Parole Board Rules on Oscar Pistorius

Parole is denied, with board finding he hasn't spent enough time in prison
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2023 9:57 AM CDT
Parole Board Rules on Oscar Pistorius
A view of the Atteridgeville Prison where Oscar Pistorius is being held, ahead of a parole hearing, in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, March 31, 2023.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Oscar Pistorius isn't getting out of prison anytime soon. The former Paralympic athlete serving a 13-year sentence for the 2013 murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was denied parole Friday following a hearing at Atteridgeville Prison outside Pretoria, South Africa. A lawyer for Steenkamp's parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, confirmed the decision, per the Guardian, saying it brought "a huge sense of relief for June." Arriving at the prison earlier Friday, Steenkamp's mother told reporters that she still didn't buy Pistorius' story that he fatally shot her daughter through a locked door, believing she was an intruder.

"I don't believe his story. I don't believe Oscar is remorseful … or rehabilitated," she said, per the BBC. Lawyer Tania Koen added neither June nor Barry believed he should be released. Defense attorney Mannie Witz said Pistorius had "an arguable case" for parole, though the Steenkamps could have challenged a ruling in his favor. Pistorius automatically became eligible for parole after serving half of his 13-year sentence. However, South Africa's Department of Correctional Services said in a statement that parole was denied because "the inmate did not complete the minimum detention period," per the Guardian.

The BBC cites "confusion over the timing of his sentence" given that Pistorius was sentenced twice. He was initially found guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, and sentenced to six years in prison in 2014. He was released under house arrest the following year. He was later convicted of murder and sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison in 2017. The parole board will again consider releasing the 36-year-old next year, the BBC reports. (More Oscar Pistorius stories.)

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