Posts Tagged 'Amanda Knox'

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?


A crime in Perugia

I don’t know how many of you have been following the Amanda Knox trial, but the story has had me captivated for years.  It was hard to believe the story was really happening: a pretty, college-aged American woman studying abroad in the beautiful Italian town of Perugia accused of, and on trial for, killing her Brittish roommate in a bizzare-o, sex-fueled, vampire-influenced game.  Knox hadn’t even been abroad for a few months when she found herself in jail, where she has remained for years.  I don’t know what I thought was going to happen, but I didn’t expect this result.

I have had a hard time figuring out what the facts are in this case — what’s credible, what’s science, what’s reliable — and I really don’t know what to think.  Sometimes the story is Knox’s DNA was on a bloody knife found in her “boyfriend” Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment.  Sometimes the story is that there is no way that knife could have been used to murder the victim, Meredith Kercher.  Sometimes the story is that there was a sole assailant — Rudy Guede.   Sometimes the story is that Knox and Sollecito told so many inconsistent stories they must be guilty.  It’s really been a confusing mess for me to try to grasp.  I have a friend who is certain that Knox has been railroaded by a crazy, overzealous prosecutor and a wacky Italian justice system.  I have another friend who works for the AP in Rome and says his friend covering the trial can’t even figure out what is going on or what the truth is.  I just don’t know what to believe.  Usually, in my experience, crimes aren’t nearly as complicated as the version the prosecutor presented the jury with in this case.  But usually isn’t always so, I still don’t know.

I guess we’ll see how it plays out on appeal.  I will say that it sounds like Amanda’s Italian is near-perfect due to her extended time in Italy.  I’m sure she would exchange her fluency for freedom, though.

March 2023

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