Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher retrial

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by skatefan, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised they did not provide a translator when she was arrested. I don't think that would happen in the USA.

    I suspect if it's something like 'Zero dark thirty' they would deprive the person of food and water, in order to get information, but I doubt that in a civilian case (non-war) it would be allowed. I may be naive about this, however.
  2. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    My knowledge of the evidence comes from what came out at the public trials. I am not making any claims about Italian law therefore my knowledge of it is irrelevant. I am stating my person opinion based on what I know... Just like everyone else here. What else can we do? We're not lawyers on either side and we're not on any jury that's hearing the trial. We're just the public posting on the internet what our opinion is.

    And my opinion is that since there was DNA all over the murder scene, including enough to solidly nail Guede, but not any more of Amanda's than you'd expect from the fact that she lived there that this is reasonable doubt. There isn't anyway to clean up only your own DNA without fancy equipment she didn't have and had no knowledge of how to operate. This would be true of any defendant of any trial no what what they looked like, what their personality was, or how much I did or did not like them.

    Guede could have told her. Plus she was there ... after the fact. She could have seen things and drawn conclusion. Plus, the interrogation wasn't recorded. We don't know what leading questions she was asked prior to her accusation that she then used to make her accusation seem solid.

    Yep, I never said otherwise. I'm just saying that Meredith's family is doomed to be disappointed in my view and also that I don't agree with those who say they want the trial to have closure. They want Amanda to be found guilty to have closure. If they could get that without a trial, they'd be just as closed and probably happier as the trial will be hard to go through so they'd just as soon skip it IMO.

    There's no law that says "you have to be given X oz. of liquid per hour" or anything that black and white that I am aware of (and, if there are, I'm sure someone will correct me as it's FSU ;)) so it's not like these things don't come into question here. They do. You have one side saying the interrogation went too far and the defendant wasn't treated right and therefore any confession isn't valid and similar arguments while the other side says, no, he got regular bathroom breaks and didn't go hungry, etc.

    But I do think we're a lot more aware of that sort of thing as there is a lot of legal precedent that, if you aren't careful to make sure your suspect gets adequate food and drink and breaks, your confession and other evidence will be legally challenged and likely successfully.This is an area where sandards are different in other parts of the world and we are one of the countries that bends over the most to make sure no one can say the suspect was coerced into anything.

    I do think the entire interrogation would have been handled differently from beginning to end for so many reasons though. For one thing, she would have most likely have called her parents pretty early on in the process and they would have made sure she then "lawyered up" as they say in the TV shows and then everything would have taken a completely different path from that point forward. There's just no comparison.

    It's not even a US vs. Italy thing, or a Guilty vs. Innocent thing, really. It's a "Being at home where you have resources, understand the language, grew up with the system and have a fair idea of what to do to maximize things to your Benefit" thing.
  3. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    This wsa really what I was getting at with my original comment. If she had been arrested in the US things would have been very different because she speaks the language, and she has a somewhat better understanding of the law- most everyone knows they have the right to have a lawyer present. In fact, I think the police have to tell you that.
  4. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Yes, advising of the right to counsel is part of the "Miranda Rights" that police and others in authority must state to anyone taken into custody. ("You have the right to remain silent ... etc.)

    O-
  5. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Oh yes, now I remember. This whole "selective DNA cleanup" thing is a very compelling argument against her guilt.
  6. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    I think she commented on how she was portrayed as the pretty American, but she didn't start this. She was being called Foxy Knoxy about 48 hours after she was arrested, iirc.
  7. duane

    duane New Member

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    Exactly. Guede's DNA was found in and on Meredith's body and (along with Meredith’s blood) on Meredith's purse. His shoe prints (set in Meredith’s blood) were found in the bedroom and hallway, and his handprints (also in Meredith’s blood) were found on a pillow case in Meredith's room and on her wall. But somehow Amanda and Sollecito, who according to the prosecution assisted in the alcohol-induced sex killing, were able to distinguish and clean away their DNA from the crime scene.
  8. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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  9. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    From that article:
    They should have retested the DNA in 2011 -- lots of mishandling and mistakes made with this case -- in the investigation, the original trial, and the appeal trial.
  10. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    So, does anyone who travels in the US get to speak the language they're fully fluent in, every time, if they happen to be interrogated?


    I'm not familiar with the Italian law enough to say whether or not proves are inadmissible unless a lawyer is present to councel you (not to mention the distinction between before and after arrest). But, again, is everyone in the US provided with a lawyer before being questioned? Or, say, is it possible that the police would try to gather as much information as possible, even if the person in question doesn't have a lawyer, expecially if the person is interrogated while not under arrest?


    Knox said they slapped her twice. When asked to mimic what happened, she showed two ligh slaps on the back base of her neck, not in her face.
    Police, however, says it's not true.
    And of course Amanda says they intimidated her (I think two ligh slaps at the back of the neck base would be intimidation, rather than physical abuse - not that it would be excusable), and of course the police says it's not true.
    So? Is that also something that would never have happened in the US?


    In the US do they read Miranda Rights wehn they arrest you, or also whenever they question you?
    Knox was questioned before being arrested.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  11. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know you were there.


    Your opinion is she should be sentenced not guilty. Which can't be possibly decided but according to Italian law.


    Yes, there are a number of reasons why the Harvard Law professor might be a complete idiot as you said.


    I see. From that point of view though, every one who travels takes willingly his/her own chances.

    Just out of curiosity: you valued the proves, the testimonies, the environment, her age, her disadvantages.
    Have you ever pondered that the support of an entire country the weight of the US (whose diplomats attended the trials from time to time, whose press has been actively campaining, also because Amanda Knox could afford what was called "one of the best PR agencies in the US") is a gigantic pressure for the judges, to the point it can even be intimidating and unfair?
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  12. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Of course not everyone here speaks the language, and if you don't speak English or possibly Spanish you are going to be in a tough situation- and I never said this wouldn't happen in the US to any person, I said if AMANDA was arrested in the US it would have been different. SHE does speak the language here.

    People are mistreated here too, and I never said they weren't- just recently there was a case of a guy thrown into solitary and FORGOTTEN about- he wasn't even charged yet. Minorities have a signifigantly higher false conviction rate as well.

    I have never been arrested or questioned for a crime so I do not know when Miranda rights are read exactly- they are definetly read upon arrest, however, I know that my sister- who was not arrested, had them read to her when being picked up by a cop for underage drinking. She was given a ticket and a ride home. The difference is that knowing the legal system Americans know they do not have to say ANYTHING to a cop without a lawyer present. A police officer could ask me directions to the nearest walmart, and I don't have to tell him if I don't have a lawyer present. If a police officer questioned me in another country, I wouldn't know if that was true.


    And yes, you definetly take a risk whenever you travel outside of the country. I think that cases like this really highlight that. I have no idea whether she is guilty or not, but the idea that an aquittal can be overturned is very eye opening to most Americans.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  13. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    I don't think "mistreat" is an accurate word to use in this contest, if the eventual language barrier and the being questioned (before arrest) without a lawyer present are simply accepted standard treatment, in the US too.

    The light slapping Amanda accused of the police can't be proven, and both sides would have reasons to lie.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  14. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I'm standing by use of the word mistreated. I think it is perfectly appropriate.

    If a person is questioned without a lawyer before arrest, anything collected from that questioning CANNOT be presented in court. And if it is shown they did not understand the interrogation due to the language barrier, the evidence is often not admissible either.

    However, the only point I wanted to make was that Amanda's case in Italy really can't be compared to if it happened here (in reference to Casey Anthony) because it would have been handled differently from the beginning.
  15. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone confirm this?


    If. I think Knox had every opportunity to do so, according to Italian law. She didn't lack representation.


    A different handling doesn't mean Knox was mistreated. Mistreatment would imply that the laws have been discarded, or that the laws aren't adeguate. Did the US, as a country in its official capacity, bring up these issues?

    Of course being in your own country makes a difference. But no country can grant you anything but the standard treatment. And no one can accuse of mistreatment a foreign country just because it's not like being at home.
  16. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Based on what I can tell from Italian law, counsel is supposed to be offered, and interogations are supposed to be recorded. Neither of these things happened. That appears to be mistreatment to me.

    Knox did lack representation at her initial interogation. She was not able to speak to a lawyer before the interogation, nor was a lawyer present during it.

    I can't confirm the statement about inadmissible evidence if collected before arrest in all cases, it likely varies by state, but I know there have been cases where it was thrown out. Some states apparently can use evidence if you are detained, which is not an arrest. But I think most Americans know to never say a THING if you have been brought into a police station.
    I also have read of cases where any confession was ruled inadmissible because of the arrestees inability to speak English and the police did not provide a sufficient translator when reading their rights to them.


    Again- I was ONLY saying there can be no comparision of this case to Casey Anthony's. And that if Knox had been arrested in the US her interogation would have been different. I really have no interest in comparing the systems- I don't think the Italian system is evil, nor do I think the American system perfect. Merely things would have been very different for Knox if she was arrrested here (not necessarily better though- the court of public opinion tends to immediatly blame whomever the police do. But once aquitted, you stay aquitted.)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  17. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

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    You don't need to be there to know what's on the record.
  18. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Technically, Miranda Rights are read when someone is "held" or taken into custody and before any questioning begins. If an individual responds to questions asked informally, that's not usually considered a situation in which Miranda Rights must be given before questioning or at all. However, there can always be arguments that Miranda Rights should have been given in informal situations and any information obtained without a Miranda warning can be deemed inadmissible. The question of duress can come into play -- whether or not an individual felt they could leave, whether or not they felt trapped or in danger. The argument basically turns on whether or not the individual was making a statement of their own free will without any undue pressure. That's why spontaneous statements/confessions (before Miranda Rights are read) are often admitted into evidence. It's always good practice for a law enforcement officer to advise an individual of their Miranda Rights because it helps to eliminate the possibility that any statements will be excluded.

    O-
  19. duane

    duane New Member

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    From my understanding, Olivia is correct. Miranda Rights are read at the time of arrest; the time of being charged. If someone is read the Miranda Rights at home, and then taken into custody for questioning, Miranda Rights aren't read again, but the person is usually reminded that his rights have been read (tho I don't think the police are required to give a reminder). At any time during questioning, if a lawyer is requested, questioning must immediately end.

    If a person is simply suspected of a crime but never charged, and asked to come in for questioning, Miranda Rights are not read. A person who isn't charged can always refuse to be questioned, or end questioning at any time. It is often after being informally asked questions that a person is then charged, because he/she has said something contrary to what the police already know is fact.
  20. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    However, as Olivia alluded to, there have been cases where evidence has not been admitted to the court because a person was being 'held' and not informed of their rights, but they made a statement under duress, and it was ruled in these cases they should have had their rights read to them.

    If a person is being questioned as a suspect, police are supposed to inform them of that and read them their rights.

    Spontaneous confessions are generally admitted, and incriminating things said during informal questioning when someone is not a suspect, but if a police is questioning someone in the same manner they would if they were arrested, they will usually have that evidence not admitted- you can't get around the laws by saying "but we hadn't arrested him yet". A judge isn't going to allow that.
  21. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    That's not my point. My point isn't that Italy is a horrible place where Amanda Knox was treated horribly. My point is that, if this had happened in the US, it all would have gone down entirely differently due to the fact that it's her country and she knows the language and the system and has a support system in place here. I would say the same thing if you had been accused of killing someone in the US while visiting here and said you were innocent. "If this had happened in Italy, it all would have gone down differently because it would have been in your country where you know the language and legal system and have a support system."

    I'm sorry you are so defensive that you can't see that. But it just seems sort of obvious to me. If this happened to you, you'd know what to do. You'd know if the police were overstepping their bounds and if they weren't. You'd know if they were leading you to say something you shouldn't because you'd get all the nuances of the language. You could call family/friends and they could get you a lawyer and come down to the police station and make demands on your behalf. If you were here in the US, you'd have none of that. You'd be at a disadvantage automatically even if our system of justice was the greatest in the world! (Which some people think it is.) But great or not, you'd be at a disadvantage because it's not YOUR system in YOUR language and you'd have limited resources too.

    Dershowitz has been demonstrating his idiocy on a regular basis for a long time now. He likes to get his name in the papers and weighs in with controversial statements on all sorts of cases. He's not one whose opinion I tend to respect because I don't find him to be someone who weighs in with a thoughtful nuanced opinion but something self-aggrandizing and designed to provoke. That's true even when he's right about whatever he's saying. This case is not the first time I've found his statements to be idiotic. And being a Harvard Law Professor just means he's smart. You can be smart and still be an idiot.

    I really don't care what the press says and haven't read a lot of press on the subject. I've read the description of some of the evidence and as soon as they said they found Guede's DNA and other physical evidence that he was involved in the crime but nothing of Amanda or her boyfriend's, I considered that the rest didn't matter.

    There just isn't any reasonable explanation for how she could have killed a girl and managed to clean up only her own presence like that. The entire case falls apart based on that alone. That kind of clean-up only happens in the movies and books. All the other stuff -- how she did or didn't act, whether her face is or isn't pretty, if she hired a PR agency and how good they are or aren't, who she did or did not accuse (which I find despicable, btw, that she accused someone else not knowing if they were innocent or guilty), whether or not she's a good person, what the law is in this country or that, how the police did or did not interrogate her .... it's now all irrelevant.

    (Not only that but, from what I can tell, she was very likely high or drunk or both that night which makes it even more impossible that she was able to do this miraculous clean-up that a lay person couldn't do and an expert would have a lot of trouble doing as well.)

    Btw, it's proofs. Proof is a noun, prove is a verb. Yes, English sucks. ;)
  22. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    Have you ever pondered that maybe if the news media had been fairer to Amanda Knox, maybe her family wouldn't have to hire "one of the best PR agencies in the US"?
  23. Peaches LaTour

    Peaches LaTour New Member

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    The U.S., government should stand by Amanda and tell Italy that enough is enough. Despite the differences in our legal systems, Italy had their chance and ultimately they let her go. End of story, IMO.
  24. Peaches LaTour

    Peaches LaTour New Member

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    And what country doesn't have some major screw-ups within their legal system?
  25. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    That was my point.
  26. duane

    duane New Member

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    The police don't have to inform a person that he/she is a suspect, and are free to ask questions before an arrest. The police do have to inform the person that the questioning is voluntary, and that he/she is free to leave at any time. This is different from Miranda Rights.
  27. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps this varies by state, or I may have just been wrong. I have always been told the police must inform you if you are being questioned as a suspect. If you are being detained, and not free to leave if Rights haven't been read to them, evidence collected is generally not considered admissible, unless they can prove they would have access to it without the questioning. As you say- no matter who they question, they still have to tell them it is voluntary.


    The one thing I do know, is no matter what, don't tell anything to a police officer about a crime without a lawyer present, even if you had no involvement at all. It is too hard for even a completely honest person to tell the same story the exact same way every time. Name, date of birth, state of residence, and that's it.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  28. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Correct -- Miranda rights are guaranteed by the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution.

    If a police officer questions you while you are in custody, then they must read you the Miranda rights. Custody doesn't just mean placed under arrest. It means any circumstance in which a reasonable person would not feel free to leave. Usually bringing someone to the police station for questioning will be considered "in custody" by the courts. Asking someone a couple of questions on the street generally will not be considered "in custody."

    If you are not properly Mirandized, then statements you make during such questioning are not admissible as evidence during a criminal trial. Sometimes, as you say, evidence collected based on statements made when in custody and not properly Mirandized can also get thrown out, as it is "fruits of the poisonous tree."
  29. duane

    duane New Member

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    A person only needs to be Mirandized when in police custody. Being in 'police custody' means you are under arrest. With Miranda, you have the right not to talk to the police, but being in police custody, you don't have the right to leave. If you are not under arrest--meaning you are not in police custody--you have the right not to talk and the right to leave at anytime.
  30. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Did anyone watch the interview tonight with Diane Sawyer? I was hoping for something more in depth although it was nice to hear from Amanda directly. I don't feel like I learned anything new, necessarily. I find myself getting angry with the Kercher family. I wish I didn't because I should feel badly for them but I feel they are on a witch hunt and they want Amanda to pay whether she committed the crime or not. I feel they would want as many people as possible to be locked up if they could convince a jury. It seems like most of it stems from anger that Amanda received all the attention and not Meredith and that must have been frustrating but it most certainly was not Amanda's fault. I am thinking of going and getting Amanda's book tomorrow. I wish they had asked Amanda if she will go to Italy for the trial (I am sure she will say no) and what she would do if she is found guilty again.
  31. Judge Dred

    Judge Dred New Member

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    The Kercher family lost their daughter! Brutally murdered.

    The Italian authorities are responsible for finding those responsible. If they feel that there is enough evidence to warrant a retrial, then Knox should be retried. If it had been a member of your family who was murdered, you would expect nothing less.
    Buzz and (deleted member) like this.
  32. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    And it appears that it can't be proven that Amanda murdered Meredith but they will just keep on trying...
  33. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    You bring up an interesting point. Is there new evidence? Has Italy said they have a reason to start this retrial OTHER THAN hoping to get one that sticks this time? If they have new evidence then I will be interested in hearing about it when the trial begins, otherwise it continues to feel like a witch hunt to save face.

    I do feel bad for the Kercher family but you can't force someone to be guilty, they either did it or they didn't. Trying someone over and over again wont solve a thing.
  34. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

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    I am on the west coast so haven't watched it yet.
  35. duane

    duane New Member

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    True justice is when the actual murderer is tried and convicted, and all the evidence points towards the guy who is sitting in prison for her murder. The focus of the Kercher family should be getting the decision to reduce Guede's sentence overturned.
  36. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

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    ITA.
  37. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    I think the issue is that the first trial was clearly full of procedural errors. That alone is enough for a retrial. You're totally missing the other side of the issue. A retrial could categorically and without a doubt CLEAR Amanda. The American media seems to be so focused on the idea that it's all a witch hunt, they're not looking at the silver lining.

    Why? The aren't the ones who caused the new trial. They're just the people who lost their daughter in the most brutal way imaginable, and the man convicted of it still says that Amanda and Rafaele were involved. Why shouldn't they be allowed another trial, free from procedural errors and tainted evidence?
    Buzz and (deleted member) like this.
  38. haribobo

    haribobo Well-Known Member

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    Yes! Although has the Kercher family said anything about Amanda specifically, or just that they are welcoming a retrial? It doesn't bother me if they just want another trial to flesh out there truth- it only bothers me if they are saying they want it because they think Amanda is guilty, which at this point would be ridiculous to say.

    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  39. merrywidow

    merrywidow Well-Known Member

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    In American law how many times can a person be retried for the same crime?
  40. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    In American law you cannot be retried for the same crime because of double jeopardy. But I thought the last time someone asked that someone else pointed out that this isn't quite the same thing? Not sure.