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cruisin
10-06-2011, 06:54 PM
I don't understand why people insist that the confessions were coerced based only on Knox's statement after the fact. In the US, what Knox described as transpiring during the interrogation would not constitute coercion. She raised no objections during the interrogation, and she requested no legal representation. In the US, that would be indication no coercion took place, and she only regrets what she said after the fact.

Was she mirandized? Or is that an American thing? Was she offered council? Did she have any reason to believe she needed it? For me, the fact that she didn't ask for a lawyer, suggests she didn't feel at risk because she didn't do it. How can anyone know if she was coerced? There are no transcripts - conveniently. Would that happen in the US? If the police had no record of the interrogation, would anything they learned in that interrogation hold up in court? Could it even be presented? She was in a foreign country and had limited command of the language. She was given a written statement, in Italian, to sign. Did she know what she was signing? I'm sure she regretted not having a lawyer, after the fact. But, she probably thought she was being questioned as a witness, not a perpetrator.

As to something like this happening to an American within the US as opposed to outside the US. We hear of outrageous police behavior all of the time, in the US. And it receives the same level of disdain and disbelief. The "it's their word against yours" always working in favor of the police is a serious problem everywhere.

IceAlisa
10-06-2011, 06:59 PM
The article quoted above (thank you, zippy) should clear up the confusion regarding her interrogation.

Vagabond
10-06-2011, 07:08 PM
First, a belated response to agalisgv's question about why people think the confessions were coerced.

For me, one of the main reasons I think they were coerced is that the prosecution was unable to adduce any extrinsic evidence that corroborated them.


Oddly, it sounds like something she was told to say. She says she was hit and then excuses it - weird.

That's what I was thinking.

The note has some odd idioms and syntax. For example:


This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else. I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.

I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying that I was not with him on the night of Meredith's murder, but let me tell you this. In my mind there are things I remember and things that are confused.

This sounds to me like something composed by an Italian rather than an American. I suppose that an American who had lived in Italy for a couple of months might pick up all these Italianisms and incorporate them into a written note in English, but it seems more likely that she was coached by an Italian. I wonder who this might be -- a sympathetic person in the police department, perhaps?

Or it could be fast-acting Stockholm syndrome. :yikes:

I'm sure we will be writing a memoir, and I will be interested what she has to say about this note.

Skittl1321
10-06-2011, 07:20 PM
Was she mirandized? Or is that an American thing?

The concept might exist in other countries, but the term is American- it refers to the actual supreme court case that gave us those rights, Miranda v. Arizona

I don't know how any American can't know the first thing to say to police is "I'd like a lawyer" then zip their lips. However, if the police in another country said "You have no right to a lawyer", if I didn't study their laws thoroughly before entering the country (which I probably would have as an exchange student, but likely would not have as a tourist) how do I know if they are lying to me to get me to start talking (you know, since the session isn't being recorded, that statement then become their word against mine), or telling me the truth that in that country, I don't have the right?

I'm not saying this is what happened, but how do we really know she didn't request a lawyer or an embassy official, or at least a translator?

I'm baffled that an interrogation that wasn't taped can be used as evidence. Can't the police then make up pretty much anything they want? Or are we relying on the police being completely honest? Cause yeah, that always happens.

IceAlisa
10-06-2011, 07:29 PM
I find it very interesting that people are willing to be persuaded by shaky circumstantial evidence when DNA evidence points to the contrary. It is not possible to selectively remove one's and one's boyfriend's DNA from the body and the crime scene while leaving a third party's DNA intact.
I have no problem with Amanda and boyfriend being investigated and charged. I do have a problem with a verdict that ignores factual evidence.
I also take issue with those more than happy to imply chauvinism while ignoring the facts of the case.

Vagabond
10-06-2011, 07:30 PM
As discussed in this Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning#Equivalent_rights_in_other_countri es, there are equivalents of Miranda warnings in other countries. Apparently, Italy isn't one of those countries.

It should be noted that the Miranda warning is predicated on the accused's right to counsel and the police's obligation to give the warning does not kick in until that right attaches. I don't know whether Amanda Knox would have had the right under Italian to an attorney while she was being interrogated.

skatingfan5
10-06-2011, 07:40 PM
The article quoted above (thank you, zippy) should clear up the confusion regarding her interrogation.Let me second the thanks to zippy. That article definitely gave a lot more information than I had seen before regarding Amanda Knox's questioning by the police. Also, reading the note that she wrote to the police the day after her "confession" and supposed accusation of Lumumba, I have a much better appreciation as to why/how her "stories kept changing".
“The police have told me that they have hard evidence that places me at the house, my house, at the time of Meredith's murder. I don't know what proof they are talking about, but if this is true, it means I am very confused…”

“This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else.”

“I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.”To me it seems possible that her 8 hour interrogation by the police has caused her to doubt her own memories of her experience the night of Meredith's murder. She believes that she was at her boyfriend's place, but the police are saying they have proof that she was at the murder scene.
“However, it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers. In my mind I saw Patrik (sic) in flashes of blurred images. I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at my front door. I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming. But I've said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.”

“I'm very confused at this time. My head is full of contrasting ideas and I know I can be frustrating to work with for this reason. But I also want to tell the truth as best I can.”

"In these flashbacks that I'm having, I see Patrik (sic) as the murderer, but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known…”

“I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele's house.”

“Who is the REAL murder [sic]? This is particularly important because I don't feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance.”So this was her "accusation" of Patrick Lumumba being the murderer of Meredith.

I suppose for some it's easier to believe that she was an "entitled American bitch" who also became a sex-crazed, raging murderer who tried to pin her crime on an innocent person.

elbeep
10-06-2011, 07:53 PM
As discussed in this Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning#Equivalent_rights_in_other_countri es, there are equivalents of Miranda warnings in other countries. Apparently, Italy isn't one of those countries.

It should be noted that the Miranda warning is predicated on the accused's right to counsel and the police's obligation to give the warning does not kick in until that right attaches. I don't know whether Amanda Knox would have had the right under Italian to an attorney while she was being interrogated.

Apparently, the Italians came to police questioning with lawyers. The British friends of Meredith and Amanda did not. The British friends were subsequently, fairly quickly, taken out of the country. Amanda stayed. In response to her mother's suggestions that she leave the country, she declined saying that she wanted to stay to meet the Kerchers to offer sympathy and to help the police with their investigation.

cruisin
10-06-2011, 08:41 PM
The concept might exist in other countries, but the term is American- it refers to the actual supreme court case that gave us those rights, Miranda v. Arizona

Yes, I do understand that. :) I was wondering if there was an equivalent in Italy, and if it had been done.


As discussed in this Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning#Equivalent_rights_in_other_countri es, there are equivalents of Miranda warnings in other countries. Apparently, Italy isn't one of those countries.

Interesting.


It should be noted that the Miranda warning is predicated on the accused's right to counsel and the police's obligation to give the warning does not kick in until that right attaches. I don't know whether Amanda Knox would have had the right under Italian to an attorney while she was being interrogated.

She probably didn't think she needed one. If she'd done nothing wrong, why would she ask for a lawyer, she probably thought they just wanted to know if she saw anything.


Apparently, the Italians came to police questioning with lawyers. The British friends of Meredith and Amanda did not. The British friends were subsequently, fairly quickly, taken out of the country. Amanda stayed. In response to her mother's suggestions that she leave the country, she declined saying that she wanted to stay to meet the Kerchers to offer sympathy and to help the police with their investigation.

Doesn't sound like she was worried about being accused. If she were guilty, she'd have gotten out while she could.

Skittl1321
10-06-2011, 08:54 PM
Doesn't sound like she was worried about being accused. If she were guilty, she'd have gotten out while she could.


I agree. Very sad...


That said, I don't watch much crime/drama TV, but I've watched enough to know to never ever say anything to a cop without a lawyer. You just never know...

agalisgv
10-06-2011, 09:04 PM
As to something like this happening to an American within the US as opposed to outside the US. We hear of outrageous police behavior all of the time, in the US. And it receives the same level of disdain and disbelief. The "it's their word against yours" always working in favor of the police is a serious problem everywhere. Very true. Fact is, once the authorities choose to focus on someone, the cards are *heavily* stacked against that person. It's why so many innocent people end up serving time for things they didn't do, or why mitigating circumstances can evaporate from consideration.

But for some reason, this phenomena is primarily highlighted when it's a US citizen facing charges abroad. Then people in the US vilify the ineptitude, unfairness, and corruption of other countries' judicial systems while never seemingly questioning it when it occurs daily within the US.

If this crime occurred in the US, and Knox gave conflicting statements that placed her at the scene if the crime during the murder, of course she would likely be charged. Seriously now. It would be up to her defense to prove reasonable doubt. But unlike in Italy, the courts would not have assigned an independent lab to review the DNA evidence, and she would not have had a second trial that would have allowed new evidence to be admitted. Her chances of being freed after being first convicted in the US would be exceedingly small.

If you think DNA evidence is the be all to end all, keep in mind that the US Supreme Court ruled defendants don't have a right to demand DNA be tested by the state, even if it could clear them of a capital crime. The SC has also ruled that even in capital cases (death penalty cases), evidence of innocence was not a sufficient reason to appeal a conviction.

If the standard used to free Knox were broadly applied in the US, a lot less people would now be in jail. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I just find it sad that people only seem to care about abuses within the system when the defendant happens to be a US citizen on trial abroad (who also happens to be from a privileged background).

Vagabond
10-06-2011, 09:17 PM
Sollecito accuses Italian police of violence (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sollecito-accuses-italian-police-of-violence-2366163.html)


Raffaele sollecito, who along with his former girlfriend Amanda Knox was cleared on Monday of killing British student Meredith Kercher, has claimed that he was treated violently by Perugia police after being taken into custody in November 2007.

Describing his experience at the hands of interrogators, he said: "I thought that I didn't have anything to worry about because they would look after me as my father had always told me they would."

How terribly sad. :(

BigB08822
10-06-2011, 09:18 PM
Knox would never have been convicted in the U.S. and that is widely believed. I do get your point but Amanda isn't just lucky that she got such an appeal in Italy, she is also very unlucky to have been in a place that would have convicted her in the first place with such shoddy evidence.

agalisgv
10-06-2011, 09:26 PM
I always think of my experiences of dealing with Italian authorities as... well, a little scary. A lot of us Americans growing up these days are so sheltered, and there's often a certain politeness/distance when dealing with authority figures. I think people of certain socioeconomic and racial backgrounds in the US believe authority figures in the US are there to protect them from misdeeds of others. Thus they view authority as inherently there to defend them and their interests--authority is on their side. In other countries, I don't think people even from privileged backgrounds carry that same assumption, or at least not to the same degree.

But even in the US, people not from privileged backgrounds don't necessarily presume authority figures are out to protect them or their interests (this not infrequently backed up by practical evidence). So the skepticism you described towards Italian authorities is not dissimilar to how some in the US view US authorities.
Knox would never have been convicted in the U.S. and that is widely believed. I know people in the US to have been convicted on FAR less. That isn't belief on my part.

allezfred
10-06-2011, 10:18 PM
Knox would never have been convicted in the U.S.

I'm sure the young, confused and unable to speak the language excuse would have worked really well. ;)