Oscar Pistorius: Early prison release considered for former Paralympics star who shot dead his girlfriend
If he is granted parole, 36-year-old Oscar Pistorius, who fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steemkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, could be released within days.
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Oscar Pistorius, a former Paralympics star convicted of murdering his girlfriend, could be released from prison early. A South African parole board is poised to consider shortening his prison sentence, which he has served over six years after murdering model Reeva Steemkamp in 2013.
If he is granted parole, 36-year-old Pistorius, who was sentenced to 13 years and five months behind bars, could be freed within a matter of days. However, Ms Steenkamp’s mother, June, is widely expected to oppose parole during Friday’s hearing (March 31), reported the BBC.
The former amputee sprinter is currently in a low-security prison in rolling fields just outside the city of Pretoria. He recently met Barry Steenkamp, Reeva’s father, as part of a mandatory process known as "victim-offender dialogue".
Mrs Steenkamp, however, has expressed her frustrations that the six-time Paralympic gold medalist, while expressing tremendous regret for killing his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day in 2013, continues to maintain he shot her by mistake, mistaking her for a robber.
Pistorius was initially found guilty of culpable homicide, but he was convicted of murder on appeal, on the basis that he must have known his conduct - shooting three times through a locked bathroom door in his Pretoria home - would result in the death of whoever was on the other side.
Mannie Witz, a defence attorney said: "I think he’s probably got an arguable case [for parole],”, adding the Steenkamps could challenge a decision to grant Pistorius parole in court, potentially delaying his release for many months.
The televised trial of the man called "the Blade Runner" because of the groundbreaking prosthetic legs he used in both Paralympic and Olympic track events drew enormous global interest.
The prosecution in South Africa sought to establish Pistorius as an angry, violent man with a pathological preoccupation with guns who murdered his 30-year-old girlfriend in a late-night rage.
The parole board, which will consist of at least three people, will hear testimony from Pistorius, the Steenkamps, and a variety of social workers and prison officials. They will examine his behaviour, mental state, and the amount to which he has been rehabilitated.