Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Amanda Knox trial

"Facing-saving" Italian style?

by Mike Marcellino

Until now, I haven't followed the case of Amanda Knox, American exchange student found guilty of the murder of her roommate in an Italian "court."
A journalist friend from Cleveland caught my attention with this opinion piece in the New York Times by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Timothy Eagan, just before the verdict. It's an eye opener.  -

There are enough questions in the case to drive a more than a few trucks through. Until the Italian judicial system or government conducts a fair investigation of the murder and trial, I'm brewing drinking French roast, not Italian. 

As a newspaper reporter, I've covered just about every crime, including a double murder of a couple in Mentor, Ohio. Their son, H. Thomas Hoffman III, shot his parents as the slept in their bed, set fire to them and their house. He's still in prison I believe. The bizarre case, filled with kinky sex and such, was handled well by police, defense and prosecuting attorneys and the courts. 

In contrast, the case against Amanda was a travesty of justice, for - its lack of evidence; the soap opera Italian system of justice; the prosecutor's conduct better fitting a Godfather movie, complete with his contrived sexual demonic motive; the court's intimidation of the Knox family for an interview with a British newspaper; and letting a drifter off the hook though there was physical evidence linking him to the crime. The drifter fled to Germany where he was convicted of sexual assault and conspiracy in the throat slashing murder of Amanda's British roommate, Meredith Kercher. 

The loss of a young woman and the imprisonment of another, should be more than an Italian drama.

If “face saving,” as Eagan contends, is really more important in Italy than life and justice, for the record, my father is Sicilian, not Italian.