Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Captain Schettino Prison Sentence Set

Captain Schettino

Convicted & Sentenced

Costa Concorida Trial


Just over three years following the capsizing of Costa Concordia off the coast of Giglio, Italy, the Italian court has handed down its verdict in the trial of Captain Schettino. He was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years and one month in prison for multiple counts of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Sentencing by the three judge panel was as follows:
  • five years for causing the Jan. 13, 2012, shipwreck
  • one year for abandoning the ship 
  • one month for false communications to maritime authorities
While this sentence was less than the 26 years and 3 months requested by prosecutors, Schettino had commented (prior to sentencing) that the verdict "should have involved an entire organization and instead sees me as the only defendant." Several of his crew members had already taken deals by pleading guilty to their charges.

Despite the prison sentence, Schettino remains a free man.  The court rejected prosecutors' request that Schettino be immediately arrested. In Italy, defendants have two levels of appeals and sentences don't begin being served until those appeals are exhausted.

The appeals will undoubtedly center around Schettino's contention that no one died because of the collision, but because of problems beyond his control including the following factors:
  • helmsman who botched Schettino's orders immediately before and after the collision
  • crew members who weren't fluent in English or in Italian, the working language of the ship
  • emergency generator failed after the crash 
  • water-tight compartment doors also didn't work properly
  • lack of emergency drills after cruise started 
We have been covering the entire Costa Concordia accident, including the cleanup and legal proceedings.   For complete details, see our anchor article:  Costa Concordia Listing after Deadly Accident

Related Blog Posts 

Captain Schettino Testifies
Captain Schettino Gets Day in Court or Not
The Legal ABCs of the Costa Concordia Shipwreck (Peter Greenberg)
Costa Concordia Legal Update (Ongoing updates)
Expert Findings Released on Costa Concordia

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