Runtime: 10 minutes
Amanda O - Amanda Knox - Netflix
Amanda Marie Knox (born July 9, 1987) is an American writer and activist who spent almost four years in an Italian prison accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher on November 1, 2007. Knox, then a 20 year old exchange student, had spent the night with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito; upon returning to her flat, she discovered her roommate Kercher dead. Knox became a suspect and during an extended interrogation—the conduct of which is a matter of dispute—she implicated herself, Sollecito, and her employer, Patrick Lumumba. They were charged with the murder, but forensic evidence from Kercher's body identified Rudy Guede, a local petty criminal. Although originally denying that Knox had any involvement, Guede later incriminated her as the killer. Guede was tried separately and convicted of participating in the killing. At the subsequent trial of Knox and Sollecito, American legal commentators were disturbed by the latitude given to the prosecution. Both Knox and Sollecito were found guilty of murder on December 5, 2009, which caused international controversy, as American forensics experts thought evidence at the crime scene was incompatible with their involvement. However, on October 3, 2011, an appeal found Knox and Sollecito not guilty and she returned to the United States. A prolonged and complex legal process continued after her departure. On January 30, 2014, she was found not guilty of defamation for saying she had been struck by policewomen during the interrogation, but she and Sollecito were re-convicted of the killing. On March 27, 2015, the murder case against her was finally dismissed by the Supreme Court of Italy, which definitively acquitted her and Sollecito of any involvement; the court upheld Knox's conviction of defamation against Lumumba but deemed the time she had already spent in prison as sufficient penalty. Since her return to the United States, Knox has worked as a journalist and spokesperson.
Amanda O - Italian legal procedure - Netflix
In 1989, Italy reformed its inquisitorial system, introducing elements of US-style adversarial procedure. The changes were intended to remove an inquisitorial continuity between the investigatory phase and the basis for a decision at trial, but in practice they took control of inquiries away from police and gave prosecutors authority over the preliminary investigation. Although they have considerable authority over early inquiries and discretion in bringing charges, Italian prosecutors do not customarily use their powers in the aggressive way common in the US system. Unless the defendant opts for a fast track trial (a relatively inquisitorial procedure), murder trials are heard by a Corte d'Assise, which is less likely to exclude evidence as prejudicial than a US court. Two presiding professional trial judges, who also vote on the verdict, are expected to correct any bias of the six lay-judges during their deliberations. An acquittal can be appealed by the prosecution, and faulty application of legal principles in the judges' detailed report on their decision can be grounds for overturning the verdict. A defendant who gives evidence is not given an oath, because he or she is not considered to be a witness. The settled verdict of another court can be used without collaboration to support circumstantial evidence; in Knox's case the official report on Guede's conviction was introduced as showing that Guede had accomplices. If the Supreme Court grants an appeal against a guilty verdict, it usually sends the case back to be re-heard. It can also dismiss the prosecution case, although this is rare.
Amanda O - References - Netflix