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I'm just surprised to see that the Kercher family is sad that the accused were acquitted.

Why do the Kercher family think that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are guilty?

Update: Here's a clue to the family's thinking:

Whether that faith would remain solid after the court of cassation’s ruling, however, was unclear. Although the family have always been careful not to personalise the legal battle, they may well find the definitive clearing of both Knox and Sollecito hard to fathom. An earlier verdict by the court of cassation, which found Rudy Guede, an Ivorian, definitively guilty of Kercher’s murder, specified that the murder could not have been carried out by him alone, and that he must have had accomplices.

How, therefore, the only other people who have ever been seriously considered suspects in the case are now to walk free – for good – as a result of the same court is likely to be a bitter pill for the family to swallow.


Hey, the Supreme Court annulled the conviction. Any thoughts? I'm sure this has come as a (pleasant) surprise to you.

I guess we'll know better when they publish their reasoning in 90 days.


Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.


Hello komponisto,

By 'why', I mean why do courts keep changing their opinion when the evidence is the same? I know you have written on this subject a lot before (which influenced my opinion) so here are some questions (perhaps some a little basic) I have about the case. (Some may be just rehashing old facts about the case.)

(1) You write that 'the Supreme Court has gotten the verdict it wanted.' Why does the Supreme Court want to convict Sollecito and Know? The appeals courts cited 'a complete dearth of evidence' when they acquitted Sollecito and Knox - which is what I think. How did the prosecution respond to this?

(2) In the room murder was committed, no DNA evidence pertaining to Knox and Sollecito was found. How does the prosecution explain that only one assailant (Guede) left traces of DNA but the two others left no such traces?

(3) It is said that the evidence shows that Kercher was killed by multiple people. What is your take on this? Do you think it was Guede and some other accomplice? If so, do you think Guede knows more than in fact he admits?

(4) Perhaps most basically, how did Knox and Sollecito get implicated in this crime? I mean there were a lot of witnesses being questioned but how did the police/investigators somehow get the idea that Knox and Sollecito were suspects?




There have been informed discussions of this subject on LW before.

Particularly to parties informed on the subject: Can someone explain the court's reasoning? I can't quite follow why Knox and Sollecito were first convicted, then acquitted and yet are convicted once again.


Thanks for sharing your experience. It was inspiring indeed.


The Inuit may not have 47 words for snow

The Inuit does not have 47 words for snow! Please, don't propagate this falsehood, especially on a 'rationality' blog.

Edit: Sorry I read incorrectly. My apologies! It says 'may not'...


I wonder if most of the responses to JJT's thought experiment consider the least convenient possible world. (Recall Yvain's insightful discussion about Pascal's wager?)

Most of the responses that I have read try to argue that if the act of killing a healthy person to steal his organs for organ-missing people were generalized, this would make things worse.

By the way, this worry about generalizing one's individual act feels so close to thoughts of Kant - oh the irony! - whose "first formulation of the CI states that you are to 'act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.'". (Does this sound like this "What happens in general if everyone at least as smart as me deduces that I would do X whenever I'm in situation Y"")?

But suppose this act were not to be repeated in the following (candidate?) least convenient possible world. Suppose a group of ethics students killed a healthy human to distribute his organs to organ missing people. They did this very secretly and only once to increase the total utility/happiness/quantifiable measure of goodness and they have no intention to repeat the act - precisely to parry the sorts of objections people have been voicing. And they have succeeded in increasing utility as the killed person was an ex-convict homeless guy with no family or friends. The saved individuals were cherished entrepreneurs and aging prevention scientists.

Now the question is, was their act of killing an ethical one? In a world where Eliezer Yudkowsky is the president and Less Wrongers are law-makers, should these people be jailed?

That said, I don't think objections such as these are knock-off arguments against consequentialism, the way they may look so. I will explain why later.


"If you object to consequentialist metaethical theories"

There is no such thing as a 'consequentialist metaethical theory'.

Consequentialism is a first-order ethical theory.

While most people here despise philosophy (see here ), I do wonder how much people actually understand philosophy.


If you (or anyone else) are still interested, I recommend this article . I think I'm pretty close to the position the author articulates.

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