Knox verdict looms, media frenzied in coverage

by Jane Briggs-Bunting

In some ways, Amanda’s Knox’s appeal is the Italian version of the Casey Anthony trial. The media frenzy is even more pervasive, and she is portrayed, at least in the U.S. media, more sympathetically than Anthony was. U.S. morning news shows have dispatched anchors to cover the finale expected Monday or later this week.

Anthony was found not guilty because the jury found reasonable doubt.

With the discrediting of the DNA evidence, by a panel of independent experts commissioned by the judge, no less, if Knox were in a U.S. court she would already be freed. In Italy, it’s still a crap shoot, and the final act may come early this week or not. Six jurors (five women and one man) and two judges will decide her fate.  There is one more appeal possibility left for either the prosecution or the defense under Italian law.

For Knox, the protections of U.S. law do not exist in Perugia, Italy. It’s a different legal system based on centuries of traditions.

Virtually ignored in the media frenzy surrounding the woman some media have tagged as “Foxy KnoxY,” a nickname from her high school sports days, is her former boyfriend, Raffele Sollecito. They’d been a couple for just six days when the murder of Knox’s roommate occurred.

The victim, British exchange student Meredith Kercher, has almost been forgotten in the media frenzy in the U.S. press. Her family is upset about that and have returned to Italy for the final day of the appeal. The British press has not forgotten her, however, and seem less enthralled with Knox.

Kercher and Knox shared their flat with our two other roommates. None of them knew each other very well. Roommate situations can get nasty, but that animosity usually takes more than a couple of months to develop, and very rarely does it end up in murder.

It’s a sad situation all around. Ms. Kercher suffered a horrific death. Knox and her then boyfriend have spent four years in prison for a crime when, under U.S. law, there seems to be reasonable doubt (based on media coverage, at least).

I am rooting for Amanda. She’s gotten a real education in her Study Abroad experience.

And no worry for the media. Dr. Conrad Murray is still on trial for manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. The frenzy can continue.

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