DEATH PENALTY: LAST CALL FOR ANTHONY FARINA AGAINST HIS EXECUTION IN FLORIDA
March 18, 2013: Anthony Farina, the Italian-born American citizen, for which associations Reprieve, Hands Off Cain and the Community of Sant'Egidio have campaigned for the recognition of Italian citizenship (obtained on 2nd November) and against his death sentence, on March 13 filed his last appeal to the Court of Appeals of the United States, asking his death sentence be overturned.
The hearing was also attended by the Consul General Adolfo Jar representing the Italian government. The Italian government has presented an "amicus curiae" to support the opposition to the international law of a death sentence against a person who has neither killed nor had the intention to kill. Anthony Farina, whose family is originally from Santo Stefano di Camastra (Messina) was 18 in 1992 when, together with his brother Jeffrey, 16, robbed a fast food restaurant in Daytona Beach, Florida. Jeffrey shot and killed an employee, but being a minor at the time his sentence was converted to life imprisonment with the possibility of obtaining parole after 25 years. Anthony instead, though not havingÂ physically committed the murder, found himself sentenced to death after a trial in which the prosecutor, invoking the Bible, proclaimed himself âagent of God." The event also saw the mobilization of the organization "Americans United for Separation of Church and State" and a coalition of American religious groups opposed to the claims of the Public Prosecutor to be "servant of God" and "instrument of divine punishment." The story was followed by Francesco Re, the mayor of Santo Stefano di Camastra, who addressed the President of the Republic and the Pope.
If this last appeal should be rejected, Anthony Farina can only hope in the appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, which though Â has no obligation to examine the case. After that, the only chance for Farina would be the request for clemency to the governor of Florida. The last time a governor of Florida signed a measure of clemency for a man sentenced to death was in 1983. (Sources: Hands Off Cain, March 18, 2013)