Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I preferred it when the Mail got it wrong about Amanda Knox.....

Many others, including Stephen and Jonathan have commented about the even bigger than usual Daily Mail fail on Monday night when they reported that Amanda Knox had lost her appeal against her conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

They later claimed that they were just one of the many websites who got it wrong and that it was put right within a minute? Really? All these people just happened to be on the website to get the screen shot in one minute? Pull the other one, love.

However, in a way, I almost preferred the complete pack of lies they printed on Monday night to what came the next morning.

You have to remember that this was a situation where a conviction had been quashed because it was clearly unsafe.

I think that part of the reason the  conviction was made in the first place was because of the salacious and often mendacious media coverage which saturated Italian (and global) news stands before and during the trial.  In this country that simply would not have been allowed to happen - it would have counted as contempt of court.  Nigel Scott, who's a member of the Free Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito campaign wrote an article in this June's Liberator which explores the reasons why the conviction was wrong in more detail. The Fail, in its apology for publishing the wrong verdict, made much of Knox's conviction for slander - but as Nigel says, the basis for this was an interview that wasn't even recorded.

But, anyway, the Fail is only interested in portraying Amanda Knox as a greedy, money grabbing fortune hunter. "Free to make a fortune" was their headline.  I fully expect Amanda to sell her story. I just hope she isn't used by the media in the process, but I don't think she has a choice. Imagine if you had to fight for justice for a relative of yours who was wrongly imprisoned on the other side of the world. Well, for a start, the lawyer doesn't come cheap. Then there's all the other associated costs of legal action, not to mention the costs of travel and accommodation when you have to be in that country on the other side of the world. Her family will have spent an absolute fortune on fighting this case. They are bound to be in debt. Amanda is bound to want and need to try to get some of that back.

If you give the Fail an innocuous piece of information - for example, that Amanda was going to set up an organisation to help others in the same situation as she found herself in - they will twist it to suit their own needs. Wanting to help others is quite noble, given what she's been through. The Fail version of that is to describe her as a professional martyr for injustice.

This whole thing has been a huge tragedy. The dignity of the Kercher family yesterday as they held their press conference was heartbreaking. I cannot imagine anything worse than losing your child or sister,  in such awful circumstances. They have been denied justice in all of this too.

It could so easily have been the case that another young woman and man would have spent decades in prison for a murder they did not commit. The Italian justice system has been shown up for being completely flawed.
It's also worth noting, though, that the justice system in Amanda Knox's own country isn't much better. Two weeks ago, the state of Georgia executed a man for a murder even though the case against him had fallen apart. In 1998, British nanny Louise Woodward was convicted of killing a baby in her care, but was later freed after a successful appeal.

I hope that Amanda Knox is not subjected to the sort of treatment Louise Woodward was handed out. While googling for some information on her to link to for this post, I found this hate filled Facebook group. Why do people join things like this?

Amanda should be allowed to rebuild her life after a horrible 4 years in peace.Let's hope that the media who were at least in part responsible for her conviction get off her back.


Liberal Neil said...

"It's also worth noting, though, that the justice system in Amanda Knox's own country isn't much better."

Surely "is much worse."!

In the US she could still be on Death Row.

Unknown said...

You are right, of course. Just checked & Washington does have death penalty though they haven't executed any women.

Andrew said...

Actually, one of the Italian prosecutors happened to mention during her hearing that is was "a shame" Italy didn't still use the death penalty.

As for the hate directed towards Amanda Knox, it is to be expected given the role of the tabloid media's demonisation of her. They don't seem to realise how much damage they cause. As I've blogged myself, Knox has been released but she will never be free from her ordeal and the fabricated identity the media have created for her.

Alex Macfie said...

I'm seriously troubled by the application of defamation law to statements made during police questioning. Even without the statement having been made under duress, it's still problematic, for the same reason that court proceedings should not be subject to defamation law. The possibility of being sued for slander over one's version of events in a criminal case would be a major hindrance to any investigation.

Chris Halkides said...

The death penalty question comes up every so often in this case. If I could choose between getting rid of the death penalty versus having a functioning appeals system and having a forensics counselor for indigent defendants at their trial, I would choose the latter in an instant. If a system can incarcerate someone for as many years as Knox and Sollecito were facing, it is only fair to have a appeals system in place that does not rubber stamp the initial verdict. The forensics of the Italian system are open to serious question, but their appeal system deserves to be thought about carefully.


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