Posts Tagged ‘Twilight’

The Latest Criminal Justice News from Italy – Franscesco Di Stefano and Bella Swan

I read in Italia! recently a story about reputed mafia boss Francesco Di Stefano, who fooled the Italian authorities into releasing him from prison due to health problems.   Francesco Di Stefano, who was serving a 30-year sentence, pretended to be suffering from anorexia and “post-traumatic paraplegia”.  He apparently faked the paraplegia and went on a crash diet until he was down to 84 pounds.  The Italian prison released him to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest at the residence of his wife in Bologna, in northern Italy.  The mafia boss then fled and was missing for sometime.  He was later found by police driving around down in  Sicily in a sports car.  When asked why he was not in a wheelchair, he is claimed to have replied: “It’s a Miracle!”  You have to at least admire the force of will that the man would have to have in order to bring his weight down to 84 pounds.  The man was only 36 years old.   This sort of thing would never happen in the U.S.   The system here is real hard-nosed about releasing even the very sick from prison.  I just don’t recall it ever happening.  I know when many states enacted mandatory life sentences and abolished the parole system, many people wondered if someday the prisons would start looking like nursing homes.  I anticipate this will be a budget issue some day.  I have blogged in the past about such budget issues, see here.  Usually in American prisons, the staff has significance experience in handling inmates with serious medical problems.  however, local jails are a different story.  Usually the staff of local jails are in a hurry for sick inmates to be released or sent off to prison.

Speaking of Italy, am I the only one who thought of Amanda Knox during the  Volturi scene in the movie Twilight: New MoonAn American girl pleads for her life, minus the blue berets The movie’s heroine,  Bella Swan, travels to Italy and is greeted by the Volturi, the governors of the vampire world.  It just seemed a little too familiar to see this charismatic American girl struggle to understand a foreign process and plead her case on why she should be set free.  And Bella Swan and Amanda Knox are both from Western Washington!  I haven’t seen any other blogger make this comparison, so let me know if I am crazy on this one.

Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking:
Law Office of Steve Graham
1312 North Monroe Street, #140
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 252-9167
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