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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120389 Find in a Library
Title: Combating Organized Crime: The Maxi Trials in Sicily (From Transnational Crime: Investigative Responses, P 37-46, 1989, Harold E Smith, ed. -- See NCJ-120383)
Author(s): A Grassi
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607-2919
Sale Source: University of Illinois at Chicago
Office of International Criminal Justice
1033 West Van Buren Street, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60607-2919
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Maxi trials in Messina and Palermo, Italy, were instituted against defendants charged with Mafia-linked criminal association, common criminal association, and criminal association with drug trafficking after modifications to the Italian legal system to deal with terrorist and criminal associations.
Abstract: Italy's legal system was modified to face newly emerging realities of crime such as subversive or terrorist criminal association and Mafia-linked criminal association. A so-called reward legislation was enacted that permits reduced sentences and clemency for those who abandon terrorist groups to which they formerly belonged and who cooperate with the police. Although this reward legislation is primarily applicable in the terrorism arena, there have been "repentants" among criminals belonging to common or Mafia-linked associations. For these criminals, it has only been possible to reduce prison sentences in exchange for their cooperation. In the judicial inquiry for 312 defendants in the Messina maxi trial, indicting declarations of a number of "repentants" were sufficient to bring the defendants before court judgment. The final sentence found 26 defendants guilty of Mafia-linked criminal association and 37 guilty of common criminal association. Of 475 defendants in the Palermo maxi trial, 466 were convicted of criminal association. Legal advantages and disadvantages of maxi trials and their validity and usefulness in combating organized crime are discussed.
Main Term(s): Organized crime
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Italy; Sicily; Terrorism prosecution
Note: Paper presented at the 3rd Annual Symposium on International Criminal Justice Issues, University of Illinois at Chicago
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