I have asked for justice for Meredith Kercher. That was meant to ask the American media and the US government to be impartial and not try to intervene in a judicial process.
Now that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been convicted again and they and their supporters are trying so hard to prove that there is no evidence to prove their involvement, I have realized that I have made a mistake.
Judicial systems can only convict perpetrators who have left evidence of their involvement. Therefore, no real justice for a murder can ever be found through a judicial system. Why?
In any judicial system, we have to find evidence of perpetrators’ involvement to prove their guilt. That means perpetrators who leave evidence of their involvement can be convicted while those who do not leave any evidence or succeed in cleaning up evidence of their involvement can not be convicted. That means murderers are convicted for their stupidity or inability to cover up or failure to cover up, not for their crime.
Therefore, it is very meaningless to argue over whether there is enough of evidence to prove their guilt or not. It is in fact even harmful to do so. It sends the message that you better cover up for your crimes or you will have to pay for your crimes.
Q: How can some people be so sure of Amanda Knox’s guilt?
A: To be able to understand the logic of Amanda Knox’s conviction, it helps to have followed as many past murder cases as possible, and to have researched about this murder case as much as possible from information available in the news, on related websites, and in court documents. Information on how these past murder cases were investigated and their perpetrators convicted can shed light on why Amanda Knox could have become a suspect, been investigated, and been convicted: the murder of Lacy Peterson and the conviction of Scott Peterson (who is still running a website proclaiming his innocence), the murder of Jennifer Levin and the conviction of Robert Chambers (who has confessed and served his jail time for the crime), the murder of Natalee Holloway and the investigation of Joran van der Sloot (who has only been a suspect for the crime but has been convicted and jailed for another murder), the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman and the trial of O.J. Simpson (who has been acquitted but has always remained suspected of being guilty), the conviction of Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo, etc.
[Amanda Knox reminded me of Robert Chambers the most. They both were good looking, both took drug, both were initially somewhat idolized by the media. In the Preppie Killer case, it was the victim’s mother who had to fight very hard for the victim’s rights. ]
I wonder if those who believe in Knox innocence has ever followed any case at all. Are they following only this case because the defendant is American while the victim and her family and the court are foreign?
A note on the controversies surrounding this case: As with most such difficult to solve murder cases, this case and the O.J. Simpson case both rely on a lot of guesswork and so are both refuted by the defendants. People have to rely on common sense and the evidence available to make a judgement. The reason why different people come up with different conclusion concerning the same case is that people choose to believe what can prove their points of view and ignore evidence to the contrary. In this case, it is getting harder also because of all the conflicting information being thrown around. Since some people can basically say whatever they want to say, other people don’t bother to look for evidence any more, just stick with what they already know before. And what people already know before is not all the same, due to the different reporting of the case by different media outlets.
Something I have noticed in the course of the persecution of this case is that while Americans did not have any problem with Scott Peterson’s conviction (which was based on much less evidence) when it was announced some years ago, a lot of them are having so much problem with Amanda Knox’s conviction now. I guess the standard of what evidence is good enough to get someone convicted has changed. Maybe it is because so many people have been wrongly convicted in America. The American justice system has been so screwed up that Americans do not have faith in a justice system any more.
Q: Is there any evidence?
A: Yes. Plenty of them if you look for them. Court documents are the best place to look for them. You can also find information on many websites about the case. But all websites have been seen as either pro-guilt or pro-Knox. So if you already have some ideas about the case, you may simply skip all the websites that prove you wrong. It is a human nature. For those who are convinced of Knox’s guilt, their judgement is made based on common sense and knowledge of the basic facts in the case. When people see someone giving different stories or lying repeatedly, they suspect the person’s involvement. When it is hard to explain things without the person of interest being involved, they become convinced of the person’s involvement.
In lots of difficult to solve murder cases, there is not a whole lot of evidence, the only other witness is dead. and the killer does not want to tell the truth. That is the reason why people get killed sometimes – to prevent the truth from being told. That is why we have to try our best to solve murder cases.
Something we also have to know about evidence is that once people have got an initial opinion, it is not easy to change it. Everything will either be explained in some way to serve as proof for an argument that has already been made, or be ignored. The argument over Knox’ guilt has become sort of a political fight between two parties. It has got personal and people are up in arms to defend their rights, not just what they believe to be true any more.
A problem that has made it harder for Americans to be convinced of Knox’s guilt is that the evidence in this case has been under-reported in the US. Those who read from British and Italian media about what had been told by the students, friends of Meredith, the neighbors, etc, and what had been discovered by the Italian police, from the beginning of the investigation, made up their mind about Amanda’s guilt back then. Americans got to know about the case from American media much later and much less. The purpose of the American media’s reporting of the case, from the get go, is to entice Americans to demand Italy set Amanda Knox free. British media’s reporting of the case, on the other hand, is just like American media’s reporting of any American case. The British and Italians made up their mind about this case from their media very much the same way Americans made up their mind about Scott Peterson’s guilt from what they learned from American media way before he was convicted.
Another problem that has made it difficult for some Americans to accept Knox’ conviction is that they have seen people suspected of having committed a murder walk free (OJ, Casey Anthony) while they have not noticed or have chosen to ignore those who have been convicted in the US with little evidence (Scott Peterson, Drew Peterson). A question that must be in these people’s mind is, if not all of those who look guilty are convicted, why Amanda Knox?
Q: What is the motive?
A: There are lots of murders with very simple motives or no motive at all. You may find it strange that someone would kill just for being very angry. But that does happen all the time. As to why Amanda Knox was so angry, that is not what we can answer. Some people can get very angry for very little things, especially when they are on drug.
Q: There is already one person in jail for the crime. Why do they have to convict two more people? Why is the Kercher family not happy with having one person serving jail time for the crime?
A: Just because one person has been found guilty of the crime does not mean that others can not be found guilty of the crime. It has been proven that Meredith was killed by more than one attackers. And the Kercher family know it.
Q: Is it better for Amanda Knox to go to jail?
A: Many killers live most of their remaining life as normal people (never kill again) until they are found at their old age. However, some killers do kill again. Joran van der Sloot came to mind.
Q: How Amanda Knox should have handled this?
A: Amanda Knox’s woes have made me realized how important it is to believe in God. Only when she believes in God can she handle the situation properly and is able to handle what is coming for the rest of her life. Any mistake, however big it is, can be forgiven by God. But she can never be forgiven by God or get help from God if she never turns to God and never starts to believe in God. God’s power is greater than that of all of her relatives and supporters. All the money in the world cannot buy the power that God has. There are more people who believe in God, consciously or unconsciously. That is why Knox’s conviction is reinstated. If Knox believed in God and did the right thing, she would not have to pay such a high price. In fact, at any point in time, if she turns to God, she will get help. It is regretful for her that she never does seem to get that. She always tries to be in control of the situation. She would not let God handle it. She went on TV to lie to the whole world repeatedly, as if she is powerful enough to control the world. This will only turn the world against her.
My last word: Murderers don’t always get anything out of the murders they have committed. In fact, sometimes all they get is regret and shame. In that sense, they are victims, too – victims of their own inability to control themselves. We should not ask for justice. We should just try to help them become normal people if that is possible.
Commenting on the recent Newark airport incident, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg said “It wasn’t some prank that didn’t do any harm – it did a lot of harm because it sent out an alert that people can get away with something like this”.
So is it a good thing or a bad thing that this vulnerability in airport security has been made known to the public?
Whenever a problem is disclosed, it is not the person who makes the problem known who is at fault. It is those who allow such a problem to exist who are at fault.
A problem is itself a problem. It is not created by someone who makes it known to the public. We should be thankful that it is made known to the public and thus will be fixed.
Imagine that it was someone else who got through security that way and blew up a plane, will we even get a chance to fine him and scream at him?
Anyway, the guy in this incident could not have been able to bypass security if he had needed to board a plane. He would have had to go through security like others who had to do it twice. So what are we to worry about? It only send people who may want to copy it a message that they won’t be able to bypass airport security and will be caught later on. Isn’t it a good thing?
I guess the senator is worrying that there will be more work for people in charge of airport security. But they should have worked harder to prevent this from happening anyway. Just because nobody knew about a problem does not mean that it did not exist.
Below is a comment posted on nj.com that I think expresses the same view that I have.
“The airport’s intent is to prevent the destruction of the airport and the loss of countless lives, and they erect a cloth tape barrier manned by a single officer who may or may not be at his post, with a broken CCTV system that is not even watched in real time. A customer sees this “security” setup, which is similar to CROWD CONTROL at the local cine-plex theater, and knowingly goes around it to be with a loved one. He didn’t understand that the airport put the tape there to stop the total destruction of that facility. So don’t punish him as if he meant to destroy the airport. He didn’t.”
Just because someone has done something wrong or committed a crime does not mean that that person can be abused. But that is what happens a lot of time. People often disrespect someone who has been condemned for some reason, even if it is not a very serious reason. And once they disrespect someone, they abuse them.
“Balloon Boy” parents Richard and Mayumi Heene should pay for the government’s financial losses resulting from their hoax. But they should be allowed to make money to pay for it even if it means that they have to write a book or offer TV interviews about their hoax. Some people may want to know why they did what they did and what their experience was. They may profit from something that has caused harm to other people. But they are going to pay for all the harm they did to other people.
By the way, some people think that Richard and Mayumi Heene abuse their children. I don’t see any of that. One, they did not instruct their children to lie. That was why the boy told the truth and we got to know the truth. Two, they did not jeopardize their children’s safety by really letting the boy trapped in the balloon to make it real. Three, they let them explore nature to learn more about nature and technologies. I would love to have that kind of opportunities growing up. I don’t understand why people accused them of abusing their children.
The following about the differences between the American legal system and the Italian legal system is taken from the article “`Foxy Knoxy`: Innocent coed or manipulative murderer?” by Wendy Murphy, a law professor, a famous victims rights advocate and television legal analyst, and an ex-prosecutor who specialized in child abuse and sex crimes cases. I have seen her on TV a lot. I admire her courage to express her own opinion which is not the same as those of most people in mainstream media. Unfortunately, this article is not yet published on well-known news sites, only on the websites of a few little known local newspapers in Massachusetts such as The Daily News Tribune. Politics trumps the pursue of the truth and justice in America as much as it does in the developing world.
“The Italian legal system is indeed different than the American system, but it isn’t necessarily worse. We think we have the “best legal system in the world” but we really don’t – though there are features of our system that are truly superior – like the right to remain silent, and the exclusionary rule that forbids use of evidence obtained in violation of certain constitutional rights. The Italian legal system has similar kinds of rules to ensure the fairness of the process, but they’re not as generous.
Nevertheless, the Italian system is more likely to reach a “just” verdict if “justice” means getting at the truth.
This is because the Italian legal system is inquisitorial – which means it’s designed to uncover facts. The American legal system is adversarial – which means it’s designed to pit adversaries against each other for the purpose of producing a winner.
Adversarial legal systems inspire an “anything goes” attitude that can lead to shenanigans that distort rather than elucidate the truth. Think O.J. Simpson.
Inquisitorial systems don’t tolerate tricks. They’re designed to prevent red herring strategies precisely because they distort the truth. This is one of the reasons Italian juries are comprised of a combination of “regular” people and judges. The professional training and expertise of judges brings objectivity and less human bias (and vulnerability to strategic manipulation) to the decision-making process.
In short, – the Italian system couldn’t care less about exactly the thing that makes many Americans so upset about the verdict.”
Knox’s supporters are waging a campaign to discredit the Italian judicial system, while some of those who are convinced that Knox is guilty can not stand the fact that Knox’s parents are trying so hard to get Knox off the hook.
I personally believe that Knox is guilty. But I can understand why her parents are doing what they are doing, although they look rather selfish if they know that their daughter is guilty. Some people commit crime and regret what they did. But they do not like to have to answer to people who they have not hurt. They believe that what they did should be judged by God and no one else. They are not proud of what they did. But they believe it is no one else’s business to judge them. It is a Christian’s believe that only those who never sin can cast the first stone. And since virtually no one can claim they never sin, no one can cast the first stone. So no one can judge others.
I personally do not think that punishing a person or even killing him or her can bring back anything. Meridith will not come back to life even if Knox is sentenced to death. And if Meridith had survived, she might not want to revenge so much. So looking for vengeance should not be our motive to keep Knox behind bar.
I think that Knox should serve her sentence for a different reason. It is to satisfy people’s desire for justice, which is different from the desire for vengeance. It is also to prevent people from coming up with the conclusion that they can commit a crime and can get away with it if they know how to wage a PR campaign and enlist the help of politicians.
By the way, isn’t it the greatest thing about the developed world that the judicial system is independent from the government and any other political system so that no political pressure can alter judicial outcomes? Why are they trying to enlist the help of politicians?
For those who doubt the fairness of the Italian judicial system, please study how Americans such as Scott Peterson got convicted here in the US. There have been so many cases that have been subjects of national debates over the years. If you are interested in how people can be convicted fairly, study those cases.
This murder case does not have a confession. But it is like some other murder cases here in the US that have got guilty verdicts without a confession. Of course, you can point out that not all murder cases without a confession got guilty verdicts. But that does not mean that no murder cases without a confession can get a guilty verdict.
Also, I wonder if some people are worried that Knox got convicted because of what the US government has been doing to people in other countries and people from other countries. They know that what the US government has been doing is not popular internationally. So they worry that Americans will have to pay a price for it.
I don’t think that people in other countries want American citizens to pay for what the US government has been doing. They probably know that Americans have as little control over what the US government does as they have over what their governments do.
Also, are some Americans worried that American image would be tainted if Knox is convicted? I don’t see how you can save American image by denying something others are so convinced of. To really improve American image, we need to make it clear to Americans that they can not expect to be acquitted of crimes they commit abroad and so don’t commit crimes while they are abroad. By trying to get them off the hook, we are not discouraging them from committing crimes while they are abroad. More crimes and more cover-ups will taint American image even further.
“Friday’s verdict, delivered in a court in Perugia, has dominated the media, with much emphasis on the contrast between her wholesome, sporty image and the grim sentence. But I wonder how differently we would feel if we tried the following experiment: what if it had been a man standing in the dock, declared guilty of sexually assaulting Meredith Kercher, stabbing her to death and abandoning her partly clothed body in a pool of blood? In fact, it need not be an experiment – Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s former lover, and Rudy Guede have also been convicted, prompting barely a whisper compared to the furore over Knox.” – from “Amanda Knox: whatever sympathy we feel, a girl is still dead“.
I guess a lot of Americans think so. Even a US senator from her state vowed to ask the Secretary of State to help her out. (Unfortunately for the senator, Hillary does not need Knox’s supporters’ votes as the senator does.)
Judging from how Americans have been convicted in the US, I think if this case happened in the US, I don’t think Americans would have much difficulty reaching the same verdict that the Italians have reached. Only because this case is a case in which an American was convicted in a foreign country that so many Americans are scrutinizing it. Americans are afraid of getting wrongly convicted just for being Americans. Therefore so many Americans are screaming for justice even when facing a daunting task of proving Knox’s innocence.
If you are concerned that you could face the fate Knox is facing, ask yourself if you are anything like Knox. If you are, then you should be concerned. Anyone who lives a life like hers should be concerned. If you are not, relax. Knox was not convicted for being an American.
I think the American media’s selective reporting of information concerning the case explains why there is a big gap between the conclusions made by Americans and those made by the Europeans, and explains why Americans are so all fired up.
Armed with more information about the case than the American public, Europeans strongly believe in their judgement in the case. Americans’ effort to defend Knox will not raise Europeans’ doubt in their own judgement, but will raise their doubt in Americans’ judgement and possibly in their characters as well.
I think the American media have been trying to make the story to be not just about a wild American girl, but about an American girl, which many more Americans can relate to. They do that to get a lot more Americans interested in the case and thus raise their ratings. But by doing that, they are misleading the American public.
There is also another issue. Some Americans think that they do not need to respect the laws in other countries. And Europeans think that they have to make it clear that Americans have to respect the laws in their countries. Thus the crash.
Silly as it may seem, things like this can sometimes lead to wars. It would be interesting if America goes to war with Europe. But I won’t bet on it. There are still people who are cool headed enough to stop that from happening. This is because a war between two world powers will surely cost too much, not like a war between a world power and a little poor country like Afghanistan.
Many people wonder why nobody reported the gang rape when it was happening. I have witnessed a crime and even participated in it myself. So I know why it happened that way. I did not have the power to stop it. I could not say no to my business partner. She was in control. And I did not want to do anything that may hurt her. So even though I did not like it, I could not do anything to stop it.
I think the following comment by JR_from Fla is the best.
“There is a very simple answer is we have desensitized and marginalized our children to events in life and the consequences of said behaviors. All we have to do is look at the movies they watch, the TV programs, the video games and the video music which depicts violence to the extremes; with little associated consequences. Children are becoming numb from what they see and experience. It starts at home where the father might abuse a family member and little changes in their life except their inner emotions. Society has become too permissive in many aspects, and common sense predicates that people need to evaluate the message they are trying to disseminate before it becomes a full scale production. In the case of that young lady who was savagely abused, it started with the authorities at the school who allowed a certain group of men to ‘pack’ on their property and did nothing to protect the children. Were they trying to create a situation. You will have to ask them, but more than anything they need to be held accountable because of their inaction.”
The movies, TV programs, video games and music videos which depicts violence to the extremes bring some people in the entertainment industry enormous amount of wealth while ruining the whole society. As with the food industry, the drug industry, the financial industry, and the defense industry, huge profits for some people are created at the expense of the entire population.