Court junks Oscar Pistorius’ appeal, may face minimum of 15 years jail time for murder

Oscar Pistorius could end up in incarceration after South Africa’s Constitutional Court denied his right to appeal in his conviction for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and could face possible jail sentence of up to 15 years.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal changed its ruling on Pistorius’ from culpable homicide to murder in December. This, after state prosecutors appealed the decision made by the Pretoria High Court. The prosecution challenged the appeal made by Pistorius’ side stating that the Supreme Court of Appeal made the right decision in changing its ruling.

Eyewitness News reports that the family of Steenkamp welcomed the decision as the court has notified both parties that no appeals will be heard upon. Steenkamp’s counsel stated the family of the victim had faith on the justice system and that the law must now take its course.

On the other hand, Pistorius’ brother Carl simply posted on his account that their family was “shattered” by the turn of events.

Turning down Pistorius’ appeal were nine Constitutional Court judges led by Chief Justice Mogoeng. The Olympian will return next month for sentencing and his defense lawyers said that the merit of their appeal was denied due to lack of “prospect of success.”

“We said Pistorius’s leave to appeal has been denied, due to lack of prospects of success,” Luyuyo Mfaku of the NPA said.

Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp in Feb. 14, 2013 at his Pretoria home. He stated that he mistakenly thought Steenkamp for an intruder hiding behind the bathroom, but he was still arrested and charged for murder.

During his trial, he was found guilty of culpable homicide and was sentenced to five-year in prison and a concurrent three-year suspended prison sentence for a separate reckless endangerment conviction. The ruling was then challenged by the prosecution that led to the change of conviction to murder.

Pistorius, also known as the “Blade Runner,” had his both legs amputated when he was 11-months old. He was the first athlete to compete at the Paralympic games and Olympic Games, competing in sprint events for below-knee amputees in Paralympic events, and in able-bodied sprint events.

Photo Courtesy: Elvar Palsson/Wikimedia

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