Oscar Pistorius Bail Hearing Today

Update: New thread with reports from hearing here.)

Oscar Pistorius will have a bail hearing Tuesday (shortly after midnight tonight ET. ) The controlling law is the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA).

Murder can be a class 5 or 6 offense. Premeditated Murder is a Class 6 offense.

Where an accused is been charged with an "extremely serious" schedule six offence, he may be released only if he produces evidence to satisfy the court that exceptional circumstances exist which, in the interests of justice, permit his release

His lawyers will argue he should be charged with the class 5 murder offense, which would make bail easier to obtain. [More....]

Where an accused is charged with a "serious" or schedule five offence, he may be released only if he produces evidence to satisfy the court that the interests of justice permit his release.

One thing that will make bail tougher to get: If the court believes he's a suicide risk. South Africa considers both risk of the flight and risk of dangerousness to the community and individuals.

As to future proceedings, South Africa does not provide for a jury trial:

South Africa’s court system is rooted in Roman-Dutch law; a single judge hears the case and makes the ruling. Sometimes the judge has advisers, who often help review evidence, but there is no jury.

The penalty for premeditated murder is life in prison but there is parole. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

Already, the media reports divergent accounts of basic facts: This account has one shot fired in the bedroom, hitting her in the hip, and the remaining three in the bathroom. Another has all four shots being fired through the bathroom door. I'm discounting all of them until the prosecution lays out its theory at the bail hearing.

About the gun that went off in a restaurant last month, his friend Kevin Lerena says:

"I must emphasise that the gun belonged to one of Pistorius' friends - I'm not going to mention his name. Oscar just wanted to look at the gun, and it sort of snagged on his pants, releasing the safety catch.

"A shot went off. I wouldn't call him negligent, it was just an accident. He apologised to me for days afterwards," Lerena said.

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  • Display: Sort:
    "Pistorius" Jeralyn, not Pretorius... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:16:42 PM EST
    the city in South Africa is Pretoria; maybe that's what you're thinking of.

    thanks, fixed now (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:50:35 PM EST
    The Stories are all over the road (none / 0) (#2)
    by bmaz on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:47:43 PM EST
    I don't trust any of them yet, but the one constant seems to be four shots. Two things were put in the mix yesterday that, if turn out to be true, do not bode well for Pistorius.

    First, Steenkamp may have been in the house for quite some time and appears to have been shot while in a Teddy with evidence they had been in bed together. Second, there may be evidence of of skull damage and a cricket bat with blood evidence on it.

    Not sure how much I buy those two "new revelations"; it is clearly an international media free for all at this point, with a sick thirst for anything new, and that is not a condition conducive to sound hypothesizing. So, we shall see; but it is a depressing situation all the way around.

    and only the multiple shots (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:52:41 PM EST
    comes from the police, the rest is from media working off unnamed sources. That's why I'm waiting for the hearing, rather than spreading the gossip.

    I think the risk of suicide will be (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:57:49 PM EST
    a factor at bail. If he's a danger to himself, that might be a reason for denying bond.

    If denied bond, he moves to a prison from the jail. He's in a really tough spot, I hope he gets bail. Maybe his defense can offer up 24 hour medical/psychological care to allay concerns over this. I have no idea if that would be allowed though.

    Further, I would look at th Pistorius case ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:39:50 PM EST
    ... as perhaps the most prominent criminal court proceeding of a white Afrikaaner in post-Apartheid South Africa. I think the Pretoria court will probably bend over backward to be perceived by the South African public, and particularly by the Afrikaaner community, as being fair to the defendant.

    Just doesn't make sense (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jack203 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:49:47 PM EST
    By all accounts they were going pretty strong.

    My first impressions with little concrete information in front of me, I'm leaning strongly towards an accident.

    But that can change quickly after this upcoming bail hearing.  

    Pistorius must surely have known R's whereabouts.. (none / 0) (#11)
    by goilwell on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:16:47 PM EST

    before he went to investigate the "noise he heard".

    Reminds me of:

    "The Killer awoke before Dawn.  He put his "legs" on,and then he walked seven meters on down the Hall.  "Raveena, I want to kill you".