Archive for October 3rd, 2011

And she’s free!

Yowsers! Like millions, I have been anxiously awaiting today’s announcement of the appellate verdict in the Amanda Knox case. Although I wrote about the case only one time, I have been following it off and on since the crime. And now, just now, the court has announced that Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will be freed, clearing them of the horrible murder charges on which they have been imprisoned for years.

Although I obviously do not know what happened that terrible night in 2007, I believe the prosecution’s theory of the case was so incredibly bizzare and convulted that it strained plausibility from the start. The evidence against Knox and Sollecito was so slim that I hesitate to call it ‘evidence.’ I know that my understanding of the case is limited by all the usual obstacles, but increased by a language barrier and a large ocean. Still, the case seemed so strange that I really did not understand how she was found guilty in the first place. I make no claim to being able to grasp the Italian criminal justice system, which seems hopelessly intertwined with its civil system, so I feel uncomfortable commenting on either the trial or the appeal. That said, if I took what I know of the case, or what I think I know, I would not have been able to find her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial. And taking that same knowledge, or what I think is knowledge, and applying it to the US’s appellate system, I could not have found sufficient evidence to sustain the jury’s verdict.

The thing that can be so frustrating about many wrongful conviction cases is not really present in this case. Often, when a person is exonerated it is the result of physical evidence that shows the accused could not have committed the crime or, maybe even more often, that an unknown person clearly participated in the crime. This is frustrating because although we know someone committed the crime, there is no one in prison to “pay” for it. Take, for instance, the recently freed West Memphis Three. Although they have been released because they entered Alford pleas for the murders, it is generally believed that they did not kill the three little boys whose bodies were found in the river all those years ago. This means, of course, that there is still a murderer or murderers out there somewhere that have never been arrested or tried, much less convicted, of the atrocious crime of child-killing.

Here, though, we do not seem to have that problem. While Knox and Sollecito have been freed, Rudy Guede continues to sit in prison for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Guede admitted he was at the scene the night of the crime, his bloody handprint was found on a pillow, his alibi is that he was in the bathroom while an Italian man killed Kercher, he claimed he came out of the bathroom to find blood everywhere, he ran out of the apartment and then fled to Germany.

I am generally a ‘lone gunman’ believer or, rather, I am much more apt to believe the simplest theory of a crime. Here, it seems to me, the most plausible explanation for the murder, which is the one supported by significant evidence, is that Guede acted alone in killing Kercher.

What do you think?


October 2011

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