Anti-Americanism at play in Italian verdict?

December 7, 2009

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.

KnoxSen. 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?

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Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi American university student Amanda Knox arrives in court for her murder trial in Perugia December 4, 2009.

5 comments

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Does anyone remember the CIA people tried for abducting an Egyptian in Italy a year or so ago? The U.S. government refuses to turn over any of the accused for trial. How about the U.S. military pilot that flew his plane so low he destroyed a sky lift killing and injuring Italian citizens? That Pilot was never turned over to Italian authorities either. Status of Forces Agreements have shielded thousands of U.S. servicemen over the years from criminal prosecution around the world. Your probably correct. There is a lot of anti American sentiment and not just in Italy.

Posted by eddieblack | Report as abusive

Bullies usually have few friends.

Posted by ehross | Report as abusive

I think what many American’s forget while living abroad is the civil or judicial system in the host country is not a copy-cat of the US, and it often works against those accused of committing crimes abroad.
What may be legal or lawful in the host country may be illegal here, and vise versa.

Posted by pottyscott | Report as abusive

She should be traded for the 11 CIA agents wanted by Italy for kidnapping.

Posted by ehross | Report as abusive

I don’t think it is anti-americanism.

But Italy has certainly been anti-murder for some time now. So this kind of thing shouldn’t be too unusual.

But then again, Europe got confused when we tried to punish a pedophile for child sex crimes. So perhaps it is just a funny world.

Or perhaps people simply don’t respect the legal systems outside their own?

Posted by Anon86 | Report as abusive