I haven’t been following every moment of the Amanda Knox trial but I’ve followed it enough to be of the opinion that what happened in Perugia today was a tragedy.
Yes, there was some evidence that indicated Knox may have been involved. Chances are she isn’t completely innocent but anyone accused of a crime rarely is. The travesty in my mind is that she and her boyfriend appear far from guilty and, even in Italy, the accused must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Furthermore, there has been so much that has gone wrong with this trial that, had it been held in the US a mistrial would have been declared long ago. From the charges of abuse of power leveled against the prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, to the contaminated evidence, there was just too much that didn’t make sense.
Knox’s defense attorney, Luciano Ghirga, referring to the fact that Knox could have been sentenced to life, said it well. “I am not at peace. They didn’t have the courage to go all the way. It is a judicial compromise.”
Our own Maria Cantwell also offered a theory that I considered as well. “I have serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial.”
I commend Senator Cantwell for having the courage to say what a lot of folks might not consider politically correct and for pledging to follow up through diplomatic channels so all that is possible may be done to resolve this in a way preferable to Knox.
And speaking of American political response to the verdict, I actually feel for President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton here. They will have a fine line to walk.
If they do nothing they’re allowing the justice system of an ally to take its course. Considering the way Obama has dealt with the world (bowing to foreign leaders, etc.) this past year, this may be what happens. Maybe a good idea if they don’t want to appear to be forcing America’s will on Italy. A bad idea because they’d be allowing a US citizen to go to prison for 25 years for a crime it’s uncertain she committed.
Of course, if they do intervene, the opposite is true. They’ll be coming to the rescue of Knox but Italians might accuse America of trying to push its weight around and being conceited.
The best idea, no joke, would be to send someone like Bill Clinton (or maybe, and I say this with tongue-in-cheek, Jesse Jackson). He did well freeing the Americans in North Korea.
But let’s hope that it doesn’t need to come to this. Let’s hope that Knox will be found not guilty on appeal and allowed to return to the United States by next Christmas.