Thursday, January 30, 2014

Amanda Knox guilty again

Yeah, so the news says.

FOXY VERDICT: Italian judges find Amanda Knox and Sollecito GUILTY AGAIN of murdering Meredith Kercher and sentence her to 28 years and him to 25 years in jail

I have mixed feelings on this one.

On one hand, despite the fact that she's been the beneficiary of a massive media support-fest that would make Obama blush, I personally believe that she either did it or knows who did, and her "poor little innocent me" act rings pretty hollow. Now that we've got a verdict, she should probably be snatched up by our Marshal Service just as soon as an extradition warrant gets faxed over here.

On the other hand, we're talking about the Italians here, and I haven't forgotten how the Italians interfered with our capture of the muslim hijackers of the MS Achille Lauro after they murdered US citizen Leon Klinghoffer, stepping in and pulling guns on our troops at NAS Sigonella as they claimed they right to try the hijackers themselves, only to give them paltry sentences and letting the mastermind, Abul Abbas, escape completely.
This is one of those times when I have to decide who I have less respect for--Knox or the Italians--but in the interest of justice, I'm coming down on the side that gives the spoiled little hipster back to Italy to serve out her sentence.

11 comments:

  1. Seems like double or triple jeopardy. Unless the Italians snatch her here in the USA, and she doesn't go outside our borders, nothing will happen. Hold, she should now make even more appearing on the victim circuit.

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  2. No, no double jeopardy. Their court system allows for an appeal of the original case's dismissal and that's what happened. I hope that Italy starts pressing Eric Holder for her extradition. And if she writes another book or sells her story to any more talk shows, I'm liable to drive to Seattle and bundle her over the border into Canada myself.

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  3. Use the Oroville crossing.

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  4. Murphys Law Do you need any help getting her across the Canadian border?

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  5. Assuming the US and Italy have an extradition treaty in effect, I don't see how they can not send her back. If Italy insists and the US refuses, then it will mean we would never get them to honor the treaty when we want one of our criminals returned for prosecution/incarceration.

    Now, about Amanda Knox. I don't know where this "spoiled hipster" stuff comes from. Everyone is entitled to his opinion - especially the owner of the blog - but I don't see her that way at all. Is it just because she is young and comes from a relatively well-to-do family and was able to get an opportunity to study in Italy? Is there some fact about her that I am missing? Because I truly don't get it. The only persona I have seen is in the few broadcast interviews that I managed to see and she didn't come across that way to me at all.

    About the case itself; I just don't know enough. The only details I have available have all been filtered through the media, (and we all know how accurate that can be - NOT!) However, based on what I do know, I am leaning towards innocent - or at least "not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt". (The Italian justice system is different from ours, so "not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" might not be good enough.)

    One thing I am sure of is I would rather a guilty Amanda Knox go free than an innocent Amanda Knox go to prison in Italy for 28 years.

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    1. Roy, I appreciate your opinions on this.
      I picked up on this story back when it happened and one thing that kept coming out in the non-US media was the fact that initially she gave several different stories that all turned out to be lies. The conclusion that I drew was that she thought that she was smart enough to spar with the Italian investigators and lead them around, and when that didn't work, she fell back in this "Oh, poor, poor me" bit that the US media picked up on and ran with. But as far as I recall, she first attempted to mislead the investigators as to her whereabouts and actions that night, and when confronted with that, she shut down and refused to cooperate at all. Now I wasn't on the jury so I, like most of the rest of the world, never got the whole case laid out for me, but I'm drawing my inferences based on her conduct and her actions. I don't believe her so I'm willing to give some credence to the Italian court that did hear the whole case, even though I don't think much of the Italian government, as I've stated. Their anti-US bias has been on display many times over the past few decades, but, even knowing that, I still think that Amanda Knox is probably guilty of some level of culpability in the murder of Meredith Kercher. There was a real victim here, and it was Miss Kercher, not Amanda "laughing all the way to the bank" Knox who raked in over four million dollars just on her book deal alone.

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  6. No intention of defending Amanda Knox and I steadfastly refuse to pay any attention to these odd cases that get way too much air time.

    That said, there are several reasons to be wary of the verdict here. On this side of the pond we know nothing of the facts of this case. First off, news media is useless for determining facts. We learn nothing from the news but it newspapers or broadcast media. Think for a moment about what Michael Crichton called the "Gell-Mann Amnesia effect". You cruise along reading a newspaper, or watching some TV news program, about some topic, Amanda Knox and her trial, for example. As you read you presume you are learning facts and generally valid information. Then you turn the page and there is a topic about which you have some level of expertise, and it needn't be much. Maybe it is guns, or dogs, or some event or the street that runs by your property. You read the story or watch the program and you find that little or nothing is correct and much is just downright infuriatingly erroneous. Then we turn the page ro flip the channel and the topic is something we know little or nothing about and we immediately presume it is valid information.

    Have no faith in news reports. This is especially true when it comes to court cases, especially criminal cases. Have you ever sat on a jury trial for a big enough case that it got some news coverage? Yuck. The reporting is terrible. I've seen it myself with minor things. Have a friend who was on the jury for a newsworthy murder trial once upon a time. He had his wife save the news reports for him. According to him the reports were amazing - they barely had the murder happening in the proper county.

    Have no faith in news reports.

    Now consider how this Gell-Mann Amnesia plays out with a murder trial happening in Italy with a criminal justice system that is very different from our own.

    Even for our own system we have the old saying, "You can indite a ham sammich for anything." In Italy you convict a ham sammich of failing to predict an earthquake. Our "innocent until proven guilty", English commonlaw base system is under severe strain but the Italian system a guilty until proven innocent system. It is not a "beyond reasonble doubt" level of proof system.

    People familiar with the jury system in Italy tell me that juries sit for a time period rather than for a case. They here whatever cases are ongoing through the time period and when the clock runs own they leave and the next jury takes over whatever cases are still ongoing.

    Can't say anything about who made money or didn't. I imagine Ms. Knox and family racked up some serious bills throughout this thing. Hard to blame her trying to make some money. What I find difficult to imagine is what it would be like to be accuses and prosecuted for murder in a foreign country with that sort of system.

    If I were her I'd be taking what was left of that $4M you said she made and getting lost.

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  7. I hear what you are saying, Murphy, and I don't necessarily disagree. But as Knucklehead has said above, you cannot trust the news media to get anything right. Especially in any high-profile case such as this one.

    Now, about cooperating with the "authorities".

    I have no experience with the Italian justice system, but I *do* have experience with ours. And I can tell you point blank, if I was the subject of an investigation - ANY investigation - I would *NOT* cooperate. Period! I would lawyer-up and shut-up at the first whiff of suspicion.

    Why? Because a long time ago, I was accused of a very serious crime that I did not commit. I won't go into the details, but the "authorities" thought they "had their man". Indeed, because of the circumstances, they desperately needed to quickly close the case. Guilt or innocence didn't seem to matter. And they would not let up even after I was able to produce a small mountain of exculpatory evidence. In other words, I more than *proved* my innocence and yet, the prosecutor still insisted on going through with a trial. Needless to say, he failed miserably. Nonetheless, he cost me a lot of money and about a year and a half of battling it out in court. It was a malicious prosecution, and to this day, I am still bitter over the whole mess. Oh, did I mention that I initially cooperated with their investigation? (Do a search on "Richard Jewell" for another example of what "cooperation" gets you.)

    So yes; when I see something like the Amanda Knox case, my default position is always innocent until - and *not* until - she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    In my book - Not cooperating with authorities does not equal guilt.
    Writing a book, and earning royalties from it does not equal guilt.
    I want to see physical evidence, or unimpeachable witness testimony.

    Amanda Knox may very well be guilty. But, keeping in mind the complete uselessness of the MSM in these cases, I do not believe they have proven it.

    And again, I would rather a guilty Amanda Knox go free than an innocent Amanda Knox go to prison in Italy for 28 years.

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  8. My issue with Knox is not that she didn't cooperate. It's that she pretended to cooperate and lied repeatedly, including fingering someone else who was later proven to have been nowhere around. And every time they poked a hole in one of her stories, she lied more and changed her tale. That sort of thing puts me off on defendants right there.

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  9. That would put me off as well. And if it were a fact, and I were on her jury, it would tend to prejudice me against her. But I would have to know that from recordings or transcripts entered into evidence in court, not from some reporters hear-say about what happened.

    As for her fingering someone else, I wasn't there. But I can tell you, that when I was initially questioned during my own ordeal, one of the first things I was asked by the two detectives was "...who do you think might have done this?"

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  10. I would only point out that in a nation which has had an organized crime problem for centuries, the criminal justice system is probably shot through with corruption and with cops who would make Inspector Clouseau seem like Lt. Kojak (or Columbo).

    My bet is that she won't be extradited. But she might as well surrender her passport.

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