So the much talked about release of Oscar Pistorius from prison tomorrow (Friday 21) won’t be happening and the bladerunner will instead be staying behind bars for the foreseeable future. Pistorius was supposed to be transfered from jail into correctional supervision after serving a sixth of his 5 year sentence for killing Reeva Steenkamp, but the parole board has blocked his early release because of a technicality. Apparently the law states that you can only be considered for placement under correctional supervision AFTER you have served a sixth of your sentence which in his case is 10 months. The decision to have him released was made on June 5th 2015 when he had only served 6 months so there is no legal basis for that decision to be made.
So sorry Oscar, you will not be going to live with your uncle in a mansion in Pretoria.
He may not stay in prison for much longer though since it’s probably only a delay as the parole board may take months to review their decision or he could be released sooner. Earlier this week though, prosecutors filed court papers asking for the Pistorius conviction to be changed to murder where the minimum sentence is 15 yrs. His defence team has a month to respond.
If you’re interested in the actual law stuff here’s a section of the statement on why he won’t be released tomorrow from the ministry of Correctional Services.
“Upon perusal of the offenders profile, he established that Mr. Pistorius was sentenced to five years imprisonment in terms of section 276(1)(i) of the CPA. It is also evident that on the 5th June 2015 the CSPB considered him and took a decision to place him under correctional supervision on the 21st August 2015. We deem it prudent that we refer to the relevant section that deals with the process of placing an offender sentenced in terms of section 276 of the CPA.
Section 73(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act, Act 111 of 1998, states the following: ‘A person sentenced to incarceration under section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act, must serve at least one sixth of his or her sentence before being considered for placement under correctional supervisor, unless the court directs otherwise.
It is apparent therefore that the decision to release him on 21 August 2015 was made prematurely on 5 June 2015 when the offender was not eligible to be considered at all.
It is therefore clear that there is no legal basis upon which such a decision was made and is in contravention of Section 73 (7) (a) which requires him to have served one sixth of his five years sentence. One sixth of a five years sentence is 10 months and at the time the decision was made Mr. Pistorius had served only over six months of his sentence. It is important to state that the Minister cannot make a decision to approve or disapprove the CSPBs’ decision, except for offenders serving life sentences, as proposed by the said petition. However section 77(1) of the Correctional Services Act enables him to refer matters to the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review Board (CSPRB) for a review of the decision of the CSPB.”
Now you know.