Why the Oscar Pistorius Sentence is Heartbreaking

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How does it happen that a man gets sentenced to six years in jail for killing a woman. Where on earth does something like that happen? Yet we see just that in the Oscar Pistorius trial. This is a man who was tried for murder and found guilty. There was no doubt by the time the trial was over, that he was guilty. And he’s getting away with what is no more than a rap on the wrist.


Oscar Pistorius in court


Oscar Pistorius was sentenced yesterday for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. He was sentenced to six years in jail by Judge Thokozile Masipe.

I have followed the Oscar Pistorius trial from a distance, waiting to see how it would all turn out. I listened to his defense, which I thought was preposterous. I watched as the case was changed from manslaughter to outright murder. I sat, silently watching as the athlete cried on public TV, without looking one bit remorseful about taking the life of such a beautiful woman. We watched it all. To think that it ends this way makes my blood boil.


Why Oscar Pistorius’ sentence is so troubling


It is difficult to say how this man could get away with murder. And that is exactly what he is doing. Just as someone tweeted, by the time he is 35, he will be a free man. Reeva Steenkamp on the other hand, would still be dead.



I think of the beautiful woman whose life was cut short for no sensible reason, and I feel heartbroken. It is difficult to understand what her family must be going through at a time like this. Imagine that someone murders your loved one, and you do not even have the satisfaction of justice.

Scrolling through tweets with the hashtag #oscarpistorius it is easy to feel the outrage on social media. Several words are being bandied around. Troubling words like White privilege and racism.

Piers Morgan’s tweet is exactly what I’m talking about.


Piers Morgan on Oscar Pistorius sentence

It is quite unnerving to think that Oscar Pistorius’ fame and race might have helped him walk all over justice. It is not what we want to think. We have fought hard to have a justice system that is to a large degree, fair. Unfortunately, this sentence negates everything we believe in. Everything we’ve hoped for.

Today as I watched the Judge announce the six year sentence for Oscar Pistorius, I knew without a doubt that we had indeed failed Reeva Steenkamp and women like her.

Reeva Steenkamp Oscar Pistorius


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