Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Italian Prime Minister Renzi Will Push Measures To Speed Up Justice

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

In a move popular not least among those who are part of it Mr Renzi announces moves to speed up Italian justice.

Italian justice and those who work in it are widely trusted and respected in Italy. But a very humane system designed post WWII to give those accused a level of rights unique in the world has been even further tilted over the years by politicians passing laws to aid political and business colleagues in legal trouble.

Because there are now strong economic pressures, reforms may have a slim chance of parliamentary approval. In particular convicted perps’ automatic right to two levels of appeal for most crimes could be pared back more in line with the US and UK where a judge must decide if there are any real appeal grounds.

Italian and US and UK lawyers among others have posted here on Italian justice about 40 times in the past six years. If you don’t have time for the full 40 these posts with some American comparisons provide good coverage of the key basics.

1. Click here “They Were Held For A Year Without Even Being Charged!!” How Italian Justice REALLY Works

2. Click here Why The Italian Judiciary’s Probably Less Prone to Pressure Than Any Other In The World

3. Click here Why The Prosecutors In Italy Are Relatively Popular

4. Click here Explaining How The Italian Appeals Process Works And Why It Consumes So Much Time

5. Click here Italian Parliament Is Now Moving On A Bill To Speed Up Many Trials And Appeals

6. Click here A Token Balance In The Italian System: The Voice In The Court For The Victim

7. Click here Compared To Italy, Say, Precisely How Wicked Is The United States?

8. Click here Interesting Tilts Of Marcia Clark And Alan Dershowitz Against US’s Non-Professional Jury System

9. Click here The Terrible Weight On The Victim’s Family Because The Italian System Is So Very, Very Pro Defendant

10. Click here Italy’s Advanced, Effective, Humane Law & Order System Also Adopted By City Of New York

11. Click here Italy’s Unpopular Politicians And Mafia Fellow Travelers Against Italy’s Popular Justice System

12. Click here The US Lacks Legal Authority To Decline To Deliver A Guilty Knox To Italian Authorities


None of the reforms listed seem to favor AK and RS looking either back or forward and one (streamlining extradition procedures) could hamper any pro-Knox political games in Rome.

I happened to be watching when Alan Dershowitz the Harvard law professor made his comments about Casey Anthony’s not-guilty verdict on TV.

Basically he was implying that the US system is sloppy and amateur when compared with the most precise systems in the world like Italy’s (he actually named Italy) but at the same time (he said) it gives perps the extreme benefit of the doubt, so many who might be guilty walk free.

Hmmm. The US prison system is proportionally seven times the size of Italy’s and there are more in prison than anywhere China included so one wonders how many really walk free. In Italy there are next to no cases of wrong imprisonment after the full painstaking process is played out.

Cassation in April last year in effect said that the first (Hellmann) appeal had illegally exended its scope. Not really unusual except in its extreme extent. The presence of jurors (really, lay judges) at that first appeal level is a sort of solution looking for a problem which is a main reason why this “mission creep” occurs.

Some of them are said to tend to look down on the work of the first-level trial jurors, which is why Cassation quite often has to tilt the balance back toward the trial outcome in round three.

Knox’s book was a huge mistake as its highly toxic effects above all freaked her out about being present at the Florence appeal. One of the “best” examples ever of how really terrible, overkill PR shot the possibility of a constructive legal strategy in both feet.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/10/14 at 03:05 PM | #

Mr. Renzi is on the right track to streamline justice. To state the obvious, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” The innocent among the families of victim or defendant should not have to endure an excruciatingly long wait which is mental torture.

Laws should minimize the fruitless holding pattern as much as possible. When final acquittal or well deserved punishment begins, all the innocent can start to make peace and sleep again or return in vigor to constructive activity.

How great if Renzi’s government can see where the bottlenecks are and relieve many delays of justice.

Speaking of justice please allow this moment of levity: Justice signed an oil painting that I bought in an antique mall. No kidding. The picture haunted me in a good way, so yesterday I returned and bought it. In comic fanfare I hid it under a towel and unveiled it to my son as a bribe to watch a few minutes of a chick flick set in Rome.

His reward was the unveiled portrait of a white cat with the most piercing blue eyes. The signature in lower corner is by the artist M. Justice. A nice echo of Meredith and True Justice.

A paper sticker on back says it was painted by a self-taught senior citizen named M. Justice.

The Siamese or Burmese cat in the portrait we have named after the spoiled Karl Lagerfeld cat who inspires a makeup line. His cat has 3 nannies and goes to the vet every 10 days and sleeps on cast-off Chanel clothes. The hilarity of that led me to borrow Mr. Lagerfeld’s cute name for his cat, Choupette. Choupette means “sweetie” in French.

Justice is beautiful and sees with clear eyes and should be independent with 9 lives like a cat!

Posted by Hopeful on 09/10/14 at 05:37 PM | #

Lawyer James Raper has written brilliantly here on Italian and UK law at the micro level (and much on the hard evidence in the house).

He did a lot of the legal analysis of Sollecitos book, which is offline just for now while we reformat it and identify the description of the charges against Sollecito and Gumbel.

Here are some of James’s posts on how Italian law impacts the case directly.






Some of our Italian lawyers (especially Commisario Montalbano and Cesare Beccaria) also posted in this area without the international comparisons.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/11/14 at 02:23 PM | #

James Raper’s analyses linked to in Peter Quennell’s above comment are a pleasure to read.

Raper covers many things including speculation about motive (The Trial Sentencing Report How Motive/ see link above) examines the money theft and how it may have been vital to the motive.

Knox possibly foresaw that her job would soon end so she stole Meredith’s cash to be able to tell dad, “I made a lot in tips last week almost enough to cover another month’s rent”.

She could pretend to dad and mom that she held the job several weeks longer than she did.

Or she wanted $$$ for Gubbio trip to stay an extra overnight there and skip classes, or to take the China trip. The need for drug money, too.

Knox might have schemed to use Meredith’s credit cards in case she suddenly left Perugia for a quick flight to China or a sudden return back to the U.S. with some sob story for mom as to why she got fed up with Italy.

It would be almost impossible for Meredith to then have traced Knox back in the States or prosecuted Knox once she left Italy. Plus Knox figured word of her theft would probably never get back to Seattle parents or could have been easily denied.

On the murder night perhaps Knox tried to force Meredith to tell her the pin numbers on the credit cards so Knox could milk them for cash that very night.

While draining her bank accounts, Knox with Raf’s help could leave Meredith tied up and dump her somewhere near Perugia still alive using Raf’s car. That would give Knox a few days to fly back to the States or Germany or China before the disappearance and discovery of Meredith and the filing by Meredith of a police report. By then Knox would be long gone and several thousand dollars richer with nobody the wiser, at least nobody she cared about.

Maybe Meredith refused to tell Amanda her pin numbers at the point of a knife?

Motive has been obscured by the oddness of all three defendants but they all cared about money.

Maybe Knox had borrowed money from Raf and had to pay him back to keep his dad off his case. Although she had some money in her bank, she might have wanted to hold onto it rather than repay Raf, or she didn’t want her parents to scold her for overspending. She didn’t want to go back home and have to move in with mom or drop UW classes because of bungling abroad. Chris would not be pleased. Told ya so.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/11/14 at 08:43 PM | #

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