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Amanda Knox trial has shown us a darker side of a beautiful country

Post by Brian O'Neill on Feb. 17, 2011 at 10:28 pm with 16 Comments »
February 18, 2011 8:44 pm

Amanda Knox’s murder trial continues to spew a toxic mix of deeply troubling revelations about the judicial system in Italy. Most recently, a criminal charge of libel against Knox’s parents has highlighted the dichotomy between the picturesque Italy that captures the imagination and its draconian criminal justice system.

The contrasts are stunning. Italy is filled with Renaissance sculptures and centuries old fountains that vie for the attention of stylishly dressed, cappuccino-sipping locals as they meander past Roman ruins, or stop at an outdoor cafe for a chianti. The darker side of this prosperous and high-tech country crept into our awareness through media reports of Amanda Knox’s murder trial. This highly publicized trial exposed an investigation and a prosecution that more closely resembled a lynch mob.

Like many foreign students, including Americans, Amanda Knox thought Italy would be a great location to study abroad. What she did not know was that the Italian criminal justice system was a landmine. Once  this college student from Seattle fell into the path of the carabinieri officers who conducted her investigation, she triggered it. She then stood before prosecutors who spilled all of her secrets–drinking and drug usage, sexual encounters, virtually every misdeed she had ever committed. When she finally stood before the judges, it all blew up in her face.

TIn a high profile trial such as this, the prosecution did not manage much. Their best idea for a motive was that she–along with Sollecito, her boyfriend, and Guede, a guy neither of them really knew–killed her roommate, Meredith Kercher, because she wouldn’t join their orgy. To suggest something as far-fetched as this, a prosecutor should demonstrate a pattern of similar behavior. But there wasn’t. The DNA evidence, collected from a knife that didn’t match the knife imprint on the victim’s clothing, matched Knox’s DNA. Then again, it was her kitchen knife.  The most damning testimony came from the confessed killer, Rudy Guede. While still on the run, he told a friend that Knox had not been at the scene of the crime that evening. But in the trial, following his own conviction, he changed his story to implicate Knox.

In fact, the more you read about this trial, the more you’ll reach two conclusions. First, Amanda Knox likely did not kill anyone. Second, whether or not she did, few foreign courts would have allowed such tainted evidence and sketchy testimony to reach a trial courtroom.

As popular as the verdict was in Italy, it was met with subdued shock throughout the rest of the world. Not surprisingly, Knox’s parents, speaking from Great Britain, were loud in their protestations of foul play. In a civilized, democratic society this type of talk is known as free speech. Not in Italy.

In Italy there’s a prosecutor waiting for them.

My take
Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. nonstopjoe says:

    Perhaps the U.S. could persuade the U.N. to intervene to prevent what some feel has been a miscarriage of justice. It may be that Italy needs outside help to revamp it’s judicial system to more closely mirror that existing in the U.S. – which is the most perfect system yet devised by man.

  2. tortoise says:

    This is some PR bs from Foxy Knoxy’s family. Typical TNT “factoid”.
    The most important fact of this case is: the boyfriend, Solecito, comes from a connected and wealthy family. He was convicted of the same crime and received the same sentence.
    Cry me a river.

  3. UnbiasedReporter says:

    Have to wonder if this would even be a story if it was Al Knox, a scuffy looking African-American male?

    And of course good little Amanda fell back on that tried and true American method – blame a black man.

  4. Brian O'Neill says:

    I understand that this is a complicated case but as I stated, this editorial was not meant to prove the innocence of one party. In fact, the one commonality all of us blogging on this topic share is the simple fact that we were not there. Having said that, the observations from the comments to this piece sound remarkably similar to the summation of the Italian prosecutors. Regardless of how you spin this trial, these same prosecutors used evidence and testimony that would not have withstood scrutiny from most courts in the free world.

    That, along with the vindictive nature of the libel case against Knox’s parents, was the point of my comments. Nothing more.

  5. ldpirozzi says:

    Harry rags post in its entirety is a series of lies and has been posted verbatim after every article about Amanda. Harry Rag is a troll. His “information” is taken from news reports and none of it was presented at the trial quite simply because it was untrue and only “leaked” to prejudice the case.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with the rest of you that you need for Amanda to be guilty. Are you jealous of her?

    Just for the record, Mignini and crew blamed the wrong black man. Amanda never blamed him and if you read her statement you would realize that she was coerced into “imagining” what she would have heard had she been there during a murder.

    The more I read the more obvious it is that this was the railroad job from hell (where all you guilters will be joining Mignini one day)

  6. ldpirozzi says:

    Thanks Brian for your thoughtful discussion of what you have observed.

  7. I have a long running mail order business. Italy has the worst postal system in the world of any non dictatorship, & Italian citizens tend to be obnoxious as customers.

  8. gowenray says:

    Ah yes, even justice and the search for truth is about politics. Si?

  9. Brian O'Neill says:

    While I believe that the Italian system of justice could learn a few things from our courts, let’s remember we have our own problems in the U.S. Please keep the discourse civil.

  10. Dave98373 says:

    Nobody forced Ms. Knox to go to Italy. I guess the expression, “When in Rome,” has no meaning to some Americans who try to pervert justice in another part of the world.

  11. Yes, no one asked her to go there. And most likely millions of people who may have gone there before this ludicrous injustice will now not go there to spend their money. Hopefully so anyway!

  12. Add Italy to France as the least likely countries I shall ever visit. Don’t need the grief or the hostility.

  13. Dave98373 says:

    Millions of people will not travel to Italy because of the legal situation of an American (a spoiled foreigner in a another country) who was tried and convicted by trial? Sorry to break the news but Ms. Knox nor her rich parents could never have (or buy) that much influence. As a guest in another country, Ms. Knoxs’ conduct should have been above reproach. She alone placed herself in this situation. I have been to Italy several times since this story and plan on going again this fall. As I am taking in the great history and culture Italy has to offer, the last thing on my mind will be Ms. Knoxs’ legal troubles.

  14. rainrider says:

    Bryan, Stupid Bryan…

    A Murder took place in her apartment, in her presence, with her knowledge and with her DNEFFINA!!! Load up your Tracy Chapman CD, watch your pretty little Tuscany DVD and welcome yourself to a real justice system…MORON>

  15. Some people are sick. Guilty until proven innocent? Is that what we want from our allies? Is that what people want here? Some of you may find that reproachable if you were to one day be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I guess Dan Rather was right when he said, “Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” Shameful.

  16. Brian O'Neill says:


    I just noticed your rant. You seem to have the “People Magazine” version of Amanda’s trial down pat. I would suggest digging deeper, such as verifying where the DNA came from–it is her apartment after all–and other subtle points, but I don’t want to interrupt your high-brow name-calling. Oh, and you spelled my name wrong.

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