By Kaveel Singh: The Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has made an application at the Supreme Court of Appeals against the six-year jail sentence handed down to convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius.
In the appeal, led by prosecutor Advocate Gerrie Nel, court papers state that during the State’s initial application to appeal the sentence, adequate reasons were not given by the court for why it had been rejected.
“The court did not delineate reasons for dismissing the application, but merely made, with respect, a bald finding,” court papers read.
The State argued that the court found that Pistorius fired fatal shots with the intention to kill regardless of who was behind his bathroom door.
Nel further said in court papers that while the High Court judgment pointed to “substantial and compelling” circumstances which justified Pistorius’ six-year sentence – the judgment did not go into specifics for the lesser prison sentence.
“There was a fatal lack of proportionality in the disturbingly inappropriate nature of the sentence as well as the material misdirections occasioned by the court in imposing [the] sentence.”
The State added that the High Court sentencing “gave scant consideration” to aggravating factors; which included that: Pistorius used a lethal weapon; fired not one, but four shots through the toilet door; Pistorius fired into a small space knowing the person had nowhere to go and never fired a warning shot.
The State added that the court failed to take into account that Pistorius never offered an acceptable explanation for having fired four shots.
Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on appeal in December 2015. He had initially received a five-year sentence for culpable homicide in 2014.
The jail term was less than half the 15 years sought by prosecutors, who said Pistorius had shown no remorse for the 2013 shooting.