Oscar Pistorius will have another chance at parole on Friday after nearly a decade in prison

by Chloe Baker
parole review

Oscar Pistorius is set to have another opportunity for parole following nearly a decade of incarceration. This chance arises after a previous ruling in March, which erroneously deemed him ineligible for early release from prison.

The South African department of corrections, as conveyed in a statement to The Big Big News on Monday, has scheduled a parole board hearing for the former Olympic runner this Friday. During this hearing, the board will deliberate on the suitability of the inmate for social reintegration.

Pistorius, renowned worldwide as a double-amputee athlete who shattered barriers by competing with carbon-fiber running blades at the 2012 London Olympics, has been behind bars since late 2014. His incarceration stems from the tragic shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Initially convicted of culpable homicide, akin to manslaughter, for firing multiple shots through a closed toilet cubicle door on Valentine’s Day 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa, his conviction was later upgraded to murder. Subsequently, he received a sentence of 13 years and five months in prison after a series of legal appeals. Under South African law, serious offenders are required to serve at least half of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Pistorius’ parole eligibility has been further complicated by legal appeals by prosecutors who initially challenged his culpable homicide conviction and later deemed his six-year sentence for murder as excessively lenient. In 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Pistorius should serve the country’s minimum 15-year sentence for murder, taking into account the time he had already spent incarcerated for culpable homicide. However, an oversight occurred as the court failed to consider another period of Pistorius’ incarceration during his murder sentence appeal, making him eligible for parole in March, contrary to the initial pronouncement that he would only be eligible in August 2024.

Pistorius’ legal team pursued the matter to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The decision to grant him another parole hearing on Friday effectively acknowledges the error made by the appeal court.

It is important to note that Pistorius is not guaranteed early release. The parole board will meticulously assess various factors, including his behavior and disciplinary record in prison, his mental well-being, and the likelihood of him reoffending. The outcome could range from full parole to day parole, where he would reside and work within the community but return to prison at night.

Once celebrated as one of the world’s most inspirational athletes, Pistorius’ journey took a tragic turn. Born with a congenital condition that led to the amputation of his lower legs as a baby, he overcame adversity to achieve multiple Paralympic titles with his iconic running blades. He holds the distinction of being the only double amputee to compete in the Olympics. Known as the “Blade Runner,” his fall from grace came when he fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, during the aftermath of the London Olympics. During his murder trial, he claimed that he had mistaken her for a dangerous intruder in his bathroom during the late hours of the night, leading to the tragic incident.

As Oscar Pistorius approaches his 37th birthday, the prospect of his potential release marks a significant moment in his tumultuous life, which has largely been obscured from public view over the past decade. His time in prison has been marred by incidents, including injuries sustained in altercations with fellow inmates and disputes over self-inflicted injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about parole review

What is the background of Oscar Pistorius’ case?

Oscar Pistorius is a world-famous double-amputee athlete known as the “Blade Runner.” He gained international recognition for competing on carbon-fiber running blades at the 2012 London Olympics. However, his life took a tragic turn when he was convicted of the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013. Initially, he was convicted of culpable homicide, similar to manslaughter, but this was later upgraded to murder. He has been serving a prison sentence since late 2014.

Why is Oscar Pistorius eligible for a parole review?

The eligibility for parole in Pistorius’ case has been a subject of legal complexity. Prosecutors initially challenged his convictions and sentencing, leading to a series of legal appeals. A crucial oversight in calculating his parole eligibility resulted in him being eligible for parole in March, contrary to the initial pronouncement of a much later date. This oversight has led to the decision to grant him another parole hearing.

What factors will the parole board consider in Pistorius’ case?

The parole board will thoroughly assess various factors when determining whether to grant parole to Oscar Pistorius. These factors include his conduct and disciplinary record during his time in prison, his mental health, and the risk of him reoffending. The outcome could range from full parole to day parole, depending on the board’s evaluation.

What is the significance of Pistorius’ case in South Africa?

Oscar Pistorius’ case has garnered significant attention not only due to his athletic achievements but also because it highlights issues related to justice, legal appeals, and the eligibility for parole in South Africa. The case serves as a high-profile example of the legal complexities surrounding serious criminal convictions and their impact on individuals’ sentences and parole eligibility.

What was Pistorius’ defense during his murder trial?

During his murder trial, Oscar Pistorius claimed that he had mistaken Reeva Steenkamp for a dangerous intruder in his bathroom during the late hours of the night. He asserted that he shot her by mistake with his licensed 9 mm pistol, leading to her tragic death. His defense argued that the shooting was an unfortunate accident, not a deliberate act.

What is the timeline of events in Pistorius’ legal battle?

Pistorius’ legal battle spans several years, including challenges to his culpable homicide conviction, the upgrade to a murder conviction, and subsequent sentencing appeals. Notably, in 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that he should serve South Africa’s minimum 15-year sentence for murder, considering time already served for culpable homicide.

What are the potential outcomes of the parole review?

The parole board’s decision could result in various outcomes for Oscar Pistorius. He may be granted full parole, allowing for his release from prison. Alternatively, he could be placed on day parole, enabling him to live and work in the community but requiring him to return to prison at night. The final decision will depend on the parole board’s assessment of his suitability for social integration and the associated risks.

More about parole review

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Crypt0Enthusiast November 21, 2023 - 5:03 am

not related

Joe123 November 21, 2023 - 6:32 am

wow, dat’s a long story bout Pistorius, rite? I herd abt him b4, but dis is sum in-dep info. crazy how he went from runnin in da olympics to prison, man.

SeriousReader12 November 21, 2023 - 11:55 am

dis case shows how law stuff can get all tangled up. appeals, convictions, parole… it’s a real mess, ya kno? hope dey make da rite decision dis time.


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