Sep 29

Judge Michael Heavey Admonished For Advocating Amanda Knox Is Innocent

Amanda Knox is a 23-year-old Seattle, Washington native whose prosecution for the November 2007 murder of her college roommate in Perugia, Italy is an international cause célèbre. She and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of the murder in December 2009. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

King County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Heavey’s daughter went to school with Knox, and he became an outspoken advocate for Knox’s innocence. Among Judge Heavey’s activities on behalf of Knox is he wrote three letters to officials in Italy that included a judge.

After an investigation, in April 2009 the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct began proceedings based on alleged ethical wrongdoing by Judge Heavy by advocating for Knox’s innocence. After negotiations with Judge Heavey, on September 24, 2010 the Commission released its STIPULATION, AGREEMENT, AND ORDER OF ADMONISHMENT that found Heavy guilty of violating three Canons of judicial ethics — Canons 1, 2(A), and 2(B). Those Canons relate to a judge lending the prestige of their office to advance the private interests of the judge or others, and that activity doesn’t uphold the integrity of the judiciary by failing to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, and by acting at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

Judge Heavey’s punishment was an admonishment, which is the least severe punishment the Commission on Judicial Conduct can impose. You can read the Commission’s ruling at,

Amanda Knox’s appeal of her conviction begins in November 2010, and this is Septembe 28, 2010, article about her case written by a Seattle Post-Intelligencer correspondent in Italy.

By Hans Sherrer
Justice Denied

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