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February 21st, 2013
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Criminal defense attorney Ted Simon: Pistorius will likely get bail, and here's why


Pretoria, South Africa (CNN) - Sounds of arguing for an hour before the shooting. Blood stains on a cell phone and cricket bat. Boxes of testosterone and needles.

The shape of prosecutors' case against Oscar Pistorius began to come into focus Wednesday as they argued the Olympian charged with killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, should be denied bail because he might disappear if released from jail.

But the Olympic sprinter's defense team battled back, questioning the quality of the police investigation.

The bail hearing ended Wednesday with no decision. Final arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning.

This morning on "Starting Point," criminal defense attorney Ted Simon, who has represented Amanda Knox, talks with Soledad and the show team about the intricacies of the justice system in South Africa, and why the question of bail is so delicate. He also explains why he thinks Pistorius will ultimately be granted bail.

"When you look at the question of bail, even though there is a burden on the defendant in a premeditated case to show exceptional circumstances, I think this substantially adversely affected that the quality of the prosecution's case. That's why he likely will be given bail," Simon says.

Simon also addresses why the bail hearing has become so important in the case.

"The critical question is this: normally there's a presumption of innocence and the question of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which they have there. The burden always stays in the prosecution, just like here. But in bail cases, and particularly in murder cases, the burden shifts to the defendant. In a murder case, it's considered a schedule 5. A premeditated case is considered a schedule 6," Simon says.

"In addition to showing the person is not a flight risk and not a danger to the community or any person and not going to interfere with the prosecution's case, they also want to show it's in the interests of justice, which is a lesser standard if it's a schedule 5," Simon adds. "But if it's a schedule 6 premeditated murder, they must show exceptional circumstances. And that is why they offered an affidavit in the case that both showed he would not interfere with the prosecution, that he would not flee, he was not going to endanger anyone, and also it was in the interest of justice, and they sought to attack the premeditated nature of the case to drop it to a schedule 5."

See more from Simon's interview on "Starting Point" this morning.

READ MORE: Defense questions investigation in Pistorius case

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Bulk power

    Corrupt white people and they expect people to believe in the justice system

    February 23, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse | Reply

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