vendredi 28 octobre 2011

Io non capisco come si possa passare davanti ad un albero e non essere felici di vederlo.

mardi 25 octobre 2011

Violent times?

I happened to catch part of Steven Pinker's interview on KUOW yesterday. He was in town for a lecture on the history of violence. Pinker, a psychology professor at Harvard and notable science writer, argues that the human species is less violent today than it has ever been. Not surprisingly, his point of departure is the Hobbesian view of man in the state of nature, as opposed to the more benign - some might say naive - view most famously put forth by Rousseau. For humans, life in the state of nature was, according to Hobbes, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short". Whenever I think of that phrase, I always mentally add the word "thankfully" just before short: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and thankfully short.

Pinker makes a forceful case (which you can read by clicking on the title above) for the civilizing effect of, well, civilization. If we think the world is more violent today, this is partly because violent incidents are blown out of proportion by the media, or so Pinker believes. He says we are basically fed a steady diet of gruesome news (perhaps because we ask for it?) and that, as a result, we have come to believe that we live in the worst of times when, in fact, compared with the past, we live in the best of times.

For many people, though, his panglossian thesis is counterintuitive, partly because, like it or not, we live in the present. And the present looks scary and violent, especially if you happen to live in America, where outlaws are not the only ones who have guns. Everyone seems to have them and be prepared to use them to enact vigilante justice as required. On my own facebook page, I happened to see a wall post praising gun ownership, which got many "likes" and elicited many comments, most of them of the "by the time the police arrive, I will have put any attacker away with my handgun" variety. Many of those posting were women. Go ahead, make my day! In the world they live in, danger is lurking around every corner and the best response is to shoot first and ask questions later if at all.

Get out yer knives

Has violence always been as random - everywhere and nowhere in particular - as it seems to be today? After listening to the well-spoken and mild-mannered Professor Pinker, I read an article in the Seattle Times about an unprovoked, girl-on-girls stabbing at Snohomish High School (north of Seattle) yesterday. A sophomore, described in today's paper as a "nice" and "quiet" girl, went after two freshmen girls with a butcher knife as they applied makeup and chatted before class in the restroom. One was in critical condition (today she is reported to be in serious condition, after six hours of surgery). She had been stabbed twice, once in the chest and once in the neck. Her friend was also stabbed, but was released from the hospital with no life-threatening injuries. Kids at the school told the Seattle Times that neither of the female victims is the type to get in fights or trouble. Another knife attack was carried out on October 11, 2011, by a young female perpetrator who chose her two female victims at random. One of the two died. The knife wielder apparently stole the knife used in one of the stabbings from a nearby butcher shop. This happened in England.

Are young women suddenly picking up knives and using them on their peers? Apparently, some girls carry knives as a matter of course or a fashion accessory these days.

vendredi 21 octobre 2011

The return of button; counting arroyos crows; the biz that keeps on giving

Now that the supertanker has pulled into port, the story about the creation of the narrative can finally begin to be told. We live in a world that needs an endless supply of stories. Just ask Scheherazade - whatever gets you through the night is all right.

Click on the title above and you will be taken to the Land of Marriott. In the land of Marriott, as Button notes, the media operates on the assumption that the American Public can't remember the day before yesterday. And in the business journal treatment of the Marriott PR Triumph (aka The Snow White Job), someone has forgotten that the script a month ago stated that there was no PR campaign and that anyone who believed there was one was nothing but a guilter and a hater. But now all that is swept aside so that Mr. Marriott, who looks like a cross between Colonel Sanders and a dumpling, can lumber up to the stage and accept kudos from one and all. After all, he was hired three days after Knox was arrested, for financial terms neither side will disclose.

Let's look at how the business journal spins the yarn:

Marriott was as important a player in [Knox's] ordeal as anyone in the courtroom. As Knox’s publicist, beginning three days after her arrest, Marriott worked to convince the international public that she did not murder her British roommate while studying in Perugia.

“Hiring him was one of the smartest things we ever did,” said Curt Knox, Amanda’s father.

The partnership between the Knox family and Marriott illustrates the potential of a public relations campaign to shift sentiment — and possibly even influence a verdict.

Like I said, if you have the right publicist, anything is possible! The right publicist can make water flow uphill and, once that has happened, can advise you on the best way to make the money you will need to pay for his services. That's the phase we're in now, folks. If you ever get in trouble, this is the guy you want working for you, feeding chicken shit to the masses and calling it chicken delight.

More from the Business Journal version of The Story:

Then, there’s the need for money. Curt Knox and Amanda’s mother, Edda Mellas — they are not married to each other — have each said they’ve drained their retirement funds, taken out second mortgages and accrued credit card debt to pay for Amanda’s defense. So, in this new phase, lucrative media deals will be a consideration.

At Marriott’s downtown Seattle office, he fields inquiries from book agents, screenwriters, news shows and movie studios. All want the Amanda Knox saga for their own. Some are offering big bucks. Marriott and the Knox family will be considering the offers, Marriott said — likely in a couple of weeks.

“There will be financial opportunities,” Marriott said. “I’ll be there to walk them through the opportunities.”

Vargas edits darkness out of the story where it suits her

If you have only watched morning television and the truly disgustingly bad mainstream network telling of the Marriott Fairy Tale, you will be excused for not realizing that Curt and Edda are no longer married to one another. They put on such a united front, and Elizabeth Vargas never once uttered the word "divorced" (focus groups show this does not resonate with viewers in a key demographic).

Ah, Elizabeth Vargas. Button has her number. Noting that ABC in particular had descended into "absolute Sleazeville" in its coverage, she makes a telling observation:

Did you happen to notice that Vargas tried to edit Meredith's mother entirely out of the press conference following the announcement of the verdict? As if she weren't even there. As if she didn't even exist.

Crow counting

The most interesting news item of the week was provided by a local blogger called batgurrl on her Crows of Arroyos* blog. Seems she was out counting crows and ran into the paparazzi assigned the task of hanging out and getting "candid" (LOL) photos of Knox in hiding.

Then on my way home I see the same two cars parked in the same spot. As I walked by one of the guys was out talking to the other again. I said “Whatcha up to?” even though I had it pretty much figured out. They proceeded to tell me they were making a living. I teased them they were “Professional Stalkers” and they teased me back that I was a “Crow Stalker”. While I was watching them they were watching me earlier. Guess it is pretty boring sitting in a car waiting & waiting.

Next they said they had given the family their cards and were invited to a BBQ last night over there. One of the guys started showing me his photos and said he had made over 200k on them. OMG no wonder they sit in cold cars for hours but it was like they were justifying their being. And did they really get invited into the house? One has to wonder.

Incidentally, some native American tribes - and the Irish - believe that crows symbolize the souls of the dead.

* The Arroyos is a fairly ritzy neighborhood (Marine View Drive) with spectacular waterfront views and properties, which unfortunately is located next to the dicey area called White Center, but referred to, not altogether unfondly, as Rat City.

mercredi 19 octobre 2011

I Occupy Wall Street, Mentally

Who me?
I'm with Lemony Snicket. (Click on title or read below or both - I recommend both.)

Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance

1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.

2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.

3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.

4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.

5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.

6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.

7. Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.

8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example.

9. People gathering in the streets feeling wronged tend to be loud, as it is difficult to make oneself heard on the other side of an impressive edifice.

10. It is not always the job of people shouting outside impressive buildings to solve problems. It is often the job of the people inside, who have paper, pens, desks, and an impressive view.

11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.

12. If you have a large crowd shouting outside your building, there might not be room for a safety net if you’re the one tumbling down when it collapses.

13. 99 percent is a very large percentage. For instance, easily 99 percent of people want a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and the occasional slice of cake for dessert. Surely an arrangement can be made with that niggling 1 percent who disagree.

lundi 17 octobre 2011

samedi 15 octobre 2011

Power to the people

Unfettered capitalism sucks. Enlightened self-interest is a myth.

mardi 11 octobre 2011

Some humans ain't human

Late last week, a photo of Meredith Kercher's temporary grave surfaced on the internet in connection with a related story on the family and its hardships. It did not take long for certain depraved souls (do the depraved have souls?) calling themselves Amanda Knox supporters to begin making a series of mocking, heartless tweets. Several people who were distressed by these tweets sent them to me. You don't want to see them, you really don't. Apparently, Daniel Sandford of the BBC saw them, and saw as well that they had not escaped the notice of the Kerchers. He has tweeted his indignation on their behalf.

Daniel Sandford #meredithkercher family complaining that some #amandaknox supporters are mocking her grave on Twitter
Il y a 7 heures via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Thank you, Daniel Sandford.
And to the twits calling themselves supporters of Amanda Knox, this is what you are mocking. Human grief. Immense suffering. Irreparable loss.

dimanche 9 octobre 2011

More fallout from the Knox/Sollecito acquittal on appeal

Click on the title for a link to the most recent opinion piece by Wendy Murphy, entitled Celebrity overshadows facts in Knox acquittal. Wendy Murphy is a leading victims rights advocate and nationally recognized television legal analyst. She is an adjunct professor at New England Law in Boston. She writes an occasional column for Tina Brown's Daily Beast.

The Seattle Times has wisely contracted with freelancer Andrea Vogt, who provides welcome details of the political and diplomatic back story of the rather controversial acquittal, as well as a transcript of Hellmann's remarks to the press in Italian, with a translation. It is almost unheard of for a judge to talk to the press, in particular prior to having written and released the motivation report, which explains the verdict.

jeudi 6 octobre 2011

America's angelic OJ

Guest post by Ilana Mercer, lifted shamelessly from a website I do not agree with politically. But she gets it right, facts and all.

A must read. Possibly the best thing written on the vicious murder of Meredith Kercher to date.
Posted: October 06, 2011

© 2011
The conviction of America's sweetart du jour, Amanda Knox, was overturned this month. Based on O.J.-like evidence, Knox was convicted of murdering her British roommate. The vicious and depraved Nov. 1, 2007, killing took place in the historic, university city of Perugia, Italy. Police bungling notwithstanding, the biological and circumstantial evidence stacked against Knox and her former lover, Raffaele Sollecito, was considerable.

Ann Coulter offered up a few tart tweets about Knox's exoneration:

•Amanda Knox not guilty, Casey Anthony rolls eyes, says; 'we'll, duh…'"
•"Amanda Knox begins search for real killer."
The once-convicted killers were declared innocent, no less, and released, due in no small part to a PR blitz mounted by Knox's family and their Seattle-based publicist. They were assisted by the country's national media, left and right. With the exception of Bill O'Reilly, former homicide prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle and Jeanine Pirro, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC – all worked tirelessly on behalf of the attractive, white kids. The conviction of Rudy Guede the American media let stand. Guede, the pretty pair's (alleged) partner in crime, is a black man who lacked their appeal and assets.

Nor did Megyn Kelly, Shepard Smith, Wolf Blitzer, Piers Morgan, Dr. Drew, Oprah (on and on) give the time of day to the victim's family. In defense of our homegrown popularizers and poor thinkers, however, the Kercher family was way too classy to partake in the circus created by the ugly Americans and their aides.

In Italy, as a commentator pointed out, everyone is under investigation, including the prime minister. In the U.S., too few jurists and politicians are investigated and jailed. The American media have no issue with the Patriot Act. They are not in the habit of calling for arrests pursuant to the wiretapping of Americans without a search warrant. Laughably, the same lot has accused Knox's Italian prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, of unspeakable corruption: Mignini will serve time for … ordering illegal wiretapping in the case of a serial killer (the "Monster of Florence").

Answer this, Megyn Kelly: Has Mignini exceeded the corruption quotient of King County Superior Court Judge Mike Heavey? This Washington state justice abused his office (my state, my taxes) to petition members of the Italian judiciary on behalf of Knox, in violation of Washington state's code of judicial conduct.

Besides the famously contested Kercher and Knox DNA found on the knife at Sollecito's apartment, the victim and the alleged perpetrator's blood comingled elsewhere in the house they shared.

In the bedroom of another roommate, Filomena Romanelli, for example.

Ms. Romanelli's room was the scene of a staged burglary. Why staged? Glass shards were found scattered atop Romanelli's ransacked belongings, rather than beneath the items. The break-in was reported by Team Knox and Sollecito. Well before Romanelli had returned to verify his say-so, Solecito told police that nothing was missing. When the police arrived on the scene, Knox and Sollecito kept them away from Meredith's locked door with a ruse: Their friend, they promised, was in the habit of locking her door. A lie. When roommate Romanelli returned, she demanded that the locked door be broken down, claiming the exact opposite.

More mixed blood was found in the bathroom the women shared. As Daily Beast correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau reported, unflinchingly, "Luminol which detects prints left in blood, bleach, and certain acidic juices" helped uncover a Knox footprint on the bathmat, which Knox excused by saying she took a shower right after noticing blood on the mat. American broadcasters failed to divulge too that there were ample partial fingerprints at the scene of the crime, which could have been smeared during the cover-up.

Nadeau, who is the author of the book "Angel Face," reported that "countless forensic experts, including those who performed the autopsies on Kercher's body, [had] testified that more than one person killed [Meredith] based on the size and location of her injuries and the fact that she didn't fight back – no hair or skin was found under her fingernails."

Rafaelle Sollecito was unable to corroborate Knox's alibi on the night of the murder. She had claimed she was with him and that they "cooked dinner, watched a movie, smoked pot, and had sex." Conversely, Sollecito said he had been downloading cartoons from his personal computer at the time of the murder. But according to Nadeau, computer experts were able to confirm that there was no activity on his PC during those hours. In eerie synchronicity, Sollecito and Knox had switched off their cell phones during the night of the murder. Despite claiming to have slept in, the cells were turned on early the next morning.

On Nov. 5, 2007, after cartwheeling and canoodling with Sollecito at the police station, Knox framed Patrick Lumumba for Meredith's murder and rape, which she claimed to have overheard. (At that stage, only the cops knew Ms. Kercher had been sexually assaulted.) Lumumba was Amanda's innocent employer. Knox even committed this evidentiary concoction to writing in a five-page memorandum. Later she blamed police for making her. Amanda's allergy to the truth cost Lumumba – another black man who remained voiceless in the American media – his livelihood and reputation.

"[W]e live in an age of violence with no motive," said Amanda Knox's besmirched prosecutor, alluding to the subterranean irrational forces that so often propel evil. Particularly well-placed to take the measure of Amanda was David Jones of the British Mail Online. For his exposé, the poor man had read Amanda's 80-page prison diary in its entirety. Jones had also consulted a professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, a top expert on sociopathic killers. The reporter described this "privileged 20-year-old daughter of a Seattle department store executive" as "vulgar and vain to the point of narcissism," as "pathetically self-pitying," a creature who regarded herself "as a cruelly wronged Shakespearean heroine."

Her own words revealed Knox to be disturbingly self- and sex obsessed.

Meredith's British girlfriends testified that their dead friend disapproved of the American girl's slovenly, slatternly behavior: Amanda was not in the habit of flushing the toilet, liked to entertain strange men in the home and to display sex toys and condoms in the bathroom. Tolerance for people who crossed her was not in Knox's nature.

Comprehending circumstantial evidence demands analytical and deductive thinking. These faculties are becoming rare in the Age of the Idiot now upon us, as was glaringly apparent in the deliberations of Casey Anthony's jurors. The average individual seldom reads; he knows only what is palpable and perceivable – what he can see and feel. If he can't picture something – see it happen on YouTube or on CSI – he certainly cannot think about it in the abstract.

Circumstantial evidence cannot be grappled with absent an ability to think in the abstract.

"If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" was the jingle that captured the "legal" argument that undergirded the O.J. Simpson case, one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in the annals of American justice. Adapted to Amanda Knox – whose case was determined in the U.S., not in Italy – it goes as follows: "If it wasn't uploaded on YouTube, you must acquit."

Sign o' the times

Zesto's doesn't just taste bad; it has bad taste.

Not to be outdone, Italian tabloid OGGI serves up Knox's "liberation" on the front page and a set of knives as its merchandising tie-in.

mercredi 5 octobre 2011

A tribute to Meredith that everyone can honor

I just got this email from a friend of the Kerchers. Please take a minute to update your facebook profile for a few days.

From: XXXX
Sent: mercoledì 5 ottobre 2011 22:54
Subject: Mez photo: hoping to go viral

Hi there,

I'm a family friend of the Kerchers, and was wondering if you could help out in a tribute that Stephanie wishes to pay to her sister? Mez's sister Steph is hoping for the attached photo and below facebook status to go viral, to redress the media balance a bit. Grateful if you could post it onto the PMF blog/facebook profile etc.

Many thanks for your help! And take good care,


Hi everyone, if you would like to show your support for Steph's tribute idea for her beautiful sister, please update your profile pic with this photo of Meredith Kercher x

Here's the photo:

Mez's sister Stephanie: looking for peace, looking for answers

You can read reactions to the verdict, the homecoming, the coverage of same and what the nattering class with merchandise to sell has to say all over the internet. You can go global or stay local. Jonathan Martin of the Seattle Times covered the arrival and media event at Seatac factually and correctly. He noted that there was a handful of supporters and a ton of media (see my post from last night).

Meanwhile, the likes of Donald Trump and crime maven and former prosecutor Nancy Grace, a passionate defender of victims on her nightly true crime show, have weighed in. King of Crass Trump says Knox could be a big star. Grace was not so grossly callous and beside the point. She said:

"I was very disturbed, because I think it is a huge miscarriage of justice," Grace told Access Hollywood after Monday's Dancing With the Stars show.

"I believe that while Amanda Knox did not wield the knife herself, I think that she was there, with her boyfriend, and that he did the deed, and that she egged him on. That's what I think happened," Nancy declared.

When asked if she would be interviewing Knox, Grace said no, adding that her show does not do paid interviews and that she thought Knox would not tell the truth anyway. So what's the point, she asked. Good question, Nancy.

mardi 4 octobre 2011

The morning after: Kercher family press conference

I'll be updating later today with a summary of the Kercher family press conference in Perugia this morning.

In the meantime, Meredith's father John Kercher had this reaction to yesterday's news:

While Amanda Knox’s family wept with joy after seeing their daughter’s murder conviction overturned, the father of the victim was incensed. Speaking from the family’s home in Surrey, England, John Kercher called the judge’s decision to free Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito “ludicrous,” saying last night’s drama had made a “mockery” of the original trial. “I thought the judge might play it safe and uphold the conviction but reduce the sentence,” he said. “But this result is crazy.

You can read it at the Mirror.

Both Andrea Vogt (The First Post) and Barbie Nadeau (The Daily Beast/Newsweek) sat down with Arline, Stephanie and Lyle for a face-to-face interview. Their own words are far more eloquent and gracious than anything I could ever produce. Sympathy for them is building, slowly but surely. Lots of discontent online over a verdict that appears incomprehensible to many informed observers, for reasons that Maundy Gregory has clearly explained.

UPDATE, SEATTLE: The Knox Entourage has landed.

There was a brief press event at the airport. It can't really be called a press conference, since there were no questions. First up, David Marriott, who masterminded the PR campaign that set Knox free and has destroyed any hope of closure for the Kerchers for some time to come. He gave the order of appearances and said Knox would not take any questions, "as is her right". Then Ted Simon, the Philadelphia lawyer and specialist in extradition, walked up to the podium and shouted rhetorically for a few minutes, signifying nothing. He was followed by the parents, briefly, and then Knox.

It may have lasted ten minutes. I watched it via a live stream. At one point,the reporter apparently did not know he was being live-streamed. He went ON AND ON about needing "crowd cheering" for the 6:30 newscast and how "We got DICK! We may need to dub something in."

Then "It's your wife's birhday, what the hell are you doing here?"

And the feed just went dead...

I don't know if it was the same guy who interviewed two fellow passengers on the flight. Having little to say, since Knox and Co disappeared right away, leaving the media to make chit chat, he decided to talk a bit about how not everyone thinks Knox is innocent. The camera panned to a discarded tabloid, the headline of which said something like Foxy Knoxy Now Free to Make Fortune. He opened it, to a two-page spread with a huge headline that said something like Our Meredith is Forgotten.

Oops! Cut to the chopper, quick! Yes, that's right, a KIRO chopper followed the motorcade as it made its way down the Burien freeway. Did I not mention the police escort. I suppose they all got rock star parking too!

I got a FB message today from my niece, a student at the University of Washington. This is a sad day for Seattle, she wrote. In their brief statement, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas asked the media for some privacy and space. But I guess the media, having gotten used to covering the coverage of the family, wasn't listening. Because they followed the chopper that followed the police escort that led the family to an undisclosed location that turned out to be Curt's house and called out to Curt for an interview. Well, he couldn't say no. They really wanted to talk to Amanda and one had the temerity to ask for her, but he was ignored.

I wonder if the crowd cheers got dubbed into the 6:30 newscast. And I also wonder why the television media wonders why fewer and fewer people believe much of what it has to say.

lundi 3 octobre 2011

Meredith's mom, brother and sister show grace under incredible pressure


It's now official. Judge Hellmann has overturned the earlier court's guilty verdict on all counts except defamation. This is a real blow to the Kerchers, even though this verdict is not final until Italy's highest court rules. The silver lining is that Knox was sentenced to three years for defamation, less time served. So she will be severely limited in terms of seeking compensation for wrongful conviction. The Kerchers have asked for an hour to compose themselves before giving a press conference. The people of Perugia are up in amrs over this latest verdict, shouting "Vergogna" (Shame!) after it was announced, and "give her to us, we know what to do with her". As Sollecito's rock star attorney Bongiorno spoke to the BBC, people in the crowd were yelling about the remembering the real victim, Meredith Kercher.

As Knox was led out of the courtroom, she looked totally distressed, more like someone who has just heard their conviction upheld. There is a photo on the cover of one of the regional newspapers that captures this look exactly as I saw it.


After this morning's courtroom finale, which I watched via live streaming, the judges and jurors retired to finish deliberations. Judge Hellmann's parting words were that this is not a football game. He mentioned Meredith by name and also noted that two others awaited their fate. He asked people to refrain from shouting, and to listen to the verdict in silence when it is delivered.

Arline, Stephanie and Lyle Kercher will be in court for the verdict, but decided to skip this morning's final pleas by Knox's attorney and then the two on trial. Knox's attorney did not have a good outing: lots of shouting, little substance. Raffaele seemed lost and unfocused, talked about how they took his shoes away at the Questura. He said he had never been asked to speak in the first trial - a very disingenuous statement - and that he had never said Knox left his apartment that night. This is not true, but he was not under oath. Knox was theatrical, emotional, and clearly anxious to come home. She skipped the damning details, did not mention the man she falsely accused nor apologize for it. Some are reporting that her speech was a success, whatever that means. She was pleading for her freedom.

In a surprise move, the three Kerchers in Perugia gave a press conference. They were amazingly poised under difficult circumstances. Journalists were allowed to ask a total of nine questions, 3 from Italian, 3 from British and 3 from other countries. Most tried to ask 2-part questions, which made things difficult for the Kerchers. There were too many questions about Knox, when what the Kerchers wanted to do was talk about Meredith.

I was asked to give my reaction after the verdict, but I have already thought about it and put my thoughts in writing. They don't depend on what verdict is reached by this court. Here they are:

In the event that guilt is affirmed:

I am not particularly surprised that the conviction was upheld. The amount and the force of the evidence against Knox (and Sollecito) are substantial. If people are surprised by this verdict, it is probably because most of the evidence went largely unreported in the US by all major news outlets. What this suggests to me is that hiring a PR firm is a poor substitute for seeking the best possible legal counsel in the country where the trial is actually occurring. The campaign may have won some hearts and minds in the US and perhaps even in Britain, but it did so to the detriment of the victim, Meredith Kercher, and even perhaps of Knox herself.

In the event of acquittal:

This verdict is contrary to what every other judge who has been asked to assess the same evidence has concluded. And I cannot make my own assessment of its merits until Hellmann issues his motivations. Prior to that, it would just be idle speculation. I will say, however, that this latest verdict will not be final until Italy's highest court reviews the case in the second and final appeal, which is automatic in Italy.

In any case:

Today, my thoughts are with and for the family of Meredith Kercher. This family has remained mostly silent and did not publicly celebrate the earlier conviction of Knox and Sollecito in December of 2009, although they said they were satisfied and convinced that justice had been done.
Recently, Meredith's mother and sister reiterated this position in a rare interview. But they also said they had no choice but to accept an adverse ruling. The many, many people in Seattle and around the world who share their view feel exactly the same way. And we plan to continue to support them through the final appeal, holding quiet vigil for Meredith Kercher in our hearts.
Personally, I regret that the Kercher family was dragged into a media circus not of their making, which, sadly, seemed designed to erase their beloved Meredith. For me, and for others, this is a second death for Meredith.

dimanche 2 octobre 2011

A tribute to Meredith Kercher

By my friend Macport:

Like many people from around the world, my thoughts and hopes are with the Kercher family tonight. May justice prevail for Meredith Kercher.

samedi 1 octobre 2011

Radell Smith speaks out for Meredith Kercher

Thanks for the plain talk, Radell. For your plain talk, a certain minor advocacy journalist has branded you a "hater" on twitter. You are in pretty fine company.