Officers Denied Bail: The Reasons

In South Africa there has been major uproar over the 9 officers who killed a man. They beat him severely and also dragged him by a vehicle that he was handcuffed to. The officers appeared for the first time in court and were denied bail. The decision was made and finalized. They will be seen again at their next hearing which is on the 12th of April. There are a couple reasons why they were denied bail.

Revenge

The judge in this case denied the 9 officers bail because he felt that people may try to seek revenge on the officers. There are many outraged citizens at this incident and the judge felt it would not be a good idea to let the officers out on bail.

The safety of the officers is taken into consideration when bail is being decided. If the judge did let them out then people may seek out to harm them since they are responsible for a citizen’s death. Revenge is something that is fueled by anger and since there is so much anger surrounding this issue, the bail was denied.

Witnesses

The judge also denied bail because he felt that the officers may try and interfere with state witnesses. It would not be unheard of to see someone messing with witnesses to try and convince them to not testify. We have laws against this and try to protect witnesses the best that we can.

State witnesses can be antagonized and threatened causing them to not want to testify in court. This then can ruin a whole case as cases are dependent upon the witness accounts. The judge wants to protect the witnesses themselves and also their families. So the way to do this is to deny the officers bail.

When the judge denied bail to the officers despite their not guilty plea. There is a recorded video of the incident and is being heavily relied on in this case. The man who was dragged behind the police vehicle was handcuffed to it and beaten. He later died from the injuries he sustained from this incident. This is not the first type of police brutality in South Africa however, this time it was caught on tape and very horrendous.

Witnesses are still appalled at the situation and are still rooting for a strong and strict penalty against the officers. The officers being denied bail will keep the safety of the public and keep other citizens safe. The judge had the citizens in mind when he denied the bail to the officers. Allowing these men to be released back into society before their trial will just cause problems and escalate the situation. We would probably see more beatings and interferences with witnesses and also the public may seek revenge on the officers. Neither situation would be positive nor for this reason; the judge denied bail. The reasons behind the denial of bail are far reaching and not likely to change the near future. However, this is the first step toward trying to come up with an answer suitable for the system.

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