Sunday, February 27

Mez: Migrating Verdicts -

Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher & Perugia:
What if the ancient Romans had helicopters?

Claudio Giusti, in an effort to bridge the international gap in understanding, has written an Op Ed piece positing the hypothetical premise "what if the Meredith Homicide in Perugia Case had occurred in America." He then goes on to compare systems and results from his perspective. I think his attempt to bridge this gap is worthwhile, but I disagree with him on some points.

Where does the situation stand today? Don't worry: if I make any serious errors, some legal scholar will correct them.

The Italian Court's verdict seems to be the equivalent of a Manslaughter conviction here in the U.S. There is only one debate left unresolved between Prosecution and Court. It essentially revolves around the role of Drugs in this crime.

:: The Court recognizes the central role Drugs played in this crime, but claims the Drugs constitute a Mitigating Factor so as to result in the Diminished Capacity of the defendants.

:: The Prosecution likewise accepts the centrality of the Drugs, but claims they constitute an Aggravating Factor resulting in the equivalent of Depraved Disregard.

If the Prosecution is validated in this claim during the Appeal process, it would raise the conviction level to the equivalent of Murder 2. But, even if the sentence were increased appropriate to Second Degree Murder, the defendants would not be exposed to the Death Penalty in the United States.

The Prosecution, on this basis, is asking for an increase in the sentence to a term of Life, but the Italian definition of Life sentence does not stipulate "for the rest of your natural life." It is, rather, commonly presumed to mean a term of 30 years.

Mr Giusti has made some astute, humorous, and opinionated observations about how the American Public views criminals in cliches, memes, and readymade templates.

Actually, even though Amanda Knox et al would not be exposed to the Death Penalty in the U.S. because this was a lenient (lower court) verdict, many Americans would be contacting the DOJ in DC, demanding that the DOJ bring Federal Civil Rights charges against the trio for violating Meredith Kercher's Civil Rights as a racial minority living in that cottage.

Thus, Amanda Knox would be facing
an entirely new and additional set of charges.

The facts are the facts. And the fact is that Meredith Kercher was an Asian Indian carrying British national papers. There is already a legal precedent established on this: the notorious Dot-Busters Case of New Jersey.

Our legal system and the Italian legal system may differ in the ways they go about a case, but both are trying to achieve the same result: Justice.

The crime of Perugia in America by Claudio Giusti

:: Original Article in Italian ::

:: Google Translation ::