Monday, October 3, 2011

Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito Cleared Of Murder Charges!!!

The trial accusing Amanda Knox of murdering roommate Meredith Kercher is not reality TV, but it is reality...and it was covered a lot on TV.

Today, just before 4 PM Eastern Time, Amanda Knox was cleared of the charges that she murdered her roommate, Meredith Kercher. Ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also cleared. Amanda will still have to pay Patrick Lumumba for slander (as she did, after all, accuse him of being part of the crime), but that seems pretty okay after being let out of jail after years for a crime she (theoretically) didn't commit. As the verdict was read, some people in the courtroom cheered as people outside shouted "Murderer!"

I genuinely believe that Amanda didn't kill her roommate. The evidence just wasn't there. There was evidence and a confession from Rudy Guede, so I'm sure that he participated, but there wasn't anything solid convicting Amanda and boyfriend Raffaele.

I have a few theories on the what may have happened, outlined below.

- I am pretty sure that I read Raffaele and Amanda were on drugs the night of the crime. I remember hearing something about hashish, but I'm not sure if that was correct. If they were at all involved in the crime, I would think that Meredith and Raffaele may have gone to Meredith's apartment, seen something going on, panicked and ran. Which, if they were as high as some reports have noted, might be something that they would do. It would also explain why people claimed to have seen them running away (although none of those reports could be verified). When they came out of their drug induced state, they may have been confused and afraid, and convinced themselves that they saw nothing or that they saw something they didn't see, thus becoming entangled in this case. Per The Seattle Times: "An Italian jury Monday concluded what many have long suspected: Knox certainly was guilty of goofy, insensitive behavior and pot use. But there was never sufficient evidence to prove she murdered her roommate, whom she knew only a few weeks."

- Raffaele and Amanda may not have been involved at all - it's entirely possible. DNA evidence was found on things in Amanda's apartment and Raffaele's, but they also lived in / visited both residences. Their DNA should be on stuff - it's their stuff! Plus, the DNA evidence found at the scene was left for weeks without being tested, making the DNA tests flawed. Per The Washington Post, "The eight-member jury acquitted both Knox and Sollecito of murder after a court-ordered review of the DNA evidence cast serious doubts over the main DNA evidence linking the two to the crime."

- There's still really no motive for Amanda and Raffaele. Even if the roommates were having arguments, that doesn't mean it would escalate to the point of something so horrific. Amanda was dating Raffaele - she could always stay with him or find a new place to live.

- Whatever truly happened, I believe that Amanda Knox genuinely believes that she didn't do anything to Meredith. Whether that's true, made true in her mind because of drugs, made true in her mind because of fear, or made true in her mind because she convinced herself of it, I think she genuinely knows or believes that she didn't do it. Her family feels the same way, and even Meredith Kercher's family understands that, although they may not agree. Per The Washington Post, “They fully believe in her innocence. You can’t blame them for that,” said Lyle Kercher, the victim’s brother. “But it’s obviously hard for us.”

- Who's to say that others weren't involved in this crime? Rudy Guede was convinced, but who's to say there weren't others with him that haven't come to the surface? Per The Seattle Times, "The family was not satisfied that there was only one person involved in the killing, a local drifter, Rudy Guede, who admitted to being at the cottage the night of the murder and whose DNA was found all over Kercher's room, on her clothes and body."

I also have some other thoughts on the case itself.

- Amanda was criticized for doing cartwheels in the Italian jail where she was questioned regarding Meredith's murder. People wondered why she'd act like that. Well, people react differently to stress. Some people laugh, some people cry, and some people go a bit nuts. After all, Amanda was dealing with a crazy situation in a foreign country - it's not surprising that she acted strangely.

- Amanda was destroyed in the Italian media. They called her Foxy Knoxy and called her a sex maniac. They showed pictures that didn't accurately portray what happened. Amanda was handed off to the court of public opinion as a guilty party. This information was available to the jurors on her case. If there's one thing we know, rumors can be brutal, and the negative publicity surely had an impact on Amanda's original sentencing. Per The Telegraph: "Over the past four years, the Italian legal system has served up a steady diet of salacious, sensational claims about the American’s “demonic” sex life which allegedly held the key to the brutal murder of her flatmate Miss Kercher."

- Amanda stated that the information she provided to police was forced by the police. The police deny they forced a confession. Well, of course the police denied it! They'd lose credibility if they said, "Oh, yeah, we totally forced a confession! Who cares if it's real - she said it!"

- If Amanda was found guilty, Americans would be in an uproar. Amanda has some high powered people on her side. Hillary Clinton had even gotten involved. The Italian jurors in this retrial knew that they'd better have sufficient evidence to deny Amanda's appeal if they were going to do it, and they didn't have the evidence.

Just a note on this - although we're getting caught up in the drama surrounding Amanda Knox, we should not forget Meredith Kercher, the young woman who lost her life during this situation. Hopefully justice will be served and Meredith's family can find peace. Meredith's sister, Stephanie Kercher, is upset that her sister has been practically forgotten in this case because it's become a media frenzy for Amanda Knox. So, while we can be very happy for Amanda and Raffaele, let's not forget about the family of the woman who lost her life in this ordeal.

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