3. In such high profile cases, can captains get a fair trial?
The cruise ship captain was arrested on Saturday and charged with manslaughter, according to Reuters. Given ongoing international media attention many question whether or not Captain Francesco Schettino has a chance at a fair trial. A front page editorial in Italyâ€™s Corriere della Sera read, â€śItaly owes the world, international public opinion, the families of those who lost their lives, those who were injured and those who fortunately remained unhurt, a convincing explanation and the toughest possible sanctions against those responsible for this tragedy,â€ť reports Reuters.
â€śI donâ€™t think heâ€™s going to get a fair trial, frankly,â€ť says Mr. Loh, who contends he doesnâ€™t believe a captain should be brought to criminal trial in a case like this at all. â€śItâ€™s unfair to criminalize negligent behaviorâ€¦. I think he can be held responsible, but thereâ€™s a difference between criminal and civil responsibility,â€ť he says.
â€śItâ€™s a question of mens rea," a Latin phrase meaning a guilty mind, says Loh. â€śKnowing it to be wrong and doing it anyway is the nature of criminal behavior â€¦ but is there any evidence the captain knew what he was doing was wrong?"