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News Amanda Knox Acquittal Overturned

  1. Feb 1, 2014 #1

    By accident I happen to have run across an account of this case in the afterword to a book about another famous Italian murder case, The Monster of Florence, by Preston/Spezi. The authors included that afterword about Knox in the second edition to underscore the rather unhinged behavior of the Italian prosecutor who was in charge of both cases, Giuliano Mignini. He is a modern day Joe McCarthy who, instead of hunting communists, hunts devil worshippers, a large network of whom, he believes, are at work in the world today, killing innocent people as part of their rituals.

    Preston believes Knox is completely innocent:


    and, going beyond the afterword in the other book, has put out a whole separate book in her defense:


    In this article published in The Atlantic in 2006, Preston encapsulates his experiences researching in Italy with Spezi and relates how, when he and Spezi determine Mignini has prosecuted the wrong man in the Monster of Florence murders, they are harrassed and jailed, and Spezi is accused of being the Monster of Florence. This is the kind of guy Mignini is.


    I think it's important for anyone with an opinion about this case to hear what Preston has to say. It's hard to believe such a thing could exist in the modern world, but it looks to me like Knox was outright framed by a mentally unstable person with a medieval witch-hunter's mentality. I don't believe she should be extradited.
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  3. Feb 1, 2014 #2


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    Knowing Italy, it doesn't surprise me and she should not return. Of course this doesn't reflect on the many knowledgeable Italians that are appalled by this sort of thing. But still, this sort of thing goes on.
  4. Feb 1, 2014 #3


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    I did wonder about the quality of judges in Italy and your post seems to confirm my suspicion that it is not very high. I'm now trying to square this with Knoxs interview on ABC, where she just looked guilty (IMO), and something I heard on BBC radio stating that 20 odd judges had reviewed the evidence and found Knox guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Can't find a link for the latter yet, I'll post it if I find one.
  5. Feb 1, 2014 #4


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    I have no personal interest in Ms Knox, but I don't find it surprising that her fellow-citizens would automatically assume she was innocent, especially when found guilty by a bunch of foreigners whose legal system doesn't work the same way as their own (which is self-evidently the best in the world, no doubt).

    On the other hand, Preston's personal motivation seems transparently obvious: to make money from selling books, whether they are works of fiction, faction, or even fact.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  6. Feb 1, 2014 #5
    how can we be sure that knox is innocent?
    italy is a developed country and it doesnt have a poor legal system.
    what about the legal system of the USA?
    if majority of jury is black, then black is innocent and if majority of jury is white then white is innocent.
    just as in treyvon martin case.
  7. Feb 1, 2014 #6
    This is not necessarily true. Mignini and his cohort, Giuttari, came under fire from other judges for their handling of the M.o.F. case. From Preston's 2006 Atlantic article:

    You really should read this interview with Preston, at least:
    The prosecution assembled a bunch of "half clues" against Knox and ignored all the full clues that point to this person, Rudy Guede, as the sole killer. He was clearly an opportunistic rapist who happened upon the victim, raped, and then killed her. Mignini's preference for the completely Byzantine conspiracy theory he cooked up is beyond comprehension.
  8. Feb 1, 2014 #7
    This isn't what's happening. There are Americans screaming for her blood:
    So, the notion that she's generally considered innocent in the US is false.
    He is going completely against the tide for that. The view she is innocent is the unpopular, 'worst-selling', view.
  9. Feb 1, 2014 #8
    It sounds like you're making a case that the Italian system is just as bad as the US system, or vice versa. That doesn't amount to the Italian system not being poor. All it says is the US is just as bad.
  10. Feb 1, 2014 #9


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    Why does the author's comment on some blog posts indicate anything about majority viewpoints in the US?
  11. Feb 1, 2014 #10
  12. Feb 1, 2014 #11


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  13. Feb 1, 2014 #12
    It's being reported there are "hints" Italy won't seek her extradition. I hope that turns out to be the case.
  14. Feb 1, 2014 #13


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    Perhaps some Americans have that "self-evident" attitude, but I'd be surprised to fine it here.

    No, the charge of unfairness comes from what we call "double jeopardy". In the US, there are clear limits on government's ability to prosecute a person more than once for the same crime. Once a person has been acquitted, the case is over. This limits a prosecutor's ability to "wage war" on an individual and keep trying him again and again until he is found guilty.

    This, to me, is very fair. If a prosecutor's power is not checked it will run amok eventually.
  15. Feb 1, 2014 #14


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    + 1

  16. Feb 2, 2014 #15


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    You can see the other side though: US law works on the basis that double jeopardy is not permitted, so presumably there is a higher burden that the state has to prove before a case goes to court. In a country without such a law, there will likely be a lower burden of proof required before a case goes to court, since the state knows that if other evidence becomes available later, or if evidence is "mishandled" (as appears to be the case here, from my cursory reading), then there can be a re-trial.

    Not saying that either side is right, but we need to be careful when comparing systems in order to make a fair comparison.
  17. Feb 8, 2014 #16
    This article came out a couple days ago airing out the fact much of this is about internal Italian politics:

  18. Feb 8, 2014 #17


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    In Italy, a person needs two sequential guilty verdicts in two separate trials to be convicted. This isn't like the right to appeal a guilty verdict since an appeal generally has to focus on procedural errors. A complete retrial is automatic.

    There's also more than just the verdicts of guilty or not guilty. A defendant could be fully acquitted, convicted as guilty, or receive a verdict that's kind of an "unproven". A full acquittal is subject to appeal (which can't happen in the US), but if the acquittal is upheld, the process ends.

    But, yes, a defendant could theoretically be tried many times if the trials kept resulting in unproven.

    In Knox's case, she had one guilty verdict, followed by a full acquittal, but the full acquittal was thrown out on appeal, setting the score back at 1-0 guilty. The result of the third trial was considered the second sequential guilty verdict since the intervening acquittal result was thrown out.

    She gets another automatic appeal (which is an appeal; not a retrial). If the appeal is successful, then score is back to 1-0 and there will be yet another trial.

    If the appeal is unsuccessful, then the process is ended and Knox is convicted.

    Definitely different than the court system most Americans think they are familiar with (especially the idea that the state can appeal an acquittal), but what happened to Knox wasn't inherently unfair within the system she was tried. If she loses her appeal, I see no reason why the US wouldn't extradite her back to Italy.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  19. Feb 8, 2014 #18


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    Because double jeopardy matters to us?
  20. Feb 8, 2014 #19
    This isn't about the double jeopardy issue at all. It's about the fact she was framed from the get-go by a nut job prosecutor, Mignini, who outright projected a satanic cult conspiracy onto what was actually a conventional rape-murder by a lone attacker:


    From Preston/Spezi:
    There was no "orgy" of any kind, much less a "rite". Knox and Raffale were at his place when Guede got in and raped and killed, Kercher. No one who knows the history of this woman, Carlizzi's weird influence over Gutierrez and Mignini could possibly sanction Knox being extradited. The whole thing is straight out of "The Crucible".
  21. Feb 8, 2014 #20
    Let's bear in mind this equally interesting legal decision that came out of Italy last year:

    Had a US, or any other non-Italian seismologist been one of the consultants here, I would hope no one would support extradition.
  22. Feb 10, 2014 #21


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    Then the proper procedure would be for the US to terminate all of their extradition treaties with every country whose court procedures they find too unfair to respect. That's not just a fecetious statement, either. I could see refusing to enter into an extradition treaty in the first place with a country that had truly unfair laws or court procedures. And, in fact, there is a long list of countries that the US has no extradition treaty with for one reason or another (including just haven't gotten around to it).

    The US has known how Italy's criminal court system works ever since Italy and the US entered into their current extradition treaty 30 years ago.

    There are exceptions to extradition. The most major exceptions common to many of the US's extradition treaties being restrictions on the death penalty and that the offense has to be a crime in both countries (for instance, the US isn't going to extradite someone accused of blasphemy). Any exceptions must have been agreed to by both countries or the treaty never would have been approved.

    None of the exceptions in the US-Italy extradition treaty apply to Knox's case.

    I could understand that someone might feel we should terminate our treaty with Italy (and Canada, the UK, Australia, and just about all European countries, seeing as how the US is fairly unique in its views of double jeopardy).

    I don't think the US is suddenly going to violate a 30 year old treaty simply because Knox is young and attractive and popular in the US press.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  23. Feb 10, 2014 #22


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    I wouldn't go that far. The issue of double jeopardy doesn't come up in every case (many cases?) so it wouldn't necessarily impact an extradition case - which, by the way, are made on a case by case basis. If the extraditing country thinks the trial was unfair, they may reject extradition, regardless of the letter of the treaty and law. See: Roman Polanski.
    Fair enough: then yes, I think the US should include an optional exception for double jeopardy.
    That's belittling, insulting, and damn near racist, Bob - not to mention, wrong*. You're better than that.

    Right or wrong - and since none of us, anywhere, were on the jury, none of us can know for sure - there is a real, reasoned basis for the objection (two, really, with one a cause of the other). This isn't superficial like the Polanski debacle.

    *Wrong in that you overstate her popularity and the bias toward her. For example, here's CNN's analysis:

    Lotta "if"s in there, but he's hardly cheerleading for Knox. And polls on Knox's guilt come out pretty mixed:
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
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