Tag Archives: Rome

Italian Protest Claims It Was Inspired By OWS. Turns Out Violent.

Well, color me surprised.  The Italians had their own “Occupy Wall Street” styled riot protest, and it turned out violent.  That seems SOOO unlike Europeans too.  And it sounds like unlike Liberals, now that I think about it.  Oh, well.  It could never happen here.  Right?  Watch the video below to see what a “peaceful” protest in Italy looks like.  (you have to watch it, if for no other reason, than to appreciate the soundtrack)  Enjoy.

 

Let us know what you think in the comments below.  Or on Facebook.  Or on Twitter.  Or if you’re not busy, you can probably have pizza with us this Wednesday night, and we’ll chat about it then.

Amanda Knox Could Still Be In (Double) Jeopardy

Yesterday, Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder.  If that had happened in the United States, she would be a completely free woman.  In our country, you cannot be tried for the same crime twice.  This protection is afforded under the Fifth Amendment and is known as Double Jeopardy.  Once you’ve been found "not guilty" or once you’ve been acquitted, the alleged crime is behind you.  Under this protection, O.J. Simpson could potentially go onto live television and tell everyone that he really did murder his wife, and there is no way he could be criminally prosecuted for it.  He would not go back to jail.  That’s how the justice system works in the United States.

But that is not how the justice system works in Italy.  Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder on Monday, but by Tuesday, Italian prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, had already told the media that he was going to try to appeal Knox’s acquittal.  Maybe you need a second to wrap your head around that…  Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder and is on her way home to the United States as I type this, but she is not 100% free yet.  The Italian prosecutors intend to take this to their country’s highest appeals court, the Court of Cassation.  Once there, that court can decide whether the original sentence where Amanda Knox was found guilty is the one that will stick, or if the recent acquittal which just set her free is the one that will stick.  Her final destiny has not yet been determined.

So while Amanda Knox is on her way home today, depending on how things shake out, she could be making a return trip to Italy in the future, and it wouldn’t be for tourism.  Say what you will about the American justice system, but double jeopardy is at least one thing our citizens don’t have to fear.  We’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

 

Amanda Knox Had An Angel From Idaho

When Amanda Knox steps out of the airplane and breathes American air on Tuesday, she might want to think about what she’s going to write in her "thank you" card to Greg Hampikian.  You may already know about Knox’s murder trial and subsequent acquittal in Italy, but you may not have heard about one of the men who played a pivotal role in setting Amanda Knox free.

When Dr. Greg Hampikian, a professor of forensic biology at Boise State University and director of the Idaho Innocence Project, decided to study how DNA evidence is used in other countries, he happened to stumble upon some facts that eventually led to Amanda Knox’s acquittal.

Hampikian said by chance he began looking at the DNA evidence in the Amanda Knox case two-and-a-half years ago.

"I was trying to study how DNA evidence is used in other countries, and when I looked at the data, I was appalled," said Hampikian.

The DNA evidence in question was found on a knife, the alleged murder weapon and the only piece of evidence that tied Knox to the crime.

But after a closer look, Hampikian determined the trace amounts of Knox’s DNA found on the knife were so small, they could only be tested once. His team at the Idaho Innocence Project also determined there was no blood on the weapon.

"When the DNA comes back and tells you you are wrong, you need to let those suspects go home and they should have done that four years ago," said Hampikian.    -NWCN.com

Dr. Hampikian’s observation is just one of the latest in a brave new world where we have begun to challenge the once "unquestionable results" of DNA testing.  Here’s an example he came up with that shows how people can be wrongly accused of a crime even though DNA evidence suggests they did it.

"In my lab, the team took knives from the Dollar Store. They collected coke cans from the office staff at the dean’s office, and I told them don’t change your gloves between every piece of evidence, do it between every other piece of evidence. And what happened is DNA from innocent staff people in the dean’s office got onto their gloves, got transferred to the knives, and when we swabbed the knives when we looked at those very low levels like they did in the Amanda Knox case, you start to see contamination," said Hampikian.

Dr. Greg Hampikian should be commended for his work, and Amanda Knox might think of sending him a "thank you" card.  While I hope none of us should ever have to benefit from his research, there are many people who inevitably will.