Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Amanda Knox Redux

Every other person on the web will be writing about Amanda Knox, but I feel compelled to add my two cents. I  became emotionally involved with this girl way back during her first trial. She seemed at once strong and vulnerable. During the appeals trial, at first it was obvious that she had matured during her prison ordeal and she seemed confident, participating in her defense. (I heard today that the prisoners and jailers where she has been kept were all very fond of her because she was, to put it simply, such a nice and good person.) As we watched the proceedings daily, we saw her crumble bit by bit, beaten down by prosecurtion threats and outrageous accusationss. Yesterday she had to be helpd into court and when the verdict came, as we all saw, she was near collapse and nearly carried from the court. Her lawyer said when he talked to her last night, she was joyful land grateful.
Her former boyfriend seemed lost in all the media focus on Amanda I didn't realize until this week that it was a joint appeals trial and his future too was at stake. Godspeed and a good life to him.
Amanda Knox tonight is presumably back in Seattle, safely hidden from the media, as she should be. She needs time, oh so much time, to process her experience, to realize it's over, to try to become herself again. Rosy endings aren't always rosy, and I can see hard times ahead for her and her family. In a way it may almost be like the caretaker whose patient dies--and then what do they do?
But a couple of thoughts occur to me--one day, I hope in the not too distant future--Amanda needs to ackowledge her debt to the media. If the media, mostly American but those from other countries too, hadn't focused on her, hadn't shown the spotlight on Italy and its legal system, she might well still be in prison--for a long time. Clearly she is innocent but if the case had remained anonymous, with no publicity, Italy and its legal system would not have been in the spotlight. As it is, they saved face by covicting her of slander but declaring the sentence fulfilled by time served. We're used to damning the media in this country for everything from politics to hero worship, but in this case we all owe a debt of gratitude--and Amanda Knox particularly.
My other thought is that she has been born again--not in the religious sense, but she surely has been given a second chance at life, and the world will be watching to see what she does with it. My sense is that she's become made of stern stuff, despite her courtroom breakdown, and I hope she will accomlish something big, again perhaps as a gesture of gratitude, of knowing she has been saved. Should she waste her life, it would be like all our angst was for naught.
I'm pulling for her. I think she'll make something of her second life. And those book deals that are bound to come along? I hope she stalls them for a long time. Yes, someday, there's a book there, and authors will be clamoring to write it. But haste...well, haste leads to bad decision.
Pray for Amanda Knox.

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