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October 27, 2014

Prosecutors in South Africa indicate they plan to appeal Pistorius outcome

As reported in this article, headlined "South Africa prosecutors to appeal against Pistorius sentence," it appears that the Blade Runner is not done running from serious legal difficulties. Here are the bascis:

South Africa’s state prosecutor plans to appeal against Oscar Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction and five-year prison sentence for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, it said on Monday.

Nathi Mncube, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, said the NPA expected to file papers in the next few days. Until the papers were filed, it would not announce the grounds for appeal, it said.

But Pistorius’s conviction for culpable homicide has drawn criticism from some legal commentators. After the athlete, a double-amputee who starred at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, was sentenced last week, there was more controversy when lawyers said he could serve as little as 10 months, or a sixth of the five-year term.

In South Africa, an appeal can only be made on a matter of law, “where we think . . . the judge made an error in interpretation and in the manner in which she applied the law to the facts”, Mr Mncube said.

Pistorius had been charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, four times through the locked toilet door in a bathroom at his home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year.   But Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that the prosecution failed to show Pistorius had intent to kill, while saying there was “no basis on which this court could make inferences of why the accused would want to kill the deceased”. Instead, she appeared to believe Pistorius’s version of events, despite describing the 27-year-old as a “poor” and “evasive” witness.

October 27, 2014 at 03:38 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Can the prosecutor petition President of HCA if Masipa rejects leave? She is not independent and conflicted. She has already shown an inclination to attempt to correct her verdict judgement after criticism on the first day of reading. Second day she adds " or any other person for that matter" but rationale remains which only relates to deceased not a non-deceased perceived intruder ie because he thought R was in the bedroom. Irrelevant as a reason he didn't forsee the death of a person. She cites law on transferred malice not relevant but it not relevant to mistaken identity for DE. She adds case law on don't assume forsaw just because he should have. This smacks of verdict protection, reasoning and justification on the run. Hardly the kind of person you want having the final word on leave to appeal. I'm a lawyer.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 30, 2014 11:09:35 PM

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