saying he thought she was an intruder. In 2014 he was found guilty of culpable homicide, the South African equivalent of manslaughter, and began a five-year prison sentence, later reduced to home confinement. In December 2015 the verdict was changed, on appeal by prosecutors, to murder. In July he was sentenced to serve six years in prison.

Prosecutors noted that Pistorius’ six-year sentence was less than half the 15-year sentence they recommended, and that he has shown little remorse for the incident.

Judge Masipa defended her decision, noting mitigating circumstances, such as rehabilitation and remorse, were balanced against other factors, such as Pistorius’ failure to fire a warning shot. The sentence angered some who felt Pistorius received a lenient sentence because of his global celebrity and stature in South Africa.

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