“Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy”

Three years after being convicted of murdering her roommate in Italy, Amanda Knox is facing more troubles.  The trailer for a Lifetime movie this coming Monday has released portraying Knox as guilty while her trial is still on appeal in the Italian courts.  She is claiming that this movie will infringe on her constitutional rights and may be used against her presumption of innocence under the Italian constitution.  Knox was not informed that a movie was being made about her before the trailer came out.  Does freedom of speech still apply when it could hinder someone’s rights in another country?  Can the movie actually be used against her or is it just one interpretation of what may have happened given that she was actually convicted to 26 years?  The trailers have already been pulled off the internet, but so far the movie is still set to air on Monday even with a filed complaint by Knox’s lawyer.

10 comments

  1. People should be entitled to express their interpretation of events without interference from the government. This is essentially what journalists do everyday. Journalists cover events and “report” about them to the public. Inevitably, these reports may contain some expression of opinion or bias. However, this should not stop the ability of these reports to be released. This is an important reason why there are so many different news networks and newspapers that cover and portray situations and events in varying ways.

    As someone who saw the film, I felt that the movie did not portray Knox as guilty, rather I felt it cast her in almost a favorable light. Every person who views the film will have a different opinion and create their own belief about Knox’s guilt or innocence.

  2. While I think Lifetime probably should have waited until after the conclusion of Knox’s appeal, I think that the movie was a lawful exercise of Lifetime’s right to free speech. Lifetime calls the movie “based on a true story” and never claims it is anything more or less. The network employed some artistic license with several scenes, but, having read several articles, I do not believe the scenes that are not true to life will affect Knox’s legal rights in Italy. For example, one scene covers the discovery of Knox’s DNA on the murder weapon, but incorrectly identifies the location of her DNA on the weapon. While the movie indicates that the DNA was on the handle, in reality Knox’s DNA was located on the blade. Since evidence of the DNA’s location on the weapon has already been admitted, the movie’s incorrect portrayal should not hurt Knox’s appeal.

  3. I spent well over 1000 hours studying this case. The movie is full of errors and contains occurrences indicating guilt that never happened and there is no record of anywhere. I think settlement should be in the neighborhood of $500,000,000 just to get their attention and let them know that they will be held responsible if they present things in a movie said to be factual and some of the facts are neither accurate or true. It’s good to have freedom of speech but one must be careful that what they say is true or be held liable. The people responsible for the movie should be held liable. Also wikipedia and the amateur administrators / editors should be held liable for using the Murder of Meredith Kercher article to publicly prosecute Amanda and Raffaele. If Jimbo Wales does not put a stop this activity he should be liable also.

  4. Liz Locher said “It seems the good people of Italy have took notice of this fiasco. Nobody but a fool would be in favor of a conviction without credible evidence. It could happen to them or anyone. Power corrupts and we must be careful to keep those we allow power in check.”

    I’ve seen many news article that said Amanda’s DNA was found on the blade near the handle. Also I have seen many article that said Amanda’s DNA was found on the handle. The woman working for the police that examined the Knife was caught giving false testimony in court. This is documented on page 256-257 in the judge’s motivation report. How can we conclude anything this person says is true. Likely she did find Amanda’s DNA on the blade but that does not sound incriminating enough so she changed it to being found on the handle. The authorities also said that the parking garage CCTV cam timer was found to be 10 minutes slow. Later they changed it to 10 minutes fast to support their case. The defense provided conclusive proof that the cam timer was in fact 10 minutes slow. How is it possible to accept anything the authorities said as truth when they have been caught giving false testimony on numerous occasions?

    The parking garage CCTV cam is not mentioned one time in the judges motivation report. I think this is because the cam caught them in numerous lies. The police said they arrived at the crime scene before Raffaele called the police. The video from the CCTV cam indicates this is not true.

    The CCTV cam provided quiet a bit of evidence. It captured Guede arriving two times before Meredith got home(Guede admitted he was there when Meredith got home) and it recorded Meredith arriving home at approximately 8:41 pm and she did not know Guede was in the apartment. At 8:56 pm Meredith called her mom but the call was interrupted, likely by Guede’s surprise attack. Likely by 9 pm Meredith was dead. Apparently the authorities shifted the time to include Amanda and Raffaele in the crime. It seems Mignini wanted a satanic cult bust to look good for him as he stood trial for abuse of power. One person can not be a cult.

  5. One more thing. The judge’s report has it taking Meredith 30 minutes to walk home from her friend’s home where she spent the evening. A friend recently went to Italy and made the same walk in 6 minutes. Is someone blowing smokes up our rears? Apparently so.

    Apparently the authorities did quiet a bit of time shifting trying to make the time of death 11:30 pm however nothing supports the time of death as 11:30 pm and the woman that said she heard a scream at 11:30 pm also said she heard people running away from the apartment. Experiments were conducted that provided proof that it is impossible to hear people running from inside her apartment with the window closed as she said it was.

  6. The judge’s motivation report said that Amanda cell phone records contained evidence that Amanda was not at Raffaele’s home the evening of the murder, and identified a cell tower that they said did not service Raffaele’s apartment that the call connected with. On the following page of the motivation report four call are listed that were made from Raffaele’s home, that connected with the same cell tower. You would think they would be more careful with their deception.

  7. I do not practice law in the U.S., however for what it is worth, this is my opinion.

    If they made a film about Susan and Bill and a murder of Emily Smith in Utrecht, Holland that roughly paralleled the facts of the Meredith Kercher murder case, then as an artistic production, there is no problem with it being a protected form of expression with the usual disclaimer. In addition, if they made a documentary and drew conclusions based upon evidence expressed in the documentary, it would be a clear example of freedom of speech. It would be clearly seen as expressing a viewpoint. Anyone can then challenge the “evidence” and challenge the reasoning and conclusions. This is true as long as they don’t deliberately make false statements or claims which they know to be untrue with the intention that other people believe those statements to the detriment of Knox and Sollecito.

    What they did was make a move “based upon a true story.” They used actual people and places, and ostensibly tied the story to actual events. In my opinion, if one implies that some of the material depicted is factual, it implies it all is, for who then can separate fact from fiction? Unlike a documentary, the movie does not contain any “reasoning.” In my opinion, if they omit important information or worse, intentionally misstate information (which can occur simply by “dramatizing” known “facts,”) at a time when they know or should know that the facts may not be established (they are under appeal and in the Italian system not even the verdict is final until the appeals are exhausted,) then they should be subject to civil remedies, at least. In my opinion, the Lifetime movie could be viewed as a veiled attempt to influence people, including possibly members of the court, to make a decision based not on facts adduced in court, but rather on speculation and dramatic license used to make a profit. This is particularly true in the Italian system, where trials move slowly and no one is sequestered.

    In my opinion, this is no different than stealing a persons image and reputation. If, in order to get people’s attention, I were to photoshop images of myself with public officials and major personalities from the entertainment world and if I were to write a story about a case I had claiming my client’s name was Donald Trump for example, I would be subject to being successfully sued, and rightly so. In this case, by using the real names and circumstances of real people to sell what is substantially a “fiction,” they have first, associated any inaccuracies in their movie with a real person and with that real person’s reputation, and second, traded on the image and name of real persons to sell what is, in substance, an unrelated product — a fictional story, — without their permission and by placing it under the guise of a factual biographical piece.

    As I said, I don’t practice in the U.S., so I don’t know whether remedies for this exist there, but they should.

  8. The crux of the issue seems to be that the film was “based on a true story.” Although Lifetime should have waited until after the appeal to air the film, the issue is current and the story was based, however loosely, on the evidence presented at trial. Everyone has preconceived notions about Knox’s guilt or innocence, so to say that the movie will affirm her conviction is not necessarily true. Lifetime has taken artistic license, which can be solely attributed to their use of “based on a true story.” Even though I believe Lifetime was within their rights, they could have been more neutral on the subject of what actually happened behind closed doors. The way in which the story was put together originated from the circumstantial evidence presented at trial, which sometimes draws the incorrect conclusion of guilt or innocence. We will never know exactly what happened that night, but neither will Lifetime. I believe that they were within their rights to tell a story, but I also think they may have narrowly escaped liability with that one meaningful phrase, “based on a true story.”

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