09 October 2019 :
For the association Hands Off Cain, after years of working with the Radical Party for the abolition of “ergastolo ostativo” (life imprisonment without parole), the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which finalized the ruling in the case of Marcello Viola against Italy represented by the lawyer Antonella Mascia, is "a historic success and a good omen" in view of the decision that our Constitutional Court will take on October 22nd regarding “ergastolo ostativo,” on which Hands Off Cain was admitted as an intervening party.
"The decision of the Strasbourg Court is a milestone on the road to abolish life imprisonment," said the leaders of Hands Off Cain; Rita Bernardini, Sergio D'Elia and Elisabetta Zamparutti. "The Viola ruling affirms in Italy, as well as in Europe, the right to hope as a fundamental human right, which until now was denied by “ergastolo ostativo.”
"The Strasbourg Court has eliminated cooperation with the courts as the only criterion for evaluating the repentance of the detainee because that criteria is misleading” - continues the leaders of Hands Off Cain - “the fears about the immediate release of hundreds of lifers from prison are also incorrect because, more than those sentenced to life, the supervisory magistrates who, in granting benefits and alternative measures, now have their hands tied by the bond of collaboration of the convicted with justice.”
"From now on, magistrates will also be able to assess internal repentance, which is more authentic and a greater guarantor of future security, compared with the exclusively utilitarian one the European Courts of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled as a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention prohibiting torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, or punishment".
"Our thoughts today” - concluded Bernardini, D'Elia and Zamparutti - “can only go to Marco Pannella, to the ‘Spes contra Spem’ (an organization of Mafiosos who are serving life) that has inspired us in recent years, and to the inmates of ‘Opera’ who are the protagonists of the docu-film by Ambrogio Crespi Spes contra Spem - Liberi Dentro that against all hope kept hoping and leading with their own change, changed the minds of the judges in Strasbourg.”
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(Sources: Hands Off Cain, 08/10/2019)