Attorney Anne Bremner on the potential defense arguments in the Oscar Pistorius murder case.
I have been watching the comments by US legal experts with interest regarding the Pistorius bail application. Although the comments are salient, there are important differences between the SA criminal legal system and the US system. This morning Mr Sherman made a reference to the fact that a comment by the magistrate( not a judge) that because the prosecutor made an allegation that the alleged murder might be pre- meditated, that it might reflect on Mr Pistorius's constitutional right to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty. Not so at all, in SA, there are different schedules under which criminal acts like murder are classified, and if pre-meditated murder is the charge, the onus shifts to the accused to prove why he should receive bail under the specific circumstances. This will not affect the presumption of innocence at all during he trial. I am a SA attorney and English solicitor currently living in Charlotte, N.C,and preparing for the US bar exam, and have done a fair amount of criminal defense work, inclusive of murder trials.
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