Sixteen years to the day of O.J. Simpson being acquitted in the trial of the (past) century, Amanda Knox was released by the Italian courts in the grisly murder of Meredith Kercher. Many people remember where they were at 1 p.m. on Oct. 3, 1995. The day Simpson, the NFL football star, was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Brown’s friend Ronald Goldman.
I’m not sure if 16 years from now we’ll remember where we were, when Amanda Knox was acquitted. Maybe we’ll remember that though the law may have been upheld, in our media frenzied-world, justice probably wasn’t served. As in the recent cases of Knox and Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty on July 5 of this year of first-degree murder, in the death of her daughter Caylee Marie Anthony, justice is often denied.
The trial of the (past) Century, was a media circus of unparalleled proportion. There had never been coverage of this magnitude for a trial. The media fed an insatiable appetite for everything Simpson for the duration of the trial.
Whether in the U.S. or in Italy, it doesn’t seem to matter which justice system is involved but more the level of scrutiny by the media, that sends the halls of justice spinning into irrelevance. Outside forces make for great theatre but blur the awful realities of crime where victims are forgotten and culprits are celebrated.
Simpson the football hero, Knox and Anthony the vixen black widows, ultimately can profit from their crimes. It would seem that untold numbers of clear and precise proof of guilt can easily be derailed by one or two sloppy details made by investigators or prosecutors.
DNA and dirty leather gloves not being sufficient in the court of public and media opinion. Where the Italian courts negligent, and did they railroad a U.S. citizen using shoddy evidence? Or was Knox, too beautiful to be a murderer, lucky to get away with it because of sloppy work by Italian investigators?
The appeal of her 2009 conviction worked and she along with her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were acquitted. Rudy Guede, an Ivorian drifter who was found guilty and received a sentence of 16 years in a separate trial, is now the only person serving time for the murder of Kercher.
Should we indict the media for these sensational acquittals or should we just accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world, and that justice is but a fleeting principle that is blinded by our frailties.