The captain of the Costa Concordia might be sentenced to 26 years in prison for allowing the cruise ship to crash in 2012, killing 32 people. Prosecutors in the trial are pushing for the harsh sentence, claiming it is not at all excessive for a man that could otherwise deserve the death penalty.
According to the Guardian, Prosecutor Maria Navarro said that Francesco Schettino’s trail revealed that the Costa Concordia’s captain “thought only and always about himself.” This resulted in Schettino running the Costa Concordia too close to the shoreline and inevitably abandoning the ship. For his neglect, Schettino has been charged with multiple counts of manslaughter. Navarro is also asking the courts to detain the captain of the Costa Concordia, as well as revoke his passport and navigation license.
According to the New York Daily News, the final day of the Costa Concordia trial took place on Monday, which is when the prosecutors requested the 26-year prison term. During the trial, Schettino was called an “able idiot” who allowed 32 people to die in the wreck after overestimating his skills in manning the Costa Concordia. He was also called “Captain Coward” by the media.
“This is not an exaggerated sentence,” Navarro said. “[Schettino] has lied to everyone, to the press, to the court, to the maritime authorities. He has never accepted responsibility… no elements have emerged in his favor.”
Prosecutors accused Schettino of failing to sound the emergency alarm after the Costa Concordia struck rocks off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13, 2012. The captain attempted to execute a dangerous shore-line manoeuvre with the Concordia, and abandoned the ship shortly after it wrecked — leaving 32 of the 4,229 passengers to die. He also failed to call for help. Schettino claims that he successfully saved lives after the Costa Concordia capsized, and blames his crew for failing to notify the captain of the oncoming rocks.
Domenico Pepe, Schettino’s defense lawyer, reminded the court that “we’re talking about manslaughter, not murder or a massacre.” He claimed the request for 26 years in prison is “almost a life sentence.”
Another prosecutor in the Concordia trial, Stefano Pizza, defended the 26-year term by saying, “The captain’s duty to abandon ship last isn’t just an obligation dictated by ancient maritime tradition, but is also a legal obligation designed to minimize injuries.”
How do you think the Francesco Schettino should be punished for the wreck of the Costa Concordia? Is 26 years excessive or fair?
[Images courtesy of AP]