Prosecutors asked Pretoria’s High Court on Tuesday for leave to appeal the jail sentence handed to South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius, saying it was “shockingly light, considering that a life has been lost.” They also asked for permission to appeal his murder acquittal.
Pistorius was sentenced last month to five years in prison after a court convicted him of culpable homicide, or intentional killing, for shooting to death his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day last year.
Despite finding that he was a poor witness, the court accepted Pistorius' account, although it found that he was grossly negligent and hasty when he opened fire. He will be eligible to apply to serve out the remainder of his sentence at home after 10 months in jail.
"The accused, on his own version, realized that a shot could ricochet and even hit him," the prosecution papers said.
"The honorable judge erred in over-emphasizing the personal circumstances of the accused, and the fact that the accused was suffering from post-traumatic stress and 'seems remorseful,'" the prosecutors maintained. "Not enough emphasis was placed on the horrendous manner in which the deceased died, coupled with the gruesome injuries she sustained when the accused shot and killed her."
It is up to Masipa to rule on whether the appeal can go ahead. She has to be convinced that there is a reasonable chance that another court could find differently.
Pistorius' brother, Carl, tweeted recently that in Hebrew the word "Satan" means "prosecutor" or "accuser." The word is more commonly translated as "adversary."