By Rod Zook
HUTCHINSON — She was accused of a crime she did not commit and went through jail time and a trial that lasted for years. Now Amanda Knox is an advocate for those who are wrongly accused. Knox was the last speaker for the Dillon Lecture Series for 2021. Knox says she was practically convicted before the case could go through the legal system.
"I was arrested five days after the crime was discovered, before really any evidence was really available," Knox said. "I think what’s really telling about that is that the prosecution and the detectives sort of decided upon a theory before they actually had any evidence. And that is how this whole case unfolded."
Knox now spends her time supporting those who have been wrongfully accused of crimes. She says it is hard to get wrongful conviction cases overturned.
"One of the major obstacles to getting a wrongful conviction overturned is just the sense of they don't exist," Knox said. "And if they do exist they are so, so rare that all these claims of innocence could not possibly be based on reality."
Knox also says that her case was an early onset of how crimes, criminals and victims are perceived today.
"I realized from very early on in my case that it was an early sign of where we were going to be heading in terms of tribalism and in terms of echo chambers," Knox said. "It really all comes down to a rather adversarial mindset that is beset with confirmation bias."
And it's not just one side of the spectrum, according to Knox.
"It’s not to say that there are good people on this side and bad people on this side, which is how it is often portrayed," Knox said. "Instead, it’s these facts are meaningful to me and prove my point, and these facts are inconvenient for me so I'm not going to acknowledge them. And that happens on both sides of issues."
Knox, who is a journalist, says the media coverage of criminal cases needs to be narrowed down to the areas of factual information and portray what is in the public interest. She also praised her friends and family who stuck by her during her eight-year ordeal.