Sentencing/Post Conviction

Pistorius gets five-year sentence; can he serve part of the time at home?

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Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius. Featureflash

South African track star Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five-years in prison on Tuesday for killing his girlfriend by firing his gun through a bathroom door.

Reporters said Pistorius appeared emotionless during sentencing for the February 2013 death of law grad Reeva Steenkamp, which he said was the result of his belief that an intruder was hiding in the bathroom, the Washington Post reports. But as he was led into custody after sentencing, he had a look of alarm, the story says. CNN, Reuters and the New York Times also had stories.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said the sentence struck a balance. “I am of the view that a noncustodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community, but a long sentence would not be appropriate because it would lack the elements of mercy,” she said.

Masipa said it was evident that Pistorius still suffers from trauma as a result of the shooting. He was convicted of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter. He may seek house arrest after serving 10 months of the sentence, the Times says.

Defense lawyer Barry Roux told Reuters he expected his client to be moved to house arrest after the 10-month minimum, while prosecutors said they expected Pistorius to stay in prison 20 months or more.

Prosecutors had sought a 10-year prison sentence.

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