Legal Team Says Oscar Pistorius Retrial Would Expose Him To Double Jeopardy

The State has applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa to retry the former Paralympic star, Oscar Pistorius, on a charge of murder rather than culpable homicide. However, the defense is arguing that Pistorius would then be exposed to double jeopardy, which is not permissible in law.

Oscar Pistorius was charged with culpable homicide and is currently serving a five-year sentence for shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

According to IOL, the State does not agree with the culpable homicide verdict made by Judge Thokozile Masipa and is appealing that verdict, saying she misinterpreted the law when ruling Pistorius did not intentionally kill Steenkamp.

The Pistorius defense team, led by Advocate Barry Roux, has now produced a 40-plus page argument against the State, stating that prosecutors are trying to reintroduce a “failed case,” and were in effect attacking the court’s findings and not questions of law.

According to the defense, Judge Masipa correctly interpreted the law and the State had failed to prove Oscar Pistorius did not have a “genuine subjective belief of danger” when he shot Steenkamp four times through the locked bathroom door. They say at the time, Pistorius feared that the person inside the room was an intruder in the house.

Roux says that should the court order a retrial, Pistorius would, in effect, be again charged with murder, despite the fact that he was acquitted on that charge before. Roux further pointed out that with the lengthy court proceedings already held, Oscar Pistorius is not financially able to afford a new trial.

Eye Witness News reports that the details have now been filed with the court in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in an attempt to stop the appeal, which is scheduled for November this year.

As reported on the Inquisitr, Pistorius was scheduled for release on parole and house arrest on Friday, August 21. However, the Department of Justice in South Africa determined the planned release was premature and the athlete remains in jail.

Oscar Pistorius was once dubbed the “blade runner” due to the prosthetic limbs he wore when competing. Once a Paralympic champion, he has now been stripped of his lucrative sponsorship contracts and has been unable to race professionally since the shooting of Steenkamp, and thus has no income.

[Photo by Pool / Getty Images News]