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July 25, 2024

Oscar Pistorius Set to Be Released on Parole After Serving Half of 15-Year Sentence

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Jan 5, 2024

Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympic athlete convicted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, is set to be released on parole tomorrow after serving half of his 15-year prison sentence.

Background on the Case

Oscar Pistorius had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old due to a congenital defect. Nicknamed “Blade Runner” for the carbon-fiber prosthetic blades he used while competing, Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete at the Olympics when he ran in the 400 metres and the 4 × 400 metres relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

In the early morning hours of February 14, 2013—Valentine’s Day—Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in his Pretoria home. Pistorius claimed he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired four shots from a 9-mm pistol, hitting her in the hip, arm and head.

At his trial the following year, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide—the equivalent of manslaughter—and sentenced to five years in prison. After an appeal by prosecutors, a South African appeals court changed the conviction to murder and lengthened his sentence to 15 years.

Pistorius to Be Released After Serving Half His Sentence

According to South African law, Pistorius has met the requirements for early release after serving half his sentence and demonstrating good behavior.

Sources report that the Department of Correctional Services approved Pistorius’ parole because he is considered low risk, noting that he participated in rehabilitation programs, took responsibility for his actions, and had reconciled with the victim’s family.

Pistorius, now 38, will be released from the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre near Pretoria on January 5th, 2024 after serving 7 and a half years behind bars.

Strict Parole Conditions Imposed

While Pistorius will be freed from prison, sources say his parole comes with strict conditions intended to ease his transition back into society.

He will be placed under house arrest at his uncle’s mansion in the Waterkloof suburb of Pretoria, where he must remain between 10pm-6am daily. He cannot leave the home without permission of his parole officers and cannot travel outside the district of Pretoria without approval.

Pistorius also faces restrictions related to substance use and interactions with the media:

  • He cannot use alcohol or illegal drugs
  • He cannot give media interviews about the shooting
  • He cannot be seen publicly drinking alcohol

Additionally, Pistorius must meet regularly with parole officers, social workers and psychologists. He may only leave South Africa with permission from the Minister of Justice.

These conditions will remain in effect until December 2029 when his sentence ends. Violating them could lead to his parole being revoked.

Concerns About Message Parole Sends

Some groups have criticized Pistorius’ early release, saying it sends the wrong message about violence against women.

The African Christian Democratic Party released a statement saying the parole comes too soon: “The sentence was already lenient. Granting Pistorius parole after serving only half his sentence is still too soon for a man who shot his partner four times without thinking twice.”

The Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa said the decision downplays the severity of his crime: “The fact that Oscar Pistorius is out on parole exactly half way into his sentence… cannot represent justice in any way for violating and killing Reeva Steenkamp.”

Steenkamp Family Resigned to Release

In contrast, some members of Reeva Steenkamp’s family have indicated they will not oppose Pistorius’ parole.

Her mother, June Steenkamp, gave an interview saying she has forgiven Pistorius: “I have forgiven Oscar, for my own sanity and my children…Forgiveness is important but he’s also paying for what he has done, and that is justice.”

She also acknowledged that prolonging his imprisonment cannot bring back her daughter: “Nothing is going to bring Reeva back. I’ve said this before: I’ve forgiven Oscar. As a Christian, I am required to forgive.”

Steenkamp’s parents have established a foundation focused on combating violence against women in her memory.

What Comes Next for Pistorius

Now that he has served over half of the original 15-year sentence, Pistorius is approaching eventual freedom in December 2029 when his parole ends.

Until then, he faces strict restrictions and monitoring as described above for the next five years. Any violation of his parole conditions could lead to re-imprisonment.

Pistorius told close acquaintances that with his running days over, he hopes to establish a career in the mining industry and keep a low profile going forward. But given his fame and the notoriety of Reeva Steenkamp’s killing, it remains to be seen if he will be able to avoid the spotlight.

Key Events in Oscar Pistorius Case

Date Event
February 14, 2013 Shoots and kills girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day
October 2014 Convicted of culpable homicide (manslaughter)
October 2015 Conviction changed to murder, sentence increased to 6 years
November 2017 Sentence lengthened to 13 years on appeal
November 2018 Sentence further increased to 15 years
January 2024 Approved for parole after serving half of 15-year sentence
December 2029 Scheduled end of sentence/parole

This has been a breaking news update on Oscar Pistorius’ upcoming release from prison after being approved for parole. Check back for further updates as additional details become available.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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