Oscar Pistorius is expected to be released from prison in South Africa Friday (Aug. 21) after serving only 10 months of his sentence for killing girlfriend Reva Steenkamp. Pistorius was convicted of manslaughter in Steenkamp’s shooting death on Valentine’s Day two years ago, but prosecutors are attempting to appeal the verdict.
Reports the Winnipeg Free Press:
Prosecutors want a panel of judges at the Supreme Court to overrule a decision by another judge to acquit Pistorius of murder for killing girlfriend Reva Steenkamp in 2013. Pistorius was instead found guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet cubicle door in his home.
He was sentenced to five years in jail, but is expected to be released from the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in the South African capital Pretoria on Friday after serving 10 months of that culpable homicide sentence.
Because of his good behaviour, the 28-year-old Pistorius can be released on probation to serve the remainder under house arrest.
Prosecutors announced their intention to appeal Judge Thokozile Masipa’s decision shortly after Pistorius’ months-long trial last year. They said Masipa made an error in interpreting the law when she cleared Pistorius of murder and found him guilty instead of an unintentional but still unlawful killing.
Pistorius will be freed two days after Steenkamp’s birthday. Her family believes the short sentence is not enough punishment for “taking a life,” but the courts see things differently. “We are still struggling with coming to terms with losing our precious daughter Reeva and her loss is felt even more this week as we would have celebrated her 32nd birthday on August 19,” said the family.
According to South African law, Pistorius was eligible for release after serving at least a sixth of his five-year sentence.
Pistorius has been adamant that he killed Steenkamp believing she was an intruder in his home.