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When people discussed the case of Amanda Knox, they kept coming back to the fact that she confessed. Why would an innocent person admit to a crime that they did not commit? At the time of her confession (2007) public criticism of police officers was uncommon. Most people still treated them as referential figures. Their actions were not questioned. In recent years this has changed.

The Black Lives Matter movement in the United States has started a discussion on the actions of police officers and the methods they use to illicit confessions from suspects. Obviously, police officers being responsible for the death of a person is unacceptable and this should rightly be the focus of the conversation. Using coercive methods to gain a false confession is a very serious issue and can have long term effects on the innocent person who confessed.

In a letter to the Italian court during her second trial in 2014, Knox said the following happened during her interrogation:

“We have to recognise that a person can be forced to falsely confess by being tortured psychologically…They lied to me, shouted at me, threatened me, they slapped me on the head twice…They told me that I would never again see my family if I could not remember what happened to Meredith that night.”

She claimed that the interrogation violated her basic rights as it was conducted without either a lawyer or translator present. This letter plus the contaminated evidence and media scrutiny led to the judge in this trial overturning the conviction handed down to Knox.

Since her name has been cleared, she has pursued a writing career and is using her experience to help other people who going through a similar experience to her.

-Michelle O’Brien
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

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