Pistorius Denied Right to Appeal Murder Conviction

VOA News

A South African court has denied Olympian Oscar Pistorius the right to appeal his conviction for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

In its ruling Thursday, the Constitutional Court dismissed Pistorius’ application, saying there are no prospects of success. The ruling clears the way for a judge to sentence Pistorius on his murder conviction at a hearing set for April 18.

Pistorius has been free on bail since December, when judges found him guilty of murder, overturning an earlier conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Steenkamp.

Under the new murder conviction, he faces a minimum 15-year jail term that may be reduced due to time already spent in prison and the fact that he is a first-time offender.

Pistorius spent one year of a five-year sentence in jail for the lesser offense, then was put under house arrest in October 2015 at his uncle’s mansion in Pretoria.

The double-amputee athlete shot Steenkamp in February 2013.  At his trial, Pistorius said he mistook Steenkamp for a nighttime intruder when he fired four times through a bathroom door at his Pretoria home.