On Friday, American exchange student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffele Sollicito were convicted of the murder of Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. The Knox trial was controversial from the outset, with American media often critical of the Italian justice system's handling of the case. Now that a verdict of "guilty" has been handed down, how are figures from both sides of the debate reacting? Here's a sample of opinions from British and American media, family members, bloggers, and the senator of Knox's home state--Washington.
- Can We Focus on the Victim, Now? "Perhaps," writes Barbara Ellen in The Guardian, "it is time to banish the salacious lip-smacking over Foxy Knoxy to the satellite 'true crime' channels where it belongs. It was Meredith who died--and Meredith who should now have the dignity of our thoughts." Ellen is disgusted by the way the "marketing" of Knox as "she-devil" has drawn attention away from the true tragedy of the case.
- Victim's Family Satisfied, Others Less So Time's Nina Burleigh reports reaction from Perugia, Italy. She writes that while the victim's family "expressed no doubts," one "veteran" Italian journalist remains skeptical. The jury gave Rudy Guede--another man convicted of assisting Knox in Meredith Kercher's murder--four years longer of a sentence than they gave Amanda. "That," writes Burleigh, summarizing Ponte's unease, "strongly suggests the jury didn't buy [the prosecutor's] theory, leaving open the question: for what act did they really convict Knox?" Burleigh also notes that "there are signs that the Knox case could soon become a diplomatic dispute," pointing to a statement from Knox's senator, Maria Cantwell.
- 'I Have Serious Questions About the Italian Justice System,' says Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in a statement on the verdict; "the prosecution did not present enough evidence for an impartial jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Knox was guilty." The statement also questions the lack of sequestration of the jury and the "highly negative news coverage about Ms. Knox." The senator has apparently "been in touch" with the Italian embassy and plans to speak with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
- I'm With Knox's Family New York Magazine's Lindsay Robertson writes that "Knox's aunt, Janet Huff, said what a lot of us are thinking." She quotes Ms. Huff calling the verdict a matter of "sav[ing] face ... I think that if they admitted that she was not guilty then they would be admitting that they made a mistake in the first place." Blogger DougJ also weighs in, echoing the skepticism in the blogging world: "As fucked up [as] our own criminal justice system is," he writes, "this seems incomprehensibly insane to me."