Updated 10/3/11 - Amanda Knox has been found not guilty!
Who is Amanda Knox? If you don't know the answer, you aren't alone. But this blogger feels you should read up before you travel to a foreign country and end up convicted of murder.
I, for one, will NEVER travel to Italy. Mostly because I can't afford it, but also because after following the Amanda Knox case for the last few years, I'm terrified that someone will accuse me of a crime I didn't commit and lock me up for the rest of my life. The Italian justice system? Wackadoo.
In fact, Amanda's parents, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox, were charged with libel for saying that Amanda was mistreated by the police during her interrogation. Their case has been postponed until January 2012. So see? You don't even have to physically do anything in Italy to cause a problem. You can just speak your own truth and wind up in court. Me and my big mouth are not going to take that risk. Which is sad because I would lurve to travel to Italy. Oh well.
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So yeah, I'm all worked up about Amanda Knox. I want so badly for her to be released and allowed to come back to the United States. This week, after a bazillion delays, her appeals trial is continuing in Perugia. It's thought that this may all wrap up by the end of the month. Yesterday, an Italian judge ruled that new DNA testing of the evidence would not be allowed, which is good news for Amanda and Raffaele. If there is no hard evidence, how can the courts possibly uphold the convictions?
- In 2007, 20-year-old Seattle resident Amanda Knox moved to Italy to attend college in Perugia. She lived with 3 housemates, including Meredith Kercher (21 years old).
- She started dating a guy named Raffaele Sollecito (23 years old).
- A few weeks later, Raffaele and Amanda arrived home to find something amiss in the house. Meredith had been brutally murdered.
- Amanda and Raffaele were arrested.
- Amanda was interrogated for so long (4 days), without a lawyer present, in a language she didn't fully understand, that she cracked when they asked her to "imagine" the crime or some such thing and she ended up putting herself at the scene of the crime.
- The interrogation of Amanda Knox was NOT recorded. No record of any of this exists to this day. And in fact, her interrogation confession was thrown out by the Italian Supreme Court but allowed in by the presiding judge as part of the concurrent civil case as "trial documents."
- Let's remember the poor dear was 20 years old.
- Let's also remember that she was in a foreign country trying to understand a new language.
- Let's also remember that confessions that fail to pass the Voluntariness Test, which includes length of interrogation and state of mind of the suspect, would not be admissible in U.S. courts.
- In the process, Amanda mentions her boss at the bar she's working at and falsely accuses him of being there. BAD IDEA, but I don't really blame her for freaking out and losing it given what was going on.
- So Amanda and Raffaele are charged with Meredith's murder.
- Meanwhile, Rudy Guede's DNA is found INSIDE of Meredith. Also? His sh*t is in the toilet. You can't make this stuff up. Rudy pooped in the toilet and LEFT IT THERE. DNA match? Check. Also, his bloody footprints, hand prints, and fingerprints were left at the scene. Not the smartest criminal. He was also arrested and charged.
- Amanda and Raffaele were given 25 years in prison (a form of "life" in Italy). Amanda was given an extra year for lying about her boss, which bumped her up to 26 years. Rudy Guede? He got 30, but now he worked it down to 16 years.
- There are currently appeals for Amanda and Raffaele going on because the evidence is shoddy. They can't retest the DNA found on a knife in Raffaele's place (which did NOT match the bloody imprint on the bed or wound sizes in Meredith) because it was too small an amount. They can't retest the DNA found on Meredith's bra clasp because the thing has rusted away. (Oh, and it sat on the floor and got moved and touched and stepped on at the crime scene when it sat there unattended or protected for 47 days. Hello, contamination?)
- So the evidence against Amanda and Raffaele? Some circumstantial stuff and then her written statement, which I imagine would be inadmissible in a U.S. court for probably 20 different reasons.
*steps off soapbox for a second; shakes head; takes a deep breath*
Amanda Knox was trashed viciously in the Italian press. She was "Foxy Knoxy," the icy, beautiful, American killer. You know what I saw? A 20-year-old girl who landed in a big mess because she was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I have followed her case diligently since 2007, and I honestly don't understand why she doesn't get more press coverage or assistance from the United States. Her case is a HUGE miscarriage of justice, in my opinion. She is Not Guilty. Was she immature at the time? Sure. A little sassy? Yes. A brutal murderer? No. And after reading The Monster of Florence, I realized just how f*cked up her assistant prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, really was. Yes, I said it. Come arrest me. I'm in Iowa.
Don't get me wrong, I feel for the family of Meredith Kercher. They have suffered a tremendous loss in the most horrible way possible. But I think the real killer is already behind bars: Rudy Guede. I'm not sure why they feel Amanda and Raffaele are involved. Perhaps it was all of that speculation during the trial -- that somehow Amanda, Raffaele, and complete-stranger Rudy all got together in a twisted sex game to kill Meredith. Seriously?
I think it's kind of obvious that Rudy did the horrifying deeds all by himself. While I would never want to take away Meredith's family's grief or feelings, I think they have been misled by the Italian justice system. I'm actually p*ssed at Italy for playing this game with Meredith's family as well as Amanda. They made it MUCH bigger and worse than it needed to be, and now Meredith's family will have crazy nightmares about the murder that are far worse than they need to be. It's disgusting.
What will happen? Will Amanda and Raffaele be released on appeal? Or will they spend the next 25 years floundering in Italian jails? And when is THIS country going to start paying attention to this case?
Am I the only one who think these kids are innocent? Lemme have it -- guilty or innocent?
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