Amanda Knox's conviction reinstated by appeals court in Italy

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like such a nightmare!

    The Italian appeals court vacated the Not Guilty verdict against Amanda and her ex-boyfirend Rafael and reinstated the Guilty verdict.

    Now her attorney is appealing and taking it to the supreme court. Amanda is in Seattle, and she did not go to Italy for the retrial but Rafael is very much there and facing it all.

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/free/20140130amanda-knoxs-murder-conviction-upheld-appeal.html

    Such a sad story! We don't know what Amada did or did not do, but she was declared not guilty after spending 4 years in an Italian prison. In the USA she could not have been charged again after being released with a Not Guilty verdict- am I correct?
  2. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Correct, and sources say the US could refuse extradition on this basis. I'm not sure I support holding US citizens to US legal standards when they are in other countries, but I do think the Italian courts have been essentially a clown car on this case.
  3. duane

    duane New Member

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    At least Amanda is here in the states. I think no way will she be extradited.

    I feel so badly for Rafael!
  4. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I feel horribly for them both. Thank goodness she is here but she will never be able to leave the country for fear of other countries extraditing her. I suppose there are far worse countries to be stuck in.
  5. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    That's a perfect description of this fiasco. Same thing when the Italian courts sentenced six scientists to six years in prison (and a $10 million fine) for not predicting the earthquake that struck L'Aquila in 2009. But then again, it took nearly 400 years for the Pope to express regret on the way Galileo's case was handled.
  6. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    Really a small price to pay for her safety.....

    What a mess all of this is. I can't imagine, though, that the Italian courts in reversing a not guilty verdict would have much sway to extradite her.
  7. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    I hope they are appealing as was stated above, didn't know it had already been started, but surely The Supreme Court of Italy might have a more sane verdict, I believe there is no DNA evidence.
  8. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    And the Pope who did express regret wasn't Italian. :shuffle:
  9. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Is there a limit to the number of trials that could be held under Italian law? How long could this go on?
  10. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    Depends on how big the gas tank of the clown car is.
  11. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Thanks, makes total sense. :D
  12. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    I feel terrible for Amanda. All the evidence is completely circumstantial. I do not understand, for a moment, how a court could actually convict her. I do believe that she made some bad choices, but I think she already served time for those. I don't think she had a hand in murdering Kercher at all.
  13. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    I think Rafael was kind of nuts to stay in Italy while this was a possibility.

    I don't know where he could have safely gone, but ... I would not want to be him right now. Obviously I don't think they committed the crimes they are accused of.
  14. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    I didn't follow the case all that well....is Rafael Italian?
  15. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if this actually happened but there could be a couple of possible scenarios - 1) he did not have a passport, although it's so easy to travel in Europe that it's hard to imagine he did not have one, 2)After his first conviction, may be they took away his passport so he won't try to run to another country- I don't know what Italian laws are for a convict, 3)even if he had the passport with him, it would have been difficult for him to get through airports to escape to another country, once he was charged with murder (and after his conviction).

    I feel even more sorry for Rafael than for Amanda. At least she is in a safe place- in her home country, free, and with her family. I doubt that the US govt will extradite her, particularly after seeing the whole circus. There is no way she can get a fair trial in Italy.
  16. SHARPIE

    SHARPIE Hapless Board Owner Staff Member

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    LOL at all the 'Poor Amanda!' handwringing! :lol:. Oh well, she can make plenty of money appearing on Oprah now.


    I'd rather save my sympathies for the Kercher family thanks!
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    Circumstantial evidence can bring about a conviction if there is enough of it and it all points to the person being guilty.

    Amanda Knox deserved her time in prison for her perjury and falsely accusing someone else of committing the murder. Anybody who does something like that deserves what they get.
  18. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    Yes. But why should he, or would he flee the country? it would have made him look guilty. I really don't think anyone should be fleeing their country to get out of a murder trial. What kind of freedom is living on the run?

    Yep! People are in prison all around the world for things they didn't do...and the US isn't an exception. How many men have been executed and then proven innocent? Amanda did make some bad decisions and I don't think the evidence is there that she OR Rafael did it, but she's made a fortune while the Kercher family couldn't even all afford plane fares to go to the trial. In all this legal and media circus, let's not forget a murder did happen and an innocent girl died.

    I agree with the latter sentence. As to the circumstantial evidence...we could only speculate about the verdict that would have been reached in another legal system, but it's pretty sketchy. The fact the court of appeal threw it out last time because the evidence didn't stack up spoke volumes, and this new trial has changed the alleged motive to one that hadn't been completely shattered by the court of appeal. The only issue is...there's still no DNA evidence and the motive is sketchy at best. I doubt they did it, but they're the only ones who really know.

    I'm astounded that more weight hasn't been given to the fact that Rudy Guede had his sentence reduced for implicating Amanda and Rafael. But really? He implicated them in the same way she tried to implicate another - to pass off guilt and get out of a heftier sentence. The forensic evidence suggests he did it alone and then lied to save himself.
  19. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    I don't feel sorry for her. :shuffle:
  20. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    And if Amanda is innocent, which many think she is (myself included), then none of that is her fault. People seem to think that Amanda should spend the rest of her life locked up in a room feeling horrible for the Kercher family. Amanda has made some bad decisions and has never been one to come across as very remorseful but if I were wrongly convicted and went through this entire mess, I might have a hard time being too remorseful for anyone else as well. It is horrible that the Kercher died but it is also horrible that a young girl has had her life ruined. As for the $$$, why shouldn't she make money while she can? Her family spent millions defending her and getting her out of that country and going to visit when she was in prison. She is trying her best to recoup that. She knows more trials are to come and those aren't going to be free. She needs to make all the money she can.
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  21. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    The murder was committed in Italy though. ;)

    I really can't understand why people think she is innocent. Yes, only circumstantial evidence but enough of it exists and she didn't exactly help her case with perjury.

    As far as I understand it, until the Supreme Court issues its ruling, since it's the highest court of appeal.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  22. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    Didn't the "perjury" occur after hours of interrogation?

    In the US, perjury is when you lie under oath, so in an affidavit or a deposition or when testifying in a trial.
  23. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Executed and proven innocent? Not that many, actually, unless you go further back in history. But the Innocence Project does have a long list of people who were exonerated after being falsely convicted, some of whom died in prison or not too long after being released, and I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    I don't know enough about this case to say anything about Knox's guilt or innocence, but I am inclined to be sympathetic first of all to Meredith Kercher's family. Still, if Knox is indeed innocent, it doesn't matter if she's a nice person or not - spending years in jail for something you didn't do sucks.
  24. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Also: Arizona's home page? Seriously, Vash? :p

    The BBC article sums up the whole story quite well and in quite an objective manner as well:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25941999

    Again, the murder and the trial happened in Italy and not the US. :p

    You can feel free to replace 'perjury' with 'lying to the police' and 'changing her story' if you want, though. ;) My point is that it didn't help her case and it didn't exactly make her look innocent.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  25. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    1 is too many, IMO. There have been at least 3 cases I can recall in recent time where an innocent person was executed.


    But the number of people who have been exonerated before they were executed is enough evidence to me that we shouldn't be executing. Those people were only NOT executed because of tireless work by others; how many people does that not happen for?


    If Knox is innocence, I absolutely feel horrible for her. Feeling badly that someone's life has been ruined doesn't mean you don't also feel horribly for the girl who lost her life and her family who has had to deal with it. If Knox was not involved she should not be made to suffer just because Meredith's family needs closure. She has already served her time for lying.
  26. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    In law school, I did a lot of work on innocent defendants and the whole "phenomenon" of how innocent people get convicted in the US. Many of them confessed after being subjected to duress, or were implicated by others who had been subjected to duress, or were implicated by solid witnesses who really believed they were the one that did it, when in fact they weren't.

    So based on what I learned, I am not inclined to think someone who lies to the police during an intense interrogation or after an intense experience to be a person of bad character. It is nothing like a lie in the course of a normal day. Sometimes it's not even affirmative statements but repeating what the interrogator stated in hopes that would bring the process to an end. After what I've learned, I can't even view it as an indication of guilt. It's all very messy.
  27. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    As far as I understand it, the way it has played out:

    The initial conviction had to be vacated after the DNA evidence was proven to be unreliable. So the case went to the Court of Cassation, which has decided to send it back to trial. The trial ended with a guilty verdict. Knox and Solecito are lodging an appeal and the case is going to go to the Italian Supreme Court, which is the highest instance, and its verdict will be final.
  28. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Who are you referring to? I know there were doubts about Troy Davis's guilt, but nothing conclusive. Cameron Todd Willingham was most likely innocent, though, since he was convicted of murder by arson and evidence points to there being no arson. Anyway, I agree, one is still too many, and you read about cases like that of Anthony Graves (also here) and it's clear that some people were convicted and sentenced to death on the flimsiest of evidence. But even if there weren't so many exonerations, I'd still be opposed to the death penalty.
  29. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Some people have enough of a sense of sympathy that they can feel it for more than one family. :shuffle:
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  30. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I had to go search and see if I could figure out the names of the people since I was only remembering their cases: Carlos DeLuna, Cameron Todd Willingham, and Johnny Garrett were the ones I was thinking of.
  31. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that (as someone else said) that would have made him look guilty. And, even with a passport (which I am sure he had - as I remember him visiting Knox in Seattle) he would need a visa for an extended stay, anywhere. I don't think running would have helped him.

    As Coco already said, after hours of intense police interrogation, plenty of people have admitted to things they didn't do. They may have overtly admitted or implied guilt. But, police can ask questions in a manner that can be confusing and/or manipulative, to get an answer they want. The Italian police screwed up the crime scene, the DNA was not the only thing that was compromised. They wanted a conviction and probably didn't care how they got it. And I don't say this lightly, seeing as how everyone here knows how much I love Italy.
  32. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Not quite. Knox was sentenced guilty on first degree trial, and by US standards she would not have been granted an appeal - hence, she would have been serving, period. Italian law grants second degree trial and further appeal to supreme court, after first degree trial, which is why Knox is now free in the US. US lawyers pointed that out.

    One could also speculate that in every country, given an unlimited number of tries, a verdict could change. If the lawyers change, if the experts change, if the jury changes, if the judges change, and so on.


    I think you think right. Doesn't mean it is right, though.


    You should rethink your sources: people that died in L'Aquila earthquake were told they could go home and rest reassured. That's why the scientists were sentenced guilty. No one ever sentenced them for not predictiong earthquakes.


    I've answered this once before, and got it wrong (warned though I was unsure). The correct answer would be no.

    For most crimes there's statute of limitation, which doesn't stop once the trial has begun. This is why italian trials are designed to be so long: it's a get out of jail card, that everyone with enough money to stretch things along can buy. Berlusconi's justice troubles accentuated the issue, since he wrote laws meant for this exact purpuse.

    There's no statute of limitation for murder though. So further appeals can always be asked for and granted. Only the Supreme Court can state a definitive sentence: validating, changing partially or totally the previous one; and the Supreme Court's job is only on merit and method (is the sentence legally sound? is it logically sound?), they cannot issue a trial of their own. If the Supreme Court feels like thay don't have enough to sentence they can order a further trial. In Knox case, the Supreme Court issued 14 points of the second degree trial sentence that they found not logically and legally sound, and that's what this last trial was about.

    I'll briefly write about one of those: Amanda's first false declarations.
    When the investigation still hadn't supsects or taken turns, Amanda said that Lumumba had killed Meredith, and that she was in the house and heard the whole thing, she described it in details that match what happened, and were later on confirmed by killer Guede.
    The second degree trial disregarded entirely her declarations, perahps, they said, pressured out of Know.
    Supreme Court noted that, although those declarations could be hold as substanl truth, they could not be disregarded either.
    Because Amanda told them to the police; later on, when she was alone, she wrote them down in her own hand writing and gave the papers to the police; and again later, she repeated the same things to her mother, when the two of them thought they were having a private conversation. So pressure could be seriously questioned.
    Also, she was sentenced guilty of defamation against Lumumba (definitive sentence) based on that declarations, which, evidently, were considered valid in that trial.
    So, in short and not complete, this is one of the 14 issues the Supreme Court asked for more.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
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  33. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    :huh:

    Criminal defendants in the United States do have the right of appeal. As to convicition would have been affirmed or reversed, with a new trial to follow, or even reversed and voided for prosecutorial misconduct, we can only speculate.
  34. poths

    poths Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to brag abut, surely! :confused:


    I love how most Americans are experts on this case based on some CNN reports and an Interview on [insert tripe morning show].

    I'm quite confident that the Italian courts can decipher the evidence ....It's regrettable that it took so long, but pleasing that mistakes can be acknowledged and rulings over turned accordingly.

    Amanda Knox is now a proven murderer. . .
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
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  35. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Oh good, there is an end in site. Thanks.
  36. poths

    poths Well-Known Member

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    I need to leave this thread. Moronic, sentimental, uninformed statements like those above, slightly enrage me.
  37. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    ????

    I think most Americans see value in our double jeopardy laws, something guaranteed to us by our Constitution. Certainly, I don't recall any charge to change them.
  38. Nekatiivi

    Nekatiivi Well-Known Member

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    I really feel for Amanda and Rafaello. No one should be sentenced without clear evidence, ever. In this case, there are absolutely no clear evidence (if any) against Amanda and Rafaello. Guede was sentenced and his DNA was all over the murder scene with no trace of Amanda or Rafaello. The end. No sympathy for Kercher family anymore, their bitterness will not bring Meredith back. My heart goes completely out for these two young people who's lives have been ruined because of people feel need to reach some kind of sick atonement.

    I have personally felt how it feels to have your family member to be drag trough courts for something they did not do. Years after years. This happens to innocent people all the time. Living in suspicion and shame and uncertainly really breaks you down mentally. It ruins more than one persons life: the whole family is torn apart. And only because people have need to have someone to blame. All those years made me a very sick person and I don't know if I can ever get better. I hope things turn out better for Knox and Sollecito family than they did for my family.
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  39. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    You took the words out of my mouth. And yes, I have enough sympathy for more than one person or family. It's just that I don't know Amanda & I have no idea if she deserves my sympathy. The Kercher family clearly does.

    I have been thinking the same thing ever since I even heard of this murder, not just about Americans but about anyone who weighed in with a definite guilty or innocent verdict. Unless a person has seen & heard all evidence & unless he/she was in the courtroom or read all the transcripts, I don't see how anyone can be so convinced they know she did or did not do it.
  40. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    You are correct. I am not sure what the lawyers loulou referenced were talking about.

    And she was also proven not guilty. Whether or not the Italian courts are capable is one thing. However, it is clear that the police botched this. DNA was going to be an issue, simply due to the fact that Amanda lived there. Of course her DNA would be in the rooms. However, it was the layering (if you will). There was no DNA positioned to indicate that Knox was in contact with the crime scene during or after the murder. There was nothing on Knox or Sollecito to indicate they were participants. They behaved strangely, yes. But that could have been for a number of reasons: they had been doing drugs and were afraid of getting caught for that, confusion, shock, fear. None of those things prove they killed her or were involved. We, also, were not present at the interrogation. We have no clear idea of how Knox was questioned and how her answers may or may not have been misrepresented. Interrogation is meant to confuse and get the person to loose track of their statements and admit something. It can also cause a person to admit to things they did not actually understand. Especially in a language they are not fluent in. I cannot say, with certainty, that she had nothing to do with any of it. I can say, that I don't believe she did, based on the evidence. Or rather lack of evidence.
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