CNN: Amanda “Joan of Arc” Knox

I spent some of last night flicking between CNN and BBC News as the verdict from Perugia was announced. It was predictable but interesting nonetheless. The Beeb was rather dispassionate in their reporting, reflecting, perhaps, that there is no particular interest in the UK for defending Knox. A young Briton died, people are now behind bars, the end. (Of course, that the story is largely focused on Knox rather than Sollecito is revealing, but that’s another issue.)

CNN was quite different. Wolf Blitzer announced the news and then hosted a couple of Talking Head’s whose view of Knox was of an innocent girl, stitched-up by dodgy, third world Italian justice. We learned that the case against her was “preposterous,” “shaky,” “trumped-up,” and that the whole trial was a sham.

I have no idea whether Knox is guilty but I am certain that had Knox been British and Kercher American, the reporting in England would have been similar (so much for media non-bias). Watch what happens if the US puts Gary McKinnon — the autistic British computer hacker — away for the threatened 60 years (cf. Knox’s 26). American justice!


  1. I think Americans have a heavy mistrust of the judicial systems in countries they perceive as being exceptionally corrupt. I have no idea what the evidence is against Knox or how it was gathered/presented becuase I haven’t been following the case (with the exception of seeing it in every headline here in London over the last few days — but despite that, I’m still not entirely aware of the allegations except that it is alleged she stabbed a British student during a sex game), or how verdicts are achieved in Italian courts, but my guess is that the perception of Italian justice in the US is pretty low (it would be the same reaction to a verdict in a Mexican or Panamanian court, or perhaps even any court outside of the common-law system) and that therefore even if the evidence against Knox is strong, there is going to be mistrust of the outcome because of the process.


  2. So, you’re saying that Americans see Italian justice as being as reliable as Panamanian justice? Interesting. Also, do Americans realise that Ms. Knox will fare much better in jail in Italy than she would in the US? In some States, Death Row might beckon…


  3. I think many Americans would think that Amanda wouldn’t have been convicted under “proper” rules of due process of law, presentation and gatekeeping of evidence, adversarial representation, “proper” US burdens of proof and persuasion etc. and the proper role of a jury etc. These are some of my speculations as to why some Americans might be taking exception to this but I haven’t really been following it at all so I really don’t have an informed view.


  4. Unless one reads the transcripts or sits in the court room, it is not reasonable to judge a particular case.

    As for the Italian legal system, I consider it more trustworthy than its American counterpart. The way, magistrates and prosecutors have been dealing with organized crime and political corruption is nothing short of heroic.


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