February 8th, 2010 21:53 EST
Compare the Two International Cases
By Katia Anedda
All of the media, American and otherwise, are talking about Amanda Knox`s third Christmas spent in prison: We`re forgetting that it`s the 6th one for Carlo Parlanti, but no one`s talking about that.
Recently there`s been a media circus around the Perugia case. I`ve been dealing with Italian imprisonment issues abroad for years and I think I`ve got a pretty fair idea of most of the procedures; but now I`m involved in the scandalous case concerning Carlo Parlanti and it`s taught me a lot.
I`m not familiar with all the legal details of the Knox case, but it`s in the transcripts that Amanda Knox is guilty of the attempted murder of Patrick Lumumba. Falsely accusing a man of colors of homicide and rape, and getting him thrown in prison could have caused his death.
It`s obvious to anyone that in this case there were numerous recanting on the part of Knox as well as objective evidence that went beyond simple clues. Is it possible RIS [CSI " Cite Ed Ref] from Parma purposely polluted evidence to frame a U.S. citizen? Not very likely.
Judges have reached a verdict and will be writing a rationale for their decision. Mean while, the United States is demanding Justice in the case, because they don`t know the truth and somebody is benefiting from his ignorance. So far I haven`t been very different in my own approach than the popular jurists of the American system: Without in dept legal knowledge, I found Amanda guilty of Meredith`s homicide. At the same time, I`ve also been like those who are quick to scream support for the innocence.
American media, in reporting the Perugia case have been critical of the jury in the trial without realizing that, in Italy, the jury is composed of judges [3 roped " judges and 4 popular " jurists make up the 7 member panelcite ed ref], all with legal expertise and who must provide a rationale for their decision.
In the United States, a judge need provide no explanation of any kind for his sentence; In fact, in Parlanti`s case, the judge has even contradicted himself in his own rationale for his decision. While he admits that Parlanti`s accuser has been impeached and found unbelievable, he then proceeds to say that she said the truth (the transcripts are readily available at the website http://www.thepeoplevscarloparlanti.com).
Those who cast disparagements against Italian justice do not know that the Italian system of jurisprudence provides for 3 separate chances for trial in a given criminal case, but they don`t seem to care to educate themselves about that.
In the United States, there is only one chance at trial, and it is not always possible to gain an appeal, mainly owing to the fact that it is very difficult to afford; I daresay almost no ordinary person can. I don`t want to condemn what`s been done in Perugia`s case in defense of Knox, but I do want to condemn the fact that the United States and Italy have not screamed about the scandalous case concerning Parlanti. Here, for example, we have clear proof of manufactured evidence allowed into the proceedings by the American District Attorney and the Presiding judge, concealment of facts and important documents (now also available on the internet site) and much more.
Everybody talks about the Third Christmas in prison for poor Amanda ", in a prison that, even according to CBS News in America who interviewed her, is clean and dignified ". We fail, however, to point out that in the more civilized California, in one of the most overcrowded prisons in the world, where dormitories are built like niches, one of our fellow countrymen is hosted together with 399 people, despite being actually being proven innocent. It`s here that Carlo Parlanti must fend for himself every day to survive. In his case, evidence was discarded an investigations went un-conducted. On the website http://www.thepeoplevscarloparlanti.com you can read for yourself in the public transcripts how even the police have declared that nothing was seized from the crime scene, because there was no evidence of a crime.
The accusation against Carlo Parlanti doesn`t sit well with people involved in the case: Sexual Attack.
The only problem is that there is no evidence of any sexual attack. There is not a victim. We now find that the only person who identifies herself as the victim " has leveled the identical accusation at her ex-husband some years ago. In less than 3 months she was examined by various physicians who not only found discrepancies in her story, but they also prescribed expensive psychotropic drugs for her.
The accusation in Perugia`s case is homicide; one tends to forget the sexual attack. An accusation of sexual attack becomes more serious, however, when there is evidence that the crime never occurred; sadly even more serious than an accusation of homicide where a young woman is really found dead a probably raped.
In Perugia`s case there is a body, DNA evidence and confused, contradictory testimony from the defendant; In Parlanti`s case, the contradictory testimony has been released from the accuser. During the final argument the prosecutor continued to remind the Jurors: " Now, 85 percent of batterers are male, and the reason why they batter is because they have that need to exert that power and control over their significant others. The defendant, very clear, fancies himself a Romeo. He likes to go out and meet women. He likes to talk to women. He likes the way women make him feel. There was no doubt about that in this trial "
On many occasions, he reminds the jurors that the defendant is Italian and therefore is violent. I urge you to read the transcripts, then judge for yourself. At the same time I want to remind you that you can easily locate statistics on line showing that in the United States there are 24,000 violent homicides annually. This is in contrast with Italy where there are only 600. This translates to 8 violent homicides per 100,000 people in the United States, only 1 for 100,000 in Italy, but for the United States and for the D.A. who condemned Carlo Parlanti, it is we Italians who are the violent ones.
I`ve read on several website that, most likely thanks to the media, public opinion in the United States is convinced that while Amanda was found guilty because she is American, Raffaele Sollecito was found guilty because he is poor and could not afford a good attorney. Someone should let them know that Raffaele`s attorney is Giulia Bongiorno, and she isn`t a public defender by a long shot. Unfortunately this opinion continues to grow, because Americans encounter this kind of thing every day.
In conclusion, now that things are settling down, one thing doesn`t change: the silence which surrounds a case as scandalous as Carlo Parlanti`s (and those of many of our fellow countrymen). In the end, it is we Italians who should examine our consciences. We talk about a case like Perugia`s, yet we don`t want to discuss the case of one of our imprisoned in the United States in the face of irrefutable evidence of his innocence. Parlanti`s case is shrouded in silence without even help of an honest attorney willing to look for the truth no matter what it makes.