How is it possible, in an age where human intelligence has produced wonder after wonder, to have a murder case where guilt is determined by the “reasoning” level of a moron?
I was reading an article recently about the legal profession and the appalling lack of quality in reasoning that prevails. Often, court opinions are little more than screeds of heavy rheotric that ignore evidence that obviously – and often definitively – undercuts the desired result. They are frequently comically disingenuous. Or at least it would be comical is someone’s life didn’t hang in the balance.
So the “Nencini” report re-convicting Amanda Knox contains a discussion of 2 phone calls AK made to Meredith Kercher’s phone the day after her murder but before the body was discovered that lasted only a few seconds. Nencini then draws the inference that these phone calls were not genuine, that they were designed to deceive the investigators, that they were so short because Amanda Knox never expected Meredith Kercher to answer because Amanda Knox already knew Meredith Kercher was dead. And the only reason she could know that was she had participated in the killing. Let me quote here from the Nencini report as excerpted in a “guilter” blogger’s article:
“The telephone call made [by Knox] at 12:11:54 pm to the English service of the victim lasted 4 seconds. Perhaps not even the time to repeat the first ring.
Knox should have been affected by a certain anxiety in calling Kercher’s telephone services. Filomena Romanelli let the defendant’s telephone ring for 36 seconds the first time, and the second for a good 65 seconds; an insistence which appears normal. But that did not happen when Knox called… these are two calls that barely registered [and this] has only one plausible explanation:
There was no concern at all in the mind of Amanda Knox when she made the two calls to the young English woman, simply because she knew very well that Meredith Kercher could not have answered the calls; calls which had to be made because Filomena Romanelli insisted, but which the defendant knew were useless. Nobody would have been able to answer those calls; let alone poor Meredith Kercher whom the accused knew was lifeless, locked in her own bedroom.”
The problem is that there was a much longer phone call from Amanda Knox to Kercher’s phone earlier – at 12:07 PM – so long that Kercher’s phone – that had been tossed into some bushes and would otherwise have been lost – rang and rang until it was found. And this phone call also occurred well after Kercher’s murder, but before the shorter calls.
To a sane and reasonably intelligent person, then, the earlier, longer phone call rules out making the incriminating inference from the later calls. In other words, Nencini is either not sane or not intelligent. Or, I suppose there is a third possibility: he’s not honest.
So Amanda KNox’s fate at this point has rested with a man who is either crazy, or stupid, or corrupt and dishonest, and there’s no other alternative.
Update: From CNN’s report this morning:
But the high-profile nature of the case and the controversial evidence prosecutors have built their argument on makes Knox’s extradition anything but certain.
“Controversial” evidence? That’s what stupid evidence and unfounded argument are to the media – as long as those are offered by police and prosecutors. Judges aren’t the only apparently reason-challenged players in this drama.
Update 2: After 9 PM in Italy and no word yet. If this was a jury deliberating over here, might start thinking about whether they’re hung, but I don’t think that’s possible here.
Update 3: An apparently unexpected acquittal. Good on the Italians. Of course, if twitter traffic was any indication, there are millions who will never let go of it. But for now, while the whole thing is still terribly sad, Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend can enjoy at least some peace. And maybe Meredith Kercher’s survivors, too.