Prosecutors’ bid for longer jail term for Pistorius rejected

PRETORIA, South Africa, Aug. 26 (UPI) — Prosecutors’ request to appeal and increase the six-year prison sentence of Oscar Pistorius was denied Friday by South Africa’s High Court.

Prosecutors sought the maximum, 15-year sentence for Pistorius, 29, the double-amputee track star convicted in the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down the six-year sentence last month, citing mitigating factors including Pistorius’ remorse, his disability and his status as a first-time offender, and Friday dismissed the prosecutors’ appeal.

“I’m not persuaded that there are reasonable prospects of success on appeal or that another court may find differently,” she said in her ruling.

Pistorius was originally convicted of manslaughter, and served one year of his five-year prison term before he was moved to house arrest. In 2015, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal, citing errors of law in the verdict, increased the charge to murder.

Despite the rejection of the appeal Friday, prosecutors can still petition the Supreme Court of Appeal, and if necessary, the country’s Constitutional Court.

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