Oscar Pistorius Could Still Get A Life Sentence

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The Oscar Pistorius case is nearing its dramatic conclusion. The latest developments have left a number of onlookers stunned.

Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. He has since claimed that it was an accidental killing.

According to the 27-year-old athlete he and Steenkamp had not been arguing at the time of her death as the prosecution claimed. Pistorius said that he fired four shots through his bathroom door at what he thought was an intruder.

Pistorius was then arrested and charged with the 29-year-old woman’s murder.

On Thursday Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that Pistorius was not guilty of the crime of murder.

When Friday came, Masipa instead declared the former Olympian guilty of culpable homicide. In the United States, this would be equivalent to a manslaughter conviction.

Pistorius’s family was thankful to see him evade a murder conviction.

"We never had any doubt in Oscar's version of this tragic incident," said Arnold Pistorius, the athlete's uncle. "It won't bring Reeva back, but our hearts go out to her family and friends."

Steenkamp's family and friends find themselves reeling from the possibility that the man they believe murdered their loved one could get away with it.

Despite differing emotions on both sides, it's still too soon to say for certain what the final outcome will be.

Pistorius will return to court on October 13th for sentencing. Masipa has a long history of coming down hard on men who are violent with women.

His “negligent” actions, as she called them, may convince her to award him the maximum punishment available: 15 years in prison.

It’s also possible that Oscar Pistorius could be heavily fined and sent home.

The lighter the punishment for this serious offense, the greater the likelihood that lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel may go a route not available to legal authorities in the United States.

Nel has the option of re-trying Pistorius for murder. In order to make this happen however, he must prove that Masipa was incorrect in her interpretation of the law.

If Masipa fails to hand down the maximum punishment, should the prosecution retry Pistorius for murder? Share your opinion below!