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Oscar Pistorius Case: Prosecutors to Appeal 6-Year Jail Sentence for Murder

by Alastair Jamieson and Chapman Bell /  / Updated 
Image: Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius arrives in court on Wednesday.MARCO LONGARI / AFP - Getty Images

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Prosecutors in South Africa said they plan to appeal Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, calling it "shockingly" lenient.

The double-amputee Paralympic champion was sentenced on July 6 for the Valentine's Day 2013 killing at his home.

Prosecutors had sought 15 years in prison — the prescribed minimum sentence for murder in South Africa — but the judge cited mitigating circumstances in Pistorius' case to giving him a lesser sentence.

The country’s National Prosecuting Authority announced it would file appeal papers on Thursday.

“We respectfully submit that the sentence … is disproportionate … shockingly too lenient, and has accordingly resulted in an injustice,” the NPA announced.

Image: Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius sits in court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Wednesday.Long / Getty Images

The filing will mark the second time the athlete’s case has been appealed by prosecutors.

Pistorius was initially acquitted of murder — telling his trial that he shot Steenkamp by accident after mistaking her for an intruder — but later convicted after the state challenged that verdict.

Steenkamp’s parents, meanwhile, said they were focused on launching a non-profit in their daughter's name to campaign against domestic violence.

“June and Barry have always fully supported [prosecution lawyer] Gerrie Nel and his team’s fight for justice for Reeva,” they said in a statement. “As they have no input in the decision of the state to appeal, they are focusing their energy on the upcoming official media launch of The Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation.”

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