THE STEENKAMPS ARE DEVASTATED
Although it won’t bring his daughter back, Barry Steenkamp told the court Pistorius had to pay for the crime he had committed. In harrowing testimony, Steenkamp described how at times he has stabbed himself with his diabetes needle to try to feel some of the pain that his daughter felt.
The court will take the parents’ anguish as well as their economical loss into account when making its decision.
Louw said the factor that needed to be brought in was the opinion of the victim. “And in this case, the victims are the Steenkamps.” THE LAW SETS THE BAR AT 15 YEARS
The law is very clear that the minimum sentence for the crime of murder is 15 years in jail. Judge Masipa can grant a lesser sentence if she feels there are “compelling circumstances”.
Nel pointed out to the court that “correctional supervision is not even close to the benchmark”.
Louw said: “Barry Steenkamp said he doesn’t want the maximum sentence – I think that’s going to carry weight with the judge. She will probably look for a midpoint, for example, eight years in prison.”
54heRoux said Pistorius has paid from the minute shot Steenkamp, and will pay for the rest of his life. “He has paid with his future, emotionally, with not being able to live with his chosen loved one, and financially ... He is a broken man.”
Louw said the court will likely take this into account, but since Masipa will be looking to create a balancing act between what all the parties want, it’s unlikely to be a good enough reason to give him an entirely suspended sentence. THERE WAS NO EVIL INTENT
A phrase that Roux kept going back to was “moral blameworthiness”. He repeatedly referred to the case of former rugby player Rudi “Vleis” Visagie, who accidentally shot and killed his daughter in 2004, believing her to be a car thief. Roux pointed out that the charges against Visagie were dropped.