Could Totó Riina leave prison and go back to Corleone under house arrest or for deferment of punishment? It would be a sad conclusion of the commemorations for the 25th anniversary of the Capaci and Via D’Amelio massacres and the decades of dramas that preceded them.
Even for those who are opposed to life imprisonment, even at the objection imposed by 41bis, even to Riina’s case, it would be less than honest to reason abstractly and invoke “freedom for everyone,” based on those objections.
The problem for the Supreme Court rested on Article 27 of the Constitution: “Punishment cannot consist of treatment contrary to human dignity and must aim at rehabilitating the offender.” And that’s exactly the court’s view as it pertains to Riina’s health status: It would not be compatible with the prison detention regime. The Court of Bologna held the opposite opinion and, hence, the Supreme Court decision on the advisability of granting house arrest or deferment of sentence. The high court noted the lower tribunal’s lack of reasoning on this alleged contradiction. It is quite likely that with now a stronger justification, the lower court will agree with the Supreme Court, and so there will be the usual much ado about nothing.