Former Paralympian champion Oscar Pistorius has been denied parole and will not be released early from the 13-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. According to Sky News, Pistorius made an unsuccessful application for early release after already serving half of his prison term. The ‘Blade Runner’ will be eligible to apply for early release again in August 2024.
The denial of parole comes as a huge sense of relief for the Steenkamp family who have been through a lot since Reeva’s untimely death. Tania Koen, the lawyer for the Steenkamp family confirmed the news, stating that “parole has been denied, they will reconvene in a year to reconsider him again, and we don’t know the reasons yet (for the denial)…I’ve just received a call from the parole board.”
Parole in South Africa is a process of restorative justice, which gives the victims of a crime an opportunity to reconcile with the perpetrator or receive an apology. Pistorius was initially found guilty of manslaughter over Steenkamp’s death in 2013 and was sentenced to five years in jail. However, the state appealed the verdict and the sentence in 2015, and Pistorius was found guilty of murder. As a result, a longer sentence of 13 years and 5 months was passed.
The denial of parole for Oscar Pistorius comes as a relief to many who have followed the case and believe that justice has been served. The decision also highlights the importance of the restorative justice system in South Africa, which ensures that the victims of a crime are given a voice and an opportunity to reconcile with the perpetrator. While Pistorius may have to serve out the remainder of his sentence, the Steenkamp family can finally find closure and move on with their lives.