Oscar Pistorius Verdict

Yesterday Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to 5 years in South African prison for the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He will have to serve 10 months of this sentence in jail and then will most likely be placed on house arrest for the rest of his sentence.

We asked some of our panel for their opinions on the sentence.  The vast majority thought that this sentence was too lenient with it showing that money and celebrity could result in a lighter sentence.  A few of the panel even felt that Oscar Pistorius should have been charged for murder and therefore found this sentence to be very light. Others felt that this sentence gave the wrong message to society about taking a life.

“It was probably too lenient, admittedly it was the equivalent of man slaughter rather than murder. But I still think it suggests that taking a human life, whether its by accident or on purpose doesn’t really hold a lot of value which I think is a really bad message to be sending to society.”   (Tom, 25, Truro)

A few of the panel were unsure of their opinions on the case and the verdict reached. A couple of the panel members felt that the South African legal system operates differently to the British system and is something that perhaps British people do not understand.

“I do not understand the British public’s obsession with crime. It didn’t even happen in this country, it has nothing to do with our justice system, no matter what sentence or verdict he receives, it makes no difference to our justice system what so ever because they are completely separate.”  (Hayley, 32, Lymm)