Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why indicting Amanda Knox's parents for libel in Italy is a good thing

Or at least evidence of a functioning system as opposed to pure authoritarianism. The reason is this: Italy and the U.S. are different in that while we have lots of free speech here, most of that speech doesn't translate out into actual change in either policy, government, or society, while in Italy it really does. The sad fact of American life is that we can have an entire parallel system of news production and gathering devoted to opposing war or opposing a President, Bush in this case, yet have the system ignore us. In Italy, as in other European countries, speech actually has the ability to effect reality much easier than here, in the form of legislation, of government officials being pressured to change their policies, in open revolts by people at large, by the toppling of governments. Which is why they take statements that appear to have little basis, like that Amanda Knox was abused by police, pretty seriously. Sure, sue them for libel.

We have the opposite situation in the U.S.: police misconduct rises, people get upset about it and protest, launch campaigns based on egregious incidents, and yet the powers that be just ignore it, or if not give it a cursory nod before getting back to business. In cases like that of the U.S., one has to ask themselves, or at least I have to ask myself, if free speech alone really matters as much as people say it does?

One of the reasons that government responds to people in negative ways is that they feel scared or threatened. Based on the amount of government response in the United States, taken in combination with the actual state of policy here, it's a fair call to say that our speech isn't taken as being a sort of utopian gift but is instead looked at as an annoyance that doesn't really change much.

In a way, Italy's act, which is the act of a democracy and not of a dictatorship, is a backhanded complement to Amanda Knox's parents, with an emphasis on the backhand.

1 comment:

Harry Rag said...

The evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is overwhelming. They gave completely different accounts of where they were, who they were with and what they were doing on the night of the murder. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have credible alibis despite three attempts each. All the other people who were questioned had one credible alibi that could be verified. Innocent people don't give multiple conflicting alibis and lie repeatedly to the police. 

The DNA didn't miraculously deposit itself in the most incriminating of places. 

An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito's DNA was found on Meredith's bra clasp. His DNA was identified by two separate DNA tests. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17.

According to Sollecito's forensic expert, Professor Vinci, Knox's DNA was on Meredith's bra. 

Amanda Knox's DNA was found on the handle of the double DNA knife and a number of independent forensic experts - Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo and Professor Francesca Torricelli - categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade. Sollecito knew that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade which is why he twice lied about accidentally pricking her hand whilst cooking.

There were five instances of Knox's DNA mixed with Meredith's blood in three different locations in the cottage.

Knox tracked Meredith's blood into the bathroom, the hallway, her room and Filomena's room, where the break-in was staged. Knox's DNA and Meredith's blood was found mixed together in Filomena's room, in a bare bloody footprint in the hallway and in three places in the bathroom. 

Rudy Guede's bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith's room and out of the house. This means that he didn't stage the break-in in Filomena's room or go into the blood-spattered bathroom after Meredith had been stabbed.

The bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Guede. Knox's and Sollecito's bare bloody footprints were revealed by luminol in the hallway. 

It's not a coincidence that the three people - Knox, Sollecito and Guede - who kept telling the police a pack of lies are all implicated by the DNA and forensic evidence.

Amanda Knox voluntarily admitted that she was involved in Meredith's murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. After she was informed that Sollecito was no longer providing her with an alibi, she stated on at least four separate occasions that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed. At the trial, Sollecito refused to corroborate Knox's alibi that she was at his apartment.

Knox accused an innocent man, Diya Lumumba, of murdering Meredith despite the fact she knew he was completely innocent. She didn't recant her false and malicious allegation against Lumumba the whole time he was in prison. She admitted that it was her fault that Lumumba was in prison in an intercepted conversation with her mother on 10 November 2007.