The Amanda Knox Verdict: Justice Fail.

6 12 2009

I don’t know if you guys have been following the Amanda Knox murder trial, but I’ve been mildly obsessed with it for the past two years.  It’s actually become part of my morning routine– brush teeth, get coffee, check e-mail, google “Amanda Knox” for latest updates.

Here’s a recap:  On November 1, 2007, 21-yr old British student Meredith Kercher was found murdered in her apartment in Perugia, Italy, where she had been studying abroad.  She was naked and her throat had been cut with a knife.

Amanda Knox, Kercher’s American roommate, arrived at their apartment that day to find Kercher’s door locked and alerted the police.  The apartment soon became a crime scene, so she and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito huddled outside, cooing at each other while the police uncovered the body and began their investigation.  Prosecutors would later say this behavior was strange for someone whose roommate had just been found brutally murdered.

Knox and Sollecito make out during crime scene investigation.

The police bring Amanda in for questioning.  She tells them she was at her boyfriend’s house smoking pot the night of the murder.  They continue to interrogate her for hours, despite the fact that she has no lawyer present, and allegedly begin shouting at her and hitting her in the head.  In a state of exhaustion and confusion, she “admits” to having been at the crime scene when Kercher was killed, telling police that she heard Kercher’s dying screams, and she accuses bar-owner Patrick Lumumba of killing Kercher.  He is proven innocent several weeks later, which generates a media shit-storm.

Italian newspapers, now convinced of Knox’s guilt, begin attacking her character, dubbing her “Foxy Knoxy” and digging into her sexual history to portray her as a drug- and sex-crazed maniac, an “angel-faced killer,” despite the fact that she has zero history of violence or criminal activity.  Both Knox and Sollecito are immediately locked up into a Perugia jail.

Meanwhile, Rudy Guede, an “Ivory Coast immigrant” to Italy, as the media love to point out, flees to Germany the day of the murder.  He has a history of criminal activity and his blood/semen is all over the crime scene.  In a speedy trial, the jury convicts him of the rape and murder of Meredith Kercher and sentences him to 30 years in prison (he would have been electrocuted in America, that lucky boy.).

Rudy Guede being escorted into court

This is still not satisfactory for the prosecution, who remains convinced that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito participated in Kercher’s murder.  Prosecutors believe that Knox orchestrated this drug-fueled sex game, torturing Kercher before plunging the knife into her neck because Kercher was “prissy” and complained about Knox’s hygiene (what? really?).  Sollecito and Guede supposedly went along with the plan because they worship Knox and wanted to impress her, although Knox barely knew Guede at the time.  Despite this completely implausible motive, Amanda and Raffaele are held in an Italian prison for 2 years as they are both tried for murder.

The prosecution finds a bloody footprint, says it belongs to Sollecito.  Defense lawyers later prove that it belongs to Guede.

None of Knox’s DNA is found on the crime scene, but a knife is found in Sollecito’s apartment with Knox’s DNA on the handle and Kercher’s, allegedly, on the blade.  Knox says of course her DNA is on the handle, she cooks with that knife all the time.  The defense says the knife doesn’t match Kercher’s wounds and that the DNA found on the blade is so miniscule and contaminated that it shouldn’t even be used in court.

Alleged murder weapon

Knox’s family and friends in Seattle have flewn in to testify, calling Amanda an overachiever and a nature-lover, saying she is completely incapable of harming anyone.  The prosecution maintains that she is twisted and slutty and perfectly capable of stabbing her roommate over mundane roommate bickerings.

Friday night, after Knox stood up and delivered a final plea to the jury in which she begged them (in Italian) not to “force the mask of a murderer onto her skin,” the jury found both her and Sollecito guilty and sentenced them both to 25 years in prison.

Locals cheered outside the courtroom when they heard the verdict, because the Italian media have latched onto Amanda Knox as an example of American depravity.  Everyone wanted her to be guilty because the story is so juicy– she’s young, she’s beautiful, she’s American, and she’s a sex-crazed murderer!  But it seems pretty clear to the rest of the world that Knox and Sollecito are innocent, and that the jury was swayed by the overwhelming media.

Is it possible that any overachieving college student studying abroad could stab her roommate to death and stand by as she is sexually assaulted simply because she was annoyed that her roommate was “prissy”?  Where is the plausible motive?  Where is the evidence? How is Rudy Guede’s DNA all over the crime scene, but Knox’s and Sollecito’s are nowhere (except maybe a teeny bit on the clasp of a bra which is found to be mishandled and contaminated)?

I can’t imagine being locked up in an Italian prison for 26 years over something I didn’t do.  She must be absolutely terrified.  Where is the U.S. Government on this one, can’t they do something?




23 responses

6 12 2009

I think XX was asking where the outrage was on this case. I have been following it too, and man, Italy is such a joke. from its government to its media to its judicial system, I can’t believe that country is still holding itself together in some semblance of order.

I remember seeing a program or reading something about Italian jails, and they were basically also a joke with absurdly high levels of creature comforts. but that is not going to make up for robbing this your woman of her freedom for the rest of her life.

6 12 2009

it would be a lot easier for the american government to do something if they weren’t currently withholding extradition of 23 CIA Agents that were just convicted in abstentia of kidnapping someone from italy and taking them to egypt to be tortured.

i’m sure this also plays into the italian people’s blood thirst in the Knox case.

6 12 2009

yeah… shes pretty hot. i hope she keeps fit in jail. oh right, um… yeah! totally unfair! free whateverhernameis!

6 12 2009

LB- you should just feel lucky that you got me.

7 12 2009
sacalait killa

interesting case. there are also numerous allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in other cases. however, could it be that our own critiques are biased in that they are formed based on what we know of the american judicial system? furthermore, even if prejudices and perspectives on morality played into the jury’s decision, would it be any different if some cute Italian came state-side and wound up in Knox’s position? after all, we all know the quiet ones are always the craziest…

7 12 2009

I am British with an Italian mother and I am bi-lingual. I think in the States you don’t realise that in the Italian legal system you are “guilty until proven innocent”….our legal system means you have to fight to prove your innocence…..Three people have been convicted of this murder and you have to remember at the centre of all this is a murdered young woman: who cares if Knox is hot? Meredith was murdered and all of the 3 convicted had unconvincing and changing alibi’s. I think they are all guilty and at least in the Italian legal system we don’t execute murders like in the States. Knox should be thankful for that. She showed no emotion or remorse and who does cart wheels when arrested for murder in the police station? I think all 3 of them are calculating and emotionally dead and the convictions are safe and correct.

7 12 2009

P.S. Rudy Guede got 30 years, Amanda Knox 26 years and Raffaele Sollecito 25 years…this is because Guede raped her and took part in the murder (he gets more years for rape) and Knox cut her throat (so she gets 1 more year than Sollecito who just held her down when she cut Merediths throat)…..You say they got 25 years each but they got different lengths of sentence based on the acts they committed. They were lucky; usually murder is 30-35 years so time spent already in prison (2+ years) was already taken into account. As to the comment about “high levels of creature comforts” in Italian jails- this is simply not true. I can take you all to visit an Italian jail and they are all overcrowded with little in the way of entertainment. But isn’t that the way it should be for convicted murderers?

7 12 2009

Natalija, you are confirming my point. That Italian jury convicted her based on a feeling– they wanted her to be guilty, they “felt” like she was guilty because she didn’t react to the murder the way they did. How would you like to be arrested for something you didn’t do and locked up in prison for 25 years because the defense couldn’t prove you innocent? Then would you be waxing poetic about how you’re “lucky” your sentence was so short?

Guede murder Kercher, there’s no doubt. But suppose (just suppose, since we disagree) that Knox and Sollecito didn’t. Their lives are being ruined. Knox can’t finish college. She can’t pursue her career aspirations. She can’t spend holidays with her family. By the time she’s out, she’ll be too old to have children. Her whole life is ruined by this sentence, but the jury is so quick to make her pay it because, well, somebody got murdered and everyone must pay!

And I thought our justice system was flawed.

7 12 2009

Natalija, I have seen plenty of people act inappropriately when the situation is too stressful, anxiety-inducing, or the reality of it is too difficult to face. Her cartwheels arent evidence of psychopathy-it was most likely a coping mechanism.

and as to italian jail’s sybaritic tendencies…..

7 12 2009

Agreed. I do cartwheels prior to and immediately after sex. And each one is the manifestation of a completely different sexual and emotional insecurity.

7 12 2009
Rob kent

Meredith Kercher and her families are the victim not Amanda Knox. Her alibi has more holes than swiss cheese and whatever forensics exist they point to her involvement. He has persistantly lied and changed her story. Hope she dies in prison. Of course other countries hate american critism because it is hypocritical. If you are worried about miscarriage of justice take a look at Texas but hey you probably dont see those people as interesting as you dont like to masturbate over these people do you?

7 12 2009

im sorry rob kent, you must have this forum confused for one of the other lame and stupid blogs you frequent. people commenting here are expected to have a modicum of intelligence, logic, and wit. and for the record, I love masturbating over people in texas.

7 12 2009
Rob kent

and by the way this is only the 3rd time In my life I have submitted a comment to any blog forum and I am normally far to busy, so I guess this is the closest I have to a blog I frequent. Does that mean I can call myself intelligent logical and witty?

I do hope so, it would make so much happy about myself.

Anyway Bros good luck with the self esteem issues keep positive and may become true

7 12 2009

there is no way on god’s green earth, Rob Kent, that this is your 3rd posting on a blog forum, and no one with any common sense would believe that. you expect people to believe that out of all the thousands of news outlets covering this story, you chose this particular blog to post your bizarre comments? No offense to the blog author, but this isnt exactly Amanda Knox central, high volume breaking news cent-com. my guess is you are the type of person who has exactly too much time on his hands and pet issues and you spent entirely too much time trolling around trying to find random places to infiltrate with your nonsense BS psychobabble.

7 12 2009
Rob kent

bros; wrong! this the 3rd time I submitted anything to a blog, the other 2 are bbc sport football 606 and the Daily Telegraph (a somewhat right-wing english paper albeit a very well written one)_

but I must say I am enjoying this, maybe when I retire and I can do it more often.

by accident I hit this (2 clicks of separation?) on this blog, A girl is murdered anfd 3 people have on the balance of have gone to prison for it. One of them is american and photogenic (hence the masturbation element) so this blog (amongst many others I will grant you) proclaims her she is innocent and the nasty foreigners have stitched her up.

I find it offensive.

She lied many times including accusing some poor bartender of the crime. I think on balance manipulative woman who certainly was involved in the murder of Meridith Kercher end of story. By the way I think highly unlikely that you have ever seen anyone involved in a murder case so your claims of experience of people facing severe stressors like this are probably BS based on what you would expect/like to see.

Lastly if I do get to 26 years in a Texas Jail as per , I will send you a photo I will make sure it is an easy clean cover

7 12 2009

the only thing I understood from your post is that you masturbate to pictures of halfway decent looking chicks.

find some new news and information sources Troll. This place is for people who have already triangulated.

7 12 2009

Rob, nowhere in this blog did I say I wanted her to be innocent because she is attractive and American. I don’t give a crap about either. In fact, when I first read about the case, I thought, like everyone else, that she was guilty.

But I’ve been following the case for 2 years. I’ve considered the facts and the evidence and the (lack of) motive. She didn’t do it, as much fun as it would be to think that she did.

Please stop vomiting idiocy all over my blog or I will block you from commenting.

7 12 2009
Rob kent

I have sat since your e-mail and you are right I owe you an apology re: the perjorative and your political leanings although I maintain you are wrong on this issue and your representation of the facts

7 12 2009

Fair enough, everyone is entitled to his opinion.

8 12 2009

Hi L, I would highly recommend “The Monster of Florence”

I stumbled upon it randomly in a bookstore over the summer, and read it without knowing anything about the shocking Italian justice system (shocking from an American POV, anyway) or realizing that there was a link between the case described in the book and the Amanda Knox trial: the same controversial prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini.

Not only is the story itself extremely interesting (non-fiction, but reads like fiction), the afterword is commentary on the Knox trial. Hope that continues to fuel the mild obsession!

16 12 2009
David Cameron

The debate over Amanda and Raffaele’s guilt or innocence brings out passion on either side. Unfortunately, this has fueled a lot of back and forth nonsense and mud slinging.

The reality is that holes exist in both the prosecution’s case and that of the defense teams… The biggest hole I see for the defense is the contradicting stories and alibis. I know some of the confusion, as the defense says, comes from police tactics. Though those who support a guilty verdict will argue adamantly that the police did not abuse their authority. Unfortunately, we will not know 100 percent on this because the interrogations weren’t filmed. In any case, because Amanda and Raffaele came across as untruthful, I think they sealed their fates on the initial verdict. I can see why the jurors and judges went the way they did… 1) the defense team did not account for all the forensic evidence (I agree it’s flimsy and questionable, but the point is that the prosecution was successful in convincing the jurors/judges on some of the evidence and 2) they just couldn’t understand why Amanda and Raffaele had changed their stories several times.

I don’t necessarily think they’re guilty. In fact, I lean the other way, to fully disclose!! … But perhaps they were there and did nothing to stop Rudy and then panicked later b/c they felt they would be implicated. If that’s the case, they need to come clean NOW!!! The fact that they aren’t either suggests 1) they truly are innocent, but they really messed up on accounting for their whereabouts and activities or 2) they are guilty of something more substantial…

I hope they’re innocent… but I’m not sure we’ll ever really know?!

11 05 2010
Harry Rag

The evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is overwhelming.

Amanda Knox’s DNA was found on:

1. On the double DNA knife and a number of independent forensic experts – Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo and Professor Francesca Torricelli – categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade.

2. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the ledge of the basin.

3. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the bidet.

4. Mixed with Meredith blood on a box of Q Tip cotton swabs.

5. Mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway.

6. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the floor of Filomena’s room, where the break-in was staged.

7. On Meredith’s bra according to Dr. Stefanoni AND Raffaele Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Vinci.

Amanda Knox’s footprints were found set in Meredith’s blood in two places in the hallway of the new wing of the cottage. One print was exiting her own room, and one print was outside Meredith’s room, facing into the room. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

A woman’s bloody shoeprint, which matched Amanda Knox’s foot size, was found on a pillow under Meredith’s body. The bloody shoeprint was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

Two independent imprint experts categorically excluded the possibility that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat could belong to Rudy Guede. Lorenzo Rinaldi stated:

“You can see clearly that this bloody footprint on the rug does not belong to Mr. Guede, but you can see that it is compatible with Sollecito.”

The other imprint expert print expert testified that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp. Sollecito must have applied considerable pressure to the clasp in order to have left so much DNA. The hooks on the clasp were damaged which confirms that Sollecito had gripped them tightly.

According to Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani, Rudy Guede’s visible bloody footprints lead straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the house. He didn’t lock Meredith’s door, remove his trainers, go into Filomena’s room or the bathroom that Meredith and Knox shared.

He didn’t scale the vertical wall outside Filomena’s room or gain access through the window. The break-in was clearly staged. This indicates that somebody who lived at the cottage was trying to deflect attention away from themselves and give the impression that a stranger had broken in and killed Meredith.

Guede had no reason to stage the break-in and there was no physical evidence that he went into Filomena’s room or the bathroom. The scientific police found a mixture of Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood on the floor in Filomena’s room. They also found irrefutable proof that Knox and Sollecito had tracked Meredith’s blood into the bathroom.

The murder dynamic implicates Knox and Sollecito.

Barbie Nadeau wrote the following:

“Countless forensic experts, including those who performed the autopsies on Kercher’s body, have testified that more than one person killed her based on the size and location of her injuries and the fact that she didn’t fight back—no hair or skin was found under her fingernails.”

Judge Paolo Micheli claimed that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito knew precise details about Meredith’s murder that they could have only known if they were present when she was killed.

Amanda Knox voluntarily admitted that she involved in Meredith’s murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. She stated on at least four separate occasions that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed. She also claimed that Sollecito was at the cottage.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito both gave multiple conflicting alibis and lied repeatedly. Their lies were exposed by telephone and computer records, and by CCTV footage. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have credible alibis for the night of the murder despite three attempt each. At the trial, Sollecito refused to corroborate Knox’s alibi that she was at his apartment.

Legal expert Stefano Maffei stated the following:

“There were 19 judges who looked at the evidence over the course of two years, faced with decisions on pre-trial detention, review of such detention, committal to trial, judgment on criminal responsibility. They all agreed, at all times, that the evidence was overwhelming.”

5 08 2010
Harry Rag

Judge Massei’s 427- page report will be published in English on Monday 9 August. It will be available for download from PMF and TJMK.

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