Friday, December 11, 2009

Jeanine Pirro A Former Powerhouse Prosecutor Weighs In Accurately On The Case

Posted by Peter Quennell



Jeanine Pirro is extremely well known and much admired and respected around New York because she was a FORMIDABLE District Attorney for Westchster County.

Westchester County is directly north of New York City and it is one of the two or three most wealthy in the US. It has more than its share of powerful perps. 

Jeanine Piro won case after case after case, and she has an absolutely exceptional TV presence, being scary smart, extremely funny, and absolutely gorgeous to look at.

She appears in the second half of this clip, right after a mumbling and confused Ann Bremner.

The host here, Geraldo Rivera, never lets real facts get in the way of a good story. Here his grasp of the real facts is dismal. But although he tries very hard to trample all over Jeanine Pirro, it is pretty clear that he is desperate and she emerges the clear winner.

Geraldo Rivera’s stance here is interesting. This is only the second example after Jane Velez Mitchell of CNN of a Hispanic leaping on board the xenophobia bandwagon. Normally Hispanics have very good reason to want to see other countries and peoples treated with respect.

Memo to Fox, CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC: perhaps one way of reducing your exposure to those defamation suits that may be headed your way from Italy?

Have Jeanine Pirro on your broadcasts from now on. You know. For some actual balance.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/11/09 at 09:07 AM in News media & moviesGreat reporting


Comments

Can I say gorgeous here? Well it is done. I never hesitate to boost brilliant women in all possible ways.

Meredith, in Jeanine Pirro, you now have a real tigress in your corner.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/11/09 at 10:35 AM | #

She was amazing. A good antidote to Ms Wiehl in the earlier post.

Posted by Ann-Marie on 12/11/09 at 11:13 AM | #

Someone has got to shut Anne Bremner up.

Instead of reiterating the no evidence no motive card ad nauseum, she would do better to address the finer points of the jury’s decision, and if possible, suggest an alternative scenario that squares with all the evidence.

Until such time all she and her cohorts at FOA screaming is just empty hyperbolic nonsense.

Posted by LReik on 12/11/09 at 12:12 PM | #

Incredible! Good job Jeanine! Having watched Geraldo all through the OJ trial, I know he’s a tough customer.

But to focus only on Geraldo, I see signs of improvement here. Geraldo does not argue that “there is no evidence,” or even “not enough evidence.” He only argues that there is no motive.

He’s a lawyer; he knows that motive is not necessary to prove in court. He knew it was the most difficult aspect of the OJ case to prove, because first of all, you can’t really prove state of mind.

But in the OJ case, he didn’t really argue motive; he argued means and opportunity, via the facts: circumstantial evidence that OJ had oppotunity (witnesses establishing time window, contradictory stories and missing alibis) and means (bloody gloves, blood drops, etc.) to commit the murder.

I hope this is a sign that Geraldo may still turn on this story.

Although my cynical side says that these talking heads are paid to take a certain side for audience share, my idealistic side sees Geraldo as someone who has a little more intelligence than your normal host, and also a little more compassion for victims such as Meredith. (He certainly seemed to for Ron and Nicole.)

I guess time will tell. As of right now, I’m pretty disgusted with Geraldo.

Posted by Earthling on 12/11/09 at 12:19 PM | #

Great Job Jeanine, but I am afraid you are not going to be aired any time soon on any US television. BTW, Amanda would need a lawyer like her to make her appeal succesful, so it is too bad the she is on the “other” side.

Posted by Hungarian on 12/11/09 at 01:45 PM | #

Thank you Peter for posting both this video and the previous one, with the appalling Lis Wiehl. The two video constrast well against each other, and show that some balance - among professionals appearing in the media - has began to emerge; and that FOA do not dominate US TV.

Jeanine did an excellent job, given how the host Geraldo Rivera was adamant on not even letting her speak! She held her own position so well & stuck to the fact despite pressure - and rudeness - from the host. This is most admirable.

I hope we see more talented people like Jeanine, speaking for truth, as opposed to propaganda. And I hope that the likes of Wiehl continue to make fools out of themselves, breaking out into song and dance mode, dunken giggles, and fits of uncontrollable self-boasting with little genuine substance to back it up. This ought to show the true colors of those on both sides of the debate.

Posted by Scooby on 12/11/09 at 03:21 PM | #

There’s as much contrast between Jeanine Pirro and Lis Wiehl as it was between Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. Jeanine Pirro did an excellent job in the few seconds she got to speak. Maybe someone will give her an oppourtunity to speak without interruption.

Posted by Mama P on 12/11/09 at 03:53 PM | #

Geraldo Rivera is a joke. I didn’t know he was back on TV after he got kicked out of Iraq—and on Fox no less…The only thing worth watching on Fox is Family guy.

Let’s be honest Pete—He’s only hispanic to the degree that it suits his interests. He was simply trying to start a catfight because it makes good television.

Posted by nashvilletn on 12/11/09 at 04:38 PM | #

Great programming, Jeanine did an excellent job, good balance for Lis Wiehl full of lies crazy rant earlier. Geraldo is a joke as expected, after-all this is Fox.

Posted by AmericaCalling on 12/11/09 at 05:29 PM | #

Geraldo didn’t want to hear what Jeanine had to say, he seemed more interested in hearing his own voice. What is the point of him doing interviews when he does not give any one a moment to speak. He’s awful. It seems American media is just one big theatrical performance after another. I agree Geraldo is a joke. Thank you to Jeanine for holding her own (as best she could with bully Geraldo).

Posted by lionprotector on 12/11/09 at 07:16 PM | #

I think Geraldo is mostly a douche, but in fairness to him, he is an interviewer, and it is his job to challenge the person he is interviewing. Ms Pirro held her own pretty well, for the simple reason that she is, as most of us understand, simply stating the facts.

Posted by NicholasK on 12/11/09 at 07:24 PM | #

Last night in our Seattle market after daily pandering updates on Knox’s new status,her dad was once again exhibiting the signs of anger management issues, demanding that Hillary meet with him personally, and barking more than once that “this thing needs to get fixed” as veins throbbed on his forehead.

Not sure whether he means his daughter or the upcoming appeal process. Fixed is an interesting choice of words. There is little indication that any of the Knox/Bremner/Marriott Seattle media sock puppets have any knowledge or interest in the evidence, only in “fixing” the outcome. Comments in Seattle seem to be running 5-1 or more against the Knox spin team. Cantwell has embarrassed herself in taking Hillary hostage.

Seattleite

Posted by jennifer on 12/11/09 at 07:32 PM | #

i said this several weeks ago - the television stations here in the states didn’t pick up this story until the verdict was about to be handed down.  had they followed the trial from its onset, they would certainly be more knowledgeable of the details of the case and have a clearer understanding of the EVIDENCE that does exist.

hopefully, it is only a matter of time before more american journalists, after examining the case more closely, come to the same conclusion as that of ms. pirro.  also, many people stateside pretty much laugh at geraldo - he doesn’t garner much respect.

Posted by gramjan on 12/11/09 at 08:20 PM | #

26 years is too short a sentence.

Posted by mylady007 on 12/12/09 at 10:19 AM | #

Hi jennifer,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/11/cruelty-of-death-row

I don’t understand how Knox’s family seem to be giving a totally different messae to what Knox’s lawyer - and even Knox herself, according to the article from the guardian above - seem to be claiming. Knox has admitted that her “rights were respected” during the trial, and that “she had faith in the italian justice system”! Her lawyer, as this website has quoted him saying, thinks that involving Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for the appeal process.

Yet somehow, and quite bizarrly, none of this seems to be penetrating Father Knox’s and Mother Mella’s assessment of this situation! Some people here in the UK think that Knox’s comments is supposed to calm down the wave of anti-Italian outrage that FOA is shouting out from across the Atalntic. But then why are her own mother and father dumb and deaf to it?

I think they have been dumb, blind and deaf to many things since the outset of their daughter’s being held under suspicion. Take for example Mellas’s constant verbatum “we just want to bring her home” - and not “we want to find out the truth”, or “we want the truth to come out”. Even where she did say she wants the truth to come out, it was in relation to the British papers calling her Foxy Knoxy - her soccer name - not a description of her sexual habits.

I’m puzzled by the Knox-clan’s inability to see the extent of damage that they have caused, not only to other, but mostly to themselves. They come across as a bunch who lack adequate grasp of the situation - viewing it as an American-only affair, and not one that understanding that the situation requires tact & sensitivity.

Luckily, Clinton seems to have her witts about her - unlike Cantwell - and understands that Italy has just sent troops to Afghanistan to take side with US ones in a fight against the Taliban: she knows that bad-mouthing Italy is a political disaster on an international scale.

In response to her forthcoming meeting with Cantwell about Amanda, she calmly said “We…I’ve been busy with Afghanistan, but I’ll meet with Cantwell & go over the trail details” - meaning, I have bigger fish to fry, can you all please try t put things into perspective - we’re at war! with Italy on our side, and you want me to put off the fate of thousands of US troops so I can attend to one single US citizen’s case (Amanda’s), who according to what I’ve heard, has been tried in “accordance” with the laws of Italy, and not in violation of them?

Cantwell has obviously forgotten the bigger picture; Clinton, it seems, wouldn’t be where she is if she didn’t have tact, perspective & diplomacy.

The guardian article above, echoing the same message as Commissario’s earlier post, but from a different angle, points out that Knox & her family should be grateful that this trial took place under the Italian Justice system and not the American one - where Knox would have been on death row by now.

Posted by Scooby on 12/12/09 at 12:40 PM | #

ok…I’ve heard a million times about “Foxy Knoxy” being a “soccer nickname” and would officially like to go on record to say that, just assuming for one second that the whole soccer thing was true…that is, hands down, the stupidest sports nickname of all time.

Posted by nashvilletn on 12/12/09 at 01:26 PM | #

If ‘Foxy Knoxy’ was a soccer nickname from her schooldays, why did she call herself ‘Foxy Knoxy’ on her webpage?
Her webpage is certainly not about soccer.

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 12/13/09 at 10:54 AM | #

The media trial of Knox’s character is just that- a media trial. Distractions such as the meaning of a sports nickname prevent an objective look at the evidence of the case. (Sports nicknames are also fairly typical for school-age athletes in the US, and some of them “stick”).

Posted by pat az on 12/13/09 at 01:17 PM | #

Hi pat az,

Character is not only important, it would seem to those who are convinced of Knox’s involvement in this crime. It seems to be of equal importance to those who still think she is innocent. Why do you think it wouldn’t play an important role in distracting them too from seeing the evidence clearly and objectively? Is a mother, father, or friend not distracted by their relation to the accused - and by the fond memories they’ve shered with the accused - of seeing that there is a possibility the accused may in fact be guilty?

I’m not saying that’s how it should be, or that’s how things are for every one, but I think that Knox’s parents have paid as much attention to ‘clearing her name’ in the media (and perhaps much more) than those who allegedly attacked her character. Because to them, her character is the one of the biggest evidences to substantiate their claim that she is innocent. Why else would they be constantly saying ‘This is not the Amanda we know. We want to clear her name’ as Mellas has been saying.

It is a trivial fact that our relation to someone will - to some extent at least - effect how we judge their character. The Nazis were a very well-educated bunch among whom were some of Germany’s top minds. To many of their contemporaries they were an exemplary sort to be followed and copied. Hitler’s acquaintances even called him a gentle loving vegetarian. Does that mean that well-educated people, who are nice and kind to their friends and kin, ad admired by many more, are not capable of atrocities and crimes? I think history begs us to differ.

So yes - I agree - talk of character may be pointless, especially when it comes from those who are in close proximity to the accused. But there was no character association in the trail - just evidence. Among this evidence was odd behaviour directly following the discovery of the victim’s body. Odd behaviour that was admitted along numerous other DNA, telephone records, testimonies, etc. as evidence.

It is this that put Knox and Sollecito on trial in the first place, and this that later condemned them - not the media’s character assassination of Knox. Equally, the FOA’s character assassination of the Prosecutor in the media was equally without substance and pointless. I assume that their character assassination of the Italian Justice system will be equally futile.

Posted by Scooby on 12/13/09 at 05:02 PM | #

Thankfully, Judge Pirro is focused on the facts. Yes, she should be on all the other news outlets. At least another voice of reason for Meredith’s family. I like that she was adamant about motive and that motive does not need to be shown. There are many convictions in the U.S. where motive for murder is not present, and that is a good thing, as motive is not always apparent. How many people would get away with murder if motive had to be proved? It does not need to be proved, but it can be suggested, as the Italian prosecutors rightfully showed. Good post!

Posted by Pained Artist on 12/14/09 at 03:40 AM | #

Let’s not forget that in addition to cunning or shrewed, the word FOXY, in American Slang (I don’t know about GB), also means “good looking”. A “foxy” woman, is a good looking, sexy, woman. Could that appellative in her website be meant to signify that? Good looking?

I don’t know. But this is not the point. I don’t care about her being “foxy” (regardless of the meaning given to that word), and I don’t care about her inappropriate language or odd behavior at the police station. Both could be just a sign of immaturity or simply a very “odd” personality, and not necessary guilt. And I certainly do not care about her sexual or drug habits, lots of youngsters engage in the same behavior nowadays.

Rather, what tha defense needs to explain better is the significant amount of forensic evidence, it is the changing and conflicting statements and alibis not corroborated by testimonies, or by phone records or by internet provider records. I’m sure that one by one one could attack each piece of evidence, as occasionally a piece of evidence may be tainted by bad forensic work, or may be the result of coincidences.

But what is the statistical probability that one might be so unlucky that SIMULTANEOUSLY every single piece of forensic evidence was accidentally contaminated (except for the evidence against Rudy, which was a perfect match!) that every single uncorroborated statement was the result of bad luck or coincidence or duress, that every testimony was the result of public delusion.

Well I think that statistical probability is very close to 0% and this is the reason why that jury of 6 laymen and 2 judges found, unanimously, Raffaele and Amanda guilty of all charges. It has nothing to do with gossip, anti-americanism, or tabloid rubbish.

Posted by Commissario Montalbano on 12/14/09 at 03:12 PM | #

Sunday night, Curt Knox was at Geraldo Rivera. Anne Coulter asked him tough questions, and you could see that he really did not enjoyed the spot he was, as the lies were suddenly not enough.

He said that in Filomena’s room, there was NO GLASS on top of the clothings and Filomena’s belongings on the floor, only 2 little ones, and that the rest only “looks” like glass but is actually a pattern in the fabric (or something like that)and that can be seen when you enlarge the photograph. 

“Funny” thing was when Ann Coulter asked him why Amanda had not said sooner that Patrick Lumumba was not guilty, his answer was hilarious in a way: “First of all, it was the fault of the police that did not verify anything…”

It’s not me, i’ts somebody else’s fault seems to be a moto in the family!

Posted by Patou on 12/14/09 at 08:21 PM | #

Here is the latest news from Seattle:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/if-she-did-it/Content?oid=2929733
Too bad this is only a fiction though…

And in the same newspaper another article:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/she-didnt-do-it/Content?oid=2929730

I am happy that you can see Seattle is starting to be a balanced place, in one newspaper you can read both side of Amanda Knox. Maybe, sometimes soon, everybody agree that see is guilty as charged and ask forgiveness from Meredith’s family.
RIP Meredith.

Posted by Hungarian on 12/14/09 at 09:59 PM | #

The Stranger. Never timid about touching controversial subject matter, to be certain. However, I recommend that Madison Paxton’s article (she couldn’t have done it because she’s my bestest friend, and I don’t hang with killers) be taken with a large grain of salt, while Mr Mudede’s article should be taken with a shaker of smelling salts. I feel he has gone a step too far in “fictionalising” the action of the murder, a problem I also had with Mr Mignini’s theatrical reconstruction. (Mudede’s archived “The Education of Amanda knox” stands as a better example of his journalistic capabilities, and was my earliest intro into this entire sad saga.) Paxton is, at the least, a far better writer than poor Amanda, who writes like a stoned tween.

I wish that the honorable prosecutor had stuck to a more straightforward delivery of the points of suspicion (phone, computer, alibi, forensics, excessive number of wounds, the lamp, the ‘burglary’...). Perhaps then the jury would have felt less conflicted about the recommended life sentence. While I have no doubts that Knox had in in her (especially while wigging out on drugs) to thrust a knife into another’s flesh, we can’t guarantee it was she who struck the mortal blow. We can be much more certain that she, as the only on with a key and the knowledge of all the other occupants’ weekend whereabouts, had to have orchestrated the entire tragedy.

As to the parents, take some words of advice from your daughter and LET IT BE, already!

Posted by mimi on 12/14/09 at 11:57 PM | #

Finally…

Although it’s fiction, my guess is that is about as close to the truth as we’ll ever get. Mignini’s case got a conviction, but, in my mind, he could have had far less fallout from the global press (I know it’s largely the American media, but I’ve seen it elsewhere) by simply embracing the spontaneous nature of young, issue-laden, slightly pervy kids experimenting with life and engaging in conflict away from adults.

He let his theory get ahead of the facts early on. By the last two weeks of the trial, he was coming back to something akin to this fictional story, but by then it was too late; everyone was questioning motive, and so he had to fall back on “we don’t know why these things happen…” and the inherent violence of our culture, etc….Things he should have relied on from the beginning. He had evidence, and that was all he needed, but that initial theory was just too juicy for the press to leave alone, and unfortunately it will probably even haunt the appeal.

Posted by nashvilletn on 12/15/09 at 11:16 AM | #


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