This week the news includes the unusual warm debut of autumn we're having (no falling leaves for us here yet, just African temperature and lots of sunshine in what is like a prolonged Italian summer) and the usual government scandals. The list of women our local Casanova Prime Minister slept with reaches 131 presences. Its publication made some young ladies pretty angry because they didn't like seeing their names at the bottom of the list. They probably had no idea the list was casual, which gives you an idea about the level of aspired fame in the Bunga Bunga country.
But much of the coverage revolves around Amanda Knox's case. Four years after the brutal murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, for whom Amanda, her boyfriend of the time Raffaele and Ivorian friend Guede were found guilty and sentenced to 26, 25 and 30 years (cut to 16 years on appeals) in jail respectively, the court accepted to revise the case due to its complexity. Today there were the final arguments and a new verdict is expected on Monday. Amanda and Raffaele could be set free because of a review of forensic tests.
In the U.S. there seems to be a cinematic obsession with this story. Frankly, it's perfect for a film, almost a remake of the movie 'Midnight Express'. Just like American Billy Hayes, who was imprisoned in Turkey for 5 years for hashish possession, Amanda was wrongly accused of murder and is now imprisoned in Perugia. Once again, the good (America) against the evil (Europe), efficiency against awry Italian law.
The court wouldn't have accepted to look at this case with a fresh eye if it had been as corrupt as everybody claims. It's true, we've our flaws here, and I'm the first one to lucidily point at them in this blog, but there were too many disturbing aspects in this controversial trial. The court sentenced these people based on the evidence provided by attorneys, who ensured a fair trial and provided with a quality and ethical defense. The fact the court gave these guys a second chance at freedom means they want to look at the case with a fresh eye, which is a positive, civil sign to me. Now that the final arguments are over, I hope the jurors have all the elements to come to a decision. I read what experts say, it's very rare that one sentence would contradict a definite sentence, but you never know.
I don't have my own opinion. I didn't follow the case in detail. Too many countries are involved (Usa, UK and Italy) and each one has his own way of looking at it. America defends its student, Britain wants justice for the victim and Italy is keen on wanting to show justice is regular here, in the country where the facts happened. All have reasons but none seems fairly complete to me. Nobody can establish if Meredith was killed because of her criticism of Amanda's sloppy housekeeping skills and her habit to bring men in the apartment they shared, by a trouble Ivorian or if she ended up victim of an extreme sexy game. I only hope jurors wont' be influenced by any of the partial versions and will merely look at facts with their own eyes.
It's my sincere hope for Meredith in the first place. I don't care about Amanda. If she'll be set free, she is already in the spotlight, she'll find a way to survive with all the interviews to tabloids and books and films that will follow about her dramatic experience. But Meredith can't see the sun anymore because her exchange term in Italy costed her a life. Amanda and Raffaele studied, Raffaele earned his degree and she learned Italian, she's pretty fluent in it now. They weren't brutally treated like Billy in that Turkish prison. They were all properly nurtured. Meredith can't do these things anymore.
And I also wonder: do American students still want to study in Italy now? Like Sophie Egan wrote, "This country has far too much to offer for me to let an incident like this tarnish my experience." I can only add: come here, it's still safe. We don't condemn all innocent students in medieval prisons. And even if we do, we serve them pizza margherita weekly :))) La vita è bella here!