Amanda Knox

Differing perspectives fuel debate over Knox case

Amanda Knox waits on a television set for an interview, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 in New York. Knox said she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her and an ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of a British roommate in Italy and vowed to "never go willingly" to face her fate in that country's judicial system . "I'm going to fight this to the very end," she said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America." (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Amanda Knox waits on a television set for an interview, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 in New York. Knox said she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her and an ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of a British roommate in Italy and vowed to “never go willingly” to face her fate in that country’s judicial system . “I’m going to fight this to the very end,” she said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

SEATTLE (AP) — To some Americans, especially those in her hometown of Seattle, Amanda Knox seems a victim, unfairly hounded by a capricious legal system in Italy that convicted her this week in the death of a 21-year-old British woman.

But in Europe, some see her as a privileged American who is getting away with murder, embroiled in a case that continues to make global headlines and reinforces a negative image of U.S. citizens behaving badly — even criminally — abroad without any punishment.

As she remains free in the U.S., the perceptions will likely fuel not only the debate about who killed Meredith Kercher in 2007 and what role, if any, Knox played in her death, but complicate how the U.S. and Italian governments resolve whether she should be sent to Italy to face prison.

“It’s been a polarizing case, and that polarization will remain,” said Anne Bremner, a Seattle attorney and Knox supporter.

The divergent views on who killed Kercher are rooted not just in the typical dynamics of a legal case in which the two sides hold opposing narratives, but also in the differences between the justice systems in the U.S. and Italy, and examples of Americans avoiding Italian justice.

After being first convicted and then acquitted, Knox and her one-time boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted again Thursday, following their third trial. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years, Sollecito to 25 years. The court’s reasoning isn’t expected to be released for three months.

The tone of some British newspaper coverage reflected skepticism about Knox’s protestations of innocence. “Shameless in Seattle” was the front-page headline on Saturday’s Daily Mail, which referred to Knox’s “brazen TV charm offensive to escape extradition.”

Any decision on whether to return Knox to Italy will ultimately be made by the U.S. State Department.

There have been other high-profile cases in which Italians hoped in vain to have Americans face justice there, notably the case of a U.S. Marine jet that sliced a gondola cable in the Italian Alps in 1998, killing 20 people.

Under NATO rules, the U.S. military retained jurisdiction, and the pilot was acquitted of manslaughter.

More recently, in 2009 Italian courts convicted — in absentia — 26 CIA and U.S. government employees in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric suspected of recruiting terrorists in Milan.

Some lawyers familiar with the process say Knox has little hope of avoiding extradition under the terms of the U.S.-Italy treaty, but that won’t stop her supporters from mounting a campaign to keep her in the U.S.

They’re appealing to American principles about trying someone multiple times for the same crime, even though under Italian law her earlier conviction and subsequent acquittal were never finalized, and even her third trial was considered part of the first prosecution against her.

They’re also asking how one appellate court could find her actually innocent, while another court convicts her beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kercher, 21, was found dead in the bedroom of the apartment she and Knox shared in the town of Perugia, where they were studying. Kercher had been sexually assaulted and her throat slashed.

Investigators claimed it had been a drug-fueled sex game gone awry — an accusation that made the case a tabloid sensation.

Knox, now 26, and Sollecito, now 29, denied any involvement. After initially giving confused alibis, they insisted they were at Sollecito’s apartment that night, smoking marijuana, watching a movie and having sex.

But police and news media focused on what was described as Knox’s bizarre behavior afterward — shopping for underwear, embracing Sollecito and turning cartwheels for police as she became a suspect.

Meanwhile, a third defendant was arrested and convicted separately: Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, a drug dealer whose DNA was found was found in the room where Kercher was killed, and who acknowledged being there the night of the murder.

For Knox’s detractors, there remains that after her arrest, she implicated an innocent man — Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, the Congolese owner of a pub where Knox occasionally worked.

Knox said she made those statements under duress during an overnight interrogation, when she had neither a lawyer nor a professional interpreter, and when she had been asked to imagine what might have happened. Her supporters say such an interrogation would never have been allowed in the U.S.

For Knox’s supporters, the initial police theory about the sex game was far-fetched, much more complicated than what they saw was the more plausible explanation that Guede killed Kercher by himself.

And the fact that prosecutors abandoned that theory for the most recent trial, instead arguing that the motive was an argument over cleanliness in the apartment, further illustrates that law enforcement was grasping, they say.

As Knox awaits her fate, the questions over who killed Kercher will continue. Knox’s supporters, for example, released an electronic book arguing that Guede acted alone in the killing. Kercher’s siblings wonder if they’ll ever know what really happened.

Some in Italy, however, seem to be coming to one conclusion: the prosecutors didn’t have much evidence.

The Rome daily La Repubblica wrote Friday that the third verdict confirms that the case “from the very beginning has been judged more on the basis of sensation than actual evidence.”

It suggested Knox and Sollecito had “always been the perfect culprits,” and that “in reality, what is probably more at stake than assigning responsibility for a murder is the prestige of a part of the magistrature and the Umbrian police.”


Source: AP

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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sabra says:

Evidence is only acceptable as far as Rudy Guede? One investigative team for the entire case.
If your going to support Amanda first off you might want to question her on why all the lies? What happened at the home in which she shared with the Murder victim whom bedrooms were right next to each other?
Why call the roommates who were out of town to come investigate a potential break-in with blood splatter and your friends bedroom door locked?
Why not call her phone which having 2 phones would you not hear the ring?
Blood splatter door wide open no concern? or what about the scream you heard?
The oh awe I am was in a foreign country barely able to speak the language.
You should have not behaved so guilty with no concern that a murderer was on the loose that stabbed your friend 40 times all you could do was shop, make out with your 10 day lover be concerned about YOURSELF if you had a place to live?
Seriously Anne your an attorney? Take all the evidence word it re-word twist it make light of Meredith Kercher being savagely murdered to fit into your gossipy tale with Lies and misconceptions.
Narrative? Synonyms 1. chronicle, tale. Narrative, account, recital, history are terms for a story of an event or events. Narrative is the general term.
You might want to hear what the Magistrature has to say on coming to this verdict. They are no joke.
US has a Treaty with Italy being Amanda is not in Our Military committed the crime while abroad no special circumstances and unless the US wants to charge her with being a fugitive to Italy to prison is her future.

william says:

The blood “spatter” wasn’t found on Meredith Kercher’s bedroom door. It was in the bathroom and it wasn’t a lot of blood or “spatter” it was drops of blood, so she didn’t think anything of it! The last thing you think of is murder when you see some drops blood. Why on earth would she return to the scene of the crime if she killed someone there the night before??? The real murderer fled the country!

In regards to her “lies” they were inconsistent stories because she was abused by police. Interrogated for hours without counsel. Suggestions made. Of course, the police knew exactly what they were doing. Trying to get a confession because it would be damning in court. Look up false confessions. They happen all the time.

“Blood splatter door wide open no concern? or what about the scream you heard?” Wrong, her door wasn’t wide open when she got there nor was their blood spatter on the doors. The screams were part of the false confession that was coerced from her by the police. She wasn’t there when the murder took place, or at the very least there is NO evidence placing her there.

It’s clear that all you have done is read what was said in the newspapers. She went shopping for underwear because she didn’t have any left. Of course, there’s a witch hunt on and newspapers to think about, so lets make a big sexual thing out of that and make her look guilty.

Making out?? You make that sound like they were wearing the face off each other. They weren’t. He kissed her a couple of times and hugged her to CONSOLE her. But again that was made a big deal out. Absolute Joke!

All of what you’ve said is very presumptuous and circumstantial probably from all the media outlets you’ve read regarding this case. Why this and why that without using common sense. You CAN’T kill someone in that fashion without leaving any trace of DNA behind. The guy that did it left everything behind. I’m not saying she didn’t do anything stupid, but she was 21 and the last time I checked there was no law against stupidity.

william says:

The most stupid thing she did was stay there, and try to help police with the investigation. Her Mother should have had her on the next plane home before the police had time to interrogate her. That may have made her look like she was running away, but what good came from wanting to help.

Verdict4u says:

Within the next 90 days it will be interesting to read how they came up with the guilty verdict.

Verdict4u says:

If she is innocent, why did she change her stories and put the blame on her boss? She has been talking to media since her verdict without a tear in her eye. I think she is guilty!

william says:

They got a forced confession by mentally and physically abusing her without legal counsel for hours and hours at a time. Forced confessions and false stories are typical when police take that kind of action. Look it up. There’s so much on the internet about this. Why didn’t they read her the miranda rights, or suggest she should have a lawyer present?

Verdict4u says:

She never confessed.

william says:

First of all, it was the police who suggested that it was her boss. Not Amanda. So that needs to be clarified. They found a message on Amanda Knox’s phone to Patrick Lumumba saying “I’ll see you later”. The Italian police took this message literally. Asking her “What did you mean by this? Why were you meeting your boss later on??” As every English speaking person in the world knows, all it means is “I’ll see you around” Imagine for a second the confusion of that, and having to try and explain the meaning of the English expression when you don’t speak their language and have no legal counsel or interpreter there. Please use some common sense. They physically and mentally abused her and threw out scenarios where Patrick had to be involved as well… and she agreed under duress.

william says:

… Arrested Patrick Lumumba and pinned it on her

william says:

Please read the evidence rather than newspapers before you guess. That’s exactly what the Italian jurors did as well. You CAN’T convict someone without EVIDENCE!!!! Then set them free, and then decide to say that they’re guilty again. What a complete farce!

william says:

Rudy Guede (Known drug dealer/Murderer/rapist/liar) is eligible for work release this year… there’s justice for ya!

william says:

She confessed to being there.

william says:

People with zero common sense “Oh, she’s guilty for sure… extradite her”
People who use common sense “Ok, what evidence do the Italians have that places her at the scene of the crime?”



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