Amanda Knox: Guilty or victim of conspiracy?


Andem
#1
She is the "she-devil" in some British newspaper headlines. In the United States, the headlines are gentler; a New York Times column called her "An Innocent Abroad." The Italians, mesmerized by the allegations of sex, drugs and murderous violence, consider her a bigger personality than Carla Bruni, a poll showed.

The media treatment is not surprising. The alleged killer, Amanda Knox, 22, is an American from Seattle. The victim, Meredith Kercher, was British. The killing took place in Perugia, a medieval hill town in central Italy. Ms. Knox is famous, or infamous, in three countries and part of the daily tabloid feast in many others.

As early as tomorrow, the young woman will hit the headlines like never before, when after an 11-month trial, an Italian jury decides whether she is innocent or guilty in the gruesome death of Ms. Kercher. The prosecutors have asked for life imprisonment. Italy has no death penalty.

"What makes this case different is the allegations of a woman-on-woman sex crime, which is rare," said Barbie Latza Nadeau, the Rome-based journalist covering the case for Newsweek and thedailybeast.com. "The case also makes good TV - pretty, young people charged with doing horrible things."

While Ms. Knox is not the only defendant - her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 25, from Bari in southern Italy, is also charged - the U.S., British and Italian media have focused on the American. She is attractive and, judging from her life before she landed in Italy in 2007, not the sort of girl to land in trouble.

Ms. Knox was a Jesuit-educated student when she arrived in Perugia for a term abroad from the University of Washington. Her parents had little money, so she worked hard to save for her Italian trip. She was a fine athlete. She liked reading and theatre. She shared a small villa in Perugia with several other students and worked part time at a pub. One of her villa mates was Ms. Kercher, who was 21 and went to Perugia as part of a European studies degree at Leeds University.

The fun and adventure ended when Ms. Kercher's body was discovered on Nov. 2, 2007, in her villa bedroom. She was all but naked - her top had been pulled up to her shoulders. Her throat had been punctured with a knife (or knives) and she had bled to death, though she may have choked on her own blood. There was no sign of struggle.

At first, Ms. Knox was not a suspect. She voluntarily went to the Perugia police station and was being interviewed as a potential witness. In the course of the questioning, she said she was at the scene of the crime and blamed the Congolese owner of the pub, Patrick Lumumba, for the slaying. She even described Ms. Kercher's screams.

She later retracted what she said, claiming she was "very confused," insisting instead that she had spent the night with Mr. Sollecito cooking dinner, smoking pot, watching a movie and having sex. The verbal confession was thrown out because no lawyer was present during the interrogation. As for Mr. Lumumba, it turns out he had an airtight alibi and was declared innocent. He has since filed a civil suit against Ms. Knox for defamation of character.

In the summer of 2008, after a lengthy probe by lead investigator Guiliano Mignini, Ms. Knox, Mr. Sollecito and a drifter from the Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, were formally charged with Ms. Kercher's murder. The prosecution alleged she was killed after refusing to take part in a drug-fuelled sex game that escalated into violence. Mr. Guede, 22, whose sperm was found in her body, opted for a fast-track trial and was convicted a year ago for his role in the murder.

Investigators found Mr. Guede's fingerprints and DNA on Ms. Kercher's body; Mr. Sollecto's DNA on the clasp of the bloodied bra that was cut away from her body that night; and Ms. Knox's DNA on the handle of a knife and what looks to be Ms. Kercher's DNA on the blade. Ms. Knox's lawyers contest this piece of evidence. They say the victim's knife DNA was so small it could not be double-tested to forensic standards and might be the result of cross-contamination.

The charges triggered a media circus and there is little doubt that Ms. Knox's behaviour did her no favours.

Shortly after Ms. Kercher's body was discovered, but before she was arrested, a security camera showed her and Mr. Sollecito buying lingerie in a Perugia store, with Ms. Knox telling him: "Afterwards I'm going to take you home so we can have wild sex together."

She did not apologize to Mr. Lumumba for falsely accusing him. She performed cartwheels at the police station while waiting to talk to investigators about the death.
When it comes, the verdict will leave as many questions as answers even if it goes against the defendants. Several authors are said to be writing books on the case but, absent a full confession, there may not be much new to say.

TheGlobe&Mail

My take:

Well the verdict has come and she was found guilty by a non-sequestered jury, consisting of 6 jurors and 2 judges. In fact, one juror mentioned months before to the media that they assumed she was guilty. She has been sentenced to 26 years in prison and her boyfriend, convicted of raping and murdering the victim will be locked up as a sex offender.

Needless to say, the only solid physical evidence involving the murder of Ms. Kercher points solely and directly to the Cote D'Ivoir drifter and drug dealer, Mr. Guede. The prosecution's version of events simply can't withstand the fact that the Italian-American duo had never even had social contact with Mr. Guede.

I didn't really think much of the case and really knew nothing about it until I read some articles about conflicts arising with the case between the defense and the prosecution.. Yesterday, instead of posting here, I spent quite a while reading blogs and media reports over the case. I'm surprised it hasn't really been brought up here.

A lawyer friend mentioned that with such questionable procedures and lack of evidence, the American-Italian couple would have never been convicted in Germany. I reckon it'd never happen in the US and I don't think Canada would have convicted her either.
 
shadowshiv
#2
This is one of those cases where it is hard to tell if a person is really guilty or not. When I first heard about this case, I figured that she was guilty. Now, I am not sure. Would the same outcome occur if the trial had happened in either Canada or the US? There are a lot of intangibles here, and I imagine an appeal will be tendered.
 
Andem
#3
From what I've read, the appeal process in Italy involves a brand new trial from scratch which could happen years from now. I just couldn't find anything solid that would provide for a guilty verdict. Some things Ms. Knox said were questionable, but nothing which would, beyond a reasonable doubt, make me come to the conclusion she was guilty.
 
shadowshiv
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

From what I've read, the appeal process in Italy involves a brand new trial from scratch which could happen years from now. I just couldn't find anything solid that would provide for a guilty verdict. Some things Ms. Knox said were questionable, but nothing which would, beyond a reasonable doubt, make me come to the conclusion she was guilty.

I wonder if she realizes that if she had not acted like she had during the trial, there may have been a different outcome? Could this be a case of a scapegoat being found and closing the case just to close the case?

This reminds me a little about the two Canadians being murdered in Mexico. The Mexican police tried to pin the crime on two woman from Ontario, but it was later found that they had nothing to do with it(they were thankfully back in Canada when they were accused((I believe)) otherwise they may have been imprisoned! It turns out that it was a member of Hotel Security that commited the heinous murders(they were quite violent deaths!). I don't hold a lot of faith in honest Mexican justice(due to the large amount of corrupt policemen there).
 
spaminator
#5


foxy knoxy is a pretty girl. i hope she's innocent.
 
shadowshiv
#6
Andem, should the title not read 'Amanda Knox: Guilty or victim of conspiracy?'? Not trying to be a jerk about it or anything...
 
shadowshiv
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminator View Post



foxy knoxy is a pretty girl. i hope she's innocent.

That is the thing, spaminator. Her friends and family are saying that her personality is nothing like what the media is portraying. The whole "foxy knoxy" slant is a large reason why she was slammed in the media and ended up playing a major factor in her being found guilty.
 
spaminator
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

Andem, should the title not read 'Amanda Knox: Guilty or victim of conspiracy?'? Not trying to be a jerk about it or anything...

yeah, i noticed that as well. in any event, she's pretty much screwed.
 
Andem
#9
Oops, was thinking of two different thread titles when I posted it and the two kind of got merged Fixed title.
 
shadowshiv
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminator View Post

yeah, i noticed that as well. in any event, she's pretty much screwed.

With all the attention the trial has garnered, I wonder how the fellow prisoners will react to her? Will they heap extra trouble on her, or will she be a "celebrity"?
 
spaminator
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

That is the thing, spaminator. Her friends and family are saying that her personality is nothing like what the media is portraying. The whole "foxy knoxy" slant is a large reason why she was slammed in the media and ended up playing a major factor in her being found guilty.

i agree. the jury got to see all of the tabloid stuff. it sealed her fate.
 
Andem
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

That is the thing, spaminator. Her friends and family are saying that her personality is nothing like what the media is portraying. The whole "foxy knoxy" slant is a large reason why she was slammed in the media and ended up playing a major factor in her being found guilty.

But that's exactly the problem. Why was the media allowed to decide her verdict? It seems like this trial was very unfair and if she does get a new trial, it will still be unfair because the jury would still be tainted.
 
shadowshiv
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

Oops, was thinking of two different thread titles when I posted it and the two kind of got merged Fixed title.

LOL! No worries. I've made the same mistake before as well.

This thread seems to have stimulated a fair bit of discussion so far. Hopefully when more members come online they can add their views on it.
 
shadowshiv
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

But that's exactly the problem. Why was the media allowed to decide her verdict? It seems like this trial was very unfair and if she does get a new trial, it will still be unfair because the jury would still be tainted.

The media seems to play factors in many things today. Another example would be the Tiger Woods fiasco. By asking for privacy, Tiger has opened up the floodgates for the media to come after him like sharks in bloody water. No answer will be good enough for them anymore.
 
spaminator
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

With all the attention the trial has garnered, I wonder how the fellow prisoners will react to her? Will they heap extra trouble on her, or will she be a "celebrity"?

i think that some prisoners will feel both ways. that fact that she's pretty may work against her, especially with the lesbians.
 
Andem
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminator View Post

i think that some prisoners will feel both ways. that fact that she's pretty may work against her, especially with the lesbians.

From what I've read, she shares a room with 3 other prisoners which includes a small kitchen and a private shower. It is said that there is a 'big mamma' which shares a room with her who looks over her. I don't know exactly who this person is, but it didn't sound that bad.
 
SirJosephPorter
-1
#17
I heard on CNN that the system of justice in Italy is different from our system. We have the presumption of innocence, they don’t in Italy, they have presumption of guilt.

In Canada or (USA), the defendant is presumed innocent, it is up to the prosecution to prove him (or her) guilty. In Italy, the defendant is presumed guilty, it is up to the defendant to prove his/her innocence.

CNN said that Italians deny it, but this is pretty much the system over there. If that indeed is the system, then she may very well have been guilty by Italian standards, in that she couldn’t prove her innocence.

In any case, it is important to remember that many countries do not have our just, fair, judicial system. In some countries (probably not Italy), the fact that you have been arrested itself is the evidence of guilt.

Anyway, the lesson here is, don’t get into trouble n a foreign country. They don’t have the same standards, the same rights, same freedoms as we do, and if you get into trouble, it may lead to your life being ruined (although it may be a minor problem, minor offense by American or Canadian standards).
 
lone wolf
#18
Canada or the US aren't exclusively Common Law either. Quebec and Louisiana are based on civil law
 
coldstream
#19
I'm honestly not sure what happened here. But from what i've heard and seen, and i've only followed the case intermittently, the Prosecution's case is riddled with innuendo, prejudice against Amanda's lifestyle, and tainted evidence.

The Prosecutor in the case was compared in some of the American talk shows, by people who have had direct legal contact with him, as of the same character of those who produced the 'satanic witchhunts' of the last 1980s and early 90s, that produced some of the great travesties of American Justice. The worst since the McCarthy era hysteria.

Like the American cases the location of these trials all occurred in the 'Bible Belt', areas where juries are marked by strong literal sense of omnipresent evil. Although Perugia is Catholic rather than Evangelical, there is a corresponding mind frame that drifts into superstition and characterization of individuals as 'possessed'.

Also like the American cases, the Prosecutor here was someone of rampant political ambition. He is under indictment for obstructing justice. Ane he is a man adept at managing the media of a case for his own benefit through outright distortion.

My sense is that Amanda and her boyfriend has more to do with this than the pristine innoncence they claim. But i'm sure what has NOT been met is the standard of certitude, beyond a reasonable doubt. That would make this a case of INJUSTICE, in the interests of the ambitions of a ruthless prosecutor.
Last edited by coldstream; Dec 7th, 2009 at 01:43 PM..
 
Francis2004
#20
I watched the verdict the night it happened on a Seattle TV station one point was made below.

Prior to her conviction a Italian commentator was making comments on why she had not released on bail and all the comments on Facebook / Twitter.

I was just on Facebook and looked at the comments on her Support site. It may not be fair to her but I can understand why someone could use those against her in holding from getting bail and a fair trial.

Is this a good case of Social Networking sites interfering in justice ?

I have not logged into my Twitter account to see what was said there and I really need not look as I can only imagine they are similar..

How many times do people need to be told to be careful what is said or posted on Social Web sites before it affects so many from the crap that is spewed or posted ?
 
AnnaG
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

She is the "she-devil" in some British newspaper headlines. In the United States, the headlines are gentler; a New York Times column called her "An Innocent Abroad." The Italians, mesmerized by the allegations of sex, drugs and murderous violence, consider her a bigger personality than Carla Bruni, a poll showed.

The media treatment is not surprising. The alleged killer, Amanda Knox, 22, is an American from Seattle. The victim, Meredith Kercher, was British. The killing took place in Perugia, a medieval hill town in central Italy. Ms. Knox is famous, or infamous, in three countries and part of the daily tabloid feast in many others.


TheGlobe&Mail

My take:

Well the verdict has come and she was found guilty by a non-sequestered jury, consisting of 6 jurors and 2 judges. In fact, one juror mentioned months before to the media that they assumed she was guilty. She has been sentenced to 26 years in prison and her boyfriend, convicted of raping and murdering the victim will be locked up as a sex offender.

Needless to say, the only solid physical evidence involving the murder of Ms. Kercher points solely and directly to the Cote D'Ivoir drifter and drug dealer, Mr. Guede. The prosecution's version of events simply can't withstand the fact that the Italian-American duo had never even had social contact with Mr. Guede.

I didn't really think much of the case and really knew nothing about it until I read some articles about conflicts arising with the case between the defense and the prosecution.. Yesterday, instead of posting here, I spent quite a while reading blogs and media reports over the case. I'm surprised it hasn't really been brought up here.

A lawyer friend mentioned that with such questionable procedures and lack of evidence, the American-Italian couple would have never been convicted in Germany. I reckon it'd never happen in the US and I don't think Canada would have convicted her either.

I agree. It sounds to me like the court convicted her on a few bits of circumstantial evidence. In North America, we need a preponderance of circumstantial evidence in order to convict. I think she was railroaded.
The last thing I want to do after smoking pot is do something violent. (That's besides the fact that pot irritates my tummy). I don't know about Italian men, though, maybe they get violent on pot.
 
JakeElwood
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminator View Post

foxy knoxy is a pretty girl. i hope she's innocent.

So if she had been unattractive, you wouldn't have cared about her guilt or innocence?

Looks like you'll need to be kept off a jury when the accused is an attractive female.
 
AnnaG
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by JakeElwood View Post

So if she had been unattractive, you wouldn't have cared about her guilt or innocence?

Looks like you'll need to be kept off a jury when the accused is an attractive female.

It seems that way.
 
Socrates the Greek
#24
Italy is very well known to have a poor justice system, and as a result, Italy is the incubator of Crime Bosses who have for year’s subjected innocent people to silent fear.

26 years for not being the killer or physically helping with this gruesome murder when in fact it has been said Amanda was not the killer, is very bizarre. What are these Judges thinking?
I bet if it were a mobster being sentenced, he would have been looking at a lighter sentence.
 
SirJosephPorter
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by Socrates the Greek View Post

Italy is very well known to have a poor justice system, and as a result, Italy is the incubator of Crime Bosses who have for year’s subjected innocent people to silent fear.

26 years for not being the killer or physically helping with this gruesome murder when in fact it has been said Amanda was not the killer, is very bizarre. What are these Judges thinking?
I bet if it were a mobster being sentenced, he would have been looking at a lighter sentence.

So there is something to what CNN said abut the Italian justice system.
 
Francis2004
#26
Amanda Knox's parents will be on CNN's Larry King Live tonight.. Could have some interesting views on the topic..

Show Pages - Larry King Live - CNN.com
 
Francis2004
#27
As a follow up as well to my Social Web sites, I had a peek at Twitter and it sure has a lot of Tweets ( posts ) on the topic.. Again, people need to understand they do not help in some cases by what is said..
 
Andem
#28
The simple fact that the jurors had access to the media or any type of social networking web sites really shows how horribly the Italian justice system works. Just the fact that they did convict a known criminal/drug dealer and continued prosecuting two other people with no solid evidence really draws a huge question mark in my mind. At first glace, that simple fact should make somebody question.

When one looks into the facts of the case, it becomes even more of an enigma.

One thing that many media outlets with negative views toward Amanda like to point out is that she was performing cartwheels after being questioned. If that simple fact was a matter in the case, I'm sure the court should have looked at her mental sanity, however it was never even a question (as far as I know) during proceedings.

This small detail was definitely a contributing factor toward her verdict, yet it wasn't a matter argued by the prosecution. To be clear, everything that was thrown out by the court was contributing to their verdicts. How corrupt and unfair can a system be?

Were drugs a contributing factor?

Anna: Your point is very valid, and the prosecution used drugs and promiscuousness as their main references for building their character profile of Amanda Knox, yet I can't say for sure if it was used against her as any of the reasons for committing murder. The following video (which I saw 2 days ago) may disprove the prosecution's arguments:

YouTube - Amanda Knox, Accused Killer of Meredith Kercher

I'm not one known to do drugs, but I have tried weed and I do drink alcohol every now and then. I can confidently say that if one does either drugs or alcohol on a regular basis, they grow tolerant towards such substances and hence can handle more than "[after] one", "one and a half" shots. Hence the picture painted by the prosecutors just doesn't hold up: It looks exactly like a college student from the suburbs, leading a sheltered life experimenting; nothing unordinary.

I think the guilty verdicts for the two (not including the Cote D'Ivoir national) is nothing short of absurd. They may be guilty, but from the courtroom I simply don't think the prosecution has a case. Most, if not all, of their arguments are circumstantial and furthermore, IMHO, full of holes and questions.

The court must known something I don't.
 
JakeElwood
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem View Post

The simple fact that the jurors had access to the media or any type of social networking web sites really shows how horribly the Italian justice system works.

The case lasted a year. How do you expect to keep the jury isolated from the world and the news for a whole year?

The judge may tell jury members to stay away from the news (TV & papers), social networking sites, etc. and to not discuss the case with family and friends. But do you honestly think that jury members in the USA, Canada or the UK are any better at obeying the orders of a judge than they are in Italy? I doubt it, especially in very long cases.
 
shadowshiv
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by JakeElwood View Post

The case lasted a year. How do you expect to keep the jury isolated from the world and the news for a whole year?

The judge may tell jury members to stay away from the news (TV & papers), social networking sites, etc. and to not discuss the case with family and friends. But do you honestly think that jury members in the USA, Canada or the UK are any better at obeying the orders of a judge than they are in Italy? I doubt it, especially in very long cases.

With the case being as large as it was, you would think they would have sequestered the jury. I believe that is what happened during the original OJ Simpson trial, but perhaps it is different in Italy? They may not even have that as an option(but they should).
 

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