02 April 2020 :
The association "Hands off Cain-Spes contra spem", faced with the news of the first death of a prisoner linked to the coronavirus, which follows the equally tragic news of two prison officers who died in recent days, "asks the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic to pay close attention to the risk of a pandemic extended to prisons, which would have disastrous effects not only for prisoners and prison workers but also for the external community."
The directors of the association Sergio D'Elia, Rita Bernardini and Elisabetta Zamparutti, respectively Secretary, President and Treasurer "also ask the President of the Council and the President of the Republic to intervene urgently and to adopt, as far as they are institutionally competent, all the necessary measures aimed at defusing the ticking time bomb, now also epidemiological, which apprentices blasters of the 'certainty of punishment' have long been maliciously triggered in prisons and who now do not want or no longer know how to defuse".
Regarding the case of the prisoner who died at the Bologna civil hospital, the managers of Hands off Cain asked “what sense did it have to keep a 76-year-old man in prison, suffering from other pathologies besides Coronavirus, and then keep him in a state of detention even when he ended in hospital, and still keep him under house arrest once finished in intensive care." "It is a real rogue State that behaves like Cain to defend Abel, who in the name of certainty-of-punishment practices punishment until death and death for punishment."
"The Prime Minister - Sergio D'Elia, Rita Bernardini and Elisabetta Zamparutti propose – should decree an immediate moratorium on criminal execution aimed at drastically reducing the numbers of the prison population, starting for example from cases of detention for short sentences or short residual sentences to be expiated, without the current preclusions foreseen by the decree law n. 18 of 2020 in discussion in the chambers, indeed widening the audience to those who have a residual sentence of less than four years and limiting the maximum pre-trial detention in prison."
"In the absence of the political will to follow what we consider the main route to seriously face the problem of the excess of inmates in prisons and pending trials in the courts, that is the pardon and the amnesty, for his part - conclude D'Elia, Bernardini and Zamparutti - the President of the Republic, meanwhile, should use his power of grace for humanitarian purposes in the face of the impending threat to the fundamental rights of detained citizens and to the security of free citizens, and also grant it cumulatively as proposed on March 23 by the Radical Party and reiterated by the constitutionalist Andrea Pugiotto, because it is his prerogative that the Minister of Justice cannot hinder".