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Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole in Girlfriend’s Murder Case

Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole in Girlfriend’s Murder Case

Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole in Girlfriend’s Murder Case

Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole in Girlfriend’s Murder Case

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  • Oscar Pistorius granted early release after 10 years for girlfriend’s shooting.
  • Parole board sets release on January 5, citing social reintegration readiness.
  • June Steenkamp skeptical about Pistorius’s rehabilitation, forgives but doesn’t believe him.
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Former Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has been granted early release from prison, ten years after the tragic shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The parole board, responsible for assessing his readiness for social reintegration, has decided to release the 37-year-old athlete on January 5, according to the Department of Correctional Services.

“Mr. Pistorius will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections and will be subjected to supervision in compliance with parole conditions until his sentence expires”.

During the parole hearing, Steenkamp’s mother expressed her skepticism about the ex-athlete’s rehabilitation, stating that she did not believe he had genuinely shown remorse.

“Rehabilitation requires someone to engage honestly, with the full truth of his crime and the consequences thereof. Nobody can claim to have remorse if they’re not able to engage fully with the truth,” June Steenkamp said in a statement to the board.

However, her spokesperson informed the board that she did not oppose parole for Pistorius. The hearing, which took place at a correctional center near Pretoria where Pistorius is currently held, marked his second attempt at parole in less than eight months.

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His initial bid in March was unsuccessful, as the board determined that Pistorius had not completed the minimum required detention period for release.

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Last month, the Constitutional Court ruled that this decision was a mistake, leading to a new parole hearing.

In the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, Pistorius, globally recognized as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fiber prosthetics, fatally shot Steenkamp by firing four times through the bathroom door of his heavily secured Pretoria residence.

Following a lengthy trial and multiple appeals, he was convicted of murder in 2017 and received a 13-year jail sentence.

Pistorius had consistently pleaded not guilty, asserting that he mistakenly believed Steenkamp was a burglar and did not kill her in a fit of rage.

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My child ‘screamed for life’

June Steenkamp expressed her disbelief in his claims, stating that she does not believe him.

“I do not believe Oscar’s version,” she said in her submission to the board that was read to the media outside the detention center by a family spokesman.

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“My dear child screamed for her life loud enough for the neighbors to hear her. I do not know what gave rise to his choice to shoot through a closed door four times at somebody with hollow-point ammunition when I believe he knew it was Reeva.”

Nevertheless, she said she forgave the former sprinter “long ago, as I knew most certainly that I would not be able to survive if I had to cling to my anger.”

As part of his rehabilitation, Pistorius met Steenkamp’s parents last year, in a process authorities said aims to ensure inmates “acknowledge the harm they have caused”.

June Steenkamp was not in attendance at the parole hearing on Friday; instead, she was represented by a family spokesperson and a lawyer. Barry Steenkamp, Reeva’s father, passed away in September at the age of 80.

“I’ve no doubt that he died of a broken heart,” the widow said in her statement.

According to family spokesman Rob Matthews, attending the proceedings would be exceptionally challenging for June Steenkamp, considering the recent difficulties she has faced.

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“It’s been a real tough road that June has travelled… in March there was a parole hearing and it took all her courage to attend that,” he said.

In South Africa, offenders are typically considered for parole after serving half of their sentence automatically.

The parole board, comprised of correctional services and community members, evaluates whether the inmate remains a threat to society, taking into consideration the gravity of the offense and the individual’s conduct during incarceration.

If granted, release often involves certain conditions, including monitoring by authorities and the obligation to report to a community correction center.

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