So today Amanda Knox went free. If you don’t know who that is you’ve clearly been under a rock because the news coverage of this case has probably only been rivaled by the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. For the past four years we have heard and read about the story of the American girl accused of murdering her roommate in what has been described as a sick and twisted drug-induced orgy gone wrong. Student Meredith Kercher was killed in a horrific manner, three cuts to the neck, drowned in blood and covered with a duvet. Bloody footprints and handprints were strewn about the Perugian flat in this small Italian town. And in the end, three people would be arrested and charged with a murder that no one can still, to this day, explain how it happened.
Why did Meredith Kercher get all this attention? Because privilege is global. Kercher was the daughter of a privileged British family—father was a famous tabloid writer and his wife an Indian-born homemaker. Why did Amanda Knox get so much media attention?Because, again, privilege is global. Amanda was the daughter of a major executive at Macy’s who described their daughter as “book smart” but whose stepfather mentioned was “dumb as a rock” when it came to street sense. This was made clearer as we
learned that she met her alleged co-conspirator boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, went home with him the same night, and a week later was caught up in a murder mystery that would play out in the international press for years to come. Moral of this story: Never give it up on the first night.
Why did Amanda get another shot? Because for all their long holiday breaks, siestas, and fancy robes their barristers must wear, Italy has a much different judicial system than we do in the United States. On appeal, the Italian court is allowed to rehear the ENTIRE case. And they jury must be persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that Knox and Sollecito were guilty for the conviction to be upheld. TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN THE UNITED STATES JUSTICE SYSTEM. We focus on error—reversible or harmless—and often times ignore evidence newly presented or previously ignored, in the interest of expeditious justice. To the enormous relief of the Knox family, Judge Claudio Hellmann began the appeal with an assertion of reasonable doubt. “The only thing we know for certain in this complex case,” he declared, “is that Meredith was murdered.” It only got better when the DNA evidence in the case was determined to be too weak to stand up to international forensic guidelines. Even Horatio Caine (CSI Miami) could’ve told them that. In 90 days we will have a full report or opinion on why the jury decided the way it did and from there we can learn why Amanda was spared 26 years of life in an Italian jail.
Until then I have a few ways that you can avoid being the next Amanda Knox.
- When in Rome, do as the Romans. Don’t go running off with strange locals you
hooked up with night one, smoking weed, laying up…..its not a good look!! Mama
taught you better than that anyway. My first international sojurn was accompanied with a “don’t forget what they did to those kids in Tiannanmen Square” from my parents. Pass the message.
- Keep a tidier house. Two critical pieces of evidence in the case
were a dirty bra clasp (ew) and a random knife found at Rafael Sollecito’s
house that allegedly had traces of Meredith’s DNA on it. Don’t leave your dirty
laundry around, wash said dirty laundry often, and handwash your dishes.
- Get out more. Amanda Knox went to live in Italy for a year because she felt she had been sheltered and need to live “without a safety net” for a while. Well there are PLENTY of ways to do that right here in the good old US of A. Live a little folks.
I’m glad Amanda Knox is free. I don’t know if she killed Meredith Kurcher or not. I know she was smoked out on many an occasion including the night of the murder. I know she was a little loose too. But more importantly, I know that there was enough awful police work to rival the OJ case; enough recanted and coerced testimony to imitate the Troy Davis case; and enough doubt to let her come home to her family an older, wiser, stronger
Amanda. Welcome home girl.