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Oct. 12 (GIN) – Prosecution lawyers in the case of South Africa Paralympian Oscar Pistorius are said to be seeking a 15 year jail sentence for the famed athlete who was acquitted of murder but convicted of culpable homicide or negligent killing in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Motor accident cases involving negligence and multiple deaths have seen sentences of about 8 years with parole offered about halfway through their term.

Nathi Mncube, speaking for the National Prosecuting Authority, said the state would call on Judge Thokozile Masipa to hand down the maximum sentence because the punishment should match the severity of the crime.

Pistorius, a double-amputee athlete, had extensive weapons training prior to the incident. He fired four expanding bullets, designed to exact maximum tissue damage, through the door of an enclosed toilet in his home last year, killing Steenkamp, in the mistaken belief that his live-in girlfriend was an intruder. It was a story accepted by Judge Masipa as reasonable.

Masipa found that the prosecution failed to prove that Pistorius intended to kill Steenkamp.

A social worker with the Department of Correctional Services, Joel Maringa, called by the defense, took prosecutors by surprise by suggesting that Pistorius serve three years of house arrest while performing 16 hours of community service a month, including cleaning a museum.

Pistorius wants to resume his athletic career, train and attend track and field events during any sentence, Maringa told the court. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel described the recommendation as “shockingly inappropriate.”

Judge Masipa is due to deliver her sentence after hearing one more defense witness and at least two prosecution witnesses. She could imprison Pistorius; give him a suspended sentence under certain conditions — for example, house arrest; or let him off with a fine. w/pix of Judge Masipe


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