A Dumb-Ass Case
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
“This is a dumb-ass case”
The latest “motivations” report in the Amanda Knox case has proven to be even more ridiculous than any of us could have predicted.
Some six years after the murder of Meredith Kercher, a plump, overbearing Florentine judge named Alessando Nencini has proclaimed to the world new truths about the case, a new motive for the murder, and a whole new weighting of the facts. He also misrepresents the court record and makes up new facts, seemingly on the fly.
It really can’t get much sillier than this.
I will not dwell excessively on my own history with this serial fiasco. Suffice it to say that over the last four years I have spent spent more hours than I would care to count examining the case against Amanda Knox. Unlike the magi who control the Italian judiciary, I can’t absorb a complex truth by some curious process of “osmosis” (their word, unfortunately) that does not involve the use of my brain. I have been forced to analyze the evidence the old fashioned way–that is, piece by careful piece and with the assistance of voluminous background reading and whatever capacity for judgment I have developed over the years.
What I discovered, somewhat to my initial astonishment I admit, was that quite literally none of the evidence against Knox survives rational scrutiny. It is apparent that Knox no more killed Meredith Kercher than you did or I did or one of the Obama daughters did.
All along Amanda Knox and her supporters have suffered from the touching but ultimately debilitating belief that if the facts along with logic, science, technology and common sense were on the side of the defense, the defense should then prevail. We know differently now. We know that the case is not about evidence or a search for the truth–if, indeed, it ever was about such things. It is about a will to power. It is about protecting the reputation of powerful institutions and persons. It is about a young person having to be guilty because important people in Italy find it preferable to condemn the innocent than admit to grave, foolish errors.
In short, what could, early in 2008, have been an easily correctible mistake, has now alchemized into Italy’s version of the Dreyfus affair. But in this case it is the Italian courts, not military, that have become the enemies of justice and civilization.
In the entries that follow I will, from time to time and as the spirit moves me, offer a series of essays that convey what I have learned about the Knox case over the past four and a half years. These will be nothing more or less than one man’s considered view of events he has watched unfold for a long time. I will perforce discuss what has accurately been called the “profound lack of evidence” against Amanda Knox. But since it is my thesis that the case is not now about evidence I will employ a freer ranging critique that stresses the following themes:
- The narrative reconstruction of events put forth by the Italian courts is fundamentally absurd. In essence, we are being asked to believe in fairy tales.
- The alternative hypothesis–that Rudy Guede acting alone killed Meredith Kercher–is the only intellectually valid and respectable interpretation of the facts.
- The abridgment of Amanda Knox’s legal rights under internationally accepted principles of law has been far more egregious and prolonged than is generally recognized.
- The case has been characterized from the first by the destruction, withholding, and misrepresentation of evidence on a scale that simply shocks the conscience.
- The justice system in Italy is a unique, scandalous mess, completely unworthy of its citizens–a fact that has not escaped the notice of scholars, journalists, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and, of course, the many reform minded Italians who have tried to change it.
To these four themes or areas of inquiry I will add two others, which I confidently predict will become increasingly important as we move forward.
First, I intend to focus on what might be called the “Great Guede Coverup.” Rudy Guede was in the midst of a crime spree when the murder took place, and all of the evidence points to him as the lone killer. Despite this, the authorities have sought at every opportunity to treat him gently while deflecting media attention from him and minimizing his role in the killing.
This rank insult to justice demands that we ask questions:
- Why has the effort to railroad Amanda Knox been harnessed to an equally forceful attempt to protect Guede?
- Is it true as some informed observers have suggested that Guede was a police informer?
- What role is being played by the wealthy and politically influential Perugian family that adopted Guede, the “beautiful family” that he says continues to support him?
- Is it possible that the police in Perugian police enabled Meredith Kercher’s killer by not taking him off the streets when they had the chance?
Back in the heyday of investigative journalism we might have had reporters asking and finding answers to such questions.
Finally, I intend to examine the role of an aggressive, well funded, technically sophisticated and highly motivated pro-guilt campaign, based in London, quite possibly with the ongoing, behind-the scenes support of the victim’s family. This group has attacked Knox supporters viciously and targeted reporters and editors at major news outlets in U.S., the U.K., and Italy. Sad to say, the campaign has met with at least some success. Careers have been damaged. Major news organizations have been suborned. And TV commentators have become confused to the point that they make highly absurd, rookie mistakes in their characterization of the evidence.
Too much as been made about the decision of Amanda Knox’s family to seek professional assistance in sorting through innumerable interview requests. Not nearly enough has been made of the Kercher family’s deep roots in London’s entertainment and news community and the family’s being well positioned to influence reporting and coverage behind the scenes.
And so we must ask some questions here too.
- If, like Margaret Thatcher, Meredith Kercher had been a grocer’s daughter from Lincolnshire, would the coverage, especially in the UK media, have been different?
- How active has the Kercher family been in using their media and social contacts to promote the view that Amanda Knox is guilty?
- Is it ever possible for the family of a murder victim to behave badly?
I have few illusions about my ability to inspire the Knox haters to stop hating or the pro-guilt professionals to stop their disinformation campaign. I hope, rather, to reach persons of intelligence and good will who might find it useful to understand why an average, fairly well educated guy with no tolerance for violent crime could be so confident of Amanda Knox’s innocence.
Indeed, I cannot emphasize this last point nearly enough. If I thought there were one chance in a thousand that Amanda Knox were actually guilty, I would not be supporting her.
I welcome fair minded, serious comments and/or inquiries, but bear in mind that comments will be moderated. As Judge Harry Roosevelt says in John Grisham’s The Client: “This is my little private courtroom, and I make the rules.”