There is a concept in philosophy known as “Occam’s razor,” which posits that among competing theories or hypotheses, the one requiring the fewest assumptions generally makes the most sense. Another way of stating it is that the simplest theory should be employed until, or unless, that hypothesis can be replaced by one that encompasses greater and deeper explanation. The “razor” refers to “shaving away” layers of complexity.
The great Bertrand Russell’s interpretation was “Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.”
Of late, we have seen no greater violation of the Occam’s razor principle in the field of criminal justice than the investigation and prosecution of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. And yesterday’s release of Florence appeals Judge Alessandro Nencini’s “Motivation Document” on the January 30, 2014 re-conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (after initial conviction, appeals acquittal, and Supreme Court rejection of the acquittal) only confirms this violation.