Over at World Net Daily Ann Coulter has once again insisted that Amanda Knox was guilty of murder, in spite of an almost complete absence of evidence or motive tying Knox to the crime. Amanda Knox, if you don't know, is an American student who was studying in Italy and wrongly convicted of murdering her housemate, Meredith Kercher. (The real perpetrator, a thug named Rudy Guede, was convicted of the crime after his bloody footprints, fingerprints, DNA and semen were found all over the crime scene. He lied and said he was only a spectator, that Amanda Knox and another housemate, Raffaele Sollecito, committed the crime, even though there was no DNA or fingerprints or bloody footprints from either of them anywhere near the crime scene, despite Mignini's misrepresentations to the contrary). Guede's lies were not unrewarded: his 30 year prison term for murder was reduced to only 16 years. Knox and Sollecito were later sentenced to 26 and 25 years, respectively -- based only on the imagination of Prosecutor Mignini. Note the irony: the actual murderer got ten years less than two innocent people. Italian justice would appear to be little more than a bad joke.
Knox had nothing to do with the crime, and the extensive scenario described by a ruthlessly dishonest prosecutor was nothing more than a fantasy. The prosecution's "evidence" has been thoroughly debunked by former FBI agent Steven Moore and Forensic Engineer Ron Hendry, Mark Waterubury, PhD, among others. Indeed, there has been a growing crowd of voices who have reviewed the evidence and have concluded that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are innocent. Nevertheless, Coulter continues to repeat disproven prosecution arguments as if they were fact, showing that her grasp of the case is entirely superficial. For instance, she argues:
1. That Amanda Knox falsely implicated her boss, Patrick Lumumba, in the crime, "to throw suspicion off of herself." However, that's not true. The prosecutors had found a negro hair at the murder site and suspected Lumumba, who is black. They wanted Knox to implicate Lumumba so they could arrest him. In a rigorous and exhausting all-night interrogation of Knox, where she was denied sleep, water and food and often slapped on the back of the head "to help her remember," the prosecution obtained a false and coerced "confession": Knox was asked to "imagine" a scenario where Lumumba took part in the murder, and she gave the imaginary scenario as requested, to stop the tortuous ordeal of an abusive interrogation and finally be allowed to drink water and sleep. (Note: I recently saw a documentary unrelated to this case that proved false confessions are easy to obtain through aggressive techniques such as these. That's why they are illegal in most western nations.) Lumumba was arrested, but had an air tight alibi and was soon released. The negro hair, however, belonged to the real killer, a black man named Rudy Guede who was later convicted. No problem for the prosecution: they dropped Lumumba and inserted Guede into their fantasized scenario of group sex turned murder. [See more about false confessions here.]
2. That the break-in had been "staged" by Knox and Sollecito to hide their own guilt. The evidence: broken glass from the entry window was scattered about the room on top of clothes on the floor, which were allegedly thrown around to make the room appear ransacked by a burglar. If the clothes were thrown around after the break-in, they would have been on top of the glass, not the other way around. Therefore, the prosecution concluded that Knox et al must have broken the window AFTER they had strewn clothes around to simulate a break-in. The "staged break-in," however, was nothing but unproven speculation.
The truth: the entry room was very small and the resident who lived there had very limited closet space, so she stored a lot of her clothes on the floor. Some of her clothes were dirty and in messy piles, and so when Rudy Guede broke the window with a rock, the glass naturally landed on top of these existing piles. The clothing was not put there by Knox or Sollecito. Further, the rock that broke the window damaged the wooden window shutter, hit the floor, hit a paper bag on the floor, and rolled to a stop further in the room, where it was later found. Coulter bases her argument simply on the false scenario painted by the prosecution, who had prejudged the case from the beginning and was looking for "evidence" to support its preconceived notions.
3. That investigators determined there were multiple assailants in the murder. Actually, this isn't true at all. The prosecution, bent on getting convictions at any cost, simply lied about it. There is no physical evidence to support this claim. The only fingerprints, footprints and DNA in the murder room (besides those of the victim) were those of Rudy Guede. Even the unflushed feces in the toilet were those of Guede (based on DNA testing). There is no credible physical evidence or motive that ties Knox or Sollecito to the crime...none at all.
Coulter's latest column indicates that Knox must be guilty because some liberals are supporting her, and it's not a question of guilt or innocence, but of conservatism vs liberalism. If convicting two innocent people of a crime they didn't commit and ruining their lives helps conservatism, it isn't obvious to me.
However, the question of Knox and Sollecito's guilt or innocence isn't about partisan politics. It is about two young people wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit, by a seemingly unbalanced prosecutor who has now been convicted himself to a 16 month prison term for prosecutorial irregularities in another case.
I am very much disappointed in Ann Coulter. Her latest publicity-seeking gambit displays a slippery grasp of the facts, and is based on popular rumors and falsehoods, all of which have been disproved. If this is an example of Coulter's intellectual honesty and rigor, then why should anyone believe any of her arguments on any subject? I say this as someone who has read most of her books (including her most recent, Demonic) and who has defended her on many an occasion, as my posts in this blog will show.
Right now, in Italy, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are apparently winning their appeals trial (all of the prosecution's so-called DNA evidence had been thrown out) and it is expected that they will be exonerated and released by the end of this month. After almost four years of wrongful imprisonment, these two young college students may be able to resume their lives.
If any readers want to know just how thoroughly the prosecution's case has been debunked, visit this site:
Related post: "At Long Last, Ms. Coulter, Have You No Sense of Decency?"