We in the Western World have an amazing criminal justice system.
We have police detectives who use science to catch the true perpetrator. We have district attorneys who care about nothing but putting hardened criminals safely behind bars. And we have a watchdog media that tirelessly ensures that the truth comes out.
The criminal justice system is great. Just ask Amanda Knox.
On November 1, 2007, a British exchange student named Meredith Kercher was murdered in her Italian apartment. Instead of looking for the guy who killed her, the Italian justice system decided to railroad Kercher’s roommate, Amanda Knox.
Incredibly, no one in Italy ever said, “Hey, it is a known fact of both nature and history that happy young women don’t just brutally murder their roommate for no reason.” All they did is try to find nonsensical justifications for ruining Amanda Knox’s life.
The Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini admits frankly that he is inspired by Sherlock Holmes stories. “Sherlock Holmes,” he explains, “solves crimes by honing in on a seemingly insignificant clue and using it to break the case.” His insignificant clue was the fact that Amanda Knox was seen hugging and kissing her new boyfriend the day after the murder. Sherlock found his killer! Case closed!
Mignini interrogated Ms. Knox until she broke down. And then used the fact that she broke down as proof that she is an emotionally unstable psychopath.
When the DNA evidence (and common sense) pointed to a convicted burglar who admitted to being in the apartment the night of the murder, Mignini remained unfazed. He simply concocted a lurid tale about how Knox and her boyfriend teamed up with the burglar to molest and murder poor Meredith.
To be fair, Mignini had help. The other subject of “Amanda Knox” is Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa. The jolly Englishman made a name for himself reporting on the Meredith Kercher murder.
Pisa realized early on that he had hit a journalistic jackpot with Amanda Knox. Labeling her ‘Foxy Knoxy,’ Pisa helped paint the suspect as a manipulative sex kitten. His stories helped convict Knox in the court of public opinion.
When Pisa is asked by the director how he feels now that he knows virtually none of what he published is true, Pisa has a confident response. A. that’s what journalists do, B. he didn’t have time to verify his sources, and C. if he didn’t publish the lurid stories, someone else would have.
In conclusion, Amanda Knox spent most of her young adulthood in prison for the heinous crime of being a good-looking woman who slept with a local man while studying abroad. What are we supposed to learn from this?
Well, this is what I learned: each and every one of us is at the mercy of aggressive detectives, arrogant prosecutors, and unaccountable journalists. In the name of justice, we could be locked up like Amanda Knox.
Our fate and freedom are in the hands of others. All we can do is never cooperate with detectives, never respect prosecutors, and never believe journalists. We may have to be their victims. But we don’t have to be their fools.