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NCJ Number: 64488 Find in a Library
Title: CONDITIONAL SUSPENSION OF PUNISHMENT AND 'ECONOMICAL CRIMINALITY' - IN CONNECTION WITH ARTICLE 24 OF THE 'MERLI' ACT
Journal: QUESTIONE CRIMINALE  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:(SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER 1978)  Pages:433-468
Author(s): M ROSSETTI
Corporate Author: Societa Editrice Il Mulino
Italy
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: Societa Editrice Il Mulino
40125, Bologna, Italy
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: Italian
Country: Italy
Annotation: THE PROVISIONS OF A KEY ARTICLE OF AN ITALIAN CRIMINAL LAW ENACTED IN 1976 REGARDING THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE MET FOR THE COMMUTATION OF A SHORT SENTENCE TO PROBATION ARE CRITICIZED FOR AMBIGUITIES OF LANGUAGE.
Abstract: ITALIAN CRIMINAL LEGISLATION IN THE FIELD OF WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES DOES NOT MAKE ANY PROVISIONS FOR THE GROUPS VICTIMIZED TO BE REPRESENTED IN COURT AS COLLECTIVE PLAINTIFFS, OR TO HAVE SOME INPUT IN THE CRIMINAL LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. A NEWLY ENACTED LAW (REFERRED TO AS 'THE MERLI LAW' FROM THE NAME OF ITS SPONSORS) CAN BE SUBJECTED TO SPECIAL CRITICISM, BECAUSE OF ONE OF ITS KEY ARTICLES PRESCRIBING THE CONDITIONS TO BE SET BY JUDGES FOR GRANTING 'PROBATION' TO CORPORATE DEFENDANTS IN SOME WHITE-COLLAR CRIME CASES. THE EXAMPLE CHOSEN TO CLARIFY THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LAW, A CASE INVOLVING AN INDUSTRIAL PLANT CHARGED WITH POLLUTING THE ENVIRONMENT WITH POISONOUS DISCHARGES, IS DEPLORABLE NOT ONLY FOR THE AMBIGUITIES OF LANGUAGE USED IN DESCRIBING IT, BUT ALSO BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO GIVE THE JUDGE THE POWER TO ALLOW THE DEFENDANTS TO GO FREE MAKING A MOCKERY OF THE ENTIRE CONCEPT OF PROBATION. PROBATION SHOULD BE GRANTED BASED ON PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING THE POSSIBILITIES FOR SOCIAL REINTEGRATION OF INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANTS AND ON CONDITION THAT SOME FORM OF COMPENSATION TO THE VICTIMS BE PROVIDED BY THE PROBATIONER. THE EXAMPLE CITED IN ARTICLE 24 OF THE MERLI LAW DOES NOT EVEN INDICATE WHO THE PERSONAL DEFENDANTS MIGHT BE (THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE FIRM? THE MAJORITY STOCKHOLDERS? ONE OR TWO KEY EXECUTIVES?) BUT THE PLAINTIFFS COULD BE EASILY IDENTIFIED AS THE PLANT WORKERS AND THE PEOPLE LIVING NEAR THE PLANT IN THE AREA ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE POLLUTANTS. THEY SHOULD ALL BE REPRESENTED IN COURT AND COMPENSATED BY THE GUILTY PARTY, WHICH SHOULD ALSO BE PENALIZED WITH PAYING FOR ALL NECESSARY CLEANUP OPERATIONS AND WITH FINES SUBSTANTIAL ENOUGH TO EXCEED ANY PROFITS ACCRUED TO THE PLANT IN THE COURSE OF ITS CRIMINALLY NEGLIGANT ACTIVITIES. THE CIVIL LIABILITY OF THE DEFENDANTS IN SUCH CASES SHOULD BE CLEARLY STATED. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED, AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS APPENDED. --IN ITALIAN. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Accountability; Case studies; Civil liability; Criminal codes; Italy; Judicial discretion; Probation; White collar crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64488

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