Foreign Law: Amnesty Time in Italy

In the hodgepodge of ancient Roman, papal, fascist, and contemporary statutes that make up Italian law, the only thing certain is that there is no divorce. After that it's gangbusters. Everything is so tangled that it takes twelve to 18 months before a first hearing on any charge; a final judgment takes years. The clog in courthouse and jailhouse gets worse as each year gets older. Then, every so often, just before the jam-up becomes impossible to handle, the Italians resort to a sure cure: a general amnesty for all but the most dangerous offenders.

The last time around was 1963....

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