South Africa's Oscar Pistorius at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Pistorius, jailed for the killing of his girlfriend, could be released to house arrest in August. File Photo by UPI/Hugo Philpott | License Photo
Cape Town, South Africa South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, jailed for the killing of his girlfriend, could be released to house arrest in August.
According to the Correctional Services of South Africa, a parole board has approved a decision to allow Pistorius to leave prison under supervision on Aug. 21, 10 months after he was sentenced for killing Reeva Steenkamp.
Steenkamp's family, in a letter to the parole board, said "10 months for taking a life is simply not enough."
"We have forgiven Mr Pistorius even though he took the life of our precious daughter, Reeva. Our lives will never be the same as we live with the sadness of her death every day. Reeva had so much to offer this world and we were all robbed of her life when she was killed. As her family, we do not seek to avenge her death and we do not want Mr. Pistorius to suffer; that will not bring her back to us. However, a person found guilty of a crime must be held accountable for their actions."
An unnamed relative of Steenkamp said, "Oscar will be released on parole by the end of August," Sky News reported Monday.
Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison on Oct. 21 for killing Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013 in the bathroom of his home. Judge Thokozile Masipa had acquitted Pistorius of murder but found him guilty of culpable homicide in September.
Under South African law, parole can be considered after one-sixth of a sentence -- in Pistorius' case 10 months -- is served.
"The CSPB (Correctional services Parole Board) has approved that Pistorius be placed under correctional supervision, as a probationer," a statement from the parole board read on Monday. "In line with the provisions of both the Criminal Procedure and Correctional Services Acts, the family of the victim was invited and participated in the deliberations of the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board."
At the time of the sentencing, prosecutors called Masipa's decision "shockingly light and inappropriate." The prosecution has also questioned Masipa's original verdict and an appeal has been scheduled for November.
A minimum of 15 years in prison would have been the sentence if Pistorius was found guilty of murder.
Pistorius maintained the shooting was an accident, believing he was firing into the bathroom at an intruder. The prosecution countered that the double- amputee runner knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom and fired four shots after the two had argued during the evening.
Judge Masipa ruled that prosecutors did not prove that he shot Steenkamp intentionally.
Steenkamp, who was 29 years old, was a model and reality television star in South Africa.
Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner," made history at the London Olympics in 2012 when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Games. He had both legs amputated before he was a year old after being born without fibula bones and runs on prosthetic blades.