Sunday, March 21, 2010

Viewpoints on the Italian Justice System

Part XI in a series on the Knox/Sollecito case

The murder of Meredith Kercher has caused the Italian justice system to come under scrutiny. The first is a letter Count Neri Capponi wrote about the Monster of Florence case, and the second are his comments on the Knox/Sollecito case to Judy Bachrach of Vanity Fair. Count Neri Capponi is a judge and a lawyer, and his son Niccolo is an acquaintance of Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, authors of The Atlantic article and the book The Monster of Florence.

The travesty of justice undergone by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/07/the-monster-of-florence/4981/) is the tip of the iceberg. The Italian judiciary (which includes the public prosecutors) is a branch of the civil service. This particular branch chooses its members, is self-ruling, and is accountable to no one: a state within the state! This body of bureaucrats can be roughly divided into three sections: a large minority, corrupt and affiliated to the former Communist Party; a large section of honest people who are too frightened to stand up to the political minority (which controls the offices of the judiciary); and a minority of brave and honest men with little influence. Political and dishonest judges have an infallible method of silencing or discrediting opponents, political or otherwise. A bogus indictment, the tapping of telephones, the conversations (often doctored) fed to the press to start a smear campaign, a spectacular arrest, prolonged preventive detention under the worst possible conditions, third-degree interrogations, and finally a trial that lasts many years and ends in the acquittal of a ruined man. Spezi was lucky, because the powerful Florentine public prosecutor is no friend of the Perugia prosecutor’s and, I am told, “suggested” that Spezi be freed; the Perugia court, I am told, accepted the “suggestion.”
Count Neri Capponi
Florence, Italy
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/10/letters-to-the-editor/5197/

The Italian legal system, ecclesiastical judge Count Neri Capponi informs me, will not work in Amanda’s favor. “Our system stems from the Inquisition and also from medieval law,” he explains. What this means, in effect, he says, is that justice in Italy “is based on the supremacy of the prosecution. This nullifies the fact—written in our constitution by the way—that you’re innocent until proven guilty.
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/06/perugia200806?currentPage=6

Amanda Knox was accused of slander for her allegation of police abuse (http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-proceedings-against-amanda-knox.html). Based on Frank Sfarzo’s report, one is skeptical about how objectively her allegations were investigated. From a report prepared by the human rights group EveryOne on police violence in Italy, “When human rights activists report episodes of violence or abuse of power being perpetrated by rogue officers to local or national institutions, a worrying phenomenon nearly always takes place. Instead of collecting precise reports of the episodes in order to investigate and identify those responsible for the abuse, the superiors shut up like a clam, denying without question that such disgraceful acts could have taken place. They assume a threatening tone with the associations and threaten to report them for slander, libel and defamation etc. This attitude, which the leaders of EveryOne themselves have witnessed on several occasions, prevents the rogue officers being isolated and their behaviour discouraged. On the contrary, it makes them feel part of an agency in which they are allowed to act above the law using violence, threats and acts of gratuitous coercion. According to the activists, after reporting misconduct by uniformed police officers towards racial minorities, it is not rare for the activists themselves to be followed by plain clothes policemen or summoned to police stations or headquarters and “advised” not to take any further action.” (thanks to Observer for pointing out this report*)

Commentator Peter Popham has written a couple of articles on the Italian system. Comparing the British and Italian systems Popham wrote (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/peter-popham-will-knox-find-justice-in-perugia-1826533.html), “One of the great virtues of the British judicial system is that, whatever ideas a detective or prosecutor may have about a case, he is not allowed to voice them until the case comes to court. And a very good thing too.

They manage these things differently in Italy, where prosecutors regularly leak their theories to the newspapers, often in extraordinary detail. Reporters compete for the juiciest tit-bits. As a result, by the time the trial comes around, the public already know what they think about a case, and why. This makes miscarriages of justice horribly likely. Take the Perugia murder: Mr Mignini made up his mind about it, and got his theories splashed across the media, in early November 2007. But weeks later forensic evidence led the police to another suspect who had little or no connection to Knox, Sollecito and their African friend. Rudy Guede, unlike the original three, was tied to the crime scene by fingerprints, hand prints and DNA evidence. In a separate trial he has already been convicted of the murder.

When Guede exploded on the scene, the investigators should have torn up their work and started again. But by this time the "guilt" of Knox and Sollecito was so well established in the media and in the public's mind that there was no going back. The jury sitting on the case absorbed all those early reports. As a result, justice may be done in Perugia next week, but I wouldn't bank on it.”

Popham also brought up (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-big-question-should-italian-justice-be-in-the-dock-over-the-conviction-of-amanda-knox-1836076.html) an aspect of the Italian system that might work in Knox and Sollecito’s favor, “The good news for them is that the appeal is essentially a re-trial: every aspect of the case will be examined afresh. It is very common for convictions at the first trial to be overturned on appeal. A conviction is not considered "definitive" until it is confirmed by the Court of Cassation.” Another commentator has indicated that Knox’s incriminating statement was thrown out before her trial in a way that might not have happened until after her trial in another country.

With respect to the broad latitude given to the prosecutor for his summation, Scott H. Greenfield (http://blog.simplejustice.us/2009/12/05/a-trial-without-evidence.aspx) lamented, “During the summation, the prosecutor told the jury about the things Amanda Knox might have said to Meredith Kercher before the alleged drug-induced orgy that ended with her throat being slashed.

‘You are always behaving like a little saint. Now we will show you. Now we will make you have sex.’

This would be a horrible thing to say, except that it never happened. No one says that such a statement was ever made. But summations in Perugia aren't limited to evidence, as they are here. Rather, this is a permissible indulgence into fantasy, a made up dramatization of what the prosecutors contend might have happened. It's used to inflame the jury. It's what prosecutors try to do everywhere, except that there are no restrictions on such fabrications in Italy. Still, arousing passion gets a far better visceral response that appealing to reason.”

I have a relatively limited number of facts on which to base an evaluation of the Italian justice system. Broadly speaking, it has things to admire and areas for improvements. My comments here should not be construed as a blanket indictment of the Italian justice system.

*update 3/22/10
www.statewatch.org/.../EveryOne%20-%20Report%20Police%20Violence%20in%20Italy_ENG.pdf

61 comments:

Joe said...

Chris,

Thank you for your continued efforts!

The number of slander charges that Mignini is bringing against a number of people is very telling.

Concerning Knox and Sollecito, I don't believe they will fare any better in their first appeal, unless they are first able to discredit The Knife and bra clasp evidence more effectively.

I believe their best chance for the conviction to be overturned lies with the Supreme Court. The court will have to decide whether to accept The Knife and bra clasp evidence as credible. Frank expressed the opinion in one of his posts that a conviction based on these two pieces of evidence would be overturned, if not in the first appeal, then by the Supreme Court. If those are thrown out, I believe they would then have the opportunity to decide whether to overturn the convictions, uphold the convictions sans The Knife and bra clasp, or kick it back to the Court of Azzize(?) to be retried on the basis of the other evidence.

According to Frank's summary, Massei considered Amanda's "confession" as an indicator of guilt in his motivations. I believe the nature of the interrogations on Nov. 5-6 of Knox and Sollecito will be a key point of argument for the defenses in the Supreme Court appeal. The Supreme Court may have to decide whether those interrogations were lawful and whether any information obtained (indicators of guilt) were "fruit from the poison tree," to quote tv crime shows.

In Darkness Descending, Russell and Johnson summarized General Garofano's thoughts about the interrogations: "But niggling doubts disturbed his peace of mind. Had the police been duplicitous at the start by treating the 'unofficial' suspects, Amanda and Raffaele, as plain witnesses? Had they bypassed the law in order to elicit a false confession? Had the seasoned detectives thrown them enough rope, knowing that they would hang themselves - especially without a lawyer being present? Sollecito was questioned as a witness but his knife and shoes were taken away as though he was a suspect. Both were kept in solitary confinement without proper documentation. The Supreme Court had quashed convictions for much less."

Anonymous said...

Chris,
This is an excellent perspective about this case in perugia. My conclusions about the innocence of AK and RS stem from my suspicions about the police/judicial system. I have noticed that most of the evidence the prosecution points to comes by way of he said, she said,
they said and its the police telling you he said, she said, they said.
I'll admit police are corrupt/dishonest in the US. And it is seeing police in action in this country that taught me how dishonest police work. But when I researched the unfortunate death of Aldo Bianzino in Perugia two weeks before the death of Merideth Kercher I concluded that there is not a single thing coming from the prosecution that I will believe. Moreover, I understand why people are scared in that town and why they will go along with the powers that be.
Chris you are a much braver man than I.

Jason said...

Great article! Thanks for continuing to shine the light on this case.

There is no credible evidence linking Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito to this crime. Meredith Kercher's death was an act of extreme violence. Evidence of this crime was quickly spread throughout the crime scene. There is no credible evidence that puts Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito in the room at the time of the murder. There is not one fingerprint, not one footprint, not one shoe print, not one hair, not one fiber, no sweat, no saliva, no blood, and no DNA of any kind that puts Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito in the room at the time of the murder. Why? The answer is very clear. There was no evidence putting Amanda Knox and Raffaele sollecito in the room at the time of the murder because they were NOT there.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been wrongly convicted. It is a shame that the Italian legal system is fraught with such fraud where one innocent victim (Meredith) is not enough, they need to go after other innocent victims, their families, and their lawyers as well. When there is no one left to defend you, there will be no one left to defend.



Please visit: http://www.injusticeinperugia.org

Rose said...

I actually see a lot of good things in the Italian justice system. The appeal process is much simpler, automatic, and ensures these types of cases get a second look. You don't have to prove an error or fault in the first trial to get this done. They assume the accused is going to lie. This seems to me to be a much more realistic approach. The prosecutor is allowed to indulge in fantasy during a summation. Everybody knows this, just as they know the accused may not tell the truth. So what? Sequestering a jury even in the US has become more rare, is very expensive, and really does nothing in the electronic age to prevent information from getting to the juror that wants that information.

My main concern with this case was the long drawn out trial, only a few days a week, with a long break during the summer. However, I see cases in the US that take even longer from start to finish than this one and everyone here supposedly has a right to a speedy trial. Just saying.

As far as the jury/judges being scared of bucking the system, I don't buy that (in this case at least). You will have to show me something more than pure speculation to convince me of that.

Joe said...

As far as the jury/judges being scared of bucking the system, I don't buy that (in this case at least). You will have to show me something more than pure speculation to convince me of that.

March 22, 2010 5:31 PM

------------

Rose,

You confuse me with some of your comments.

You express your belief in Amanda's behavior as being suspicious in many of your posts.

However, your opinion that the prosecution didn't prove their case and that you have reasonable doubt that Knox is guilty has also been expressed in a hand full of comments as well.

If you have reasonable doubt, isn't it reasonable to think that at least one in eight would also have reasonable doubt?

This is the first time I have followed a murder trial in Italy. Considering the year long, pretrial character assassination of Knox and the seemingly overwhelming belief (to me at least) of the Italian public that Knox is guilty, this would be THE case that a juror would be afraid to "buck the system."

Anonymous said...

Chris,
From what I understand of the crime scene
there are no overlapping footprints/shoeprints in the room of the murder. Isn't that more than highly unlikeley that Rudy would step where AK and RS would not as he left the scene of the crime and vice versa.
TM

Anonymous said...

TM,
There were overlapping shoe prints in Meredith's room. But they all had identical patterns.

A clue to how the investigation proceeded can be seen in the shoe print evidence. The prosecution claimed that one shoe print belonged to Amanda. They later claimed that the same print belonged to Raffaele. But the oddest thing is that the pattern of this print is identical to the Nike shows worn by Rudy Guede that created the other prints in the room.

Randy said...

“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

When I think about being on the jury...maybe you have read articles or seen stories on tv about the murder already. you have some idea about things. You are with 2 professional judges. You see evidence from the state. You believe the DNA evidence is 100% legit. Why would the Rome office make things up you think. You listen to what the judges in the jury say. I read how they guide things for the other members. You probably already lean towards guilty. Do you want to be the one who lets these infamous people go free you think? These kids come to school here and go crazy. Use drugs and do wild things. You believe all that Mignini says. You know all defendants will lie. So you vote guilty. You know everyone appeals their case. If something is not right, the appeal will fix it.

"The theory, first advanced by Jost and Banaji in 1994,...posits a general human tendency to support and defend the social status quo, broadly defined. How such a motive is expressed in attitudes and behavior will, of course, vary by individual and situation. But Jost and Banaji suggested that the familiar motives of ego justification (or self-interest) and group justification (or ingroupfavoritism) were insufficient to account for many phenomena observed both in the real world and in the psychologist’s laboratory. Among these phenomena are the many instances in which those who are seemingly disadvantaged by a social system become its most ardent supporters.’”‘


Stereotypes and ideologies supply ready-made justifications, explanations, and excuses for the system. Much as ego justification motives become more pronounced when our self-esteem is threatened, causing us to become “defensive,” system justification motives become most evident when we perceive a threat to the legitimacy of a system to which we are attached…"


I came across this about people confessing to crimes they didn't commit...

"We know that false confessions do happen on a fairly regular basis…In the November 2004 issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, APS Fellow Saul Kassin looked at the body of research and described how the police are able to interrogate suspects until they confess to a crime they didn’t commit.

Generally, it starts because people give up their Miranda rights. In fact, Richard A. Leo found that a majority of people give up the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. In fact, according to self-report data, innocent suspects gave up their rights more often than guilty suspects (most told Leo either that this was because they felt that they didn’t have anything to hide because they were innocent or that they thought it would make them look guilty).

Once a suspect starts talking, the police can use a variety of techniques to make the accused feel as though they are better off confessing than continuing to deny (these include promises of leniency and threats of harsher interrogation or sentences). If a suspect feels like a conviction is inevitable not matter what he or she says, confessing may seem like a good idea.

But, in some cases, the accused comes to believe that he or she actually did commit the crime. It’s been shown repeatedly that memory is quite malleable and unreliable. Elizabeth Loftus has repeatedly shown that the human brain can create memories out of thin air with some prompting. In a famous series of experiments, Loftus, APS Past President, was able to help people create memories for events that never happened in their lives simply through prompting. She helped them “remember” being lost in a shopping mall when they were children, and the longer the experiment went on, the more details they “remembered.”

Both of those long quoted paragraphs came from this website


http://slabbed.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/why-do-people-confess-to-crimes-they-didnt-commit/

Randy said...

sorry that last one was so long...thought it had some interesting stuff in it.



AK kept saying how the police kept saying remember to her during that interrogation (for however many hours it really was...I don't think it was 14 to be honest). She's just a kid, stressed, they tell her she will be in jail for 30 years, we have proof you were there they tell her. So AK tells this story about Lumumba.

Kestrel said...

Randy,
In Amanda's case, it's clear she didn't come up with Lumumba's name out of the blue. It was only after the interrogators showed her the message "See you later, Good Evening" on her cell phone and demanded to know who she sent the message to.

I doubt that most people fully understand the nature of police interrogations and the tricks that can entrap even the innocent. This video explains the problem in detail. (It's also rather entertaining)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc)

Kestrel said...

BTW - 28 minutes into the video, a police officer comments about his experience working in other countries. "most interviews in Italy, Spain, etc. start out physically"

halides1 said...

Randy,

Here is a citation for the article you mentioned:

The Psychology of Confessions
A Review of the Literature and Issues
Saul M. Kassin1 and Gisli H. Gudjonsson2
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Volume 5, number 2, November 2004

There is also an editorial by Elizabeth Loftus.

Chris

halides1 said...

To all,

This is a good article on how a false confession can affect how eyewitnesses or expert witnesses testify:

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=2590

Chris

Rose said...

Joe said: "

You confuse me with some of your comments.

You express your belief in Amanda's behavior as being suspicious in many of your posts.

However, your opinion that the prosecution didn't prove their case and that you have reasonable doubt that Knox is guilty has also been expressed in a hand full of comments as well.

If you have reasonable doubt, isn't it reasonable to think that at least one in eight would also have reasonable doubt?
"

I don't really fall on the side of the FOAer's or the "Guilters". I have a lot of doubt that Amanda or Raffaele participated in an assault. Yet, I am almost certain they are hiding something. I don't believe the double DNA knife is a murder weapon and the prosecution's theories regarding motive and the actual assault do not add up. The judges report is not much better.

From what I have read recently including poorly (computer)translated sections of the judges report leads me to believe the jury had little if any doubt about the knife or bra clasp or "bloody footprints". They believed the prosecutions forensic experts over the experts provided by the defense. This is why I thought the efforts Chris has put into this discussion to be important. I also don't believe the defense did an adequate job discrediting the DNA evidence.

I have reasonable doubt now but I can't say that if I had been on the jury I would have had the same level of uncertainty. I don't believe the jury ruled that Amanda was guilty because of a "cartwheel" or because of unfavorable press. They bought into the physical/DNA evidence, and made up their own scenario to fit with the evidence they felt certain of.

Anonymous said...

According to Frank's summary, Massei considered Amanda's "confession" as an indicator of guilt in his motivations


How could this have even been considered by the Massei court since it was ruled inadmissible by the the supreme court and was only brought in by the backdoor due to the Lumumba slander case?

halides1 said...

TM,

Frank Sfarzo included this dialog between Raffaele’s defense and the Supreme Court in 2008:
http://perugia-shock.blogspot.com/2008/04/raffaele-q-and-with-supreme-court.html
“Raffaele:
The clues against Amanda have been arbitrarily transferred to me on the erroneous assumption that we must have been together that evening.
Supreme Court:
For the same reasons given above, we can exclude that clues against Knox have been arbitrarily transferred to you.”

Some take this to mean that Raffaele’s defense is denying that they were together on the evening of 1 November 2007, the night of the murder. I am not sure; maybe he is saying that he has yet to affirm that they were together in an official context, for example. Can you clarify this for me?

Chris

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information about the shoe prints. This seems impossible that there are no overlapping footprints with bare foot prints in MK's room. There should be lots of them.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
You must really think I am the tort master. Well I'm not. But it seems to me the defense is just doing what a good defense should do. How could RS attest to AK's whereabouts if he was asleep for example. And the supreme court agrees. As a side note it is interesting to see how the supreme court was so sure about the footprint. But they were wrong.
TM

Joe said...

Chris,
I'm so glad the guilters haven't invaded your comment board. They are all over Frank's blog. That nonsense becomes too hard to bare.

Randy said...

"I doubt that most people fully understand the nature of police interrogations and the tricks that can entrap even the innocent. This video explains the problem in detail. (It's also rather entertaining)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc)"

Kestrel- that was an interesting video. The professor had some nice examples of how you could say something and how it could be used later to change your meaning. And in fact, sometimes lead to criminal charges and ending up being guilty at a trial. The VA Beach police officer was interesting with his comments also. His conclusion was when he says something like when you're sitting in the defendant's chair you already have 1 strike against you. Strike 2 is when someone in an uniform (or detective suit in his case) says you are guilty of something at the trial. Strike 3 is when they have some sort of confession in that person's words.

since Amanda was a suspect, those first few hours were not recorded- if they were I'm sure no one will ever see them. So there was more leeway in how they could behave when questioning her and she buckled. Everyone knows how Italians like to talk with their hands. (little joke)

On a serious note, I hope no one visiting this blog decides not to go to Italy if they have the chance. You read sometimes on different places people saying that. Trump and his boycott...mamma mia. Italy is a beautiful country with beautiful people.

Kestrel said...

Randy said:
"since Amanda was a suspect, those first few hours were not recorded- if they were I'm sure no one will ever see them. So there was more leeway in how they could behave when questioning her and she buckled."

The prosecution started tapping Amanda and Raffaele's phones the day after the murder. After they were arrested, their jail cells were bugged, and all their phone calls and conversations with their lawyers were recorded. The phones of their family members were also tapped.

If the interrogation sessions were not recorded, it almost has to be a policy decision. Are they not recorded because that allows greater "freedom" in the methods used?

halides1 said...

Mark Waterbury has a post on the media and the Knox Case. He discusses Barbie Nadeau's work extensively, http://www.sciencespheres.com/2010/03/amanda-knox-winner-of-media-lottery_24.html

halides1 said...

To all,

A documentary about Amanda Knox will air this Sunday at 8 on TLC (http://knoxarchives.blogspot.com/). I do not endorse it or dismiss it out of hand.

Chris

Joe said...

Rose,

I wasn't going to reply to your reply of my comment, but I changed my mind.

Though I respect your opinion, I don't buy it.

First of all, the lies and misinformation put out by the authorities and/or media were a lot more egregious than just "unfavorable press." I can cite some examples if you like.

I don't need a scientist or defense witness to tell me that The Knife, bra clasp, and "bloody footprints" were highly questionable pieces of evidence. Applying logic to the information provided about this evidence by the prosecution alone deems it highly suspect. I could elaborate more on this also.

Other aspects of the case could be addressed as well, but I'll save the bandwidth.

The burden of proof lies with the prosecution. The only things the prosecution proved to me were that Amanda's DNA was found in her own residence and that someone broke Filomena's window with a rock.

Anonymous said...

All of these links are so excellent. Thank you. I sent a bunch of them to my buddies and suggested they send them on to their kids...especially the video, "Don't Talk to the Police," which my kids will have in their inbox as well.

I had the opportunity this week to speak with some superbly educated US lawyers who work regularly with high level Italian lawyers on corporate matters for a world class corporation. It was a most interesting conversation. I came away with an even deeper impression that the methodologies for educating law students and the practice of law itself in Italy bears little resemblance to what happens here.

Observer

Joe said...

Mark Waterbury has a post on the media and the Knox Case. He discusses Barbie Nadeau's work extensively, http://www.sciencespheres.com/2010/03/amanda-knox-winner-of-media-lottery_24.html

March 25, 2010 10:45 PM

-----------

Chris,

I previewed several pages of Barbie's book on Amazon. It would be difficult to call her book nonfiction.

Rose said...

Joe,
I respect your opinion as well. The way I see it you can either believe those 8 people came to a unanimous conclusion of guilt based on their interpretation of the evidence or all said guilty because they were afraid of bucking the system and/or did not like Amanda because of the bad press or because of anti-American sentiment (even though they found the Italian guilty as well).

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt on their honesty here, while at the same time wondering if they could have made a mistake. I do not believe they made the correct decision, it is the reasons for that on which we disagree.

Joe said...

Rose,

We do agree that the defenses could have discredited the DNA evidence more effectively. Check my first comment on this post.

Maybe the notion of innocent until proven guilty causes me to believe jurors in all trials should look more critically at evidence and testimony, regardless of the quality of the defense and because they make the final decision for condemning or setting a suspect free.

Should jurors ask themselves questions such as:
"If the luminol-positive footprints were canceled blood stains, why did they test negative for Meredith's DNA but Amanda's DNA was found in the prints in her room?"
"Why were there no bare footprints, luminol-positive or otherwise, found in Meredith's room?
How do we know The Knife was the murder weapon if it tested negative for blood?"
"Is it credible that no traces of Knox or Sollecito were found in the scores of samples tested from the room and Meredith's clothes and body, but Sollecito's DNA was found on the metal hook of the bra clasp six weeks later? He allegedly restrained Meredith during a prolonged attack. Did he hold her by the bra clasp?"
"Are witnesses who initially told police they didn't see anything but were found by the media months or a year after the murder credible?"
"Did the authorities, who leaked false or misleading information, conduct a clean investigation and prosecution?"
"Why did the prosecution withhold registry data, from the DNA analyses, from the defenses?"

I know this is a lot of ifs, but here is another. If the blood test on The Knife was positive, I would say game over. That would just be circumstantial evidence, but it would be insurmountable circumstantial evidence. But the blood test was negative, and then throw in the LCN issue. What value do we then place on The Knife? Can it still be considered circumstantial or does it have zero evidentiary value?

When considering questions such as those proposed, I believe jurors should ask themselves what is worse, letting a killer go free or condemning an innocent person?

Those are my thoughts and perspectives.

Debrah said...

I'm sure someone might have covered this topic before; however, I find Barbie Nadeau's view of the Knox case quite credible.

She seems to approach the case more objectively than others.

Her view is that Amanda Knox is nowhere close to the saint her parents have tried to depict, but she is also not the evil person depicted by the Italian press.

Joe said...

Debrah,

Mark Waterbury would probably strongly disagree with your opinion of Barbie Nadeau, based on his latest post on Science Spheres.
http://www.sciencespheres.com/2010/03/amanda-knox-winner-of-media-lottery_24.html

On a personal note, I've previewed several pages of her book on Amazon. As I wrote in a previous comment, it would be difficult to call her book nonfiction.

In the book, she presents ideas that are contrary to what came out in the trial. One example involves the time between 8:00-9:00 pm. She wrote that Knox and Sollecito were not at his apartment and that Sollecito didn't answer his father's calls during that time. Those ideas are contrary to what was presented in court, with phone records and the testimony of Jovana Popovich. I'm not 100% certain, but she may have stated that they weren't at his apartment at all that night.

Also, she suggests that Knox and Sollecito were so stoned and drunk out of their gourds that they didn't even know that they killed Meredith until the next morning. According to her reconstruction: Knox, Sollecito, and Guede raped and killed Meredith and then they all fled. Knox and Sollecito then returned to the cottage and went into Knox's room and passed out, completely unaware that they had just killed Meredith. They found Meredith dead when they woke up at 6:00 the next morning. It was then at this point that they did the staging and cleanup.

This reconstruction has not been presented or suggested by anyone but her.

On the other hand, I have seen her on NBC Dateline addressing the case. She made very reasonable comments. Her last comment on that show was interesting. She said, "We really don't know what happened in that house that night."

Rose said...

I think the approach she takes starting out is good but I know the FOA crowd are not at all pleased with her conclusions. Still, the excerpts I have read seem interesting. She has a sense for the dramatic nature of this case. I see a previous comment calling it a work of fiction.

I am not sure if that description is entirely fair to Ms. Nadeau. She did sit though the entire trial and has the advantage over us of "being there". I will have to read the book before I make any firm conclusions regarding her opinion. Her reporting on the case has been both praised and condemned depending on which side of the guilt or innocent question one is on. Probably not the best way to judge her writing, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I believe my friend, Debrah, is perhaps the provacateur today...a dirty thankless job but someone sometimes has to do it. My view is that Ms. Nadeau is not a reliable source of information. Mark does a very fine job explaining this at ScienceSpheres. But I will add a few thoughts on this, too.

Where to begin? How about with Ms. Nadeau's first paragraph.

"Amanda Knox was not convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher because she did cartwheels in the police station or owned a vibrator, as her supporters suggest."

It was not really her supporters who suggested Ms. Knox was convicted because of her cartwheels. It was the Italian police/prosecutor who stated they found this behavior along with Ms. Knox's act of eating pizza for dinner with her beau in a pizzaria TOGETHER (!) highly indicative of guilt. In fact, one police officer is quoted and seems to be on the record stating that seeing Ms. Knox eat pizza with her boyfriend actually convinced him of the young woman's guilt. He used this reasoning to help explain why Ms. Knox was arrested before any of the forensic evidence had been evaluated. Apparently, he went even further and indicated he was proud of this fact. www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20000577-504083.html

Ms. Nadeau continues: "Knox, 22, along with her 25-year-old former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty by a jury in Perugia, Italy, based on hard forensic evidence, according to the sentencing judge’s 427-page reasoning, which was issued Thursday and obtained by The Daily Beast. The two judges and six jury members for the 11-month trial agreed with the prosecution’s case, calling it a 'comprehensive and complete picture without gaps and inconsistencies.'”

Fair enough. This is how the report described the verdict's reasoning, but does Ms. Nadeau make any effort to analyze (or examine any of the widely available expert analysis) of this "hard forensic evidence?" No. Nor is she inclined to muster a single real criticism of the claim the case was without "gaps and inconsistencies."

Had there actually been “hard forensic evidence” none of us would be here talking about this case. That is the whole point. There seems to be no room in Ms. Nadeau’s mind for the likelihood of Ms. Knox’s innocence. At best Ms. Nadeau indicates Ms. Knox might get to serve a sentence on the lesser charge of manslaughter. Her reporting has been full of exaggeration and prejudicial innuendo. Her instincts are not those of a legal expert or a scientist. And her interest seems to be telling the story for the greatest dramatic impact. In this she seems not unlike others in the Italian courtroom who have confused personal surmising with facts established by actual evidence.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Here’s another excerpt from Ms. Nadeau’s book and an example of her story-telling abilities:

“It is 2 a.m. on a sticky September night, and Perugia is a cauldron of illicit activity. A thick fog of marijuana hangs over the Piazza IV Novembre. Empty bottles and plastic cups litter the cobbled square. The periphery is lined with North African drug dealers, selling their wares like the fruit vendors who occupy this spot in daytime hours. A group of pretty young British students giggle, easy prey to the Italian guys pouring their drinks. The American girls are more aggressive, eager to nab an Italian lover. Down an alley, a young man has lifted the skirt of his conquest and is having clumsy sex with her under a streetlamp while her drink spills out of the plastic cup in her hand. Dozens of students are passed out on the steps of the church. There is not a cop in sight.”

And now a comment on the above from someone who knows Perugia:

“As a frequent visitor to Perugia (we have good friends there and visit every year) and a 2-time student at the University for Foreigners there, I find the description of Perugia at night recklessly misleading.
Certainly there are drugs - as we'd find in any city/campus of scale. Certainly there is sex - these are young people, right? Certainly there's trash in the street after the bars close (there's a lot here in Seattle at 2AM as well) but (as in Seattle) it's cleaned up by morning. But the description above, "a thick fog of marijuana," "periphery lined with drug dealers," etc. is so lurid a distortion that I now have to question the reliability of Nadeau's entire book (which I have yet to read).

“In my own experience of months in the city I had the most pleasant time, in the center and at school, and of course encountered trash, some drug deals, etc. as I have in Seattle, NYC, San Francisco, London, etc. but nothing like the sordid portrait Nadeau gives us. It's an utter disservice to a beautiful city full of artistic riches and a fine university.

“Just to check my own reaction, I sent that first lurid paragraph to a friend who lives in Perugia - a student at the school for her take:
‘For as concerns the little passage that you sent me, I have to be honest and saying that only a few words are true. The truth is that yes, there are drug dealers and that yes, at the end of the night there are always beer bottles and empty cups on the Duomo stairs. That's it.

'There's no marijuana fog and there are several Polizia, Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza cars parked on the main piazza (especially on Thru through Sun).
About the foreign girls behaviour, all I can say is that they like to have fun so they do everything possible to have it since most of them are very young and it's the first time they live abroad alone. But in three years of living in Perugia, I've never seen any sexual scene down an alley so I honestly think that the reporter made this thing up, just to give a really bad idea of the city to the people who have never been there.’
That's my thought as well - pure fiction.”

Hmmmm,

Observer

Anonymous said...

And another comment on Barbie’s excerpt above:

“Okay... I lived for 7 months in Perugia to study Italian (not through a university study abroad program) and the first couple paragraph description of the town is completely blown out of proportion. I'm 24 and would say that I can associate with the party scene in Perugia but to claim that people are having sex in alleyways and doing tons of drugs on the steps is ridiculous.

A. Yes, there are drug dealers that hang out on the steps and there are drugs in Perugia just like any other city. No, it is not the study abroad students doing the drugs. Every once in a while a homeless person will be smoking there but who hasn't been in a city and smelled weed I mean get real.

B. I know tons of American girls here and I would say on their behalf that about 90% of them are terrified of Italian men and their advances.”

I would not depend on Ms. Nadeau for accurate and well sourced information, especially in a criminal case when so much is at stake.

Observer

Anonymous said...

I have a question: is there any official confirmation for Ms. Nadeau's claim that a mixture of Ms. Knox and Ms. Kercher's blood was found in Filomena's room?

I only seem to find that there supposedly was a mixture of Ms. Knox's DNA with Ms. Kercher's blood.

In fact, FOA states that there was no test for blood on this sample.

And how about the droplets in the sink? Is the evidence the same there...Ms. Kercher's blood mixed with Ms. Knox's DNA?

Of course, I think this is another example of Ms. Nadeau exagerrating the available evidence. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Observer

Anonymous said...

I should add that I do not find the evidence of mixed DNA from Ms. Knox and Ms. Kercher any more persuasive as to guilt than I found the evidence of mixed DNA/partial matches from Ms. Mangum and LAX players persuasive of anything in the LAX case.

Mr. Cheshire made the point well that your DNA may be found everywhere in your home, especially in the bathroom. That it is mixed with the DNA of others who live there or even guests who used the bathroom would be quite normal.

It's just not correct in this case to claim the forensics are solid evidence. The forensics are not solid.

Observer

Debrah said...

"I have seen her on NBC Dateline addressing the case. She made very reasonable comments. Her last comment on that show was interesting. She said, 'We really don't know what happened in that house that night.' "
****************************

I concur with Joe about the way Nadeau presents herself.

She was featured in an MSNBC interview one afternoon recently and she didn't come off as a hyperbolic loon at all.

No doubt, she is prone to embroidery as a writer of crime stories and the like....in the mold of the late Dominick Dunne.

However, it's doubtful that she's in the same category as he with regard to investigative journalism.

I got the vibe that she'd like to be a female Dominick Dunne.

But who knows?

"Observer" and most of you have done exponentially more research and reading on this case than I; however, as I have always said........

.......there's just something about Knox that rubs me the wrong way.

But that doesn't make her a murderer, obviously.

Moreover, I don't think anyone should rely on anecdotal evidence and impressions of Perugia from any individual as being definitive.

Everyone's individual experiences are mere snapshots in time.

And those snapshots which are breath on a mirror are characterized by those individuals whose take on life---the tedium or the madness---is their own.

However, I dare say that no one goes to Italy to sit around making dolls.

halides1 said...

To all,

At Ray Turner’s blog (knoxarchives.blogspot.com for 24 March 2010) you can view a clip of Barbie Nadeau saying pretty much what he said she did, “For example, Barbie Nadeau, writer for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, states that it's not completely out of the picture to assume that group sex is part of the university experience now and that university kids are no strangers to extreme sex games--a ridiculous claim for even the worst of tabloid journalists.” Based on this and Observer’s comments, Ms. Nadeau seems inclined to believe that today’s college-age students are pretty depraved, sexually.

With respect to the sample in Filomena’s room, I will look into this further. For now let me offer Colonel Garofano’s argument in an analogous situation, the washbasin. Amanda’s DNA was found along with Meredith’s blood. The intensity of the DNA peaks was sometimes higher for Amanda than for Meredith. According to Colonel Garofano (Darkness Descending, p. 371), the intensity means that the DNA came from Amanda’s blood. However, I have heard secondhand from a very reputable DNA forensic scientist that this line of reasoning is seriously flawed.

Chris

Randy said...

was Barbie Nadeau actually awake when she was at the trial? maybe she was reading restaurant reviews online. I joke but I thought I saw on Perguia Shock that a judge was talking on his cellphone during the trial and people were sleeping during some of the testimony. (I think I read this about the discussions of the cell phone towers details).


A couple things I wonder about when the appeal is over and if AK & RS lose the appeal. The likelihood of a reduced sentence. RS suddenly talking a lot more. And if they win the appeal, can they sue for damages.

Kate said...

Out of interest, here are some of the results of tests in Raffaele's flat. None were significant, according to the judge's report:

Bedroom door handle - mixed DNA Knox/Sollecito
Rubber gloves - mixed DNA Knox/Sollecito
Duster - mixed DNA Knox/Sollecito
Bathrobes - mixed DNA Knox/Sollecito
Bath towels - mixed DNA Knox/Sollecito
Pocket knife - mixed DNA Knox/Sollecito
2 luminol positive spots on floor - mixed DNA Knox/Sollecito

They didn't test the bathroom, but what's the betting that had they done so, they'd have found Knox and Sollecito's mixed DNA all over it? Perhaps that's why they didn't test it - it would have established the normality of the 'mixed DNA' found in the cottage...

Anonymous said...

Well, I am a Dominick Dunne fan. I did not realize until a few days ago that he had a child who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. It's too bad he is not following this case.

Observer

Anonymous said...

http://www.workingreporter.com/wordpress/?p=48

I am not the only one sorry Mr. Dunne is not here to give us his thoughts.

Observer

Debrah said...

To "Observer"--

Dunne might be following the case for all we know.....

......from his tomb six-feet under.

He bit the dust last year.

Debrah said...

On this lovely and luxurious holiday Spring weekend, I wish to cross-post my sentiments on a matter regarding the now-mercifully-ended Duke Lacrosse Hoax.

So much has been played up and emphasized from just a few sources.

You cannot get a panoramic view of reality when one or two factions have a direct line to chroniclers and become chummy with them.

The story is always told from their angle of the prism.

Now that the Lacrosse Hoax has long been over, it's time to sit back and reload......suffering fools parsimoniously.

And removing their self-serving halos.

Debrah said...

The only true courtroom hero in the Lacrosse Hoax is dead.

It should be noted, and I wish to do so right here, that three years ago---the last week of March 2007--- marks the untimely death of attorney Kirk Osborn.

The only man among the defense attorneys in this case who took action right out-of-the-gate.

Osborn did what was potentially suicidal, professionally, but what was morally right.

He filed a motion for removal of prosecutor Mike Nifong when the attorneys for the other Duke lacrosse defendants were still putting on the show for public consumption that Nifong's methods were not malevolent, rotten, and corrupt to the core.

That's why this latest news that Bradley Bannon and Cheshire are supporting Kerry Sutton for a judgeship after she supported Mike Nifong is so odious.

Let me say what I have said many times: Bannon's work on the case was exceptional....for which he, no doubt, was compensated, exceptionally.

On any given day you can find a little paper shuffler with a juris doctorate searching titles and going about the business of their legal research who are also quite exceptional.

Not really an extraordinary feat.

It would be an extraordinary feat if you could get a lawyer to do something like that for free. Ha!

What Bannon and company have also done is try to downplay the corruption in the NC legal system and at the same time tout Nifong as being someone unusual.

Pretending that Nifong was an aberration.

In interviews Bannon lauded the NC justice system as he and his colleagues painted themselves as guys in white hats fighting this "one bad prosecutor"......

.......even as they schmooze his friends and supporters.

This has everything to do with politics and their own deep pockets. They want to maintain a chumminess with their fellow attorneys and judges by not telling the whole story.

Why?

Because THEY are also a part of this sleazy fabric and they intend to remain in good professional standing with the local ambulance chasers and courthouse bench warmers.

There's ample evidence that the floppy-eared Bannon purposefully painted self-serving, flowery picture.

How did the sleazy legal career of John Edwards come about in such a "clean" system?

How did the Gell case come about?

When former governor Mike Easley--(who, by the way, appointed Nifong to the Durham DA position) was Attorney General, he opposed, albeit unsuccessfully, a provision giving death row inmates the right to all prosecution files and police records to assist with their appeals. Easley opposed this measure before and after its enactment.

Is this behavior from Bannon's friends what he wants to tout as "progessive" in the NC justice system?

Remember when Bannon said...""I am not going to let the view of North Carolina's criminal justice system to America be [the Duke] case." ?

That's total melodramatic bullsh!t.

Bannon and his fellow redneck liberals---who are either descended from Tobacco Road plantation owners or come from SC NASCAR beer-chugging stock---exert tedious effort to appear so "progressive", but are willing cogs in the same corrupt wheel.

Don't try to put perfume on the stench.

Anonymous said...

So I understand, may he rest in peace.

I just picked up the OJ Simpson book "If I Did It." The story of that book's publication is quite an interesting legal odyssey.

Anyhow Mr. Dunne has an interesting afterward in there.

Observer

Anonymous said...

So I understand, may he rest in peace.

I just picked up the OJ Simpson book "If I Did It." The story of that book's publication is quite an interesting legal odyssey.

Anyhow Mr. Dunne has an interesting afterward in there.

Observer

Anonymous said...

There is a different excerpt of her book Here: Barbie and the Beast.

I think it is interesting and informative. Looking forward to reading the book.

Take some time to go through the comments following this article. A good cross section of opinion can be found.

Rose

Kate said...

Personally I'd strongly disagree with the earlier claim that views on Barbie Nadeau's journalism depend on your view of Knox and Sollecito's innocence/guilt. I would have very serious problems with her tabloid style approach to the case even if I believed the pair to be guilty. For example, here's the extract Mark Waterbury quotes from one of Barbie's articles:

“And by her own account in a prison diary leaked to the media, she details her sexual escapades with at least seven men she'd been with in her three months in Italy before her arrest. She even wrote that she might have HIV and then she uses a process of elimination to narrow down who might have given it to her.”

That's such a blatant distortion of the truth that I would be disgusted by it regardless of my view on Knox's guilt. The idea that Barbie's journalism on the case has been 'objective' is a bit of a joke, really.

With regard to her book, almost every extract I've read from it has contained serious inaccuracies and blatant fabrications. The 'long blonde hairs' she claimed were found near the body that actually turned out to be 'wool fibers'; the 'seven pieces of flesh' on the knife; the claim Knox and Sollecito were found outside the cottage holding a mop; the claim as fact that the postal police arrived at 12.30 (was Barbie even in court for the defense presentations, I wonder?); her statement that Knox slept with her friends Spiros and Juve, based on nothing more than the fact they had visited the cottage; the claim Meredith 'experimented with anal sex'. Pure, unsubstantiated gossip and distortion.

My views on Knox and Sollecito's guilt/innocence has no impact on my total distaste for this kind of tabloid style 'journalism'.

Anonymous said...

I agree there were several signs of intelligent life in the comment section. This is one of my favorites from Sandygh:

Snip

"As a former prosecuting attorney who has closely examined many cases of wrongful conviction, I caution readers against drawing too much inference from extraneous matters such as are outlined in this column, which is primarily a story about weak journalism.

Based on the evidence admitted at trial, I have no idea whether Ms. Knox and Mr. Solecito are guilty. It's possible they are, though my experience of life and young people's habits doesn't naturally lead easily to this conclusion. From an external perspective, the trial seems overly pre-occupied with incendiary sexual details that were not, in the end, probative of either guilt or innocence. Though they certainly made good headlines.

Two features frequently occur in cases of wrongful conviction: a lie told by the accused early in the proceedings, and inflammatory circumstances--usually sexual or hyper-violent. One other horseman of the apocalypse is the demeanor of the accused at trial. This is just a terrible indicator of guilt or innocence.

Police, prosecutors, the media and the public should be cautious of all these factors. When people lie to the police it is much to easy to leap to the conclusion they are guilty of the charge leveled against them.

But accused people lie for many reasons--to avoid being caught out by a spouse or parent, as a natural response to a feeling of threat, to protect someone else, or sometimes out of a combination of bizarre circumstances that no one could predict. Not all lies point to guilt, and this is an area requiring the utmost skill in weighing the nature and character of the untruth.

When examining an accused's statement to police, especially one containing a self-exculpatory lie, it is necessary to look further. A lie is not enough on its face to establish consciousness of guilt, as it is often used to prove. Does the statement contain some seed of knowledge that only the murderer, and no one else would know, or does it connect the murderer unequivocally to the crime?

This is the sine qua non of admission. The gold standard.

Juries typically have no experience of the dangers that statements by the accused person represent to the judicial process.

And scandalous or horrifying circumstances are just devastating to the impartial administration of justice. It is almost impossible to remain aloof to the whirlwind of excited public opinion. Prosecutors so easily fall into the trap of adopting the role of crusading hero for justice--it's just an occupational hazard that I've personally experienced. And juries and the public eat it up, not seeing the true situation at all.

DNA has emerged as profoundly more potent (though not necessarily conclusive) probative evidence than witness statements, or even confessions or admissions by the accused.

The Knox case carries two critical red flags of wrongful conviction--an early lie told by the accused--not necessarily indicative of guilt, and salacious details.

Which cause me grave reservations about the verdict.

I congratulate anyone who, examining the evidence adduced at trial, is certain that Ms. Knox and Mr. Solecito are guilty or innocent. You are much wiser than me.

Looking at this evidence, I could not but have a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, and could not even make a guess as to the probability of guilt.

Which leads to only one verdict.

Snip

Observer

Anonymous said...

To be clear that was from the comment section to "Here: Barbie and the Beast."

I believe Ms. Nadeau herself has stated there is no way to know what actually happened that night...

I would submit that this leads to only one verdict as well.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Another excellent comment:

Snip

Thank you for your input Barbie, and all you other armchair amateurs who are so sure Amanda is guilty. I spent 25 years in the FBI and have investigated more murders than Nadeau has even imagined. (And she has a big imagination, apparently).

I, too, immediately thought Amanda guilty. I have never arrested an innocent person, and everyone I arrested was convicted. I am sick of guilty people proclaiming their innocence from prison. But a couple of the news bites I read on this case sounded strange, so I finally took some time to prove to myself Amanda WAS guilty. But the further I looked, the more I was convinced that she was railroaded. After COMPLETELY digesting everything I could read on the subject (and there's a lot), I could come to no other conclusion than that she and Raffaele were innocent. And it isn't even a close call. She is more innocent than OJ was guilty! Those of you who think juries always get it right, just look at the OJ case.

The media didn't convince me, the EVIDENCE did.

No competent, experienced, lucid, unbiased homicide investigator would give Amanda and Raffaele a second thought in this case. The motive is stupid, the evidence flawed (at best), ....I could go on and on, but I'm not hear to give a primer in investigations (though God knows you all need it.) Mignini is corrupt, and the detectives in this case were (kindly) "inexperienced", and more likely "idiots".

Barbie, you're trying to ruin the life of an innocent girl. You don't know what you're doing. I'll stay out of journalism if you stay out of criminal investigations. You should be ashamed of yourself. But you certainly live up to the reputation of this site.

Snip

Observer

Randy said...

"Two features frequently occur in cases of wrongful conviction: a lie told by the accused early in the proceedings, and inflammatory circumstances--usually sexual or hyper-violent. One other horseman of the apocalypse is the demeanor of the accused at trial. This is just a terrible indicator of guilt or innocence.

Police, prosecutors, the media and the public should be cautious of all these factors. When people lie to the police it is much to easy to leap to the conclusion they are guilty of the charge leveled against them.

But accused people lie for many reasons--to avoid being caught out by a spouse or parent, as a natural response to a feeling of threat, to protect someone else, or sometimes out of a combination of bizarre circumstances that no one could predict. Not all lies point to guilt, and this is an area requiring the utmost skill in weighing the nature and character of the untruth."


those are some interesting points from that other blog. Lie told early- check. Inflammatory circumstances- just look at all the things on the internet that deal with this case. Demeanor of the accused- how many comments about Amanda's smiling, the Beatles shirt, heck the cartwheel at the police station.

Giobbi said he knew AK was guilty just by looking at her.

for me, "But accused people lie for many reasons..." stands out maybe the most. I have thought that AK & RS were at the house at some point. I believe later in the night. They go back to get clothes for Amanda maybe for their trip? It would be late and AK wouldn't walk alone. Turn on the cellphones to take them when they leave. Do they totally freak out when they see the house, still drunk and high? They do not call the police because maybe they have some pot with them. They go back later when they are more normal and start making the phone calls.

I think if they killed her, they would have made up the same story from the beginning.

halides1 said...

Rose,

When I click on your link, "Here, Barbie and the Beast." I just go to "How the Media Got Knox Wrong." Am I missing something?

Chris

Rose said...

Barbie and the Beastie is just a jokey of a hot link, Chris. I thought some of the comments were very good. Had to work and missed the live chat, did anyone take part in that?

Rose said...

The DailyBeast has yet another excerpt up. Seems they are plugging the hello outa this book.

To avoid confusion (energy=milk chocolate squared), I didn't play with the link name this time:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-04-07/knoxs-strange-behavior/?cid=hp:beastoriginalsL1

√☺

halides1 said...

Rose,

I heard from some of my acquaintances that it was not very good. However, Barbie seems to think that Meredith impaled herself on the knife? Also, she gives credence to the notion that Amanda was hit during the interrogation.

Chris

Rose said...

Yes,
Read the transcript at TrueJustice. Seems either heavy moderation or the FOA crowd was MIA. She does believe that Amanda was slapped on the back of the head. Her position is interesting, though missing somewhat on the logic side.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris and Rose,

Here is what was asked and then answered by Nadeau concerning Amanda being hit:

[Comment From Guest: ]
Do you believe Knox’s assertion that she was abused during her final interrogation?

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU:
I think it depends how you define “abused.” If you mean to ask if she was flicked on the back of the head (which is a cultural norm here in schools and in criminal investigations), then yes, that very likely happened. If you mean to ask if she was abused in the way the American police have been caught on CCTV abusing detainees, then no, I do not think she was abused.


Interesting that "flicking" is considered a cultural norm in Italian schools and criminal investigations.

When viewing Amanda's trial testimony it appears that Amanda doesn't put much force behind the action of being "hit." I guess her re-enactment of what happened could be considered "flicking."

Christiana

Rose said...

Thanks Christiana.
I don't accept that "flicking" someone on the head is a "cultural norm" in a criminal investigation just based on Nadeau's statement that it is. I have not heard that before and it seems a strange practice , to say the least.

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