Hearing Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox has again been found guilty of Meredith Kercher’s murder in Perugia, Italy, four years ago. Fortunately, she has no plans to visit Italy again. It also seems highly unlikely that she will ever be extradited, given the highly questionable evidence in the case and the way in which she has been treated by the Italian criminal justice system. It’s worth repeating that there was no physical evidence implicating her, the prosecution couldn’t come up with a motive and she (a 19-year old in a foreign country) was pressured into confessing.

A few months ago, I wrote a few posts about my experience as a prospective juror in a criminal trial (not murder, just insurance fraud). For some reason, people (or computer programs) kept accessing those posts as the months went by. Maybe it was because I expressed some relatively “non-liberal” opinions about our own legal system. But cases like Amanda Knox’s should make us wonder how often innocent people confess or plead guilty in order to stop their interrogations or get a shorter sentence.

In a similar vein, it’s amazing how often our legal system plods along, refusing to respond when new evidence comes out showing that someone in prison was wrongly convicted. It’s as if the judges and prosecutors are more committed to defending their earlier decisions and victories than in serving justice (maybe that shouldn’t be amazing at all). That’s one of the points Amanda Knox makes in a recent interview she gave to the Guardian (the video is available here). Some in the British press were especially merciless in depicting her as a sex-crazed nut job. I hope this interview gets widespread attention. It shows her in a very different light.

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