DEATH PENALTY: INITIATIVES TO SAVE THE ITALIAN NATIONAL ANTHONY FARINA
November 28, 2013: Today was held in Rome, at the headquarters of Hands Off Cain, a press conference to update the media on developments in the case of Anthony Farina.
Elisabetta Zamparutti, who moderated, recalled how Anthony Farina had been sentenced to death in 1992 for a robbery at a fast food restaurant. The robbery was committed by Anthony, who was just eighteen at the time, with his brother Jeffrey, who shot and killed an employee. Jeffrey Farina at the time he was 16 years old. Both the brothers were sentenced to death, but in year 2000 Jeffrey, in consideration of being a minor at the time of the offense, had the death sentence reduced to life (with parole after at least 25 years). Anthony, though not the actual killer, is still on death row.
Francesco Re, Mayor of San Stefano di Camastra, announced the intention of the Sicilian community to help Anthony and Jeffrey, with prospects of reintegration, if ever released.
Celia Ouellette, head of the working group against the death penalty for "Reprieve", took stock of the situation on the case.
On 30 September the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated the death sentence of Anthony. The federal appeal court decided that Farinaâs original counsel was so deficient that his sentence is unconstitutional. It found that the misconduct during his resentencing (namely the prosecutorâs statements about religion, invoking the Bible, and proclaiming himself âagent of God." and "instrument of divine punishment") were so egregious that the original counselâs failure to raise that misconduct requires reversal as for the violation of the Eighth Amendment. The State of Florida may still seek the death penalty during re-sentencing.
The prosecution of the State of Florida has recently appealedÂ to the Eleventh Circuitâs en banc court (which consists of all of the judges on the circuit) asking to reverse the decision.
Carlo Santoro, of the Sant'Egidio Community, will promote the International Conference of Ministers of Justice, to be held tomorrow in Rome, to take a stand even on the case of Anthony Farina.
Andrea Saccucci, one of the lawyers that follow the case in behalf of Farina and Reprieve, has appealed to the Italian government for a strong commitment to protecting the rights of Anthony Farina, as an Italian citizen.
Sergio D'Elia, secretary of Hands Off Cain, recalled the case of Pietro Venezia, another Italian citizen who risked the death penalty in Florida, from which he was saved thanks to the mobilization of public opinion and legal briefs that led to the landmark ruling of the Constitutional Court according to which Italy should not cooperate in any way to the death penalty to anyone. According to DâElia, the same mobilization should be revived today to save Anthony by signing an appeal published on the websites of the organizations involved. The appeal also invites to send a Christmas card to Anthony.
D'Elia has remembered the battles fought together with Reprieve to stop the use of drugs manufactured in Italy and used for lethal injection, and announced further initiatives to stop the financing of governments at the United Nations for the fight against drugs in countries such as Iran, who easily kill suspected drug traffickers and suspected traffickers.
To send a Christmas greeting card to Anthony Farina, the address is: Anthony Farina, # 684 135, UCI P6224, 7819 N. W. 228th Street, Raiford, FL 32026, USA. (Sources: HOC, 28/11/2013)