OJ Simpson lawyer slams ‘lynching’ of Amanda Knox

Oct 19, 2009
Tim Edwards

John Q Kelly has made a blistering attack on the case against Amanda Knox, who is being tried for the murder of Meredith Kercher

John Q Kelly, the lawyer and nemesis of OJ Simpson, has called the case against Amanda Knox, the American student on trial in Italy for the murder of Meredith Kercher, "a public lynching".

The lawyer who masterminded the civil case against OJ Simpson, in which the former American football star was found liable for the death of his wife Nicole, was appearing on Larry King Live with Knox's parents, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox.

The interview began with King questioning the parents about last week's refusal by a judge to allow an independent assessment of the DNA evidence against Amanda, who along with her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, is alleged to have been involved in a drug-fuelled sex game with Kercher on the night of the murder.

The parents appeared to be putting a brave face on the decision by suggesting that not reviewing the DNA evidence may even be in their daughter's favour. Mellas said: "Maybe the court decided that they don't even need [a review]. That our arguments have already been good enough."

Curt then seemed to suggest the Italian police had only proceeded with the case against his daughter because they had already put so many resources into it. Referring to Rudy Guede, the man who has already been found guilty of the murder of British student Kercher, Curt said: "When they found out that Rudy Guede actually did it they were just too far into it and they've been trying to press [the case] ever since."

He went on to accuse the police in Perugia, the scene of the crime, of physically and psychologically torturing Amanda. But throughout the interview, the impression that Curt and Edda were clutching at straws was difficult to dispel.

Then Larry King turned to Kelly. The New York lawyer didn't hold back. "This case is probably the most egregious international railroading of two innocent young people that I have ever seen," he began.

"This is actually a public lynching based on rank speculation and vindictiveness. It's just a nightmare what these people are going through."

Kelly says he believes Amanda is the victim of a clash of cultures: her own perceived lack of emotion set against Italians' reputation for too much emotion. "It's almost because Amanda showed too much stoicism after the death of her roommate, who she barely knew... She did not respond in the way they wanted her to respond."

Kelly believes the judge's refusal to allow an assessment of the DNA evidence will stand the 22-year-old in good stead at appeal.

"There's no forensic evidence, there's no physical evidence: no motive, no opportunity, no confession, no substantive evidence whatsoever against Amanda," he said.

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