In its written explanation, which Italian courts are required to provide within 90 days of verdicts, the court scathingly attacked the defense lawyers' methods.
In a 364-page document signed by the trial's presiding judge, Marina Finiti, the court contended that the defense had “mocked the conduct of the victims'' and ”exercised the right of the defense to the limits of permission and of decency."
The defendants testified that neither officer showed a police badge. Varriale testified that they had identified themselves as Carabinieri officers.
The Union of Italian Penal Chambers, in a statement posted on its web site this week, decried the “unheard-of vehemence” shown by the court toward the Americans' defense lawyers. It said the court's attitude is “certainly extraneous to the most elementary canons of trial legality and of professional correctness” of a magistrate.
The Criminal Chamber of Naples said the Rome court sounded as if it had “decided beforehand” the trial's outcome.
Life imprisonment is Italy's stiffest criminal punishment.
Defense lawyers have said they'll appeal the verdicts.