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What The Amanda Knox Case Says About Italian Justice

The not guilty verdicts in the Meredith Kercher murder case are a bitter pill for Italian investigators. That Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito walk free – after four years in prison – leaves no one satisfied.

Knox leaving the court after the Monday's verdict
Knox leaving the court after the Monday's verdict
Carlo Federico Grosso

And so the verdict is ‘not guilty." I don't know every piece of evidence, but my instinct tells me that it could not have gone any other way.

It is a shame that the murder of a young woman, Meredith Kercher, remains largely unsolved. We certainly can't say that the conviction of Rudy Guede soothes our consciences—indeed the new verdict that has freed Amanda Knox and her co-defendant and former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, adds only more nagging questions.

Still, the rules and safeguards of the judicial process must always be respected, and in light of the contradictory elements that emerged in the investigation and the trial, the jury (composed of both judges and citizen jurors) had no choice but to find the defendants not guilty. There wasn't sufficient evidence; and above all, there wasn't, in light of the contradictions raised by the defense, one consistent thread of proof to convict.

And so even if the rules were respected, prompting an exemplary sentence, the Knox-Sollecito trial is certainly not a victory for Italian justice. This is an acquittal that leaves a bitter taste. Who's to say the verdict in the case might have been different if there hadn't been errors, doubts, sudden changes of direction in the prosecution's strategy, incomprehensible discrepancies among experts and the failure of the forensic evidence? But since it could have been different, it would have been necessary to avoid such holes and contradictions, and not chase false leads. This of course didn't happen.

So inevitably, the discussion is bound to shift to the inefficiency of our judicial system and the abilities of our magistrates. By now, there have been too many murder cases in which the justice system has not offered up enough evidence to convince everyone, or anyone even. We must therefore reflect on the current state of the criminal justice system. The Trial of Perugia, if nothing else, will provide plenty of material for just such a reflection.

Read the original story in Italian

Photo - ITV

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Shame On The García Márquez Heirs — Cashing In On The "Scraps" Of A Legend

A decision to publish a sketchy manuscript as a posthumous novel by the late Gabriel García Márquez would have horrified Colombia's Nobel laureate, given his painstaking devotion to the precision of the written word.

Photo of a window with a sticker of the face of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with butterfly notes at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Poster of Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Juan David Torres Duarte


BOGOTÁ — When a writer dies, there are several ways of administering the literary estate, depending on the ambitions of the heirs. One is to exercise a millimetric check on any use or edition of the author's works, in the manner of James Joyce's nephew, Stephen, who inherited his literary rights. He refused to let even academic papers quote from Joyce's landmark novel, Ulysses.

Or, you continue to publish the works, making small additions to their corpus, as with Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett and Clarice Lispector, or none at all, which will probably happen with Milan Kundera and Cormac McCarthy.

Another way is to seek out every scrap of paper the author left and every little word that was jotted down — on a piece of cloth, say — and drip-feed them to publishers every two to three years with great pomp and publicity, to revive the writer's renown.

This has happened with the Argentine Julio Cortázar (who seems to have sold more books dead than alive), the French author Albert Camus (now with 200 volumes of personal and unfinished works) and with the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The latter's posthumous oeuvre is so abundant I am starting to wonder if his heirs haven't hired a ghost writer — typing and smoking away in some bedsit in Barcelona — to churn out "newly discovered" works.

Which group, I wonder, will our late, great novelist Gabriel García Márquez fit into?

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