Journal Article

Fighting Organized Crime, with Particular Reference to Mafia Crimes in Italy

Piero Luigi Vigna

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 4, issue 3, pages 522-527
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online July 2006 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Fighting Organized Crime, with Particular Reference to Mafia Crimes in Italy

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The special legal regulation of mafia crimes in Italy operates at very different levels: at that of investigations, of criminal proceedings, of sentencing and of imprisonment. This legal regime is based on a double track treatment, which generally speaking, is very harsh, but may turn especially lenient whenever a person opts out of a criminal group and decides to cooperate with the prosecution. In the daily fight against mafia crimes as well as criminal offences perpetrated by other criminal organizations or ‘associations’, the role of ‘cooperating witnesses’ has proven to be of pivotal importance. Another useful prosecutorial tool developed by the Italian courts is the notion of ‘external support to mafia associations’, although this now needs to be laid down in legislation. It is, in this writer's experience, the coordination of investigations that is critical to the prosecution and punishment of mafia crimes, and to the dismantlement of mafia associations.

Journal Article.  2299 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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