Amanda Knox: still not a “She-Devil,” and never was.
As Amanda Knox — who was wrongly jailed in Italy for four years — gets ready for her first Christmas in freedom in many years, new details about her case reveal there was essentially no evidence against her. Including no evidence that she was involved in “Satanic orgies” the night her roommate, Meredith Kercher, was murdered.
The appeals court that exonerated Knox released an 143-page report this week uncovering just how badly the lower court bungled the trial. “No murder weapon. Faulty DNA. No motive. Even the time of death was wrong by nearly an hour. The Italian appeals court that cleared Amanda Knox in the killing of her roommate explained its ruling on Thursday: The evidence just didn’t hold up,” according to the Associated Press.
In short, the report finds that the original verdict:
… Was not corroborated by any objective element of evidence and in itself was not, in fact probable: the sudden choice of two young people, good and open to other people, to do evil for evil’s sake, just like that, without another reason. It is not, therefore, sufficient that the probability of the prosecutors’ hypothesis is greater than the hypothesis of the defense, not even when they are notably greater in number, but it is necessary that every explanation that differs from the prosecutors’ hypothesis is, according to the criteria of reasonability, not at all plausible.
We can probably also presume that Knox is also not a “Satanic, Diabolic, She-Devil,” as one prosecutor put it.
After her Italian nightmare, Knox must contend with many things: the fact that she was separated from society for four years for a crime she didn’t commit; the fact that she was so boldly convicted in the press; and the fact that her sexual life and supposed “Satanic” inclinations were the stuff of international headlines — even though none of those suggestions were true.
Deeper than that, though, is the troubling idea that simply being involved with Satanism or the occult makes you de facto guilty of violence, regardless of other factors. We’ve seen this again and again, most troublingly with with the West Memphis Three, who spent half their lives in jail for murders they did not commit — all because people in their small southern town figured if a boy wears black and practices Wicca, he must be an evil child-slayer. All an unscrupulous attorney has to do is raise the “Satanic” flag and his case is as good as won. When you step back and look at it, that’s not a very impressive lawyering technique, is it?
And yet, it keeps working — and will keep working, as long as people continue to fear and misunderstand practicing occultists. Who, as much as any other religious group, are respectful, peaceful, law-abiding people.