Amanda Knox Is Not An Assassin

Today Amanda Knox begged an Italian court to free her, asking them not to brand her as "what I am not." Reasonable request, but it's a little too late for that.

The jury is expected to issue a verdict on Knox in the next few days. Unfortunately, as several recent articles point out, Knox has already been tried in the court of public opinion - and lost. Anyone following the trial of Amanda Knox by now probably knows not only the basic story—in brief: Knox is accused of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher while on a semester abroad in Italy—but also the intimate details of Knox's life, from her toilet-flushing habits to her sex toy of choice. The trial has painted over Knox again and again, casting her first as a sex-crazed sadist, and then as a sweet, overgrown child. It's come to the point where Amanda Knox, the 22-year-old from Seattle, has been completely lost behind all the lurid layers. Her "angelic" face has provided the perfect canvas onto which both prosecution and defense have projected discordant images, each supposedly grounded in analysis of Knox's behavior.

Today Knox revealed that she is "scared of having the mask of an assassin forced onto me." She reportedly appeared in tears, trying desperately to convince the jury of her innocence. She said she has been trying to remain calm even though she is "disappointed, sad and frustrated" after spending two years behind bars. She also says she remains "confident and certain in what I know."

But it may prove difficult for the jurors to separate fact from fiction. And there has been a lot of fiction in the trial. In closing arguments, the prosecution described Knox as a "Luciferina," a "dirty-minded she-devil." One prosecutor, in what seems like an attempt to create a real-life version of one of those sepia-toned flashback scenes from CSI, stood in front of the jury and asked them to imagine what Knox could have said to her roommate before raping and murdering her:

You are always behaving like a little saint. Now we will show you. Now we will make you have sex.

Of course, there is no evidence Knox ever said this. There is also no evidence that she was even in the room. But they're not even saying she said this, just that she might have. Timothy Egan for the New York Times' Opinonator asks:

What century is this? Didn't Joan of Arc, the Inquisition and our own American Salem witch trials teach civilized nations a thing or two about contrived sexual hysteria with a devil twist?

Answer: apparently not.

Amanda Knox Revisited [Opionator]
Amanda Knox Has Lost The Battle For Public Opinion [Newsweek]
US Suspect Knox Urges Italain Court To Free Her [AP]