Amanda Knox has again been found guilty of murder by an Italian appeals court. The case against her apparently now rests on her confession that she murdered Meridith Kercher, her room mate. This confession has all of the hallmarks of a false confession. It was obtained after 72 hours of nonstop interrogation during which time Knox suffered sleep deprivation, the humiliation of body cavity searches performed in front of male police officers, and, she claims, physical abuse in the form of being slapped around. The fact that she made up false details in her confession, again characteristic of false confessions, has ironically been used against her and apparently contributed to the court’s decision that she was guilty.
For those who have difficulty believing that a person would falsely incriminate themselves, a simple test:
In Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, 130 people confessed to being witches. You can either believe that these were false confessions or you can believe in witches. There are no other options!
In the United States, you have the option of remaining silent and obtaining the services of a lawyer when police interrogate you. In many police districts, videotaping of interrogation and the confession is routine because of the well known fact that the rate of false confessions here is about 10% after 10 to 12 hours of interrogation. Under Italian law, Knox was denied access to a lawyer during her interrogation and did not have the right to remain silent.
Altogether, a most tragic miscarriage of justice.