Olympian Charged with Murder, Released on $688 Bail

Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius, the famous South African who became known as the first double amputee sprinter to compete in the able-bodied Olympics, is now also known as a convicted murderer. Pistorius killed his girlfriend in an incident in their home in 2013 and was first found guilty of culpable homicide. After serving one year of his 5 year sentence, South African prosecutors appealed his sentence and convicted him of murder in 2015. As Pistorius agreed to wait for the remainder of his trial under house arrest, he was considered a low flight risk, and a judge set his bail at $688.

Bail in the U.S. is also set by a judge. Many factors surrounding the charges are taken into account and this influences the amount that bail will be set at, or in extreme cases, if it will be allowed at all. Judges examine the nature of the charges, who the crime was committed against, where the crime was committed, and most importantly, if the defendant would threaten the safety of the community if released or if they would likely flee before trial.

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