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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

December 11, 2009 at 3:59 PM

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Amanda Knox's trial and conviction

Posted by Letters editor

Thank you, Sen. Maria Cantwell

Thank you, Sen. Maria Cantwell for taking the lead in trying to resolve the terrible miscarriage of justice that has landed Amanda Knox in jail for the next 26 years [“Buckets of doubt,” Opinion, editorial, Dec. 8].

Knox was tried by a nonsequestered jury that was allowed to return home nightly to read the tabloid reports on an “already judged guilty” Knox; tried by a prosecutor who himself faces judgment in January for corruption and illegal wiretapping; an investigative team that allowed evidence to remain in the residence six weeks after the murder was discovered and handled by several people.

There are many other instances where evidence is flawed and basic investigative procedures were not followed. The prosecution’s chief witness, who lives across street from murder victim, Meredith Kercher’s house, claims she heard three people running from the home. Informal tests confirm it would have been impossible for the woman to have heard these sounds with her windows closed on a cold night in Perugia, Italy.

My reason for writing is to challenge the reader from Portland who chastised Cantwell, saying she was “out of line” for her criticism of the Italian legal system. This person also cites a miscarriage of justice of two Italians tried in an American court and executed over 80 years ago. If you must go back nearly a century to cite irregularities, I’d say there’s no comparison between American system of justice and the 12-month trial of Amanda Knox in Perugia.

— Dick Curtis, Issaquah

Senator’s comments show ignorance of the facts, case

Sen. Maria Cantwell’s statements show an ignorance of the facts in the Amanda Knox case [“Knox support network: friends, lawyers, scientists and a senator,” page one, Dec. 5].

Rarely does a defendant provide so much self-damaging evidence.

Knox provided a statement placing herself at the scene of the crime, while the crime was being committed, covering her ears to close out the victim’s screams. She was even able to provide police with the killer’s name, resulting in an innocent man being arrested. She then claimed she was actually at her boyfriend’s residence during the time of the incident, a claim he was unable to verify.

The faux burglary reported to police directly pointed to the murder suspect as being a resident of the house. The blanket thrown over the victim contained no blood transfer, showing that the body was covered long after she was killed.

Cantwell’s statement suggesting that the jury’s verdict was tainted by anti-Americanism again shows her ignorance of the case. There was another defendant on trial with Knox, his name was Raffaele Sollecito, and I don’t believe he is an American.

— Sam Hurst, Bellevue

A letter from Italy

Regarding the Amanda Knox verdict, the Italian judicial system has few similarities to the Anglo-Saxon system.

As an American who has lived for 34 years in Italy, I can assure you that the media coverage in the last two years has been balanced. Anti-Americanism here is political, not personal.

Knox lost her credibility when she accused an innocent Congolese man, her ex-boss, as the killer. Everyone was ready to believe he did it. During his two weeks in jail, the whole country believed he was the killer.

She lied to the police, changed her story, and possibly can’t remember what happened because of drug use.

A 26-year sentence in Italy will probably mean about 10 years, including weekend passes and then work release.

The British victim’s family was silent until the verdict. Then they expressed sympathy for the killers’ families. Maybe the Knox family should have followed their example, and spent less time and money in their professional public-relations campaign.

— Rita Dunn, Pistoia Italy

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