Florence Court of Appeals
Florence Court of Appeals

Florence trial: tomorrow January 9 closing arguments for Sollecito’s lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. January 16 rebuttals. Verdict expected for January 20.

Why do people accuse the accused, and don’t even want to hear it when there are reasons of innocence? There is already The State, the strongest power on earth, to do it! A whole prosecution office, a police station, and all the hierarchies above them. Plus one private prosecutor, plus another one, and another one, and another one…

Then there are the judges, who usually grant honesty and impartiality to their colleagues of the prosecution, but not at all to the defense lawyers, considered only a party. Or who often convict with no proof.

On the other side there are the accused, reduced to silence, insulted, broke, imprisoned maybe, and who can only count on their lawyers, private citizens with no powers at all, who at the beginning have to act in the dark, with no access to the evidence, and within a budget.

So, if you like to see the accused punished, if you are an avenger, you don’t have to do anything, you can just enjoy the show of The State, with its huge power and all its appendices crunching them. It would be extremely satisfying for you seeing those lives ruined, however it ends.

Same if you are a civil person and you happen to agree with the accusation theory: you can just watch the accusers convincing the judges and showing up on TV.

Giving moral support to that group of powerful accusers against someone who is in super trouble resembles indeed an act of cowardice, and it’s kind of too easy to do for a person of value.

If you are a critic, indeed, if you have something to tell to people, the way to show your value (if you have some) is to try to confute the accusation theories, to go against the power and the silent majority. Conforming to someone else’s opinion, indeed, can’t be the divertissement of a person with intellectual capability.

What is the purpose of trying to say that Amanda Knox is guilty, as the anonymous man on the street does? Yes, we kind of heard that! There are already plenty of public and private prosecutors to shout that, and they are always on the news. Why do you need to spend your life repeating it, and you even take possession of those ideas as if they came from you? Are you crazy?

That’s indeed what the anonymous man on the street does — he hears an accusation, but he certainly doesn’t have critical capabilities. He naturally buys into it, and, when he’s particularly motivated, he feels obligated to repeat it, as if he were its author..

Perjury Hero

When he’s on location he even becomes a mob, and he goes to shout his “crucify” outside of the court. And he’s still anonymous, cowardly camouflaged in the multitude. Or he can be an established lunatic who stands out in the crowd and goes on to testify to having seen the accused in a compromised situation, like Toto and Koko, those sinister drug dealers, did (nothing new, in other cases there were many more of those mythomaniacs).

Lunatics of the World Unite

As we have experienced, crimes attract those crazy people, even distant ones, who in their delusion become convinced of having a mission of helping with lynching the accused.

If you get obsessed with a crime, if you think the prosecution needs your help, and you find yourself gathering with others, campaigning to convince as many people as possible of the guilt of the accusers, or thinking that journalists should write what you want, and you do all this with the idea of avenging someone you didn’t even know, then you are not just the average man on the street — you should go see a good psychiatrist. You don’t differ, indeed, from Toto, the tramp, except that he is more intelligent than you; he at least understood that if you want to influence a trial, you actually have to get into that trial and release a false testimony. Otherwise you can type a thousand comments a day, you can open as many lynchers’ websites as you want, you can tweet to as many journalists as you can reach, you can insult and slander critics, judges, scientists, you can make up stories…. Nobody cares. But, particularly, the trial doesn’t care. (Actually, there may be a trial for you soon…).

Lunatics aside, next time we will see exactly how the scholars of the case perceived it along its history, why they had the chance to know it better than the judges, and why they altogether today agree that the Supreme Court was wrong in reopening the case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Frank Sfarzo and Colleen Conroy