Backlash against American student Amanda Knox's conviction in Italy has already begun: her parents are talking to the media, Hillary Clinton might get involved, and of course, somebody's blaming hookup culture.
Knox is reportedly on suicide watch, and one of her lawyers has announced that he'll appeal her conviction, focusing on the fact that none of her DNA was found at the crime scene. Meanwhile, some Americans supposedly "vowed to boycott Italian holidays, wine and food," at least according to The Sun. And Sen. Maria Cantwell, of Knox's home state of Washington, says, "I think what happened [Friday] is we had a decision in which it seems the overall impression of Amanda Knox by the press in Italy and the overwhelming amount of attention given this case may have prejudiced the jury." She continues, "I think it's important for both of our countries to make sure that justice is served and that there is a rule of law and a standard that people believe in." Cantwell plans to ask the EU to put pressure on Italy, and she will request a meeting with Hillary Clinton regarding Knox. Says Clinton, "Of course, I'll meet with Sen. Cantwell or anyone who has a concern but I can't offer any opinion about that at this time."
Knox's family members swear she's innocent, and are preparing to begin the arduous appeal process — it could be a whole year before her appeal even goes to trial. Meanwhile, her defenders continue to question the objectivity of the Italian court. Time writer Nina Burleigh tells ABC,
People here in this town [Perugia] have been reading these stories ... 'Sex Game Gone Wrong,' 'Drug Fueled Sex Game. They believe that scenario is real, that it's true. [...] A lot of people think that this verdict has a lot to do with the power of the prosecutor, the power of the police in this town and the fact that once this train started to roll ... the jury and the judge in this case were very leery of stopping it.
Not everyone is so supportive. Says the murder victim's brother, Lyle Kercher, "We're pleased that we got the decision but it's not a time for celebration." According to Libby Purves of the London Times, it's a time for an indictment of "fling culture." Here's her version of the crime:
We live in a transitional age where sexual licence is concerned: those who embrace it enthusiastically (bragging of having strangers on trains, like Knox) remain uneasily aware of old taboos. They can become shrilly angry if anyone seems to disapprove, possibly because deep down they are not sure they wholly approve of themselves. It is not hard to see how hostile Amanda Knox could become to her sober flatmate; and how, assisted by drink, drugs and admiring men, it could lead her into a vicious folie à trois. And thence, confused, to a drunken, clumsy cover-up and a chilling flippancy (even turning cartwheels) at the police station.
Purves says it's inaccurate to portray Knox as "sexually adventurous," and that "these people" (people who have casual sex? People who get accused of brutal throat-slittings? Are they one and the same?) are simply "randy and needy, and afraid or incapable of love." Purves continues,
What is really sad though - see, even I jib at saying "wrong" - is the idea of "adventurousness": sex made "zipless", gourmet, divorced from affection, understanding, wonder or hope. You clock a hot piece, pull, mate and discard with hardly a name-check. It rounds off the evening but blunts your humanity. Many grow out of it and find faithful partnerships. Some find later life haunted by it. Some misunderstand the other party's intentions and are devastated, or become stalkers.
At worst, a few confuse the general tolerance with permission to bully and coerce.
That's right, ladies. Better keep your pants zipped — or you might end up murdering your roommate and spending your life in an Italian jail. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Amanda Knox: U.S. Backlash Grows As Hillary Clinton Is Called In Over Jailing [Daily Mail]
Clinton In Knox Vow [Sun]
Fantasy World Fuelled By Sex, Drink And Drugs [TimesOnline]
Foxy Knoxy On 'Suicide Watch' [New York Post]
Knox "Completely Surprised" By Verdict, Parents Say [MSNBC]