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Prosecutors to appeal disgraced athlete Oscar Pistorius’ ‘shockingly lenient’ murder sentence

On November 3, a South African court will hear the State’s application to appeal Oscar Pistorius’ six-year jail sentence for murder.

The Pretoria East Rekord reports that the appeal will be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein. Pistorius, 30, was originally convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years behind bars for the 2013 shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. However, a State appeal led to a murder conviction and Pistorius being sentenced to six years.

“To answer the question whether there exist substantial and compelling circumstances justifying a lesser sentence, courts must also [consider] aggravating factors as well as mitigating factors,” sentencing Judge Thokozile Masipa said in July 2016.

The disgraced athlete claimed that he accidentally shot Steenkamp, thinking she was an intruder, according to Eyewitness News. At sentencing, Judge Masipa rejected prosecutors’ claims that Pistorius is inherently violent and that he didn’t show remorse, noting that he offered to meet with the victim’s family.

“This court is aware that the accused has expressed a wish to do community work as punishment–that is a noble gesture. However, punishment is not what you choose to do, it is something that is imposed on you,” she said. “I am of the view that a long-term imprisonment will not serve justice in this matter.”

Pistorius, also known as the “Blade Runner,” was moved to the Atteridgvile Correctional Centre, a jail more capable of housing inmates with disabilities.

The State maintained that Pistorius was given a “shockingly lenient” sentence, according to the African News Agency. The National Prosecuting Authority will reportedly push for the minimum term of 15 years.

[Featured Image: AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool Photo via AP, File]