Fast forward to the past, the American South of old: small town justice, small town sheriff, justice by prejudice. Only now it’s Perugia, the conservative, provincial Italian town, and the victim is Amanda Knox, the “angel faced” American college student plowed under by a railroad of bad press, bad judgment and bad practices in jurisprudence.
Here are a few good sources for this disturbing story:
- Vanity Fair contributing editor Judy Bachrach, who lived in Italy for four years and covered the Knox trial gavel to gavel. As she explained last night on CNN, the small-town Italian justice system derives directly from “the ancient inquisition.” The Knox prosecutor is himself the subject of an inquiry regarding other recent heavy-handed practices. Also, the Italian trial system is devoid of jury vetting and defense challenges to evidence, among other primitive processes.
- Such Knox family members as aunt Janet Huff. Huff has an astute understanding of the Perugia phenomenon, which includes gross prejudices fueled by a paparazzi-style Italian tabloid press that distorted innocent behavior and drew false conclusions from the get-go. See Huff’s video statement.
- West Seattle Herald reporter Steve Shay, who draws the same conclusions as Bachrach and Knox, from his independent investigation. He commented last night on CNN, with Jim Moret who was sitting in for Larry King.
Meanwhile, as Knox’s family pursues the painful appeals process overseas, Maria Cantwell, a U.S. senator from Knox’s home state of Washington, issued the following statement:
I am saddened by the verdict. I have serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial. I will be conveying my concerns to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.