Friday, June 10, 2011

Knox in News: Seattle Judge Calls on Obama

Judge Mike Heavey Sr, is back in the news today. You know, the Seattle judge seen here at the home of the Knox family; the one who made the ridiculously erroneous statement, that Amanda Knox “was interrogated for almost two days without food or water,” at which time “she told officials what they wanted to hear." Apparently the Knox family was not eager to correct the good Judge and his ill-attempt at accurately presenting the facts. Apparently Judge Heavey is a neighbor of the Knox’s and his oldest daughter was a high school classmate of Amanda’s.

In any event, the King County Superior Court Judge, in his “capacity as a private citizen,” has written a letter to President Barack Obama, calling for him to launch an executive inquiry into the State Department’s entire handling of the Knox case. Judge Heavey’s letter to Obama cites seven violations of Knox’s rights under Italian law that he says “should have set off alarms at the Embassy in Rome” since the earliest days of her arrest and incarceration; yet Heavey says consular officials did nothing.

Heavey wrote to Obama that the “profoundly unjust process” has had a detrimental effect on U.S.-Italian relations. What the judge fails to point out is that it is fallacious statements, like the one he made in the first paragraph above; or CNN’s special Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story; ABC’s piece on Knox (on 20/20)—that have caused a spike in anti-Italianism in America.

However, the Amanda Knox saga has not affected our relations with Italy, politically speaking. Obama and Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, ham it up in the pic above. Italy and the U.S. are still NATO supporters, and just a couple of months ago (in a continuing effort) representatives from both countries met in Washington to discuss the possibility of arming rebels in the fight against Muammar Qaddafi.

The United States and Italy cooperate closely on major economic issues. Moreover, according to a July 2009 statement from David H. Thorne, the United States Ambassador to Italy (appointed by President Obama), “The relationship between Italy and the United States has a long and rich history that dates back to the arrival of the first Italian immigrants on these shores in the 1800s—I am living proof of the close ties between Italians and Americans…Italy has been an important and steadfast friend and supporter of many of our foreign policy goals, both bilaterally and globally.” I think you get the picture.

Again, in the letter, Judge Heavey points out what he believes are seven violations of Knox’s rights under Italian law.

In #1 he asserts that the night Amanda was arrested, she was denied food and water and police “cuffed on the back of her head.” This is a claim that Knox made and is the reason why she is currently on trial for slander—as well as are her parents. Judge Heavey has no way of proving that Amanda was hit by police, and this “allegedly cuffing” should in no way be used as a fact, as the judge is using it.

In #3 he cites Italian law as stating that every interrogation must be recorded and Amanda’s was not. This is a valid point; although, the interrogation was not admissible in court. So, are we to throw out the trial based on this, even though it was not used in court? Judge Heavey knows better.

In #4 he proclaims that during her questioning/arrest, Amanda “was not allowed to have an interpreter to assist her in understanding the questions put to her, the charges against her, or anything else.” There was an interpreter at that interrogation, Anna Donnino, and she testified during the trial. Moreover, Amanda herself testified to the presence of Anna as the interpreter during that interrogation.

So, what does the judge expect to accomplish from this letter? Does he expect to have Obama and his men call Italy and say, “Stop the trial, this farce has gone far enough, we are the United States, after all?” I don’t think so. In my opinion, this letter was written just for effect—as a way to gain more supporters for Amanda’s cause and to add another voice (albeit being a judge at least looks like a legitimate one) to the already overhyped Knox PR campaign. Surely he knows that this letter does nothing to warrant any U.S. intrusion into the case, particularly at this point in time.

Nonetheless, Judge Heavey was charged on 8 June 2010 by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, (CJC) for speaking out in support of Amanda Knox, according to the West Seattle Herald. Judge Heavey is charged for having used court time, materials, and employees to draw up those letters. He wrote three letters to the prosecutors and a judge in that case in Perugia on County letterhead in 2008 while Knox was in prison awaiting trial.

1 comment:

  1. Even outside the context of the Knox trial, this is truly scary. For a judge to form a conclusion about an accused person's innocence or guilt without informing himself of all available facts is probably not all that uncommon, but to broadcast his ignorance so flamboyantly makes one think that either he is either very stupid or he is being handsomely rewarded.