World’s sickest joke ends

Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox have been acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher, a crime there was never any serious evidence they were involved in. The process took more than eight years (quite quick for Italy); they were convicted, acquitted, convicted, acquitted, and spent four years in prison.

Meanwhile Rudy Guede, who did kill Meredith Kercher, and in the most brutal, painful manner after first sexually assaulting her, is already enjoying day release from prison.

There will be no enquiry into the handling of the case by prosecuting magistrate Giuliano Mignini, whose bizarre theories and lack of professionalism had convinced two journalists to write a book about his ‘investigative’ techniques long before the Kercher case. Nor will there be an enquiry into the conduct of elements of the Perugia police that operated with total unprofessionalism and outside the law during the investigation.

Some people on the Knox side are so relieved the torment is over that they are saying their faith in Italian justice is restored. This is a terrible thing to say. The only useful purpose the case has served is to advertise to the world just how hopeless the Italian justice system is and perhaps give a tiny push towards it one day being reformed.

I have cited European Union reports on the Italian justice system in previous blogs under the ‘Italy to Avoid’ category. One other pointer I noticed recently is that the World Bank, as of 2015, ranks Italy 147th in the world for enforcement of contracts.



Amanda Knox’s account of her trial and incarceration is well worth a read. It isn’t perfect, but it is a serious book, much more serious than many others that have been written about her and Sollecito. (By a curious coincidence, the Capanne prison where she and Sollecito were held is the same one where the carpenter on our house in Italy died; a hippy, arrested for marijuana possession, there is a good prima facie case that he was beaten to death. Needless to say, his friends who tried to pursue legal recourse will not be getting any.)



The first media outlet to have put the boot into the Italian legal system that I have seen is The Economist. Bless.

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2 Responses to “World’s sickest joke ends”

  1. JM Hatch Says:

    The system is a joke, but then so is the American one, where people fret over drone killings overseas, but the US police wage a war against the poor and/or dark of skin with no recourse.

    In all of this, of course, there is some danger in looking back and looking abroad with an air of superiority. Waterboarding has not gone away. What has changed is the euphemism, from question extraordinaire to enhanced interrogation. And as the Calas case shows, France in the 1700s had one form of redress that the American Bar Association only wishes we had now. Last year the ABA passed a resolution calling on our federal government – and every state with the death penalty – to create a forum in which claims of wrongful execution can be heard.

    • joestudwell Says:

      The only thing I would say here is re. Lumumba. He had a horrible experience. Initially charged with murder, then lost his business and moved away from Italy. But he has no information that changes the material facts of the case. His evidence is of no consequence in either the defence or prosecution versions of events. I am surprised The Guardian has given prominence to his consistent, but entirely speculative view of the case. Remember that he sued Knox (successfully) for libel for her having named him as the killer during an illegal, highly-aggressive all-night interrogation by police. The best theory on what went on in that interview room is that the police had already recovered some of Guede’s hair from the murder scene (highly possible since his blood, prints, sperm, DNA were all over the place). So the police believed they were looking for a black guy. It was the perfect set-up – during a very long, all-night, illegal interrogation without a lawyer, involving emotional and physical violence, to suggest to Amanda Knox that the one black guy she knew in Perugia might be involved. Like many others from whom false confessions have been extracted, including in the UK, Knox was convinced by the police that what they were saying must be true and that she was helping them.

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