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Opinion & Editorial

Small Price to Pay for Another’s Life

On Tuesday, October 21, Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in jail for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14 of last year. Pistorius plans to serve 10 months of his sentence in Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru prison and the next four years under house arrest.

The prosecutors are in the process of appealing the verdict, hoping to convict Pistorius of a more serious charge or extend his sentence. Steenkamp’s mother is outraged by the brevity of the sentence and the fact the man who killed her daughter will be out of prison in less than a year.

It is not only Steenkamp’s mother who  feels the sentence is not fitting of the crime. The day after Judge Thokozile Masipa read the verdict, hashtag #Nojustice began trending worldwide.

For many, the question remains: Why wasn’t Pistorius convicted of murder?

Masipa ruled out premeditated murder after hearing Pistorius’s story,  of which many still question the legitimacy and surmise that evidence against Pistorius was inconclusive and merely circumstantial.

Pistorius claims he believed there was an intruder in the restroom of his apartment and that in self-defense he shot through the door several times.

Steenkamp’s mother rejects this notion, as holds true to her feeling that Pistorius purposefully killed her daughter after the two had had an argument, as she believes that Reeva was going to leave him, and Pistorius is known to have a quick temper.

Masipa then ruled out the lesser charge of murder, claiming that the state’s case did not support murder dolls eventualis, “a legal term for when the perpetrator foresees the possibility of his action causing death and persists regardless” (The Week).

Whether Pistorius truly meant to kill Steenkamp, it is implausible that he did not realize the potential of murder when discharging a firearm four times.

Even though the former Olympian and Paralympian’s career will be finished off by his incarceration, it seems a small price to pay for life of a young woman.

Written by Sarah Wexner’17


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