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March 19, 2009

Defendant seeking to turn sentence into Roman holiday

Roman holiday Though I do not expect Gregory Peck or Audrey Hepburn to turn up in this version tale, this local story details an interesting international sentencing dimension in a case from Connecticut:

Lawyers for Benedetto Cipriani, the Italian citizen convicted of hiring the hit man who killed three men in a Windsor Locks auto repair shop in 2003, are asking the Hartford Superior Court judge who will sentence him to order that he spend his entire prison term in Italy.

Cipriani, 53, returned to his native Italy shortly after the fatal shootings of Robert Stears, Barry Rossi, and Lorne Stevens at B&B Automotive on Spring Street in Windsor Locks on July 30, 2003. After a lengthy legal process in Italy, Cipriani was extradited to the U.S. on certain conditions, one of which was that he not be executed.

One of Cipriani’s lawyers, David Compagnone of Waterbury, says in a motion filed in Hartford Superior Court that another condition of the extradition was that Cipriani be returned to Italy to serve his prison time if he so requests. Compagnone made such a request on Cipriani’s behalf in a Jan. 7 letter to a Justice Department official at the U.S. embassy in Rome.

Prosecutors Dennis O’Connor and Robin Krawczyk have yet to file a formal response to the motion. But they said in a motion to postpone the sentencing, filed last week, that Cipriani “is contesting what the state of Connecticut understands to be the terms of Mr. Cipriani’s sentencing, specifically, the country in which he will serve his sentence.”

The prosecutors asked for more time to consult with U.S. Justice Department officials and prepare a response to Cipriani’s claims. Judge Julia DiCocco Dewey granted the motion, which is why Cipriani’s sentencing didn’t occur Tuesday, as originally scheduled.

March 19, 2009 at 09:22 AM | Permalink


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When a defendant is extradited with specifications on the extradition by the country where they are confined, the authority to contest any violation of those specifications rests with the extraditing country. The defendant has no right to contest the violation.

The conditions placed in the agreement to extradite are litigated and decided according to the treaty between two sovereign countries.

I'm sure this is entirely too simplistic, and would like to know if there are instances where the defendant has standing to contest his/her sentence based on extradition specifications.

Posted by: beth | Mar 19, 2009 11:03:00 AM

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