Amanda Knox Conviction Overturned

An appeals jury in Italy this afternoon overturned the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Knox’s roommate Meredith Kircher four years ago. While it has shocked many, it was a victory for the rule of law given the lack of evidence and serious mistakes of police in the course of the investigation. What was interesting, however, was the fact that slander convictions against Knox and Sollecito were upheld.

We have previously discussed the problems in the physical evidence and false statements made in the case against the couple. We also discussed the ludicrous slander charges made against the parents.

The defamation claim stems from her accusing her former boss in a bar where she worked, Patrick Lumumba, in testimony. Later she said that the police pressured her into accusing Lumumba. The use of defamation to charge people for such testimony (considered privileged in the U.S.) is a terrible practice. Since the sentence for such defamation is three years, however, Knox is free to go.

What is clear after this case is that the police investigators are virtually “libel proof” in light of their numerous and mind boggling mistakes. I fear great sympathy for the parents of Kircher. There was a foundation to suspect both Knox and Sollecito, whose testimony changed in fundamental ways and retained serious gaps. However, the police so bungled this case, the threads of evidence left ample doubt. The prosecutors relied on open speculation based on highly questionable forensic evidence such as Sollecito’s DNA on the bra strap. The evidence against Knox was even weaker. None of this dispels suspicions of the couple or their contemptful conduct before and after the murder. Knox now stands to make millions. However, the jury proved itself dispassionate and disciplined is separating speculation from fact in overturning the convictions.

Source: MSNBC

40 thoughts on “Amanda Knox Conviction Overturned”

  1. raff, they have the guy and have had him all along. It is his DNA that is all over the crime scene and on the knife.

  2. Mespo,
    if the rule of law won out, then justice for the victim is still ongoing. The authorities need to prove who did the heinous killing. Only then will the victim’s family get justice.

  3. Abusive prosecutions are hardly rare, the occur in America as well as in Italy. As well as that of Troy Davis there is that Aafia Siddqui. Alan Bean and Friends of Justice has stacks of examples in his archives.

  4. Mespo.

    I suggest you read the article on the lies spread about Knox at injustice in Perugia.

    The authorities conducted a textbook campaign of defamation of Knox, it is not surprising that her public image appears so sleazy.

    Also read the articles on the interrogation to which I linked earlier.

  5. Erykah.

    I have no respect for these “when in trouble blame it on a Black man” heifers. Rule of law my ass. They should make her stay in jail for 28 years on that alone.”

    Read the articles about the interrogation of Amanda Knox to which I linked in my previous posts. There was a hair from Rudy Guede at the crime scene and police recognized it as coming from an African. The only African they knew associated with Amanda Knox was Patrick Lumumba so the police browbeat Knox into imagining a scenario where Lumumba performed the murder while Knox heard the screams from another room and then claimed this as a confession.

  6. Former FBI agent Steve Moore deconstructs the “interrogation” into minute pieces in this article.

    If one accepts the police story about the interrogation, then some suspicion of Amanda Knox must remain, however If one accepts that the police story of the interrogation is a lie and the interrogation was an abusive one of that type intended to get the victim to say what the police want including inducing a false confession the shadow over Knox evaporates.

    Of course as someone who lived with the victim, Amanda Knox should have been considered a suspect, but when no evidence implicating her turned up the authorities should have decided that she had nothing to do with the murder and moved on, however they did not do this,they kept searching with increasing desperation and eventually willed evidence against Knox into existence, the coerced confession and the apparent DNA on the knife and bra clip.

    This case is an excellent example of prosecutorial tunnel vision. What the prosecution did is conduct a very effective campaign of defamation against Knox by leaking every bit of evidence to the press including evidence that was later shown to be incorrect. Of course no effort was made to publicize the fact that previously leaked information was wrong so Knox was convicted in the court of public opinion before the trial ever started. Those who became jurors in the first trial had in their minds not just the evidence tendered in court but also the incorrect leaked information from the newspapers.

    One can speculate ato motives. Did the Perugia authorities have an ulterior motive to convict someone they knew to be innocent or was it a case of extreme prejudice? I suspect the latter, that authorities in a conservative rural Italian town see sexually active unmarried women as evil ad hence obviously likely to commi atrocious murders. I suspect that prosecutor Giuliano Migini exhibited an extreme form of this mind set.

  7. eryka:

    Yours is the point made by the prosecutors and the one persuasive to me. Why blame an innocent unless you are guilty yourself?

  8. erykah, I have been waiting for a discussion of Troy Davis, too. What a tragedy!! Thank you so much for bringing it up.

  9. Reminds me of an old line from that wonderful Sydney Pollack movie, Absence of Malice, starring Paul Newman and Sally Field. During the DOJ’s “inquiry” into the scandal masterfully presided over by actor Wilford Brimley, playing Deputy US Attorney James J. Wells, Paul Newman’s character is asked if he set up a sting against a Miami US attorney as payback for the death of his childhood friend, Teresa Perrone, who committed suicide because of a newspaper article, written by Field’s character, mentioning she had undegone an abortion. Newman’s character, Michael Gallagher, utters a haunting question in that rueful way that only he can:

    “Everybody in this room is smart, and everybody was just doing their job, and Teresa Perrone is dead. Who do I see about that?”

    Who does Meredith Kercher’s parents “see about that”? It’s supposed to be justice for all in courtrooms.

  10. mespo, et al….

    I have a problem with the prosecutor awaiting sentencing in this case….call me spurious…but he did end up going to jail….and if what I heard today on TV 56% of all appeals in the Italian Court are won….there has to be a problem we are not aware of….

  11. I am over joyed…..Now, if we spend as much time protecting other citizens here and over seas…then I would be ecstatic….

  12. You know I predicted that here would be a conversation on this list about Knox but nothing about the murder of Troy Davis and the holes in our own legal system.

    Anywho, Knox blamed an innocent African man Patrick Lumumba, the restaurant owner who had hired her a few weeks back, of the murder. I have no respect for these “when in trouble blame it on a Black man” heifers. Rule of law my ass. They should make her stay in jail for 28 years on that alone.

  13. Carlysle:

    Here’s a site setting forth 5 reasons for and against acquittal:

    Personally, I think Amanda got away with one and her behavior after the incident raises more than suspicion with me. Still the rule of law won and the only loser is Meredith Kercher. Where is justice for her? Perhaps we should think about that too amid all the principled rejoicing. In a case like this, does anyone really win?

  14. This was an abusive prosecution by a corrupt or incompetent prosecutor and by police who are both corrupt and incompetent.

    See this description of the abusive interrogation of Amanda Knox which was actually an exercise in brainwashing to implant false memories, in particular the false memory that Patrick Lumumba had murdered Meredith Kercher.

    It is obvious that the appeals jury was incapable of acknowledging that this misbehavior by the Perugia police actually occurred hence the validation of the charge that Knox slandered Patrick Lumumba. The slander conviction against Knox remains a significant injustice, in fact it was Perugia Police who should have been convicted of this slander.

  15. “There was a foundation to suspect both Knox and Sollecito, whose testimony changed in fundamental ways and retained serious gaps.”

    How did their testimony change in a way that cast suspicion on them?

  16. While there’s a lesson to be learned by overzealous Law Enforcement and DAs everywhere, most likely it will be, as they say, “lost in translation.”

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