Tonight at 10pm and TOMORROW MORNING ON NEW DAY, CNN has Amanda Knox’s reaction to the new theories of why she is guilty of murder according to the Italian judge who just released his decision. He says she is the one who delivered the fatal cut to the neck of Meredith Kercher; that Knox let Rudy Guede, the convicted killer of Kercher, into the apartment that night and that the death arose from a fight between Kercher and Knox over stolen money. All of this is new or goes further than past judgments. Knox is pressed to respond to each and does so.
I will let you value her responses. She knows the case very well – that is not unusual. She is forced to make the case for her innocence and that is unusual, and it is difficult. That said, the latest decision makes some bold suggestions that test the bounds of known fact and forensic support to say the least. Knox will seize on this.
CNN also provides something you have bit had before: comments on the case from the judge who acquitted her. He actually went a step further exercising a ruling we do not have in the US: finding her and her co-defendant acquitted with grounds for innocence. It is u usual for a judge to speak about a case, let alone the handling of the same case by another judge. But you will hear what he thinks about the new ruling and prospects for Knox going forward.
As for Knox, her demeanor is different a year later. She is more mature but still stunted by the anxiety and the apparent trauma involved. I suspect people will struggle with “how she comes across”. There is something different about her, to be sure. But could that distinction be a process of trauma and years of being under fire? Or just a heritage of being emotionally guarded? To be sure Italian authorities had a harsh first impression that has stained their judgment ever since.
However, as much as the answers to the charges, her descriptions about spending her 20’s embroiled in a murder case are fascinating to me. Remember, this happened in 2007, when Knox was 20. Her life has been mainly this fight with little else that can distract from her legal battles.
Some were surprised to hear Knox was giving her only interview to CNN. I interviewed Knox about a year ago and tested her story against the prosecution’s theory at the time, which was all in large part about her alleged sexual perversion. (Interestingly the prosecutor just dropped that rationale in this latest round and picked up a new one – that Knox and Kercher had a bad relationship and wound up fighting). Many thought the last interview was too severe. The truth is Knox asked to be tested with all of the harshest and most damning suggestions, specifically. I agreed that was necessary at the time and questioned her accordingly. Her decision to interview with me again should speak to whether she felt the interview was unduly harsh or unfair the last time.
Much of the case is shrouded in the unknown, for good and bad reason. We often say, the US justice system is the worst, until you compare it to any other. This case was arguably poorly handled by Italian authorities and the prosecution has received criticism. While the story offered by Knox and Sollecito, her co-defendant, is imperfect in several ways, the evidence and case against them has always seemed deficient to many legal experts. It is not uncommon for experts here to suspect there would have been no trial for Knox, let alone a conviction in the US under similar circumstances.
Her story may be unsatisfying but the prosecution needs more than that…much more: it needs a story that makes more sense than anything else. The current judge says he has arrived at that story.
Many lives were changed forever. If this decision stands (and there is likely only one final appeal allowed) Sollecito will be in prison for 20+yrs. Knox will face possible extradition if she loses the next appeal and a life with the cloud of being a killer over her head at the least. And of course, Meredith is gone forever and her family will never be the same. No winners here and judging by the varied and bizarre nature of the decisions…perhaps no justice either.
Your attention and thoughts are welcome…as always.