Oscar Pistorius Set For Parole Hearing After 10 Years Of Killing His Girlfriend
Oscar Pistorius, a former Olympian runner, is scheduled to appear at a parole hearing to determine whether he will be allowed to leave prison after killing his girlfriend ten years ago.
In 2013, on Valentine’s Day, he was found guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp by shooting her repeatedly through the door of his bathroom.
If his parole application is approved, he might leave the Atteridgeville Correctional Center in Pretoria on Friday, while the Department of Prisons warned that the process could take days to complete.
Barry and June Steenkamp, Ms. Steenkamp’s parents, have declared their opposition to Pistorius’ release and have been granted the right to speak to the parole board during his hearing. One of many elements considered is a submission from the family of a victim.
As Pistorius’s hearing was “an internal matter,” like any other parole hearing, the Department of Prisons declined to provide any additional information.
The offense for which Pistorius was convicted, his behavior and disciplinary history in prison, whether he participated in educational or other training courses, his mental and physical condition, whether he is likely to “relapse into crime,” and the risk he poses to the public are all things the board will take into account, per the rules.
Neo Mashele, a legal expert, said: “Generally speaking, the behaviour of the offender is the most important consideration.”
Julian Knight, Pistorius’s attorney for parole, had stated that the athlete has been a “model prisoner.”
As prosecutors appealed against an initial conviction for culpable homicide, which is similar to manslaughter, Pistorius, who is now 36, was ultimately found guilty of murder.
In 2017, after the prosecution appealed against a lower sentence, he was ultimately given a 13 years and five months sentence.
Serious criminal offenders in South Africa must complete at least half of their sentence before being eligible for parole. Pistorius has done that after accounting for the time he spent in custody beginning in late 2014 while his appeals were being reviewed.
He might be granted day parole, which would allow him to live and work in the community during the day but require him to report to the jail at night, or he might be granted full parole.
He might also be put under correctional monitoring, in which case he would be freed but would still have to spend some of his time during the week at a correctional center. Pistorius’s parole could be denied, where the board usually asks the offender to reapply at a later stage.
He had both his lower legs amputated as a baby and walks with prosthetics. The multiple Paralympic champion was once hailed as inspirational figure, but his murder trial and downfall captivated the world.
His crime eventually led to him being sent to Kgosi Mampuru II maximum security prison, one of South Africa’s most notorious. He was moved to Atteridgeville in 2016 because that facility is better suited to disabled prisoners.
Reports claim he had at one point grown a beard, gained weight, and taken up smoking, and was unrecognizable from the elite athlete who competed against able-bodied runners on his carbon-fiber blades at the 2012 London Olympics.
He has spent the majority of his time laboring and occasionally operating a tractor in an area of the prison grounds where vegetables are produced. Henke Pistorius, his father, claimed to be teaching bible studies to other prisoners in a 2018 interview.
There have also been brief periods of difficulty. In 2017, Pistorius was hurt during an incident with another prisoner over a pay phone. His family denied that the wrist wounds he had received treated a year earlier were the consequence of him hurting himself.
Since 2021, Pistorius has been requesting parole; however, a hearing scheduled for that year was postponed in part because he had not yet met with Mr. and Mrs. Steenkamp as part of a procedure called a victim-offender dialogue.
He alleges that he accidentally shot Ms. Steenkamp, 29, with his licensed firearm because he mistook her for a potential intruder.