Our take on the case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

Posted: December 6, 2009 by parchangelo in "Eyewitness Testimony", Local Issues, Richard "Speaks", The Causes of Wrongful Convictions

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in an Italian court yesterday of complicity in the murder of Meredith Kercher (Amanda’s roommate). Amanda was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Raffaele to 25 years.

Are they guilty? Who knows? In our opinion, if they had been tried in a US court, we believe that there would have been sufficient basis to find “reasonable doubt” regarding their guilt. They may not be the most “likable” individuals, and they may have acted unwisely at many times, but that is far from being two “cold-blooded, brutal” murderers.

The immediate response of many in the US is to view the this case as the Italian prosecution’s attempt to convict Amanda and Raffaele for the “inappropriate behavior” and amoral lifestyle of two young Americans living abroad. Timothy Egan’s December 2, 2009, Opinionator, online commentary article in the New York Times at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/amanda-knox-revisited/?scp=2&sq=amanda%20knox&st=cse is typical of the degree and nature of the US public outrage being expressed regarding the judgmental attitudes shown by Italian society towards what we Americans perceive as the mostly average and innocent behavior of college aged students. The 400 plus reader comments following his opinion show many in agreement with Mr. Egan’s sentiments.

Most American commentors on the conviction and sentencing of Knox and Sollecito reach the conclusion that their convictions were factually unfounded and their punishment harsh. Many commentors also maintain that American society and the US justice system would never have proceeded to similarly judge and prosecute either based upon so little and so circumstantial evidence to support any assumption of their guilt. Unfortunately, many of us fail to recognize the realities of our own system.

The general American assumption and belief expressed in the impartiality and wise conduct of our judicial system is obviously inaccurate. If that were the case, then our own Rockford authorities would have publicly announced that Richard Wanke is no longer a “person of interest” in the murder of attorney Greg Clark, nearly two years ago, and they would also have dismissed by now the obstruction of justice charge still pending against his landlord, Diane Chavez.

After all, where is the direct evidence linking either of our two friends to the Greg Clark shooting? There may have been some DNA, some fingerprints, some blood, some footprints in the Knox and Sollecito cases to muddle the investigatory waters. But, what explanation exists for the continued bull-headedness of our local authorities?

None, that we at Richardwanke.com can see. The Rockford police would have found any similar evidence by now linking our friends to the murder, if it existed, considering the exhaustive investigation the Rockford police have conducted and the dissection they have done of two individual lives. Despite whatever improbable witness “sightings” early claimed in the media; our own knowledge of our friends tells us that our authorities must by now have amassed much more concrete evidence to show them that their assumptions connecting either of them to the murder is implausible and wrong. And we are not discussing the typical scenario of the amoral actions of two “irresponsible” teenagers or college students, but a significant variance authorities claim manifested in the normal, very quiet and respectable community life led by at least one of these older, settled individuals.

Our American system is as faulty in many respects as the Italian judicial system that many are now criticizing. Our judicial system has, after all, higher standards than any other judicial system. We hold that people are “innocent until proven guilty”, and it is supposed to be more than lip service to an ideal. As Americans, we profess that the liberty of each individual of our society is the most valuable of our ideals and thus most deserving of the protection by the law. We hold ourselves morally above other societies whenever we perceive individual existence in those societies being subject to the exploitation of the law to serve other purposes.

We, at Richardwanke.com wish that innocent individuals could rely upon the judicial system to correct mistakes that are made; and rely upon the authorities to recognize in the course of their extensive investigations the difference between innocence and implausible scenarios, and thus act accordingly, and free the innocent. But, that doesn’t happen in our American judicial system, no matter how hard we pretend that it does.

  1. Rene Wettach says:

    Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this article.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s