“It’s Over!”
March 28, 2015 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Amanda Knox Acquitted of 2007 Murder by Italy’s Highest Court [New York Times]
"ROME — Italy’s highest court overturned the murder convictions of Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend on Friday, throwing out all charges and ending a long-running courtroom drama over the killing of a British student in 2007. The ruling in favor of Ms. Knox, a 27-year-old former exchange student from Seattle, and her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, 31, was a shock in Italy, where the convictions had been expected to be upheld in the stabbing death of the British student, Meredith Kercher.
Previously. Previously. Previously. Previously.
posted by Fizz (64 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
it'll be interesting to see what the final justifications are for the complete acquittal. Also interesting if it actually clears anything up. Which.... well lets just say i'd be surprised, but who knows.
posted by edgeways at 2:57 PM on March 28, 2015


Well, now, thank goodness that's settled.
posted by spitbull at 2:59 PM on March 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


It was clear that she had been let off the hook once she was allowed to return to the U.S., but I doubt anyone will ever know with certainty what really happened.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:07 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I was her I would now take a trip to Italy. Just to fuck with them. Guilty or not.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:08 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I was her I would now take a trip to Italy. Just to fuck with them. Guilty or not.

Knox still owes Lumumba damages for trying to frame him, so I don't know if visiting Italy would be a wise move.
posted by Thing at 3:11 PM on March 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


If I were her, I would take her fiance's name when she gets married and fade into anonymity as much as possible, which I suspect is what she's going to do.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:12 PM on March 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


Maybe Sharon Stone can play her in the movie.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:17 PM on March 28, 2015


I was just joking, but I'm not aware of her owing him any damages, haven't followed the story all that closely, can you link me to details on that?
posted by Drinky Die at 3:21 PM on March 28, 2015


Wow, those historical Metafilter threads are pretty noxious stuff.

In terms of the historic coverage of the case, it's interesting to see how differently the US and UK media covered it, with sympathies for and against the defendant, respectively. I think the English news media nowadays is internationalized enough that neither side would be so partisan. Certainly, The Guardian has done some pretty in depth coverage of Amanda Knox's fight for acquittal more recently, and it seems the press is generally supportive. It sounds awful for Meredith Kercher's family having things roll on so long to this inconclusion, but it also seems that, from this distance, if there was a case to be made, the prosecution and investigation teams made a mess of it.
posted by ambrosen at 3:22 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Knox still owes Lumumba damages for trying to frame him, so I don't know if visiting Italy would be a wise move.

Amanda Knox is free because she's rich and American, says Patrick Lumumba [The Guardian]
posted by Fizz at 3:24 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]




Good. Because that was some seriously sexist, fucked up bullshit along the way. They tried everything they could to paint her as a slutty slut slut (the fake HIV test result trick? Come on, how horrifying is that?), including making up stories in court about what she MIGHT have said to her dead roommate to get her to have a sexy sex orgy...the whole thing was a nightmare. Hopefully she can move on with her life now without the fear of getting sent back to that horror show.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2015 [36 favorites]


From the same link:
Knox’s second statement was signed at 5:45 AM. By 2 pm she was already expressing doubt to investigators.

“What I described last night doesn’t seem like memories,” she says. “I feel like I imagined the events.”

“No, your memories will come back,” replies an investigator. “You’ll see.”
posted by asterix at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not certain whether Knox is guilty but I am sure that Italy's justice system is awful even compared with the one in the United States.
posted by Justinian at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


Fame without wealth is a hellish punishment. Just ask Monica Lewinsky.
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


The level of incompetence in the Italian court system is quite breath-taking. The accused should be given the right to a fair trial, and no matter what actually happened in this murder, Amanda Knox was not even close to given that.

I'd recommend to anyone interested in a fantastic true crime expose, and more pointedly an expose of the absurdity of the Italian justice system, give The Monster of Florence a read. Many of the politically-motivated corrupt players in the Monster of Florence serial murder trials were also pivotal in the horrible Knox trial.
posted by mcstayinskool at 3:37 PM on March 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


"Earlier that morning, after a bullying interrogation during which investigators used nearly every psychological and procedural trick available in order to secure a confession, Knox had signed two statements. The statements were written in Italian by the police. Both implicated her boss, Patrick Lumumba".

Odd, considering that they hadn't even asked to see Knox that night. They simply invited her in for questioning after Sollecito changed his alibi and said Knox wasn't at his flat all night. The police's unforgivable mistake was not telling her she was a suspect when she was.

Also, from the article:

Despite having a strong alibi, Lumumba was held in jail for nearly three weeks. He was released when forensics tests matched the fingerprints and DNA found on the crime scene to Rudy Guede,...

What it doesn't mention is that Knox told her mother it was a false confession, but never told the police. Just half a day after the confession she wrote a rambling note which basically said that her memory was totally confused, but did nothing to relieve Lumumba. This was why she was found guilty of "calumny".
posted by Thing at 3:54 PM on March 28, 2015


What it doesn't mention is that Knox told her mother it was a false confession, but never told the police. Just half a day after the confession she wrote a rambling note which basically said that her memory was totally confused, but did nothing to relieve Lumumba.

I don't understand how the second sentence doesn't contradict the first.
posted by asterix at 4:01 PM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Most Americans don't know how basket-casey some apparently well-run countries really are when you peel back the curtain.

Anecdote: Since the end of WWII, Italy has had 41 different prime minister administrations, and Berlusconi has been three of them. That makes it very easy for skilled bureaucrats to suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of shifting political lines, hampering long-term continuity and reform efforts.

Contrast that, over the same period, with Great Britain at 15 PMs, Germany (West + unified) at 9 chancellors, and France at 11 presidents.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:13 PM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


For anyone wanting a recap of the case, this Newsweek article has a decent summary.
posted by Fizz at 4:15 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I doubt anyone will ever know with certainty what really happened.

Maybe it was just the guy they locked up for actually doing it? That seems to require a lot less backflips than anything else, TBH.
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM on March 28, 2015 [42 favorites]


I doubt anyone will ever know with certainty what really happened.

Here's a theory. Rudy Guede, the guy whose fingerprints and DNA were found all over the crime scene, the guy who fled the country in the days after the murder, and the guy who is serving a 16 year sentence for the murder of Kercher -- maybe he was the one who did it.

(or what Artw said)
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:20 PM on March 28, 2015 [63 favorites]


Downside of this story is it has less opportunity for grandstanding and baroque stuff about witchcraft.
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't understand how the second sentence doesn't contradict the first.

Because the first sentence happened after the second. Knox made her two statements framing Lumumba, later that day wrote a note which pointed to her confusion, then a few days later told her mother outright it was false. If you read her note it's not clear exactly what she's saying. She recounts her earlier alibi of spending the night with Sollecito, but considers that if he has withdrawn that then the implication of Patrick could be true. Here's a key quote:

And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele's house.

At some point, before she spoke to her mother, she decided that the original alibi is true and the confession was false. She needed to make that clear, which her note did not.
posted by Thing at 4:23 PM on March 28, 2015


Most Americans don't know how basket-casey some apparently well-run countries really are when you peel back the curtain.

Most Americans don't know how basket-casey the US really is when you peel back the curtain.
posted by asterix at 4:24 PM on March 28, 2015 [43 favorites]


I agree with that but we can still evaluate relative levels of basket casetry.
posted by Justinian at 4:26 PM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Knox made her two statements framing Lumumba, later that day wrote a note which pointed to her confusion, then a few days later told her mother outright it was false.

Yeah, you know, as soon as a key witness starts saying things like "I feel like I imagined the events", anything that happens after that point is kind of on the authorities, not the witness.

Not like the Italian investigators seem to have indicated that they gave a shit one way or the other.
posted by asterix at 4:27 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


IIRC The prosecutor was facing his own unrelated corruption charges, no idea how that turned out.
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM on March 28, 2015


Another thing about the Knox case, was that it came to mind during another recent, infamous case that turned out to be a false allegation. In order for these wild-ass stories to be true, you had to accept the idea that the alleged perpetrators were not just bad people, but goddamn supervillains.

And it was like, look, the Joker doesn't exist. The answer to the puzzle will be distressingly simple. Bad guy with a knife. Not crazy sex orgy femme fatale.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:39 PM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not crazy sex orgy femme fatale.

Her good looks definitely played a part in how she was portrayed in the media.
posted by Fizz at 4:46 PM on March 28, 2015


Oh, here we go - though I kind of remember he might have been involved in some other thing not related to trumped up murder charges? Anyway, he's a piece of work, even when he's not seeing witches under the bed.
posted by Artw at 4:46 PM on March 28, 2015


She needed to make that clear, which her note did not.

Which is weird, because when I've been psychologically tortured, sleep deprived, and forced to language-switch for days as I try to explain I'm not so sure I actually did kill anyone, I write excellent, well thought-out notes to the police.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:59 PM on March 28, 2015 [65 favorites]


She failed to follow proper procedure for being railroaded!
posted by Artw at 5:03 PM on March 28, 2015 [29 favorites]


Which is weird, because when I've been psychologically tortured, sleep deprived, and forced to language-switch for days as I try to explain I'm not so sure I actually did kill anyone, I write excellent, well thought-out notes to the police.

The problem is not with the note being confused, it's with Knox later knowing her confession was false yet still doing nothing about it. By the time she told her mother it was a false confession she clearly had her thoughts straightened out, but Lumumba was in custody a further two weeks.

I don't know why this part of the case is controversial. Knox was negligent and was convicted for her actions. It has no bearing on her innocence of murder.
posted by Thing at 5:11 PM on March 28, 2015


This whole case was a disaster. The crime scene, they did everything wrong. The court cases, were nothing but a mechanism to put her in jail to save face after the bungled investigation. "See look, she really was guilty! We didn't fuck this up from the very first moment!"
posted by bleep at 5:11 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't know why this part of the case is controversial. Knox was negligent and was convicted for her actions. It has no bearing on her innocence of murder.

I feel like it should be controversial that someone is convicted not because they were guilty but because they didn't do every single thing completely right when being railroaded for murder in a foreign country.
posted by bleep at 5:13 PM on March 28, 2015 [34 favorites]


The police didn't railroad Knox. They didn't even intend to speak to her that night. The police invited Sollecito in for questioning but not her. They only spoke to her because a) she had happened to show up with Sollecito, and b) Sollecito changed his alibi. It was completely fortuitous that they could, or wanted to, speak with her when they did. She made her statement in less than two hours, with an interpreter present, after being confronted with Sollecito's change of alibi. She buckled because she was young and scared, which is hardly her fault. But she didn't correct her mistake once she had acknowledged it privately, which is her fault.
posted by Thing at 5:24 PM on March 28, 2015


I.m glad to know that should some of our members be railroaded by corrupt police in a foreign country they will triumph over the machinery of injustice through their clear-minded and ruthlessly logical superiority.
posted by winna at 5:25 PM on March 28, 2015 [36 favorites]


If it's negligence, what exactly is the standard of care for "making sure you've fully taken back all the things you've said when you've been manipulated, lied to, interrogated in a foreign language, locked up in a country that's not your own, and accused of a crime you didn't commit?"

You'd almost think that the Italian authorities would bear some responsibility for what happened here, wouldn't you?
posted by MoonOrb at 5:27 PM on March 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


It will never be over. Even today some news outlets are still claiming we are left with a "murder mystery". The only Mystery here is why the media continues to try to put a rift between the facts and the world in order to incite people. Any journalist worth their salt knows the killer is behind bars serving a disgustingly short sentence which was offered to him by the police in exchange for him recanting his original statement that Amanda and Raffael were NOT involved. 10 years from now the Media is still going to go around putting doubts into people as to whether these poor kids were cold blooded murderers despite the overwhelming evidence of their innocence.
posted by rancher at 5:30 PM on March 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


The police didn't railroad Knox.

Railroad
Informal. to convict (a person) in a hasty manner by means of false charges or insufficient evidence.

Even you admit she was convicted because of her actions after the fact, not because of actual guilt.
posted by bleep at 5:33 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Even you admit she was convicted because of her actions after the fact, not because of actual guilt.

Which I say not to agree with that assessment.
posted by bleep at 5:34 PM on March 28, 2015


I.m glad to know that should some of our members be railroaded by corrupt police in a foreign country they will triumph over the machinery of injustice through their clear-minded and ruthlessly logical superiority.

Well, lets be clear. Amanda is very lucky to come from a loving family that fought for her all the way- including a father who was wealthy enough to pay for a myriad of lawyers, countless trips to and from Italy, and a PR team to help spread the truth in Italy when the police were doing their best to spread lies in the Italian media. Rafael's father also made decent money and threw everything he had at helping to clear his son.

If the police had picked kids that did not have loving parents or money they would still be sitting in jail right now with the entire world believing that they did this. If it had been ME this happened to (no family that cares enough to put that much effort or funds in) I would be rotting in there. No doubt there are plenty just like this sitting in that jail right now with no hope.
posted by rancher at 5:40 PM on March 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


I don't pretend to understand Italy's justice system, but at this point (I may have said something different in one of the other Amanda Knox conversations) I am unwilling to blame it for the original Knox verdict. I'll never forget laughing my ass off at the interview of Casey Anthony's Saul Goodman-esque lawyer -- what a clown! Except he somehow got her off completely. Not so clowny. That was in the US. Ferguson is in the US, too. Justice systems can be exploited.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:55 PM on March 28, 2015


" I am unwilling to blame it for the original Knox verdict. "

Really? So you're willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on the prosecution's claim that these two hippie kids not only coerced a career criminal (Rudy Guede) to perform a Satanic Sex Ritual- that included murdering the victim after a sexual foursome; and that Amanda and her boyfriend also went back to the scene of the crime with a special type of bleach that was magically able to clean out all of her and her boyfriends DNA at the scene leaving no trace, but using this magical bleaches power- also made sure to leave only Rudy's DNA at the scene so that it looked like only he was the killer?

I think few people realize that this is literally the theory that got those kids 4 years of prison. There is no such thing as a Bleach solution that can only remove traces of particular people's DNA while making sure to leave behind only one persons. They quite literally accused them of witchcraft... witchcraft done for the love of Satan. Sorry, but anyone who can look at the facts here and say the persecution may have had something there is either nuts or quite simply has not looked at any of the facts.
posted by rancher at 9:06 PM on March 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


Will Italy lose tourism and education income because it allowed a mad prosecutor to attack a respectable young woman?
posted by emf at 9:12 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Indeed. People keep going on about how mysterious it is, and it isn't. Rudy Guede raped and killed Meredith Kercher, leaving his DNA all over and in her, and then a corrupt and nutty prosecutor prosecuted to his fantasy. With the help of a bunch of tabloids.
posted by tavella at 9:34 PM on March 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


She's set for life if she can parley this into book and movie deals
posted by Renoroc at 10:38 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sure she's looking forward to that because it totally makes up for having her name smeared in the worldwide press and being railroaded by a totally corrupt justice system and going to jail.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:10 PM on March 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


Anyway, she already wrote a book; the link in my first comment is to a review of it. "[S]et for life" isn't really how is describe her right now.
posted by asterix at 3:19 AM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


For those thinking that the Italian prosecutors and police were originally blameless...I have to wonder what their opinion is of the McMartin Preschool trial.
posted by happyroach at 3:45 AM on March 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've read about it before, but this leaps out at me from the McMartin article on wiki:

The initial interviews with children by the CII were recorded, and demonstrated to the jury members in the trial the coercive and suggestive techniques used by CII staff to produce allegations.

These interviews were instrumental in the jury members failing to produce a guilty verdict against Buckey, and several similar trials with similar interviewing techniques produced similar not-guilty verdicts when juries were allowed to view the recordings. These records ended up being extremely valuable to the defense in similar cases. In response, prosecutors and investigators began "abandoning their tape recorders and notepads" and a manual was produced for investigating child abuse cases that urged prosecutors and investigators not to record their interviews.


It's too hard to get convictions when we record what the witnesses actually say, we should stop doing that!
posted by Drinky Die at 4:05 AM on March 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Metafilter threads that had Myspace links are the opposite of the evergreen web.
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 10:08 AM on March 29, 2015


Really? So you're willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on the prosecution's claim

No, I'm saying I'm not sure what happened is the fault of a system that is inherently flawed in a way that others are not. I appreciate your outrage, but you aren't reading closely.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:56 AM on March 29, 2015


I don't think the relativity of it matters. That system allowed the conviction to happen because it's flawed. The US system allowed Ferguson/Trayvon Martin/ad infinitum/ to happen because it's flawed. One doesn't cancel out the other. I think there must be systems where this kind of thing couldn't happen. Maybe that is wishful thinking. But even those systems would have their own problems, because everything does.

Saying one thing has really obvious problems doesn't automatically mean you're saying nothing else has problems. The alternative is that the system that convicted Knox is not flawed and that can't possibly be true.
posted by bleep at 12:15 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


FWIW, kittens for breakfast, I read your statement the same way as others. I don't think it's fair to blame them for not reading closely.
posted by asterix at 12:22 PM on March 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or conversely it is possible you also didn't read it very closely; if people are looking for a place to put all their outrage, they'll generally find one. In any case, I'm obviously not saying that there was anything just about the original verdict. I'm sure someone will come along, though.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:22 PM on March 29, 2015


kittens for breakfast: "No, I'm saying I'm not sure what happened is the fault of a system that is inherently flawed in a way that others are not."

Has anyone here claimed that other justice systems are not inherently flawed? I appreciate that the American system has a huge number of problems. I live here in the US, and that's a problem I want to see fixed. But that has nothing - absolutely nothing - to do with whether or not the Italian authorities are at fault in this case.

I mean - this is basically just the same argument some Americans make when you point out that there are problems in the system: 'well, it's not any worse than any other country in general, so why don't you go live in Tehran if you don't like it here?' That's not a fair cop. If there's wrongdoing, it is wrongdoing, and it should be pointed out and fixed. Comparative international standards have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
posted by koeselitz at 3:03 PM on March 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


My theory is that Knox and Sollecito didn't participate in the murder but that they were there and did nothing to to stop it, either because they were too high or didn't like Meredith or some combination of the two. That would explain all the covering up they did with framing Lumumba and bleaching the house afterward. They didn't want to tell the truth necause it would make them almost as bad as the actual murderer in the eyes of most people.
posted by Jess the Mess at 9:50 AM on March 30, 2015


"Framing Lumumba" consisted of Knox being badgered into a false confession. And there is no magic bleach that would have erased their DNA off of Knox's body and surroundings and left the abundant Guede DNA. As for the rest of the place, Knox LIVED there. Why would she need to bleach DNA off her own apartment?

People really have some bizarre ideas about this case. The last thread was quite a piece of work, with three or four different posters announcing how they could diagnose her as a psychopath because of her eye movements or the fact she had slept with seven men in her life.

I just don't get why people are so desperate to believe she's guilty. There's a quite simple, logical explanation that doesn't require any strange contortions of logic or facts or bizarre flights of fancy based on beliefs on what affect people should have: that the violent career criminal whose DNA was found all over Kercher's body raped and murdered her. That the prosecutor with a long history of bizarre beliefs and unethical prosecutions went off on a wild tangent and then had to save face. And possibly a couple of college kids fuzzing their alibi so as not to admit to drug use/purchase because they knew such an admission would put them in jail for years (given previous exchange students had been.)
posted by tavella at 10:56 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ludicrous allegations of ritual Satanic abuse, including murder, have been used to jail innocent people in lots of countries besides the US. Remember the McMartin preschool case, or the Wenatchee trials? There were hundreds of those.
posted by Fnarf at 12:27 PM on March 30, 2015


I meant "besides Italy", not "besides the US".
posted by Fnarf at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2015


Fnarf, the McMartin case was mentioned in a previous comment.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:29 PM on March 30, 2015


That would explain all the covering up they did with framing Lumumba and bleaching the house afterward.

I'd love to know more about this magical bleach that apparently only removes the DNA of white people, since if your claim is true that they "bleached the house", they somehow managed to remove only their own DNA and left behind all of Rudy Guede's DNA. Can you tell me more?
posted by palomar at 5:01 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


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