Kevin Pietersen feels Oscar Pistorius deserved a greater punishment
Kevin Pietersen has expressed his displeasure at the 6-year prison sentence for Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. Pietersen’s use of ‘pathetic’ and ‘shambles’ to describe the judgement clearly shows his resentment with the leniency of the verdict.
He had initially been sentenced to 5 years in prison for manslaughter but the verdict was overturned in December as he was convicted of murder. At that time too, the South Africa-born Pietersen had cheered on the overturned verdict and expressed his support via a tweet.
Judge Thokozile Masipa has received criticism from many quarters due to the supposedly lenient sentencing but has explained that her judgement was based on mitigating circumstances, such as rehabilitation and remorse, rather than aggravating factors, such as his failure to fire a warning shot. The minimum prescribed sentence for murder is 15 years in South Africa.
The English batsman, currently out of favour with the national selectors, has been closely following the trial and at one point had even tweeted his support for the victim’s father while suggesting that Pistorius should be imprisoned. When asked his opinion about potential abuse that the prisoner could face in jail, Pietersen had played it with a straight bat saying that in this case, Pistorius was not the victim, but Reeva Steenkamp’s family is and hence he has no concern in Pistorius’ story.
Responding to criticism that he should have sympathised with Oscar Pistorius, Pietersen again reminded via tweet that he was a convicted murderer and as such deserved, not sympathy, but punishment. He has always expressed his views about wanting to see Pistorius get a stern sentencing for his crime.
The sentence is open to appeal but Pistorius’ lawyers have said that he will serve the prescribed sentence and would only appeal if the prosecution asked for it. Many legal experts have suggested that the 6-year prison term is an insult to the victim’s family and that the judge has been swayed by empathy for the athlete.
"The judge was sympathetic and empathetic to Pistorius. It was clear in the tone of her entire judgement," one said. There has also been widespread anger and criticism of the judgement on social media with many terming it as a message of leniency to would-be offenders.