Oscar Pistorius Guilty Of Culpable Homicide – What Happens Next?

Oscar Pistorius Guilty Of Culpable Homicide - What Happens Next?


by Zoe Beaty |
Published on

**UPDATE: Oscar Pistorius will return to court for a sentencing hearing on October 13. Judge Masipa granted him bail following this morning's short hearing.


**The verdict is in: Oscar Pistorius has been cleared of murdering his former girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day last year - but found guilty of culpable homicide. Judge Masipa asked Pistorius to stand whilst she delivered the verdict in Pretoria's High Court this morning, whilst friends of his victim sobbed in the public gallery.

Judge Masipa also found him guilty of neglience in regards to one firearms charge relating to Tashas restaurant, but cleared him of both murder charges, and two other firearms incidents which she said the state failed to prove he was guilty of. But what happens now?

1. Will He Get Bail?

Since he has been convicted of this charge, his previous bail has expired. Shortly after the verdicts were delivered, Pistorius was led - without handcuffs - down into holding cells whilst his lawyer, Brian Webber, makes an application for bail. Webber says that he will only remain in the cells for the duration of this break, whilst the judge makes her decision.

2. When Will Sentencing Be?

Now that that verdict has been delivered, we must wait for a sentencing hearing. Following the judge's decision on bail, Oscar will either spend the time before this in jail, or at his home - an annex on his Uncle's house, since he sold all of his assets earlier this year - and under much stricter bail conditions. Before the sentencing hearing, both the defence and prosecution could be allowed to bring witnesses to testify in front of the judge to aide her decision on his sentence. This means that Pistorius could end up speaking from the dock again.

READ MORE: Oscar Pistorius Verdict - The Questions You're Still Asking

3. Will He Go To Jail?

There's no telling at the moment what the sentence is likely to be - under South African law, culpable homicide can carry a sentence of anything from a non-custodial sentence - a fine - to up to 15 years in prison. It's worth noting that Judge Masipa is known for cracking down on offenders - she once dealt out a 252-year jail sentence to a serial rapist - but is also a big supporter of rehabilitation for young offenders.

The charge in this case pivots on negligence, which accounts for a full spectrum of situations from failing to change smoke alarm batteries leading to death. In Pistorius' case, it could be that his sentence is on the higher end of the sentencing scale, especially since Masipa noted in her judgement that Pistorius acted "hastily and used excessive force". She also said that Pistorius made a "conscious decision" to pick up a gun and knew the difference between right and wrong, which will likely go against him during sentencing.

However, some are speculating that he may be walk away from jail altogether or in just a few years, meaning that he could potentially pick up his sporting career.

READ MORE: Inside The Oscar Pistorius Trial - What The Cameras Don't Show You

4. Will He Get Special Treatment If He Goes To Jail?

There's been a lot of speculation as to whether Pistorius might be given special treatment because of his fame and disability, should he go to prison. Both could work for and against him. South African law states that offenders must be jailed at the prison closest to their home - in Pistorius' case, this is Pretoria's Kgosi Mumouru prison (previously Pretoria Central Prison). It's a maximum security jail which has gained notriety since it holds South Africa's most dangerous criminals - like murderers and gang members.

It's been mooted that he may not be able to keep his prosthetic legs, as they could be considered a weapon in prison. A decision will be made on this during sentencing - but if he should have to use a wheelchair to serve his time, he might be given better living conditions and a private cell.

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