Happy Thanksgiving Amanda Knox and Other US Prisoners Here and Abroad

Thanksgiving and Christmas are terrible times to be locked up, even when you’re guilty.  For the many who are not guilty, it must be an especially sad and bitter thing.

Analysts, whoever they are, say that Amanda Knox has a good chance of acquittal on appeal in Italian courts.  If so, I can’t help but believe that Italian courts have something on ours here in the US.  Appellate judges here would never, ever take it entirely upon themselves to overturn a conviction in such a high profile case.

One other thing I’ll mention, because there is a relevant personal history:  it seems to me that on those rare occasions when the criminal justice system gets its mitts on a pretty young woman, it tends toward a unique kind of venom and vindictiveness, likely due to over-compensating for any appearance of leniency, but no less objectionable for that reason.

In any event, I am going to take a moment to remember in some personally significant way all prisoners on this day, and ask my readers, all three of them, to do likewise.

 

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4 Comments

Filed under wrongful convictions

4 responses to “Happy Thanksgiving Amanda Knox and Other US Prisoners Here and Abroad

  1. Rob

    Quality is preferable to quantity, is it not? I read three blogs regularly: Crime and Federalism, Ravings of a Feral Genius, and Lawyers on Strike. All three blogs have this in common: they don’t believe/adhere to the collective dictates and wisdom of power/authority simply because power/authority are the ones speaking.

    I once took a personality test that told me I was an INTJ. INTJ’s, so I’m told, don’t respect authority merely because it’s authority and that’s what a person is taught to do. INTJ”s ask, before anything else, does it work? Does the system make sense?

    When a writer can’t see past the accumulated garbage of authority’s collective rules because they lack the perspective or courage to be intellectually apart from the safety and warmth of the crowd, well, their not worth my time.

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  2. The evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is overwhelming. They gave completely different accounts of where they were, who they were with and what they were doing on the night of the murder. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have credible alibis despite three attempts each. All the other people who were questioned had one credible alibi that could be verified. Innocent people don’t give multiple conflicting alibis and lie repeatedly to the police.

    The DNA didn’t miraculously deposit itself in the most incriminating of places.

    An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp. Judge Massei pointed to the extremely clear RFU peaks associated with the DNA test, the lowest of which was 30% higher than the RFU test widely used for minimum reliability and the highest of which was more than 200% higher. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17. Dr. Torricelli for the Kerchers affirmed that the alleles (peaks) in the sample constituted the biological profile of Raffaele Sollecito.

    According to Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Vinci, Knox’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra.

    Amanda Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of the double DNA knife and a number of independent forensic experts – Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo and Professor Francesca Torricelli – categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade.

    There were five instances of Knox’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage.

    Knox tracked Meredith’s blood into the bathroom, the hallway, her room and Filomena’s room, where the break-in was staged. Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood was found mixed together in Filomena’s room, in a bare bloody footprint in the hallway and in three places in the bathroom.

    Rudy Guede’s bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the house. This means that he didn’t stage the break-in in Filomena’s room or go into the blood-spattered bathroom after Meredith had been stabbed.

    Sollecito left a visible bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom. Knox’s and Sollecito’s bare bloody footprints were revealed by luminol in the hallway.

    It’s not a coincidence that the three people – Knox, Sollecito and Guede – who kept telling the police a pack of lies are all implicated by the DNA and forensic evidence.

    Amanda Knox voluntarily admitted that she was involved in Meredith’s murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007.

    The English translation of the Massei report can be downloaded from here:

    http://www.perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?p=53735

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    • I can understand an inference from what I wrote that I am taking the position that Amanda Knox is innocent, so let me clarify: I don’t know enough about the case to have an informed opinion one way or the other. My post was primarily concerned with the contrast between the Italian appeals procedures, which seem to have a lot of vitality; and the American ones, which are tragically moribund. No less an authority than Judge Richard Posner has let the cat out of the bag and openly admitted that there is generally no serious appellate review of lower court determinations.

      http://www.fed-soc.org/doclib/20080703_Horwitz.Engage.9.2.pdf

      This is certainly the experience of criminal defense lawyers.

      I threw in as an after-thought the stuff about pretty girls and overcompensating. Your site is an interesting counterpoint to that, inasmuch as you see the issue the opposite way: there’s a natural disinclination to believe that a young, attractive female could do a terrible thing, and that can result in them “getting away with murder”.

      I’m going to disagree with your thesis, though. The natural disinclination in favor of pretty girls is easily overcome by the natural inclination to believe in authority, which in criminal cases is the government. Moreover, once that disinclination hurdle is cleared, I would maintain that there is a heightened vindictiveness directed at the pretty girl, as kind of the flip side of the coin.

      I appreciate your input, though. My reference to Amanda Knox was peripheral to the point. I didn’t mean to weigh in on it in a serious way.

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