Friday, October 23

Mez: A Scottish Twist? -

The Meredith Kercher Murder Case . . .

Most of the American Public has already turned the page on this case; these days they are preoccupied about whether Caitlyn Jenner is going to date men or women.

Yet, there are still some who continue to discuss Jack the Ripper, as well as other cases for which there have not been any clean, clear, and crisp resolution.

Catching up with the latest developments in this case, the Italian Supreme Court has finally issued its long-overdue written verdict, although its translation into English is not yet complete. I am basing my impression and interpretation of it mainly on Barbie Nadeau's descriptive report.

In the American system, we are used to either one of two verdicts in a murder case: Guilty or Not Guilty. But the Scots are a fiercely independent people and maintain a number of legal constructs in their system which are at variance with the U.K. and the U.S. systems. One of these constructs is a third verdict option: Case Not Proven.

Hitherto, I was not aware that this Scottish-style option was available in the Italian system, but strangely enough, this is the outcome the Italian Supreme Court seems to have delivered to us. Initially, I was incredulous, but when I looked it up at Wikipedia, I was surprised to read there that the Italian system has had this third Scottish option available to it since 1989.

What does this kind of verdict mean? From my interpretation, I would contend that this is an acquittal which does not exonerate the Accused.

The Court accepted and affirmed the presence of Knox and Sollecito in the house, but wasn't satisfied with the evidence presented to them that the two could be placed within the murder chamber.

The Court - under their system - might have been able to stipulate that Knox and Sollecito were engaged in passive complicity, acting as accessories, conspired to pervert the course of justice, failed to properly dispose of human remains, or some other more Italianesque illegality.

Instead, the Court claimed "insufficient evidence" which means that the Prosecution did not make their case to the Court's satisfaction - i.e. Case Not Proven.

Thus, only time will tell whether Amanda Knox ever picks her feet in Poughkeepsie.