South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority announced on Thursday that they would appeal Oscar Pistorius‘ six-year sentence, deeming it “shockingly lenient.”
The Olympic athlete was initially found guilty of manslaughter then as the case was called and pursued was convicted of murder earlier this month by Judge Thokozile Masipa at the Pretoria High Court. The Judge had given him a lesser sentence due to her belief in his remorse and suffering she felt he had already experienced.
National Prosecuting Authority refuses to back down
The National Prosecuting Authority is taking the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal on the basis that Oscar Pistorius did not show signs of respect for human life. The athlete fired four shots through the door of the small bathroom, where his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was at the time, ultimately killing her. Pistorius claimed that he thought the person was an intruder and was only protecting himself and significant other.
Whether or not Pistorius honestly felt his home was being invaded, it does not take away from the fact that his conscious decision to fire four shots through a door into his bathroom was an example of the lack of respect shown for human life. The NPA has argued that a number of shots fired, the limited space in the bathroom, as well as the power the gun was reported to possess, should have all been taken into consideration regarding the damage and possible death that could, and did, arise from Pistorius’ trigger-happiness. According to the NPA’s application for appeal, the authorities stated that “there existed no justification for the accused’s actions.”
The African National Congress, leading and liberation political party of South Africa, Women’s League expressed their relief regarding the appeal. The ANC Women’s League had reported they were unsatisfied with the six-year sentence and felt the appeal would bring hope for gender-based violence afflicting the country. At the political group’s 12th Conference, discussions were held about harsher sentences on perpetrators of violence against women and children.
The NPA initially sought to bring justice to Pistorius’ reckless and inconsiderate actions by arguing a 15-year-sentence. Not only did Pistorius blatantly commit an act of murder but his theatrics during his prosecution earlier this month could have been perceived as an insult to people living with disabilities, as he won the court’s sympathy while walking without his prosthetic legs. That incident was the first time the world had ever seen the once regarded great man resort to sad attempts at manipulation due to his disability, which he had never let become an obstacle to his prior achievements.
Many are hoping that the appeal will restore some of the nation’s faith in the justice system. The two prior sentences, the first for five years for manslaughter and the second six years for murder, made many in the nation and across the world believe that such leniency was only granted for Pistorius’ fame and disability, which did not take away from his ability and capacity to kill another human being with his firearm.
Source: News 24