If you have a daughter or son in college who may spend a year studying abroad, you’re likely shaken over the Amanda Knox case.
Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini is himself under investigation for serious transgressions regarding abuse of power, which includes heavy-handed tactics against journalists. Florence prosecutor Luca Turco recently called for his judicial colleague Mignini to be jailed for ten months, according to a report in Britain’s The Daily Mail.
In fact, weigh in with most any American journalist who covers the case — Vanity Fair’s Judy Bachrach and West Seattle Herald’s Steve Shay, who appeared recently on CNN or Seattle Times reporters — and you’ll discover disturbing practices of jurisprudence. It becomes clear that the fathers of Perugia, a conservative city in central Italy, had it in for a free-spirited American who simply didn’t act like the locals. Couple that with a veracious tabloid press, an unvetted jury that is permitted to read and view all manner of whacky media accounts, and you have a formula for disaster. Oh, throw in the fact that the defense was not permitted to challenge suspect DNA evidence with its own experts. Talk about having the jury stacked against you.
At this point, the Knox family and Washington State Sen. Maria Cantwell are making entreaties with the state department via Hillary Clinton. The appeals process will likely commence in October. The likelihood of an appellate turnover Italian-style depends on who you talk to. I spent time in Italy as a college student. While I didn’t run up against the law, I did run into a bureaucracy that makes Washington look like a walk in the park, and I was just registering my Fiat 500.
Hopefully, appeals and pressure from the U.S. State Department and European diplomats will help tip the scales of injustice.