Amanda Knox, an American college student who was arrested in Italy while studying abroad for the murder of her roommate in 2009, was finally released yesterday.
Even though the case gathered attention around the world because of Secretary Hilary Clinton’s personal involvement, the State Department claims that all Americans incarcerated abroad are priorities in their agenda. A statistic in 2007 stated that about 4,500 Americans were arrested in 2006 alone.
“Whenever traveling abroad, the State Department stands ready to assist Americans if they face criminal penalties — no matter if the case earns wide news coverage. On its Web site, the State Department reminds Americans traveling abroad that they are always subject to local laws and regulations ‘which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.’ Penalties for breaking the law overseas often can be harsher than in the U.S. and may involve fines, arrest, imprisonment or being expelled from the country, the department said.”
Do you think this case was handled well?
Do you think this case was handled differently because of the media coverage?
Is there anything else the State Department should do to help Americans incarcerated abroad, and prevent cases like this from happening?
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