La liberazione condizionale di Antonio Gramsci
N. 2, APRILE-GIUGNO
The conditional release of Antonio Gramsci
While it is generally accepted that Antonio Gramsci ruled out with the utmost determination any idea of signing a petition for pardon, it has recently been suggested that his willingness to submit a plea for conditional release had much the same implications in terms of repentance or submission. When this thesis was aired, reactions were immediate, pointing out both the inconsistent and contradictory aspects and the fact that it clashed with Gramsci’s firm and repeatedly shown stand against taking any steps that might be interpreted in this way. In this paper we examine in detail the issues involved, illustrating the normative framework that applied in Italy in the 1930s to regulate access to conditional release and the procedures actually followed by the authorities concerned in the examination of petitions for conditional release submitted by political prisoners. Through this investigation we bring light to bear on the procedures Gramsci chose to follow in drawing up and submitting his petition for release, and the significance that can be attributed to the petition itself and to the reply received from Mussolini.