Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius speaks with relatives after sentencing at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, on July 6, 2016.
Marco Longari-Pool/Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but some are already criticizing the ruling, saying it was far too lenient, the Associated Press reports.

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According to the report, the sentence for murder is a far cry from the more typical 15 years dictated by South African law.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said during the sentencing that there are "substantial and compelling circumstances" in support of leniency for Pistorius because he is a "good candidate for rehabilitation," is not likely to commit another crime and had shown remorse over Steenkamp's death.

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According to the report, the former athlete will be able to apply for parole after three years. Prosecutors who had asked for the full 15-year term can appeal, but  they have not yet commented on whether they will.

"The family accepts the judgment," a spokeswoman for the Pistorius family said outside the courthouse, according to AP.

Steenkamp's family did not comment on the relatively light sentence; their representative said, "The family has said it before [that] they wanted the law to run its course. It has done so. No further comment. They will keep a dignified silence."

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