Hope remains as Amanda Knox nears her appeal


For The Beachcomber

Amanda Knox, the 23-year-old University of Washington student who was convicted of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, is currently in Italy’s Capanne Prison awaiting her appeal, which is set for Nov. 24. Her family is preparing to travel to Italy, hoping that in the near future Amanda will be returning to them. Friends and supporters around the world wonder whether this trial will be as embroidered with fiction as the first one or if the appeals court will follow the evidence and release Amanda and her friend Raffaele Sollecito, who was also convicted in the murder.

Amanda is innocent. She and Raffaele are unjustly incarcerated in what is a twisted, melodramatic miscarriage of justice that has occasionally drifted into the absurd. And while the nationalism card has been thrown down by Italy, Britain and the United States, sane minds know that there really is no hate, only frustration and anger toward the people, not the nation, responsible for this tragedy.

Meredith Kercher’s murder on Nov. 1, 2007, has spawned many theories, including the completely fabricated and sensationalized drug-fueled-orgy-gone-wrong soap opera. But the evidence says emphatically that Rudy Guede, a drifter who admits he spent time with Meredith the night of her death and is the third young adult convicted of her murder, acted alone.

Still to be discovered is why the Perugian court system used Amanda as a distraction for the tabloid press. She was dangled like a rabbit in front of a pack of hounds. Raffaele was collateral damage, Meredith was disrespected, and Rudy disappeared into the prison system.

If it were not for the fact that this case has a direct bearing on many Islanders (Amanda’s father Curt Knox grew up Vashon and her grandparents still live here), we would most likely view it as a tabloid-style expose for the 6 p.m. news. Instead, many of us know what a nightmare this is for the Knox family and are praying daily for them. Many other good people from around the nation have also reached out to help.

The Amanda Knox Defense Fund is tentatively planning a benefit on Vashon. Details are currently in the works, and all proceeds will be donated to Amanda’s defense fund to help defray expenses for the Knox and Mellas families. (Amanda’s mother remarried; the Mellas are her other family.) One can also donate funds and air mileage by visiting amandadefensefund.org.

The upcoming appeal will review evidence, and, because there are new judges and juries, there is hope that the mistakes will be corrected. For more information about the case, start with the Massei Motivation, an opinion by Judge Giancarlo Massei from the first trial, a ponderously huge document that the defense will try to refute. Then visit the Science Spheres website, created by Mark Waterbury, Ph.D. Mark’s latest work is the analysis of the Massei Motivation, which allows the reader to fully understand the faulty reasoning behind the judge’s opinion. Next visit Seattle PI reporter Candace Dempsey’s blog and review her book “Murder in Italy.”

After that, the website “Injustice in Perugia” has a comprehensive overview of the entire case and a forum to answer questions. “Perugia Murder File” and “True Justice for Meredith Kercher” also have information, but a great deal of it is centered on the early, biased reports that Amanda and Raffaele are guilty.

Please also know that your support and sympathy is greatly appreciated by the Knox, Mellas, Sollecito and Kercher families. Let’s keep them in our hearts as Amanda moves closer to her next legal round in Italy.

—Karen Pruett, a longtime Islander and hairdresser, is a Knox family friend.

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