Handicapped sprinter Oscar Pistorius was granted bail in the case of shooting and killing his girlfriend. The ruling magistrate took two hours to lay out a meticulous case for releasing him on bond, finally agreeing that Pistorius is not a flight risk. According to a Feb. 22 CNN News article, the judge ruled that the prosecution failed to show that Pistorius would flee or had a propensity toward violence. He is also extremely famous and has essential ties to his home in South Africa. Pistorius also needs regular care for his legs and prosthetic devices.
His bail was set at $114,500 or 1,000,000 Rand, a relatively low bail. Pistorius must give up his passports and guns and cannot drink alcohol. He must check in at a police station twice a week and cannot return to his home.
Pistorius, age 26, faces charges that he committed the premeditated Valentines Day murder of Reeva Steenkamp, age 29. Both sides agree that he killed Steenkamp, but Pistorius says he mistook her for an intruder. The magistrate also agreed that the prosecution made many errors and conceded many points during the bail hearings.
The lead investigator was removed from the case after a shocking revelation that he, himself was under attempted murder charges. The defense also made a convincing argument that police may have contaminated the scene and had rushed to claim premeditation without any investigation. The police also made mistakes like leaving a bullet at the scene and failing to check the call records from two cell phones that were in the home.
According to South Africa Info, the South African legal system does not have juries. Prosecutors charged Pistorius with a Schedule 6 offense. This is the highest level of criminal offense. Under a Schedule 6 charge, Pistorius could spend 25 years in jail before a possibility of parole. His case could be reduced to a Schedule 5 offense if premeditation is removed from the accusation.