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Oscar Pistorius Could Be Out Of Prison In 10 Months

Illustration for article titled Oscar Pistorius Could Be Out Of Prison In 10 Months

Immediately upon his sentencing to five years for his role in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius was taken to a holding cell in the bowels of the courthouse. Today is his first day in prison, but his first of how many depends on who you ask.

Pistorius received five years for the lesser charge of culpable homicide, after being cleared by the presiding judge of murder. He also received a three-year suspended sentence on firearm charges. The prosecution had sought a 10-year minimum prison term, while Pistorius's defense had argued that his fame and his disabilities made him unfit for prison and he ought to serve community service instead.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said a jail term was necessary for the international track star.

"It would be a sad day for this country if an impression were created that there is one law for the poor and disadvantaged, and one law for the rich and famous," she said.


Steenkamp's father said he was satisfied with the sentence, and the Steenkamps' lawyer said he believed "justice was served."

The Steenkamps' lawyer said he believed Pistorius would ultimately serve two years in prison, and the remaining three under house arrest. Prosecutors, too, said the law requires Pistorius to serve at least one-third of his jail term—20 months—before being allowed home.

But Pistorius's lawyer, backed up by some South African legal experts, interprets the law as requiring Pistorius to serve one-sixth of his sentence in prison, meaning he could go home as early as next August.

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