Science fiction! The dramatic lesson of the “Spaccarotella case”. How can we intervene?

Riccardo Fenici, Donatella Brisinda, Angela Venuti, Anna Rita Sorbo

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

The police shooting incident occurred in November 2007, close to Arezzo, known as the “Spaccarotella trial” ended, in 2009, with a first sentence of 6 years jail term for manslaughter with the aggravating legal factor that the officer had not appropriately considered the potential although unwilled risk to offend somebody with his voluntary action. As expert witnesses for the defense, in the first trial we had suggested high probability that the second shot was an accidental discharge due to the dynamics of the purse and to psychophysiological reactions of the agent and that the eyewitness’s credibility and memory was questionable since widely reconfigured and affected by personal belief and interpretation. After strong social reaction against a “too weak” sentence, on December 2010, the Court of Appeal has sentenced “murder” with penalty of 9 years and 4 months of prison, perpetual disqualification from public office and payment of all procedural expenses. On August 2012 the Supreme Court has confirmed the sentence. The Ministry of the Interior had paid 3.1 million euro to the family of the person killed in the incident, to avoid potential subversive and violent actions on the part of the “Lazio soccer team” fans. Thereafter the Court of Auditors has “considered fair” to sentence Spaccarotella to pay only 50% of that (€ 1,55 million!). Since present scientific knowledge about inaccuracy of eyewitness memory, psychophysiological reactions of police officers under operational stress, stress-induced alterations of motor coordination were considered “science fiction” by the courts; we believe that initiatives should be undertaken to introduce such knowledge as mandatory for the core curriculum of judges and lawyers, completing the formation of such professionals with personal experience of realistic police training scenarios in the “use of force”, having the role of police officers.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings 39th Annual Conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology
Pagine51
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013
EventoProceedings 39th Annual Conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology - Ottawa
Durata: 25 set 201328 set 2013

Convegno

ConvegnoProceedings 39th Annual Conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology
CittàOttawa
Periodo25/9/1328/9/13

Keywords

  • Critical incidents
  • Police stress

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