Who Is Michael Aaron Pang? New Details On American Man Charged With Murder Of Elderly Store Owner In Italy When His Credit Card Was Declined

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Who Is Michael Aaron Pang? New Details On American Man Charged With Murder Of Elderly Store Owner In Italy When His Credit Card Was Declined

Michael Pang is an American man who was recently arrested for the murder of a 74-year-old shopkeeper, Norveo Fideli. Fideli ran a boutique named Fideli Vogue, which sells designer clothing. Pang moved to Italy r to learn the language. He wentthe store multiple times that week, attempting to purchase about 600 euros worth of clothing. However, his card kept getting declined. Finally, on May 3rd, when his card was declined on some clothing he had ordered, he snapped, picked up a metal stool, hit the older man over the head and stole his wallet. Surveillance footage shows a man who appears to be Pang leaving the shop with a bag wrapped around his foot, supposedly to cover up a blood stain on his shoe. Fideli's wallet was later found in the room that Pang was renting out at a local bed and breakfast.

Several of Pang's friends and neighbors have been shocked by the news, with many of them stating that Pang was generally quiet, but kind. He made an effort to greet his neighbors and to communicate with them despite the language barrier. One question that seems to be coming up is largely in relation to Italy's judicial system, which is very different from the American system in several important ways. Who is Michael Aaron Pang?

1. The prosecutor and the judge actually work together to investigate

The judge is much closer to the case, actually participating in an investigation in order to discover the truth. This can be problematic because a judge may have already made their decision before even walking into a court. They may also know all the evidence, having read and helped with a full investigative report. They may even know evidence that the defendant has no idea about. In 1988, there was a moevement to change this and emphasize a judge's role as someone who merely reviews eveidence, but there is little to no evidence that this type of change has actually occured. Just look at Amanda Knox's case and the total circus that was. Unfortunately that is not an exception to the norm in Italy —it is the norm.

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2. There is no oath of truth in place

In the U.S. we solemnly swear to tell 'the whole truth and nothing but the truth.' However, Italy has no such restraint in place. Instead, defendants and prosecutors and testimonials are given the stand with no such inhibition. 

3. Judges are not sequestered

Judges and juries dealing with any case are sequestered while they decide the verdict of that case. What this means is that they are put up in a hotel or locked in a room, until a decision is reached impartially. This helps avoid media influence, or any sort of influence besides facts in the case, such as overhearing fake news, rumors, and biased interpretations. Italy has no rule on this either, letting juries and judges do their own sort of investigation into the facts of the case.

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4. There are rumors that a case is built around the victims, rather than from the facts themselves

Amanda Knox's murder trial is one of the cases that many point to when discussing the Italian judicial system. There are rumors that a case is often built up around the prime suspect, as opposed to due process, the idea that one is innocent until proven guilty. In Knox's case, she didn't even know she was a suspect as she was signing her confession. In addition, she was charged again for the same case once found innocent without any new evidence, something Americans may recognize as something we refer to as 'double jeopardy, which is illegal here, but not in Italy. 

5. These kind of fumbles make outsiders question how Italy will handle any criminal case

Because of cases like Knox's, there is a much sharper eye cast on cases like Pang's. The judicial system in Italy is so different than our own, that it feels as if a new line has been drawn between just and unjust, and we feel disoriented in the system. While there isn't much evidence proving Pang as innocent, and it does seem that the investigation into his guilt has been thorough, foreign audiences have to wonder how accountable another judicial system truly is.

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6. Michael Aaron Pang

Michael Aaron Pang was born in 1997 in South Korea. He is a U.S. citizen who grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. He is a graphic designer. His attorney said that Pang is childlike, in spite of being 22-years-old. He called Pang a "well behaved boy from a good American family." He arrived in Italy three months ago and was staying on a tourist visa in the Italian town of Capodimonte. Locals in town descibed him as gentle and soft spoken.

Beth Al Fattal is an editorial intern at YourTango.