Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympic and Olympic runner, was released from prison on October 20, 2019 after serving 9 years for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was initially sentenced to a 5-year prison term for culpable homicide in 2014, but this was later upgraded to a 13-year sentence for murder in 2017, and he was later released after the Supreme Court of Appeals in South Africa reduced the sentence to 10 years, with eligibility for parole after 9 years.
Pistorius was released from the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria. During his prison sentence, Pistorius reportedly had access to counselling, therapeutic facilities, a gym and a library. He was also granted leave to attend his grandmother’s funeral, and permission to attend church services.
Pistorius has maintained his innocence through the entire process, claiming that he shot Steenkamp by mistake, believing her to be an intruder in their home. However, prosecutors said it was a “calculated” killing “born out of anger [and] jealousy”. The South African National Prosecuting Authority has argued that he should remain in jail for at least 15-years if released.
It is unclear at this time what will happen to Pistorius now that he has been released, but he has requested permission from the High Court for his release to house arrest, citing his physical disability as an argument for why he should be allowed this special dispensation. It is up to the parole board to decide whether or not to grant this request.