World

Should Pistorius Serve A House Arrest Sentence?

In the first day of Oscar Pistorius' sentencing, a defense witness argued for house arrest — a sentence prosecutors called "shockingly inappropriate."

Should Pistorius Serve A House Arrest Sentence?
Getty Images / Werner Beukes
SMS

Oscar Pistorius was back in court Monday to hear his punishment for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, and the media frenzy was no less intense than it has been since the start of trial seven months ago.

Once again, several prominent news outlets carried the proceedings live. Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the equivalent of manslaughter last month, though she did acquit him of murder.

The former Olympian from South Africa could face up to 15 years for that culpable homicide conviction. He argued he killed Steenkamp last year by shooting through a bathroom door because he thought she was an intruder. (Video via ENCA)

Pistorius' defense attorneys called three witnesses with a fourth expected Tuesday. One psychologist called Pistorius a broken man since Steenkamp's death.

Predictably, prosecutors rejected that idea, saying Pistorius is still alive while Steenkamp isn't. It looks like one prosecution strategy is hammering at the idea that if Pistorius doesn't go to prison, he could return to the track and field career that brought the double amputee international fame.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel also bristled when a social worker called by Pistorius' defense attorneys said he should only receive a three-year sentence and that sentence should be carried out under house arrest instead of prison time.

GERRIE NEL, PROSECUTOR ON SKY NEWS: "To even suggest three years 276-C is shockingly inappropriate for what happened in this matter. Shockingly inappropriate."

JOEL MARINGA, SOCIAL WORKER: "I wouldn't say that."

Playing out amid the background of the actual sentence, many media outlets point to South African societal feelings of justice when it comes to race. The nation is still only two decades removed from apartheid.

EURONEWS REPORTER: "Anti-domestic-violence campaigners were angered by Pistorius escaping a murder rap and many are saying if he walks free, it will again be confirmation there is still one justice for wealthy whites and another for blacks in South Africa."

The judge has said she expects Pistorius' sentencing hearing to wrap up within the week.

This video includes images from Getty Images.