October 28th, 2008
06:54 PM ET

One woman killed, another in jail: justice?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/28/art.knox.jpg caption="Amanda Knox, suspect in Kercher's death, is escorted out when leaving a court hearing in Perugia, Italy yesterday."]
Alessio Vinci
CNN Rome Bureau Chief

It's a crime story with characters that could have been plucked from a best-selling international mystery. Meredith Kercher, a British student murdered in a small medieval town 2 hours north of Rome. And three suspects: Amanda Knox, an American student from Seattle, Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian who at the time of the murder was her two-week old boyfriend and Rudy Guede, an African born in the Ivory Coast but raised in Italy.

Investigators claim they killed Kercher when she refused to take part in a drug fueled sexual orgy. All three have denied the charges . But now Italian court has ruled there is enough evidence to send Knox and Sollecito to trial. Guede had opted for a fast track trial, and has now been convicted.

Kercher was murdered last November. The suspects have been in jail since then. It took investigators and judges almost a year to indict them.

It may seem inconceivable that a suspect can be kept in jail for a whole year before facing trial (judges turned down several requests to allow house arrests instead). But the Italian legal system is notoriously slow.

Of course time never goes by quickly when you sit in a prison cell. Italian media write that Knox has spent this past year learning Italian and Chinese. She reportedly hopes one day to walk the Pacific Crest Trail and to visit India.

In correspondence monitored by prison officials and leaked to the Italian media, Knox says she had to fend off sexual advances from other inmates. But she also writes that Kercher's parents "have suffered more than anybody else."

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Global 360°
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Sharon

    Every individual deserves a timely and fair trial. Fair does not mean easy, but it does mean an honest and reasoned accounting of the facts. The death of Ms. Kercher is heart-rending and warrants a sombre treatment by the courts. However, in order for justice to be served, for all of society, trials should be dealt with expeditiously. Don't forget that Ms. Kercher's loved ones have been left in limbo while the courts take their sweet time bringing this matter to court.

    October 28, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  2. JC-Los Angeles

    It's the height of hypocrisy to put the Italian legal system and their untimely manner of processing cases on trial especially when dealing with a sociopath like Amanda Knox.

    To read that "time never goes by quickly when you sit in a prison cell" is that last thing that anyone should be concerned with in this case; the innocent victim no longer has the luxury of time.

    At best, Ms. Knox is a lying, conniving, attention-seeking misfit who lives in a world of make believe; at worst and most likely, a remorseless, sociopathic, murderer who believes she can seduce a jury, be set free and travel the world in her demented madness.

    October 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  3. Cindy

    I remember when this happened and it was all over the news. I can't believe it's been a year and they are just now getting an indictment to go to trial. What's harder to believe is they kept Knox and Sellecito in jail all of that time. That is unreal! And some people think our court system sucks!


    October 28, 2008 at 7:15 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    Spending a year in jail before even being charged – the wheels of justice do turn very slowly in Italy. I hope in the end that justice is served in this case.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 28, 2008 at 7:13 pm |