Yahoo! News reported Friday that the Amanda Knox verdict in Perugia, Italy has resulted in her being convicted of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. The Amanda Knox verdict in Perugia, Italy has resulted in her being sentenced to 26 years in prison at this time. There’s been a lot of hoopla and debate stirred up over this Amanda Knox verdict and trial in Perugia, Italy, but I want to discuss something that’s more assured than whether or not she had anything to do with the murder. If you’re an American who finds yourself as a defendant in a criminal trial in a foreign country, God help you.
Amanda Knox Verdict in Perugia, Italy: Americans Shouldn’t Expect American Style Justice Abroad
I took a citizens’ police academy class sponsored by my local police department this fall. We were told how Americans think that crimes are solved so easily and quickly like they are on those C.S.I. programs. If you take that premise a bit farther, how many Americans do you think expect to see good ol’ American style crime solving and justice to come about for them if they ever become a defendant in the U.S. (despite its imperfections) or abroad? Well, having that mentality is very naïve when traveling or living abroad especially.
Foreign countries, as much as many of them love Americans spending their hard earned money there, want to make examples out of Americans if they find themselves as defendants in a criminal trial like this Amanda Knox verdict in Perugia, Italy. Not only that, but you have to realize that the laws, the cultures, and the mentality about how justice works is going to mean something different abroad than what’s practiced in American courts and television shows…and means something even more different when the mix involves what many non-Americans perceive as “ugly Americans” being tried.
Amanda Knox Verdict in Perugia, Italy: Examples of Other Americans Who’ve Been Defendants Abroad and Found Guilty
I’m not saying Amanda Knox is guilty or not guilty, but she, like other Americans, have found out the hard way how foreign justice works. Just ask Billy Hayes, of which the book and movie Midnight Express is based on. He did commit a wrongdoing of attempting to smuggle dope out of Turkey in 1970, but the justice system there was rife with corruption and he had to make a very daring escape to find freedom. Just ask Michael P. Fay, who was the first American to be on the end of a caning in Singapore in 1994 for his convictions of vandalism and theft, according to Wikipedia. While Fay got some leniency (less of a caning), don’t you think those Singapore officials might have enjoyed administering the caning a bit more knowing that the buttocks of an American were being whacked?
Alessandra Rizzo and Mart Falconi – Knox convicted, sentenced to 26 years in Italy: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091205/ap_on_re_eu/eu_italy_student_slain, December 4, 2009, The Associated Press (appearing at Yahoo! News)
Michael P. Fay: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_P._Fay, Wikipedia