The reinstatement of the conviction in Italy of American citizen Amanda Knox for the murder of her roommate while they were students in Perugia prompts Jason Mazzone at Balkinization to ponder her likely fate if the relevant crimes had occurred in the United States and she had been prosecuted in an American court:
Under those circumstances, the most likely place Knox would be today is in prison serving a lengthy sentence. This is because, as is true of the vast majority of criminal defendants facing trial, Knox would have pled guilty pursuant to a plea bargain—in exchange for a reduced sentence or dropped charges or some combination of both. As it is, Knox might well never spend another day in prison and certainly she will not be in a cell anytime soon. From that measure, the Italian criminal justice system probably serves Knox better than would that of the United States.
In the mainstream media, Matthew Dowd at ABC News asks a different provocative question:
What would our decision be if an Italian citizen came to this country, was implicated in a gruesome murder, was convicted by a court and lost ultimately on appeal, and that Italian citizen was now living back in Italy? My guess is many would be demanding this Italian be extradited and sent to prison here so justice would be done. ... What if Knox, instead of being an attractive young white female, was an older rough looking Latino. Would we still hold the same viewpoint that Italy's judicial system is messed up?
Meanwhile, the judge who reinstated the conviction is being criticized by the lawyers for Knox's co-defendant for his statements after the reinstatement, which the lawyers say show prejudice. Judges in Italian courts do not typically comment on cases before an opinion is published.