Masipa may have misdirected herself - Nel

Gerrie Nel says the appeal is no insult to Masipa but another court may set a harsher sentence on Pistorius.

FILE: Judge Thokozile Masipa reads her judgement during sentencing of Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria on 21 October 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - The State has argued an appeal court may impose a harsher sentence on Oscar Pistorius, saying that Judge Thokozile Masipa may have misdirected herself.

The former athlete was initially convicted of culpable homicide for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013 and sentenced to five years in prison but the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled he should be convicted of murder and be re-sentenced.

Last month, Masipa sentenced Pistorius to six years in jail which the State says is lenient.

Advocate Gerrie Nel says the State's appeal is no insult to Masipa but he believes another court may come to a different decision.

Nel says a six-year-jail sentence for murder is shockingly lenient. He says Pistorius formed the intention to shoot when he armed himself in the bedroom.

Nel says the fact that Pistorius thought the person behind the door was an intruder does not make the crime less serious.

He has again raised concerns about the former athlete choosing not to testify during sentencing argument.

In his argument, Advocate Barry Roux says the case has been exhausted and Pistorius has been punished again and again.

Roux argued Pistorius has been sentenced to an effective eight years in prison if his first year behind bars and house arrest are taken into consideration, saying this is far from lenient.

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