The crime charges presented against Amanda Knox involve the murder crime. In November 2007, Kercher was found killed in the bedroom at her cottage in Italy. Amanda became the primary suspect in the case. According to the investigators, Amanda had behaved extraordinarily which attracted their attention. Amanda was an American citizen and had served almost four years in the prison after her conviction for the murder of Kercher whom they were sharing the apartment. Amanda called the police officers after realizing Kercher’s bedroom was locked, and there was blood in the bathroom. Knox was arrested and questioned where she served three years in prison after her appeal was accepted and released. The court proceedings were not fair to the defendant, and the case lacked foundation (Annunziato, 2011).
The court system, in this case, applied the adversarial approach where the court was not involved in the investigation of the evidence. However, the adversarial system involved convincing the judge by the prosecutor that the evidence presented in the court is sufficient. Knox was questioned repeatedly which involved aggressive interrogation which included about 12 police officers against one suspect. The investigation process did not aim at seeking the evidence but interrogating the suspect which increased the possibility of incrimination. The interrogation process was also against human rights since, in various instances, Knox was hit by the officers calling her a liar and stupid. The officers even during the interrogation claimed that the suspect will serve thirty years in jail and will never see her family again.
Outcomes of the Case
After Knox filed an appeal, the Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that Knox’s case did not have a solid foundation. Therefore, the defendant’s defamation conviction was upheld, but she had already served three years in prison. However, instead of ruling that there were errors in the previous court proceedings and investigation, the court only ruled that Knox was innocent in the involvement of murder. Also, in September 2015, the court also wrote a report which portrays that errors were raging from the investigation to the court processes of the case. The lower court had committed the culpable omissions which involved ignoring the testimony from the expert concerning the contamination of the evidence (Gill, 2016).
Legal Process Compared to the United States
The legal process applied in this case is different as compared to the criminal justice system in the US. For instance, in the American process, the suspect is innocent until proven guilty which opposite of the Italian system as portrayed in the case. The US process also offers a state attorney who ensures all the legal procedures have been followed as stipulated which is different from the Italian approach. In the US there are Miranda rights which protect the defendant from self-incrimination, but the investigators, in this case, were forcing the suspect to incriminate herself. The investigation process in the US could have aimed at conducting a forensic investigation which could link the suspect to the crime, but it was not done in this case. However, the process has few similarities as compared to the US system since the defendant was offered an opportunity to file an appeal to the fact which was accepted. The suspect is also provided a trial before a judge which is similar to the United States’ system (Montana, 2016).
Michael Fay Case
Michael Fay is a US citizen who was convicted of the vandalism of vehicles in Singapore. However, in 1994 the suspect was sentenced for six strokes of the cane for the charges of theft and vandalism which he is claimed to commit at the age of 18. The defendant was advised to plead guilty to preclude the caning, and the plea was false. Fay confessed that he never vandalized vehicles and the only crime which he had committed was stealing of the road signs. The caning system is a routine in the criminal justice system in Singapore which raised the controversy in the United States (Soon, 1994).
The proceedings, in this case, portrayed the Inquisitive Legal system since the defendant was compelled to give evidence. Fay was advised to plead guilty for the vandalism of the vehicles which is a crime he did not commit. The court also plays a significant role finding which leads to the lowering of the strokes from six to four. The system also involves strict rules of the evidence and the procedures. The judge played a significant role in performing the witness examination and calls the defendant to testify first. At this point, Fay testified and pleaded guilty which led to the imposition of the six strokes of cane according to the Singapore legal System (Morse, 2009).
Final Outcomes of the Case
According to the Vandalism Act of 1966 Singapore applied it to counter the spread of vandalism which involved property. Therefore, Fay sentenced in March 1994 for four months in jail and an excellent $2,214 also six strokes of the cane. However, Fay’s defense lawyers filed an appeal which held that the Vandalism Act offered to cane for the severe forms of graffiti. The US president by that time Bill Clinton held that the punishment imposed to Fay was extreme, and after consultations with the head of state, the strokes were reduced from six to four and later he was released from prison. The US system did not allow such punishment on a juvenile since there was an approach followed by the juvenile offenders in the United States as opposed to Singapore.
Legal Process Compared to the United States
The Singaporean legal system has portrayed significant differences as compared to the procedures followed in the criminal policy of the US. The juveniles in the United States are prosecuted in the juvenile courts which aim at the rehabilitation of the minor offenders as opposed to the system in Singapore which focus on the punishment through caning an offender. On the other hand, the Singapore system has no special courts for the minors, but they are prosecuted in the same approach as adult offenders. The US legal system could have handled the case using the due process instead of stokes as applied by the system in Singapore. The defendant was ill-advised to enter in a plea bargain where he confessed falsely fully to engage in vandalism of the vehicles which is not acceptable in the American system. The legal advisor is expected to guide the defendant positively in the case (Soon, 1994).
However, some of the procedures applied are similar to the American system since the defendant has a right to be tried by a jury in court. Also, the offender has been offered an opportunity for plea bargain which is also in the US system. The defendant also is provided with a lawyer for the legal aid which is similar to the US system where the defendant has a right for legal counsel and the offenders who cannot afford the lawyers are offered state attorneys (Torres, 2003).
Annunziato, S. (2011). The Amanda Knox Case: The Representation of Italy in American Media Coverage. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 31(1), 61-78. doi:10.1080/01439685.2011.552697
The Convergence of the Administrative Laws of the EU Member States. (n.d.). The Europeanisation of Law: The Legal Effects of European Integration. doi:10.5040/9781472562142.ch-009
Gill, P. (2016). Analysis and implications of the miscarriages of justice of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 23, 9-18. doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2016.02.015
Montana, R. (2016). The prosecution in Action in the Italian Criminal Justice System: The Amanda Knox Case. Transmedia Crime Stories, 167-188. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-59004-6_8
Morse, M. S. (2009). Designing for electrical safety that can withstand legal scrutiny. 2009 IEEE IAS Electrical Safety Workshop. doi:10.1109/esw.2009.4813974
SOON, T. K. (1994). Missed Opportunities for a Humane Style: Impressions of the Goh Chok Tong Years in Singapore, 501-512. doi:10.2307/j.ctv1nthkn.52
Torres, S. (2003). US Americans and ‘Us’ Americans: South American perspectives on Comparative American Studies. Comparative American Studies An International Journal, 1(1), 9-17. doi:10.1179/147757003×327239
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