South African Court Rejects Oscar Pistorius's Appeal 


The highest court in South Africa has dismissed Oscar Pistorius’s appeal to avoid a 13-year jail term for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

Pistorius, a former Paralympic athlete who was widely celebrated for his performance in the 2012 games, fatally shot Steenkamp through his bathroom door early Valentine’s Day, later attempting to claim he thought she was an intruder. Pistorius’s conviction was upgraded from culpable homicide to murder in 2015, and in November, his sentence was extended accordingly. He took the conviction to the country’s constitutional court, but it has declined to hear the case. According to News24 in South Africa, a court order dated March 28 reads that:

“The Constitutional Court has considered the applications for condonation and leave to appeal. It has concluded that the application for condonation should be granted, but that the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed as it does not engage this Court’s jurisdiction.”

Pistorius, who is currently serving his term in a prison outside Pretoria, was initially only going to serve six years behind bars until prosecutors argued that Judge Thokozile Masipa had handed down a sentence deemed “shockingly lenient.” It was then doubled to 13 years and five months.

Prosecutors celebrated the court’s decision, with prosecuting authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku telling La Agence France-Presse that “This is the end of the road. There are no other legal options available.”

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