In this historical period of great intolerance towards “the foreigner”, disappointment in politics, continuous economic difficulties, and frustration against a judicial system that does not seem to be up to the mark, it is rather easy to shoot from the hip at Italy. It cannot be denied that people’s disaffection toward their own country is responsibility of the political class as a whole (and at all levels); it is evident also that managers and employees (that is, normal people”) are guilty of a kind of connivance.
But it is unacceptable that an idea of an unjust Nation should be transmitted; a nation where criminals are never punished, a nation that is unable to protect itself against other nations where everything runs smoothly. Whereas understanding the population, we must have eyes to make the right comparisons.
Yesterday, Maurizio Falcioni, the man accused of having severely beaten his girlfriend, Chiara Insidioso Monda, who awoke from coma months later, won four years off his sentence on appeal. In first instance he had been given 20 years by the judge for the preliminary hearing in shortened proceedings. The young woman’s father fainted in the courtroom as the sentence was being read, whereas her mother hurled against the judges. How can we not understand the anger and frustration of those who have seen their daughter becoming a disabled due to the blind violence of a man? But understanding a situation which cannot but make us feel sympathetic, does not equate with condemning the judicial system.
On August 24 2012, for instance, was sentenced to 21 years in prison, maximal punishment in Norwegian law, Anders Behring Breivik. The latter was a terrorist who on July 22, 2011 caused the death of 77 people (first the activation a car bomb, then the massacre at the campus of the Utøya island, which besides the victims caused 110 injuries, 55 of which serious).
In the civil Norway, a model of efficiency and civilization, maximal punishment is 21 years. In Italy, for the same offenses, it is 30 years (imposed yesterday on Elena Baskets’ husband).
According to those who cry “kill them all”, our prisons would be empty rather than full. We must therefore reach an agreement once and for all on the concept of punishment. If we want it to have – as it happens at present – rehabilitative and reintegration purposes, then the existent law is a sign of civilization and democracy.
Whereas if we want revenge, the law of retaliation, then we should radically change our society’s layout with the risk that, along with intransigence, will increase also the need of control (and therefore of invasion of privacy) and will decrease warranties and protections, both for heavy crimes and the most trivial infringements. Always with an iron fist; for everyone, even when it is about us. Are we sure that this is the right path?