Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide (manslaughter) of his partner, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2014.
He was jailed, but in 2015, the case was reopened as it was found that judge Thokozile Masipa had made a grave error in judgement during Pistorius’ trial. His charge was upgraded to murder, and he has remained in correctional supervision (house arrest) since.
Now, the first day of his re-sentencing has happened overnight and Pistorius’ legal team have taken a different tact, stating that the former athlete has become exceedingly depressed and therefore should not be jailed.
They are arguing for leniency, saying the athlete is experiencing “major depression”, with defence witness Dr Jonathon Scholz saying a jail term would not be “constructive”.
“Since the offence he has developed a serious psychiatric condition which has become worse over the past two years,” he told the court.
The doctor suggested that Pistorius do community service so that he could help others, and that he’d had a job offer as a project manager in an early childhood development program at his uncle’s company.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel rebuked Scholz’ account of the defendant’s mental illness, arguing that he had shown no remorse through the trial and only regretted the effect that killing Ms Steenkamp had on his own life.
Pistorius currently faces a jail term of 15 years, which may be reduced by time already spent in prison and some other factors.
The hearing is expected to last all week.
Photo: Charlie Shoemaker / Getty.