Amanda Knox, the American woman who spent almost four years in an Italian prison following her conviction for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, and was later exonerated, has signed a petition supporting Keith Alan Raniere’s demand that federal prosecutors fill out and sign an affidavit declaring there was no prosecutorial misconduct in the Raniere prosecution.
There were only four signatures on the petition to support the demand for prosecutors to sign the affidavit.
Knox came to worldwide notoriety when she, aged 20, called the police after returning to her flat following a night spent with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and finding her roommate, Meredith Kercher’s bedroom door locked and blood in the bathroom.
During the police interrogations that followed, the conduct of which is a matter of dispute, Knox reportedly implicated herself and her employer, Patrick Lumumba, in the murder.
Initially, Knox, Sollecito, and Lumumba were all arrested for Kercher’s murder, but Lumumba was soon released. In the initial trial, Knox and Sollecito were convicted and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively.
Known burglar Rudy Guede was arrested a short time later following the discovery of his bloodstained fingerprints on Kercher’s possessions. He was later found guilty of murder in a fast-track trial and is currently (as of 2020) serving a 16-year prison sentence.
Pre-trial publicity in the Italian media (and repeated by other media worldwide) portrayed Knox in a negative light, leading to complaints that the prosecution was using character assassination tactics.
A guilty verdict at Knox’s initial trial and her 26-year sentence caused international controversy, as U.S. forensic experts thought evidence at the crime scene was incompatible with her involvement. A prolonged legal process, including a successful prosecution appeal against her acquittal at a second-level trial, continued after Knox was freed in 2011.
On March 27, 2015, Italy’s highest court definitively exonerated Knox and Sollecito.
The European Court of Human Rights ordered Italy to pay Knox nearly $21,000 for failing to provide legal assistance and an interpreter when police initially questioned her in the 2007 murder case.
Knox subsequently became an author, an activist, and a journalist. Her memoir, Waiting to Be Heard, became a best seller.
Knox evidently sees some similarities in prosecutorial misconduct that she says she experienced in Italy and what has happened to Raniere. It is unclear as to how well Knox knows the facts concerning Raniere and his trial and what influence, if any, she can have on public opinion.
There are many people who think Knox is guilty and there are no shortage of websites where the evidence and motives for the murder are discussed, with some siding with Knox’s guilt and others are convinced of her innocence.
Unlike Knox, very few who have studied the evidence think Raniere is innocent and does not deserve to go to prison.
As for the other three signatories on the Raniere affidavit petition they are
Walter Pavlo – who is a speaker on white-collar crime and federal criminal cases. He has made appearances for the FBI, U.S. Attorneys Offices, Big-4 Accounting Firms, Top-Ranked MBA Schools, Law Schools and major corporations across the country. He writes for Forbes Magazine and is an author of several books.
Valentino Dixon spent 27 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
Exonerated and freed from prison in 2018, the Buffalo man accused the Erie County District Attorney’s Office of destroying and fabricating evidence and threatening witnesses in his case.
He claims that police and the DA are plagued by a culture of misconduct and that he was not alone in losing his freedom because of it.
Diana Davison is the founder of The Lighthouse Project, a Canadian non-profit that helps people falsely accused of sexual assault. Diana has assisted with cases including social media accusations, preparing for criminal trials and exposing cases of wrongful convictions.