Oscar Pistorius Sentencing Hearing Begins in Murder Case

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Oscar Pistorius returned to court on Monday for the conclusion of his highly publicized murder trial. A judge will hear arguments from both the defense and prosecution and is expected to hand down a sentence later this week.

The National Prosecuting Authority has said it wants the South African athlete to spend a minimum of 15 years in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door at his Pretoria home in February 2013.

Pistorius was initially sent to jail for five years for culpable homicide. He spent a year behind bars in Pretoria before being granted parole and was released last October.

Months later, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the culpable homicide conviction, ruling that a lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis. Pistorius’ attempt to overturn the upgraded murder conviction failed earlier this year, necessitating a new sentencing hearing.

The hearing will be presided over by Judge Thokozile Masipa, the trial judge who originally convicted Pistorius of culpable homicide.

Prosecutors will push for the maximum sentence. Three witnesses are expected to testify though it’s unlikely that Pistorius himself will be called to the stand a second time.

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