US Student Sentenced to 26 Years in Italy Murder

www1.voanews.com/english/news/europe/05dec09-italy-us-knox-78592677.html

An Italian court has convicted an American college student of murdering her British roommate, sentencing her to 26 years in prison after a year-long trial that drew intense media attention.

The court in the central Italian city of Perugia found 22-year-old Amanda Knox guilty of murder and sexual assault early Saturday in the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher.

The eight members of the jury, including two judges, also convicted Knox’s Italian former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, of the same charges, sentencing him to 25 years.

She may have had some level of involvement, I'm not sure. But the way this was handled was appalling.

Whenever people complain about our justice system and say it requires way too high a standard of proof and places huge demands on police conduct, etc., this is why.

I'd rather take the few OJs and few Amanda Knoxs we have with our system, than the no OJs and lots of Amanda Knoxs we'd have if "this looks pretty suspicious" and "she enjoyed some pot and sex so clearly she's a maniac" were considered sufficient to convict.

Given what I’ve read about the evidence found in both her room and her boyfriend’s there isn’t much question about their involvement.

Either every investigator and forensic scientist involved has colluded to plant false evidence and suppress the truth, or else there’s a lot of evidence pointing toward Amanda’s guilt. Actually, even if every investigator and forensic scientist were corrupt in this case, there would still be troubling evidence. Such as the faked break-in. And the testimony of Meredith’s family and friends, and the other two roommates, indicating that there was friction between the girls.

I agree with you. What make me sad is that all the attention is placed on Amanda Knox and her age / attractiveness and not the victim Meredith Kercher and how her loss has and is going to effect her family and friends for the rest of their lives.

[quote="penguinchicky, post:4, topic:178590"]
I agree with you. What make me sad is that all the attention is placed on Amanda Knox and her age / attractiveness and not the victim Meredith Kercher and how her loss has and is going to effect her family and friends for the rest of their lives.

[/quote]

I am in agreement with you as well. As if a beautiful young college female could not possibly have been in a sexually charged situation or participant in a murder. Sad but it happens since facial beauty and morality have nothing in common.

As outsiders, we only know what the media has presented. I have to assume that the jury got it correct.

Prayers for the victim and her sad family.

The staged break in thing is really weird - I do think she probably had some involvement. But where did they get the sex game from? That seems very out of nowhere for someone without a past history of violence, and especially for 4 people who weren't especially close with no history of violence or orgies. Too much speculation. If I can't figure out what happened, I couldn't convict. If I was going to, it would be on lesser charges, since we have no idea who did the killing or if it was planned or accidental, etc. Of course, the Italian justice system may not have those options of lesser murder charges or whatever. There definitely should have been a more thorough investigation. A pretty young American can certainly murder someone else, or be part of a twisted sex game. But in this case that seems highly speculative, and speculation is dangerous even when it might seem feasible.

This is such a sad and bizarre story. Based on what I read while following the trial, Amanda was involved. To what extent, I do not know...but enough that she has a vested interest in lying. I really wish that if this is true, Ms. Knox would have the decency to let the truth be known for the sake of the poor victim’s dignity and the peace of her family.

For her to be so lackadaisical in the wake of her friend’s death and during the trial even...I can only wonder if Amanda is not some sort of psychopath or if she has been made delusional by the lust she has for her boyfriend, who was also found guilty.
Of course, having an interest in spiritual warfare, I always wonder if there is not an evil component to all of this. Certainly, the heinous manner in which the victim was assaulted and ultimately killed points to that possibility. Since she is in an Italian prison, I wonder if she has been offered a chance to speak with a priest. Does anyone know the religion of Amanda?

This was on Nightline last night and the reporting was absolutely appalling. They spent almost ZERO time looking at the evidence and 99% of the time in interviews with Knox’s family and friends about how devastated they all are.

I’m all for keeping a human face on criminals and all, but can we please have some actual facts before having our feelings manipulated here??

Martin Bashir, I expect more of you.

[quote="manualman, post:8, topic:178590"]
This was on Nightline last night and the reporting was absolutely appalling. They spent almost ZERO time looking at the evidence and 99% of the time in interviews with Knox's family and friends about how devastated they all are.

I'm all for keeping a human face on criminals and all, but can we please have some actual facts before having our feelings manipulated here??

Martin Bashir, I expect more of you.

[/quote]

I think the Knox family has hired some big-name public relations agency to mount a positive media spin on Amanda, and that Nightline clip is part of the strategy.

On MercyMia's point, the part I find really strange is Amanda doing cartwheels and splits in a police office to be interviewed several days after the murder. Her roommate has just died, whether she liked her or not, one would have expected some shock on Amanda's part. Her Italian boyfriend kind of stands out as a boy in awe of all-American Amanda, as witnessed in his feeble and unsure arm rubbing of Amanda and kissing after the police arrived.

Normally when several people are suspects, the prosecutors will pre-trial each individually and look for inconsistencies in their stories to be used at trial. I wonder how perfectly synchronized their stories were. I wonder why one suspect didn't crack and offer to tell the whole truth of the killer(s) in exchange for a lighter sentence. I'm also surprised that in the Italian justice system the judge is part of the jury and that the jury wasn't sequestered but could see all the media hype while making their decision.

In Anglo/American law there is defense counsel and there is the prosecution and both engage in an adversarial duel to get at the truth. In Continental Europe, both defense and prosecution are considered officers of the Court with conflict mitigated and both attempting to work toward the truth. But still for Amanda's defense lawyer to break down in tears tells me something about her lawyer's emotionalism or about Amanda Knox's powers. What a mystery.

I don’t see how anyone can accidentally crush another person’s trachea and slit their throat.

[quote="MercyMia, post:7, topic:178590"]
This is such a sad and bizarre story. Based on what I read while following the trial, Amanda was involved. To what extent, I do not know...but enough that she has a vested interest in lying. I really wish that if this is true, Ms. Knox would have the decency to let the truth be known for the sake of the poor victim’s dignity and the peace of her family.

For her to be so lackadaisical in the wake of her friend’s death and during the trial even...I can only wonder if Amanda is not some sort of psychopath or if she has been made delusional by the lust she has for her boyfriend, who was also found guilty.
Of course, having an interest in spiritual warfare, I always wonder if there is not an evil component to all of this. Certainly, the heinous manner in which the victim was assaulted and ultimately killed points to that possibility. Since she is in an Italian prison, I wonder if she has been offered a chance to speak with a priest. Does anyone know the religion of Amanda?

[/quote]

I remember hearing on the news earlier this year that Amanda Knox had "returned to her Catholic religion whilst in prison." I have no idea if this was correct, if it was 'spin' on her behalf or what.

Pat

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I meant that there was a sex game or some weird situation, someone killed her (like her boyfriend or the other guy) or things got out of hand unexpectedly, and Amanda helped cover it up - she did not intend to murder or take part in one. That’s what I meant by accidental.

Is there good evidence she was doing cartwheels in the police station, etc? I was wondering if that was kind of made up or highly exaggerated. If so, that is quite weird, but why would a guilty person trying not to look guilty do that? It almost seems less likely if she was the murderer that she was acting so carefree. And I can’t figure out while neither one ever told on the other, either, if they are guilty. Nothing makes sense either way. I find it so upsetting in life that we may be putting innocent people in jail or calling real victims liars because we can never quite know the truth, even if it looks a certain way. There’s always a lot more to the story than is initially apparent, and it seems we won’t know the truth here.

The legal person I saw on tv said that the victims' dna was on the knife tip and Ms. Knox's dna was on the handle. They also said that if the case would have happened here in America the circumstantial evidence would have been enough to convict her. In Italy, all convictions go through a mandatory appeals process, too, so if anything else needs consideration it will get it. It looks like Ms. Knox is guilty.

[quote="Timothysis, post:13, topic:178590"]
The legal person I saw on tv said that the victims' dna was on the knife tip and Ms. Knox's dna was on the handle. They also said that if the case would have happened here in America the circumstantial evidence would have been enough to convict her. In Italy, all convictions go through a mandatory appeals process, too, so if anything else needs consideration it will get it. It looks like Ms. Knox is guilty.

[/quote]

The DNA was too small to be conclusive. There's a good chance she would have been convicted in the US, but not if the investigation was conducted as it was in Italy. She probably would have been charged with something less or given a plea deal since they can't really place her as the actual killer, only that she was involved.

Well, on that theory, Amanda should have confessed completely who the real killer was if it wasn’t her. When the other two suspects are an Italian guy you’ve known barely one week (how much could she be devoted to him) and a drug dealer and somebody has been killed you spill the beans if you’re innocent. She never spilled any beans, hence she is hiding something it would appear in her role in the murder.

The cartwheeling in the police station was actually commented by Amanda’s childhood friends in the U.S. on DateLine NBC with smirks: “Oh that’s just Amanda being her typical self”. Hmmmm. that passes for typical.

Point is, if she was not the killer but knew who did it, she should have said so. She didn’t.

Good point - but didn’t none of them talk? I just find it hard to believe these people who didn’t know each other all turned out to be crazed killers and did this together and then didn’t sell each other out. Maybe she’s covering for her ex and didn’t want to admit to any involvement, because any involvement would still screw her reputation for life.

As for the cartwheeling, a lot of girls her (and my) age are kind of silly or whatever. It’s hard to know the context - everything is just so off with the whole situation. Like that picture of her with the canon they publish everywhere - a lot of my friends would take a silly picture like that - it doesn’t mean they’re a homocidal maniac.

That is likely, and a wise move on their part.

[quote=KyivAndrew]I wonder why one suspect didn’t crack and offer to tell the whole truth of the killer(s) in exchange for a lighter sentence.
[/quote]

I read that the Italian system doesn’t have plea bargains in exchange for lighter sentences.

[quote=KyivAndrew]Point is, if she was not the killer but knew who did it, she should have said so. She didn’t.
[/quote]

Unless she was somehow an accomplice.

From this site:

It didn’t help Guede any that he was never accused of handling the murder weapon. In Italy, the triggerman is no more culpable for a crime than his accomplices.

[quote="KyivAndrew, post:9, topic:178590"]
I think the Knox family has hired some big-name public relations agency to mount a positive media spin on Amanda, and that Nightline clip is part of the strategy.

[/quote]

I'm sure this is true and is part of why I'm so appalled! Nightline is not supposed to be an infommercial for sale to the highest PR bidder, it is supposed to be depth (for TV anyways) journalism. This particular episode wouldn't have looked any different if it was 100% produced and filmed by the Knox family PR firm.

Shame on Nightline.

[quote="manualman, post:18, topic:178590"]
I'm sure this is true and is part of why I'm so appalled! Nightline is not supposed to be an infommercial** for sale to the highest PR bidder**, it is supposed to be depth (for TV anyways) journalism. This particular episode wouldn't have looked any different if it was 100% produced and filmed by the Knox family PR firm.

Shame on Nightline.

[/quote]

It's highly unlikely any money changed hands here. That is not the way most PR firms function, nor most reputable news organizations. Rather, the PR firm is trying to manage the spin on this story, and one tool they have is control over the exposure of the family to various news sources. The PR firm may have negotiated some ground rules that Nightline agreed to - whatever they were, presumably Nightline didn't feel they violated their journalistic integrity. Those ground rules were probably in relation to interviews with the family, represented by the PR firm. I don't think Nightline would have agreed to limit its interviews or coverage outside of that, or even the content of the rest of the piece.

So I doubt anything nefarious went on, either on the part of the PR firm, or Nightline. However, how Nightline chose to build that piece is fair game for criticism. I didn't see the show, but I would speculate that Nightline previously covered the murder case on more than one occasion - this latest show they may have decided to focus on a different angle, what it's like for an American family to be at the mercy of a foreign justice system. Not very hard-hitting, but there you go.

Let’s not forget that they were high on drugs. You also don’t always get what you think you are getting with illegal drugs. Especially if it was something that was manufactured.

I was a deputy sheriff for 9 years, and at some of the drug training seminars I went to, it was pointed out that manufacturers would mix in other drugs with pills they were making, cut some meth or ecstacy or whatever they might have laying around with cocaine. And who knows what else.

If their on drugs, and got more then they bargained for, it could have caused some real mental problems that may have very well made someone a raving lunatic.

Nonetheless, I do have to agree that there is the “pretty looking girl” issue at play here. I wonder if it was a man who looked like a drifter with a chiseled and angry looking face, people would be thinking the same way.

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