Saturday, February 1, 2014

To Consider Deporting Amanda Knox Back to Italy is Bad Precedent for All Americans

Let's face it the American  judicial system is not perfect.   

Putting a defendant's fate in the hands of a jury is a gamble.  And a jury decision may not be correct or unpopular.  Most recent very public trials that people just don't agree with the jury decisions have been Andrew Zimmerman, OJ Simpson, and Casey Anthony to name a few.  

For many people, these three people got away with murder but the prosecution could not find evidence to convince a jury to convict. 

Most Americans know from as early as junior high school days and following crime dramas as Law and Order that  American citizens they cannot be tried again for the same offense because of the Double Jeopardy Clause.   

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides, "No person shall … be subject for the same offence [sic] to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." This provision, known as the Double Jeopardy Clause, prohibits state and federal governments from prosecuting individuals for the same crime on more than one occasion, or imposing more than one punishment for a single offense. Each of the 50 states offers similar protection through its own constitution, statutes, and Common Law-------The Free Dictionary 

This clause is the bane of prosecutors but good for American citizens who could be tried and retried until a verdict is reached to satisfy the government, which already has the deeper financial pockets.  This is a  great amendment and as Americans we should be pleased we are protected from government overreach.  

Unfortunately protection from double jeopardy for citizens in other countries is not the case and in other countries a person would always have to be looking over their back wondering if they would be re-arrested. 

The protection of not being subject to a retrial after being found innocent does not exist in Italy and well I stand corrected in most nations. 
Most Americans remember the case of Amanda Knox (American) and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito (Italian) who were convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher (British) in 2009.  In 2011 the conviction was overturned.  

The first conviction was overturned by a second Italian court because of what appears to be forced confessions by Knox and Sollecito and prosecutor. 

Well, because Italy does not have a Double Jeopardy Clause, Knox was tried again in absentia and Raffaele Sollecito, unfortunately for him remained in Italy, and were both found guilty again.  

 For  Italian citizens who don't have a Double Jeopardy Clause the results might not be all that upsetting.   

But all Americans---whether you like Miss Knox or not---should be outraged that there is even the discussion of deporting her back to Italy to serve a sentence that should be legally repugnant by most Americans. 

The Italian legal system blew it two times and and wants to correct itself a 3rd time. 

For the  the United States Government to even consider deportation Knox  back to Italy would be bad precedent for current American living in the United States as well abroad.  

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