Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Amanda Knox: Associated Press sets up tomorrow's (Wednesday March 25) ruling by the Italian Court of Cassation on the appeal of their guilty verdicts by Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in British student Meredith Kercher's 2007 killing with an interesting analysis of the role played by trial-by-social-media in the case.

STORY: "Amanda Knox faces trial-by-social media in shadow of high Court decision on guilty verdict," published by Associated Press on March 23, 2015.

GIST: Italy's highest court this week takes up the Amanda Knox case for the second time as a parallel trial-by-social media rages online, with partisans on both sides seeking to shape public opinion over a murder case that has polarized observers in three nations. While the Internet advocacy and sparring over the Knox trial details — on blogs, forums and most vociferously on Twitter — have no bearing on the real court case, observers and participants say it does have a role in shaping public opinion, particularly in the United States, where the exchanges are most acerbic. And public opinion could eventually have some bearing, if a confirmed guilty verdict requires Knox to serve a sentence and Italy seeks to extradite her. "This has become their life, and both sides are desperate to win any way they can. Even if that is in the court of public opinion, they will take that win," said Laurie Levenson, a law professor who directs the center for legal advocacy at Loyola Law School. "Everyone has woken up and realized that the law is not etched in stone. It is in the eye of the beholder and they are trying to influence that." The Italian Court of Cassation on Wednesday is expected to rule on Knox's and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito's appeal to their guilty verdicts in British student Meredith Kercher's 2007 killing, issued last year by a Florence appeals court that sentenced Knox to 28 ½ years and Sollecito to 25 years.........This trial-by-social media — conducted in English and unburdened by the weight of law — is being carried out by largely by trial watchers with no direct connection to either the victim or the defendants. "It was like a big whodunit, and I like puzzles," said Edward McCall, the online alias of the founder of the Murder of Meredith Kercher wiki, one of among a dozen mostly U.S.-based sites on both sides actively monitoring the case. McCall, who says the site is close to achieving its goal of posting translations of all court documents and transcripts, asked not to use his real name to protect himself and family members from harassment. McCall said he was motivated by a desire to confront the pro-Knox PR he felt was prevalent in the U.S. discussion, and that he was now seeing language from his articles seeping into the discussion. As well-meaning as the sites are, the Kercher family lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said translating complex court documents for an English-speaking audience had little value for readers who don't know have the Italian law knowledge to interpret them properly. "These trials are very difficult. It is not that everyone can play lawyer. If your knowledge is average, these are very technical questions," Maresca said. "And after that, it slides into gossip.""

The entire story can be found at:


See Huffington Post set up on "What you need to know about the Amanda Knox trial." (An analysis of possible outcomes and issues); "Several outcomes are possible, including confirmation of the verdicts, a new appeals round, or even a ruling that amounts to an acquittal in the sensational case that has captivated audiences on both sides of the Atlantic."


PS: For the latest coverage of the Mark Lundy retrial go to: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/mark-lundy-murder-retrial  


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