If she confessed, it must be true, right?

Amanda Knox and the arms of the police

Amanda Knox is a young woman who was released from prison in October 2011 by an Italian appeals court. She and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, had been imprisoned since 2007, accused of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher. She had been sentenced to 26 years in jail.

There was supposed physical evidence, but it was weak and likely tainted. There was no reasonable motive for the murder. The most damning evidence was Ms. Knox's confession.

If you confess to a crime, you must be guilty, right? What could be more clear?

Except in many cases, a confession under interrogation is similar to a confession under torture. The confession is simply not true.

Here's an excerpt about Ms. Knox's 14-hour interrogation, from a June 2011 Rolling Stone magazine article called The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox:
Two female officers, who had been chatting informally with Knox, invited her to an interrogation chamber.

"Let's go back over what you did that night," they asked her. "Start with the last time that you saw Meredith."

"Again?"

"Again."

But they went slower this time.

"What did you do between 7 and 8 p.m.?" they asked. "What about between 8 and 9?"

"I don't know the exact times," said Knox. "But I know the general series of events. I checked my e-mail, I read a book, we watched a film, we ate dinner...."

More officers kept entering the room. An interpreter showed up. The tone sharpened.

"But Raffaele says that you left his house that night."

"What? That's not true. I was at his apartment all night."

The interrogators became angry.

"Are you sure? Raffaele said you left his house."

"I didn't."

"If that's a lie, we can throw you in jail for 30 years."

"I'm not lying."

"Who are you trying to protect? Who were you with? Who was it? Who was it?"

This bit went on for hours.

There was now chaos in the room. The Italians were shouting at her, arguing with one another, calling out suggestions.

"Maybe she really can't remember."

"Maybe she's a stupid liar."

"You're either an incredibly stupid liar," said Knox's translator, who was sitting right beside her, "or you're someone who can't remember what you know and what you did." The translator, changing tactics, explained that she had once been in a gruesome car accident in which she broke her leg. The event was so traumatic that she suffered amnesia.

"Amanda," said the translator, "this is what happened to you. You need to try to retrieve those memories. We'll help you."

Knox, ever-credulous, started to ask herself what she might have forgotten.

"C'mon," said the interrogators. "You were going to meet Patrick that night." "Remember. Remember. Remember."

"We know it was him."

Knox shook her head.

"Remember."

Boom — someone slapped her on the back of the head.

Knox closed her eyes. A scene began to play out in her mind. She imagined Patrick Lumumba's face. At 5:45 a.m., after breaking down in tears and screaming Lumumba's name ("He's bad, he's bad"), Knox signed a confession. Written in Italian, it declared that Knox had accompanied Lumumba to the house on the night of November 1st. She had been standing in the next room while Lumumba stabbed Kercher to death. When Knox signed the confession, the interrogators all started hugging one another.
The appeals court did find Ms. Knox guilty of slandering Mr. Lumumba, the man who, during her interrogation, she had named as the killer, but he had an alibi and was not charged. The court sentenced her to three years for that crime, but since she had already served four years, she was released from prison.

Read the entire article: The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox - How a naive kid from Seattle was coerced into confessing to a brutal murder and wound up sentenced to 26 years in an Italian jail, Rolling Stone>>
- Crime author, Knox prosecutor butted heads, CNN>>
- Murder of Meredith Kercher, Wikipedia>>


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