Only one fifth of the criminal trials (20.5%) reach a first instance sentence. In 78.9% of cases, the proceeding ends with the postponement to another hearing. And the average duration of the postponement is around 5 months for proceedings in the Single Court and 4 months for those before the Collegial Court. These are the data that emerged from a monitoring carried out on 13,755 cases in 32 Italian courts and reported in the Eurispes Italy 2021 Report. The ‘Investigation into the criminal trial’ was conducted with the Criminal Chambers, more than a decade after that carried out in 2008, compared to which, according to the Report, “the research shows an increase in the percentage of referrals to another hearing (+ 9.6%: in 2008 the share was 69.3%). The incidence of sentences dropped from 29.5% to 20.5% “. “As regards the proceedings terminated in the sentence – reports the Eurispes Report – acquittals represent just under 30%: of these, 4% is represented by acquittals pursuant to art. 131 bis of the criminal code (not punishable due to particular tenuousness of the fact ). Convictions account for 43.7% of sentences; a much lower percentage than that recorded in 2008 (60.6%). On the contrary, the percentage relating to the extinction of the crime is much higher: 26.5% , compared to 14.9% in 2008. The statute of limitations is a reason for extinction of the crime which affects 10% of the proceedings that have come to a sentence and represents just over 2% of the total number of processes monitored “. In the monitoring carried out by Eurispes, “the situation has also worsened with regard to the postponement times to another hearing, which are further lengthened compared to 2008: from 139 in 2008 to 154 days for the proceedings in the single court and from 117 to 129 days for those before the collegiate court. The investigation confirms, on a national level, the inconclusiveness of the large part of the criminal proceedings and the spread of delays and inefficiencies, which make the machinery of justice even more cumbersome “.
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