- The Erie County Bar Association’s annual Law Day Luncheon is held May 10 at the Bayfront Convention Center
- The keynote speaker is Amanda Knox, a Seattle author who made international headlines when she was convicted and ultimately acquitted in a murder case in Italy that began in 2007
- The Bar Association will also honor local lawyers and community members at the event.
Most Americans have a basic understanding of the United States legal system, especially its constitutional protections.
But other countries’ legal systems operate under their own set of rules.
Amanda Knox’s harrowing legal ordeal has put her in the compelling position of knowing the difference.
Knox, who was convicted and eventually exonerated in a 2007 murder case in Italy and became a journalist and bestselling author, is the keynote speaker at the Erie County Bar Association’s annual Law Day luncheon May 10 at noon at the Bayfront Convention Center. the association says he’s taking reservations until Monday.
the national law day the theme for 2022 is “Towards a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change” and Knox can speak to the importance of constitutional protections in the United States, said Erie attorney Craig Murphey. He chairs the Erie County Bar Association’s Law Day Committee, which recommended Knox as a speaker.
“We thought she would have an interesting perspective on American constitutional rights versus Italy,” Murphey said.
Knox, 34, of Seattle, spent nearly four years in an Italian prison and eight years on trial for a murder that Italy’s highest court ultimately ruled she did not commit. In 2015, the court overturned the convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, acquitting them both of murder charges.
While Knox was a University of Washington student studying abroad, she and Sollecito were first charged with the November 1, 2007 murder of Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British student. in Perugia, a central university town. Italy. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 and were first acquitted in 2011 by an appeals court, which cited a lack of evidence.
Both were re-sentenced in 2014and the appeal procedure ended with the decision of the highest Italian court in favor of Knox and Sollecito in 2015. Unlike the United States, the Italian legal system has no protection against double jeopardy.
An Ivorian immigrant, Rudy Guede, was the only person ultimately convicted of Kercher’s murder. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison and was released in November. Guede denied killing Kercher.
In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ordered Italy to pay Knox $20,000 in damages for the police’s failure to provide him with legal assistance and an interpreter. independent on the night she was questioned after Kercher’s murder.
Dispute on the film:Amanda Knox slams ‘Stillwater’ director for ‘fictionalizing my innocence’
Since her acquittal, Knox has made a career as an author, podcast host, journalist and speaker on issues including wrongful convictions and public shaming. His best-selling memoirs, “Waiting to be heard“, was published in 2013. She and her husband, Christopher Robinson, a novelist, host the podcast Mazesin which they “immerse themselves in stories of getting lost and finding themselves”.
To make reservations for the May 10 Law Day event, go to eriebar.com/events/ecba-events/1752-law-day-2022. The Erie County Bar Association can be reached at 814-459-3111.
Lawyers, other honorees
At its Law Day luncheon on May 10, the Erie County Bar Association will honor lawyers and community members with its annual awards. The association published the names of winners in advance. They are:
- Chancellor of the Bar Award – Erie Attorney Robert G. Dwyer. The award recognizes a member of the Erie County Bar Association who has been nominated by his peers for significant contributions to his practice, his attitude towards the court and his fellow lawyers, and his participation in civic affairs and life community, according to the association.
- Pro Bono Award—Robert C. LeSuer, Erie attorney. The award honors the pro bono efforts of a member of the Erie County Bar Association who has contributed to the provision of civil legal services to the poor.
- Liberty Bell Award – Lori Dolan, Past President of the Erie Chapter of the League of Women Voters. She has also served as the league’s president, vice-president and secretary and worked on numerous league committees. The Liberty Bell Award recognizes a local non-lawyer for community service that has strengthened America’s system of liberty under the law.
- Diversity and Inclusion Community Award — Tywonn T. Taylor is the inaugural recipient of the award. He is the director of programming for Mercyhurst University at the Booker T. Washington Center and is the founder of Careers and Dreams, an organization that supports and provides opportunities for inner-city youth.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.