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Thread: Amanda Knox gets 26 Years

  1. #7096

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    "Double jeopardy" in Europe:


    All members of the Council of Europe (which includes nearly all European countries, and every member of theEuropean Union) have signed the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects against double jeopardy. The optional Seventh Protocol to the Convention, Article Four, says:


    "No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again in criminal proceedings under the jurisdiction of the same State for an offence for which he or she has already been finally acquitted or convicted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of that State."


    Member states may, however, implement legislation which allows reopening of a case in the event that new evidence is found or if there was a fundamental defect in the previous proceedings.


    The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not prevent the reopening of the case in accordance with the law and penal procedure of the State concerned, if there is evidence of new or newly discovered facts, or if there has been a fundamental defect in the previous proceedings, which could affect the outcome of the case.


    This optional protocol has been ratified by all EU states except five (namely Belgium, Germany, Spain, theNetherlands, and United Kingdom). In those member states, national rules governing double jeopardy may or may not comply with the provision cited above.


    In many European countries the prosecution may appeal an acquittal to a higher court (similar to the provisions of Canadian law) – this is not counted as double jeopardy but as a continuation of the same trial. This is allowed by the European Convention on Human Rights – note the word finally in the above quotation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_jeopardy

  2. #7097

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    When does it end? Is there a point in time where the verdict becomes final, or does the state have the right to persecute this poor woman until the end of days?
    It seems to be more than a three-stage system.

    Since "appeals" in Italy are really retrials, does a new guilty verdict elicit an appeal from Knox's lawyers; does the prosecutor also appeal if the verdict is not guilty? Does this wind up in the supreme court still again?

    It seems to be a criminal justice system that doesn't even have confidence in itself. Maybe that's what's on trial here - a broken system. And now the spotlight is on again. On Tuesday morning, the preorder ranking of books on Amazon.com had Knox's book somewhere over 2000th. By the end of the day, it shot up to under 500th.

    Knox will be at least 30 years old before this shit is over.

  3. #7098

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Maybe that's what's on trial here - a broken system.
    A broken criminal justice system compared to who?

  4. #7099

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    From today's NYTimes:

    Excerpt


    Justice Flunks Math
    ITALY’S highest court on Tuesday overturned the acquittal of Amanda Knox, accused of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British woman who was Knox’s roommate in Perugia, Italy, at the time.

    In 2011, an appeals court invalidated the 2009 murder convictions of Ms. Knox, an exchange student from Seattle, and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and released them from jail. Now, Italy’s Court of Cassation has annulled that decision — sending a strange new ripple into a case that has riveted many around the globe for years.

    There is enough sensational detail in the Knox case, of course, to keep the tabloid pages filled. At least 10 books have been written about it, including one by Ms. Knox herself, whose memoir is to be published next month. But one aspect of this case — as with so many others, sadly — deserves far more attention than it gets: much unnecessary drama has resulted from bad math.

    Miscalculation by judges and lawyers of probabilities, from the odds of DNA matches to the chance of accidental death, have sent innocent people to jail, and, perhaps, let murderers walk free.

    The Court of Cassation has not yet publicly explained the motivations behind its ruling. But the appellate judge’s failure to understand probability may well play a role.

    One of the major pieces of evidence was a knife collected from Mr. Sollecito’s apartment, which according to a forensic scientist contained a tiny trace of DNA from the victim. Even though the identification of the DNA sample with Ms. Kercher seemed clear, there was too little genetic material to obtain a fully reliable result — at least back in 2007.

    By the time Ms. Knox’s appeal was decided in 2011, however, techniques had advanced sufficiently to make a retest of the knife possible, and the prosecution asked the judge to have one done. But he refused. His reasoning? If the scientific community recognizes that a test on so small a sample cannot establish identity beyond a reasonable doubt, he explained, then neither could a second test on an even smaller sample.

    Whatever concerns the judge might have had regarding the reliability of DNA tests, he demonstrated a clear mathematical fallacy: assuming that repeating the test could tell us nothing about the reliability of the original results. In fact, doing a test twice and obtaining the same result would tell us something about the likely accuracy of the first result. Getting the same result after a third test would give yet more credence to the original finding.

    Imagine, for example, that you toss a coin and it lands on heads 8 or 9 times out of 10. You might suspect that the coin is biased. Now, suppose you then toss it another 10 times and again get 8 or 9 heads. Wouldn’t that add a lot to your conviction that something’s wrong with the coin? It should.

    The judge’s rejection of the retest — at least based on the notion that a confirming retest could tell us nothing about the likelihood that the DNA was a match — was a serious error, one that scuppered an opportunity to get at the truth of Ms. Kercher’s murder.
    We’ll leave it to others to decide whether Ms. Knox is guilty or not. But the damaging effects of bad judicial math have been clear in other cases.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/op...ml?ref=opinion

  5. #7100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    A broken criminal justice system compared to who?
    What do you think?

    I heard there are more lawyers in Milan than all of France.

  6. #7101

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    What do you think?

    I heard there are more lawyers in Milan than all of France.
    I heard the US has more lawyers per capita than any other country in the world.

    More than twice as many per capita than Italy.

    I also heard that Spain has more lawyers per capita than any other Euro country.

  7. #7102

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    I guess you missed "What do you think?"

    Not surprised. Rationalizing the quality of your criminal justice system by comparing it to others goes to what I said about lack of confidence.

    Spain? Is that where Italy is headed?

    Anyway, not much going on here until next year when the circus pitches its tent in Florence.

    Bye.

  8. #7103
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    If two bicycles can no longer be ridden without someone carrying them, how is it fair to say that one is "more broken" than another and therefore the "less broken" one should not be fixed?

    Especially when the repair of either does not hinge on the other?

    The ONLY thing I can see as a valid measure on this trial is framing it in the realm of mistakes performed by the legal system, not by the people being tried. I do not think that it should be laid on Amanda's (and whats-his-faces) shoulders, but the direction on this should be as Zippy said. A trial of the Italian Court System.

    A study should have been made in order to determine if the mistakes that had occurred had ANY bearing on what had actually happened at the scene of the crime. If this is a "clerical" error (or anything similar), then they should not involve the "suspects"(?) again.

  9. #7104

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    ..by comparing it to others
    Like comparing the number of lawyers in Milan to all of France?

    (Anyway... Spain? Oh c'mon....let's hope one day we double our number of lawyers and catch up to the US!)


  10. #7105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    A broken criminal justice system compared to who?
    Why does it have to be compared to anybody? Was Zippy's statement a comparative one, or was it nominal?

    It seems like everytime someone critisizes the Italian political or criminal justice system, your knee-jerk reaction is "oh yeah? well it's better than yours!" Even if you are right about that, who cares? It doesn't make this situation any less effed-up.

    The comparsions are immaterial to assessments on this particular event and the Italian system of justice in general. Being correct about the comparison does not invalidate the original point.

    Most of the US posters on this board are quick to point out deficiencies in all matters relating to the US. But you seem to be extremely defensive when it comes to Italy. Your single minded defense of all things Italian undercuts the credibility of your argument. I am sorry to say this, but this aspect of Italian justice is dysfunctional and questions comparing the level of dysfunction to that of the US or other countries are irrelevent.

    And by the way the the Council Of Europe's decree on double jeopardy holds no water. She was acquited and is now being retried. That is double jeopardy.
    Last edited by eddhead; March 29th, 2013 at 11:47 AM.

  11. #7106

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    Why does it have to be compared to anybody? Was Zippy's statement a comparative one, or was it nominal?
    Of course you are comparing it to the system you know.... which is the American one.

    If you post "Does anything EVER get settled in Italy. What a looney bin." Then I will point out court cases in your country that go on for years. This really should not bother you.

    If Zippy posts a comparison, "I heard there are more lawyers in Milan than all of France" to make a point about the Italian system ..... then may I post that the US even twice as many lawyers per capita as Italy?

    I believe it gives perspective to the conversation. I think it's a logical continuation. You really believe I should not have posted that?

    Again: it should not bother you.

    -----

    Re: "She was acquited and is now being retried. That is double jeopardy."

    What do you think of Amanda Knox's lawyer saying: "the high court's decision does not raise a double jeopardy problem because the retrial would not be a new case but rather a continuation of the same case on appeal"?

    See post 7095.

  12. #7107

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    Why does it have to be compared to anybody? Was Zippy's statement a comparative one, or was it nominal?
    Eddhead, if you're going to engage in a tedious "Italy's shit doesn't stink" battle, you have to resign yourself to the fact that there will be much disinformation, often repeated regularly.

    Us population (2010 census): 309,000,000
    Number of lawyers: 1,225,000 - source http://www.americanbar.org/content/d...thcheckdam.pdf

    Lawyers per capital in the US: 252

    Italy population: 60,000,000
    Number of lawyers: 121,380 - source http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/user_up...1179905628.pdf

    Lawyers per capita in Italy: 494

    The numbers for Italy are from 2006, before the Knox saga. I would guess that many more Italian students were inspired to pursue a legal career by Foxy Knoxy. I mean, what fun.

    Also , in the US, a lawyer is a lawyer.
    The United States legal system does not draw a distinction between lawyers who plead in court and those who do not, unlike many other common law jurisdictions (such as England and Wales, which distinguishes between solicitors and barrister, or, in Scotland, advocates), and civil law jurisdictions (such as Italy and France, which distinguish between advocates and civil law notaries). An additional factor which differentiates the American legal system from other countries is that there is no delegation of routine work to notaries public.

  13. #7108

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    All good points,

    Fab - the fact that I feel Italy is a 'loony bin' doesn't mean I don't think the US is as well. It also doesn't mean the US is not.. The US system is immaterial to this dicussion. You are being way to defensive here.

    I am kind of done with this discussion - at least for now. I feel like I am slamming my head against a wall.

  14. #7109
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    A wall will never move. At the end of the day it's just a stupid wall.

    Now... if one of your walls has a big hole in it, at least admit there's a hole.

    If a neighbor comes over and notices the hole, why stare at it with him… making every excuse for the hole while switching the conversation to HIS rusty mailbox? getting all defensive like that would be unnecessary. I would just want to fix it, right?

  15. #7110
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Lawyers per capital in the US: 252

    Italy population: 60,000,000
    Number of lawyers: 121,380 - source http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/user_up...1179905628.pdf

    Lawyers per capita in Italy: 494
    If we must compare over and over again, at least let's keep it honest.
    See how things get immediately sorted with some quick fact checking.

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