Amanda Knox to face a 16-year-old defamation charge in an Italian court and represent herself

Amanda Knox is set to return to an Italian courtroom this week to defend herself against a conviction for slander that dates back 16 years. She’s hoping to finally clear her name in this legal battle.

The murder of Kercher gained global attention when Knox, who was just 20 years old at the time, and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian, were suspected of the crime. It had only been a week since they started seeing each other.

In their initial trial, Knox and Sollecito were found guilty, but the verdicts kept changing before they were eventually cleared by Italy’s highest court in 2015. Following her first acquittal, Knox returned to the United States in October 2011, where she now has two young children and co-hosts a podcast with her husband. She is also actively advocating against wrongful convictions.

Despite the conviction of Rudy Hermann Guede, a man from Ivory Coast whose DNA was discovered at the crime scene, Knox’s slander conviction persisted, which continued to sow seeds of skepticism regarding her involvement in the murder. This legal blemish, especially in Italy, has cast a shadow of doubt over her innocence.

Under Italian law, Guede was given a 16-year prison sentence, and he served 13 years of that sentence before being released. This sentence was handed down after a fast-track trial, which typically results in lighter sentences.

Last November, Italy’s highest court dismissed Knox’s slander conviction in light of the European court’s ruling. The court deemed the two police-typed statements inadmissible and directed a new trial. The Florence court was instructed to only consider the handwritten statement Knox wrote in English several hours later.

She clarified her position on the confession made the previous night, stating that she had serious doubts about the accuracy of her statements. Her clarification highlighted that the statements were made under extreme pressure, shock, and exhaustion, which may have affected their truthfulness.

According to Sal Kassin, a leading expert in the field of false confessions, the statements that Knox signed adhere to a pattern commonly seen in false confessions.

According to Saul Kassin, a psychologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, it has been observed that the majority of false confessions include factual details that are not yet disclosed to the public, along with “false-fed facts” that align with the police’s crime theory, but are later found to be false. Kassin highlights this phenomenon in his book “Duped,” which delves into the topic of false confessions.

According to Kassin, Knox’s confession was “contaminated” by the police, as it matched their theory at the time.

He wrote that it is absurd to hold her accountable for a statement in which she also implicated herself.

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