Friday, May 27, 2011

"Burn Them!" (The Seismologists)

Heresy? Witchcraft? No, they failed to predict the eruption of Pompeii.

One thing I learned when I was working for DEA in Italy in the 1980s was that Italian judges wield way too much power. This story should scare every last person in Italy who holds a job to death.

"Don't worry about that earthquake, Don."

Yes, folks, it has come to this. If a major earthquake occurs in Italy and the seismologists fail to predict it....

Heigh ho, heigh ho-it's off to jail they go.

Seismologist di tutti seismologists

The problem here is that Italian judges are a power onto themselves. If they wake up one morning with a thorn up their ass, they go to the office and issue arrest warrants. They not only direct investigations, they decide when investigations are warranted. It only takes one judge in the remotist part of the country to take the reins of some issue and turn the whole country on its head.

Italy may be a democracy, but I always had the feeling that it was much easier for an innocent person to go to jail than in America. For example, if some mafioso whose phone is being tapped, calls your house by mistake (what we commonly refer to as a wrong number), you could wind up being included in that next big round-up where 978 capi di tutti capi are charged with "Mafia association". Even if he calls your pizza parlor to order delivery, some judge is going to decide that the "pepperoni" was really code word for two kilos of heroin.

So now we have the spectacle of Italian scientists having to do the perp walk with the Carabinieri as the real criminals are free to order their pizza in peace.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Gary, as a former DEA agent -- unless you were the pure one who was kept out of the loop on the backroom deals -- you should know that in America, the feds can call an "expert witness" to testify that in a tapped phone call "the word for cocaine is salmon salad." Then, when the jury hears a conversation about salmon salad, they just naturally find the person guilty. It doesn't only happen in Italy.

In other news, the Cubs played at home games Thursday and Friday. I don't know who the visiting team was, or the score, but I did see lots of people getting on and off the Red Line at Addison.

Gary Fouse said...

Indeed, I have testified to that kind of stuff as an expert witness.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

And you have the nerve to complain about burning the seismologists in Italy?