Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Olympic runner, has been sentenced to five years in prison for his culpable homicide conviction in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius Sentenced

Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down Pistorius’ five year sentence for Steenkamp’s death on Tuesday. Masipa also delivered a suspended three-year sentence for a firearms charge. Under South African law, Pistorius will have to serve – at minimum – one-sixth of his 5-year sentence. After 10 months, the athlete can ask to be placed under correction supervision, which would likely mean house arrest.

"I am of the view that a noncustodial sentence would send a wrong message to the community," Masipa said, explaining the sentencing. "On the other hand, a long sentence would not be appropriate, either, as it would lack the element of mercy."

Upon hearing Masipa’s decision, prosecution spokesperson Nathi Mncube stated that while the prosecution was disappointed that Pistorius had not been convicted of murder, they were pleased that he was receiving prison time. The decision about whether or not to appeal Masipa’s decision has yet to be made.

"We have not made up our minds whether we're going to appeal it or not," Mncube said. "We are satisfied with the fact that he will be serving some time in prison.”

Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. Throughout the highly publicized trial, Pistorius maintained that he had shot through the bathroom door in his Pretoria, South Africa home, mistaking Steenkamp for an intruder. Part of Pistorius' defense was that the Olympian felt vulnerable, as he did not have his prosthetics on at the time. The prosecution, however, painted Pistorius as a jealous boyfriend with a short fuse who purposely shot to kill Steenkamp.

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