PRETORIA, South Africa — -- The judge deliberating Oscar Pistorius' fate is considering several charges ranging from murder to illegal possession of ammunition.
Here is the list of charges Pistorius faces and the possible penalties if found guilty:
- Murder for the shooting death of Steenkamp. The minimum prescribed sentence for murder in South Africa is a life term - which translates into a 25 years imprisonment. Should Judge Masipa deviate from this minimum prescribed sentence, she would have to provide compelling reasons for that decision.
If he is found guilty of murder without premeditation, or culpable homicide, he could receive a 15 year sentence as a first time offender. Mitigating factors, such as his emotional state, anxiety levels and disability could result in a lesser sentence.
If convicted, Pistorius could be sentenced to five years in prison, although the judge is allowed to use her discretion when handing down sentence.
Judge Thokozile Masipa has the discretion to order that any or all of the sentences should run concurrently or separately. In a worst case scenario, Pistorius could spend up to 40 years in prison, but this would be highly unusual as sentences ordinarily run concurrently, which would translate into Pistorius being sentenced to an effective 25 years behind bars.