Anti-Americanism at play in Italian verdict?
Did anti-American sentiment play into the guilty verdict for American exchange student Amanda Knox?
Her family and a prominent U.S. senator are crying foul. Knox was sentenced last week to 26 years in prison for murdering her British roommate during a drunken sex game.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, from Knox’s home state of Washington, says she has “serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial” and said she plans to pursue that with U.S. and Italian officials.
Her family has said they will appeal, and her father Curt Knox said unfavorable media coverage led to the guilty verdict.
“Frankly, I believe it was the huge media perception and literally the character assassination that took place of her, and a completely different judicial system where jurors and judges are not sequestered,” he said on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday.
Criminal defense lawyer Theodore Simon told ABC’s “Good Morning America” show that the evidence against Knox was scant. “The real problem here was … an avalanche of negative pretrial publicity, combined with an enormous amount of negative character assassination,” Simon said.
Judy Bachrach, who has covered the case for Vanity Fair, said some jurors said they found Knox guilty before the trial ended. “There is the feeling that she is the classic American seductress. She’s been called in the newspapers a vampire, a praying mantis, and these are all forms of anti-Americanism,” she said on ABC.
What do you think?
Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi American university student Amanda Knox arrives in court for her murder trial in Perugia December 4, 2009.