Amanda Knox's conviction reinstated by appeals court in Italy

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

  1. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Are Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito worse off than those "bitter" Kerchers? :rolleyes: Especially Knox, who is in the US and can move on with her life?

    We don't know if Knox is innocent. We do, however, know that the Kerchers' loss is worse than anything that she has experienced, even if she was wrongfully convicted.
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  2. SHARPIE

    SHARPIE Hapless Board Owner Staff Member

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    What's that supposed to bloody mean?

    The only sympathy I have for Knox the convicted murderer is that she is currently sporting a pretty tragic haircut at the moment!!
  3. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Who is bragging? I simply asked a question because I didn't know the answer with certainty.

    About Italian courts, I am sure most of them do a good job. It does not mean they didn't botch this case (and there could be other exceptions too that we don't know about). I am not saying US courts are correct 100% of the times. Many verdicts in the USA have been questionable.

    How is Amanda a "proven murderer"? She was acquitted once for lack of evidence. She is innocent until proven beyond reasonable doubt of her guilt, unless Italian law, which I know nothing about, assumes that she is guilty until proven innocent.
  4. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    The latest trial convicted her- so I think her current status in Italy is "proven murderer".
  5. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. What happened to the Kercher family is very tragic but that does not mean sympathy is to be limited to them. Depending on their own background, people may feel different levels of sympathy. Amanda being alive, will naturally get less sympathy than her late roommate. It's only natural, but I don't see why feeling sympathy for Amanda is being interpreted as not feeling sympathy for the Kerchers.
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  6. zippy

    zippy Active Member

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    Exactly. This isn't a US vs. Italy thing; it happens everywhere. People think the truth will win out in the end and relent under pressure if giving a statement means they can end the interrogation. Here's a good article on false confessions that also addresses the unwillingness of police and prosecutors to accept that the confession/statement was false, sometimes going to extreme lengths to explain away solid DNA evidence that exonerates the confessor. Once a case is going a certain direction, there is often institutional inertia to keep it going that way even in the face of evidence proving them wrong. People have their career and reputations at stake and are invested in being "right". Police want to secure an arrest quickly. Prosecutors want to win their case.

    In the case of Amanda, she was told that the police had hard evidence that she was at her house at the time of the murder, and also that they had proof that Patrick Lumumba was the killer. They told her that Raffaele had given incriminating evidence against her. They kept telling her to imagine what the scene was like if she was there while Patrick killed Meredith and promised she could go if she did so. They had already found hairs that showed a man of African heritage was at the crime scene, and when they saw Amanda's text messages with Patrick, they thought it must be him. Amanda didn't make that scenario up out of the blue; it was suggested to her.
  7. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    How do people who think Amanda and boyfriend are guilty explain the absence of their DNA at the murder scene?
  8. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Except that it apparently is US vs. Italy (or US vs. wherever) to some people on this thread. I mean, as an American, I am disgusted that the US has the death penalty and that likely innocent people have been executed. But WTH does the death penalty in the US have to do with Amanda Knox? And, really, we're going to declare the "mean low intelligence of the population" in the US because we don't like what some people in the US believe about Amanda Knox? And we're going to judge the Italian judicial system entirely based on this case? That'd be like some non-US person watching a few episodes of Dateline or 48 Hours and declaring that the US judicial system is a mess.

    I don't know what to think about Amanda Knox, whether or not she did it and whether or not the process was fair. But many of the comments in this thread make it quite clear that, for whatever reason, very few people seem to be able to view this case objectively.
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  9. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your sane post.

    O-
  10. Nekatiivi

    Nekatiivi Well-Known Member

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    I am sure Knox can't move on with her life at the current situation. :roll eyes:

    Of course what happened to Kerchers is extremely terrible but nothing will bring Meredith back. But their statements make it clear that they want Knox and Sollecito in jail even thought they are not sure if these two had nothing do with the murder. I have very little sympathy for that kind of mindset. Young life was lost in vain, why ruin two more for no reason?
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  11. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Until this conviction is overturned and she is once again found innocent of the murder .... bla bla bla...

    Italy is making a mockery of the judicial system. :rolleyes:
  12. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak for anyone else. However, for me, it is not a US/Italy issue. Whether it happened in Italy, the US, the UK, or anywhere else, the evidence is not solid and it has been shown that the police compromised the scene, interrogated her for long hours, in a language she was not fluent in, suggested things in manipulative ways, etc. Italy is not alone in this kind of practice. It goes on in the US too. Zippy's post is pretty spot on. for me, it doesn't matter that Knox is American, if she did it, she should be punished. I just don't see anything remotely compelling which proves she did. It is unfortunate that Americans would be blind to justice, if she did it. And equally unfortunate that the Kercher family would want her punished even if she is innocent. I understand the need for closure and for someone to pay, but not if the person didn't do it.

    Is there any real information on how they came to this new conclusion? I mean, when it was overturned, it was pretty straightforward, that they didn't have conclusive evidence.
  13. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Is an appeal granted in the US in any case?


    Maybe my previous post took too long, but not really. Hypothetically, if the Supreme Court keeps ordering new trials, it could go on forever. It'll end, only if both parts decide to not appeal a sentence, or if the Supreme Court states a sentence.


    Funny. You're half mistaking him for a much more talented one. - Raffaele, Raffaello. And to my knowledge, no Rafaellos.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  14. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that appeals are always granted. I believe that new evidence or possibility of misconduct in the original trial need to be presented. I believe that anyone convicted has the right to ask for and have their request for an appeal evaluated. Whether or not they always get it, I can't answer with confidence.
  15. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    This is how I view it.

    1) It's hard enough for the educated and trained ones to navigate in trials, but surely none of us has the knowledge (of the science, of the law, of the facts) to say whether the three of them are guilty or innocent.

    2) No country likes to see one of their own on trial abroad. Big and powerful US expecially.
    This case clearly makes an audience, so the US press is bound to talk about it, and the only angle they could explore is innocence.
    Plus Knox family spent good money on PR.
    No wonder the US people are inclined to think the thing is unjust, but they should consider they only get reports from a specific angle.

    3) The angle is opposite in the UK: again press talks about what makes audience, but the only acceptable angle they can work there is guilty.
    UK people have a widely different view than US people.

    4) Italian justice.
    There is no previous episode that would suggest they went after Knox because she was american. Infact, Americans tend to be treated pretty well in Italy, justice wise.
    There's nothing that would suggest italian judges are sub par, infact, maybe it's the opposite.
    There is US pressure going on on this trial. US diplomacy attended the whole thing, and it's been reported to be very active. If I had to bet, I'd say judges will look for a way to not convict Knox, if they can find one that goes with their ethics.

    5) Both knox and Sollecito can count on excellent resources. When Sollecito was found not guilty, his lawyer was sitting in the parlament (on Berlusconi's side), she was head of the parlament justice commettee, she could have influenced the judges career, or at least make their professional life difficult, had she wanted to. I'd call that shit.
    Anyway, I'd bet that if there's so much of an evidence, a procedure, a testimony they can attack they will; they are in the position to leave no stone unturned.

    There really isn't much to add: whatever happens will be at the very least just, as just as humans can be when they make their best effort.
    Except for the Kerchers, of course.
  16. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget the Lifetime movie with Hayden Panettiere.

    I feel about Amanda Knox much the same way I feel about OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony and John Zimmerman in the states. Guilty as feck but benefiting from lack of forensic evidence, bungled police involvement, shitty prosecution and a good defense team.

    Having said that, I'm not an expert on any of these cases. :shuffle:
  17. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    I read somewhere online in that in Italy, suspects cannot be heard under oath so they cannot be guilty of perjury no matter what they say. loulou is this right?

    But defamation is another story. Amanda did falsely accuse someone else (even though this was allegedly suggested to her by police). She isn't the first or last person to confuse fantasy and reality while under duress, but that doesn't absolve her at all - she was very detailed, yet weird, in her statement. She was convicted of "calunnia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calunnia -- and sentenced to three years (lenient if the wiki is correct about sentencing) and assessed some fines/restitution. She was in jail 4 years, but I don't think she has paid up. If she served her time on that offense, she doesn't deserve to be convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 more years just because of her calunnia. She deserves the 25 years if she helped murder Meredith Kercher.

    I once read the English translations and summaries of the court reports linked here: http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com/Primary_Sources Based on that I had the gut feeling that the murderer (Rudy Guede) is in jail. I am not convinced of Amanda's or Raffaele's guilt or innocence. I doubt a jury would have gotten to "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the US, but this was Italy, and I am not convinced they weren't there. Ambivalent I guess. I haven't read anything from the latest trial.

    I feel worst for the Kerchers because I think they have been convinced that Amanda and Raffaele did this. No matter what happened, they will never feel justice has been done if Amanda doesn't serve her time. That has to be just horrible to live with. Debilitating.

    Apparently Raffaele did make it to Austria before the verdict, but came back to Italy and was picked up there. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/01/31/amanda-knox-ex-boyfriend-in-hotel-near-border/

    just read loulou' post - I agree with all of that post.
  18. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    That would make a difference. As far as I'm aware of, there was no miconduct in the first trial, and no new evidence or testimony was presented. They simply had the chance to start over, does that happen in the US? It happens in Italy, which is why Knox is now home free.

    As I said before: given the chance to change jury, judges, lawyers, labs, strategies, in any country this is bound to produce different verdicts.
    Also: when a verdict is read in Italy, all parts get are notified in the specific its motivations, which gives them a chance to correct their strategy where they failed, and makes their job the second time much easier.
  19. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    That sounds pretty fair. Another thing for me is motive. In addition to inadequate evidence, lack of DNA, why? She and Raffaele have no history of violence. And Guede appears to have done it, why would they have been involved?

    Have to agree with this. And if they didn't do it, the Kerchers will never feel justice has been found.

    Loulou, I agree with your post, in general. However, I have no problem with an American being tried abroad and convicted with compelling evidence. As to a screw up. I think that happened within the first few hours/days of the investigation. And I think it would be nearly impossible for the Italian courts to really find out what happened. I believe they will do their best. But, unfortunately too much has been compromised at this point. I don't think either way, guilty or innocent, will ever feel completely comfortable for anyone.
  20. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I cannot give you an answer re: does it happen here. I could ask my husband or son, they are lawyers. I realize that they did not have to present any of that in Italy. However, I think that Americans see the DNA issue as grounds for a mistrial.

    The one significant difference, here, is that once you have been found not guilty, you cannot be retried for the same crime. Now, I do believe there are ways to get around that. If different evidence comes to light, they can be tried for a different crime.
  21. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    I think you mean George Zimmerman. I doubt that John Zimmerman has been on trial for murder...
  22. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

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    :eek:

    :slinkaway
  23. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    In the U.S., convicted defendants have a right to review by an intermediate appellate court. In capital cases when a death sentence is imposed, there is a direct, automatic appeal and, of course, a stay of execution in the meantime.

    Convicted defendants can ALWAYS request an appeal. Whether or not the appellate court will grant the appeal and/or whether the appeal will be successful is quite another matter, and depends, in large part, on the grounds for appeal.

    O-
  24. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    True. But lots of smarmy people turn out not to be murderers.

    I'm not. For one thing, the evidence was compromised from the get-go. And there's been a massive case of CYA ever since. I doubt any court in any country could decipher the evidence now.
  25. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Loulou, I asked my husband, and I will try to explain as best I can. In a criminal case, you are always entitled to an appeal, if you are convicted. You appeal based on weight of evidence against verdict, conviction contrary to evidence, procedural or substantive errors. In the appeal it is decided to either uphold the decision of the lower court or to overturn it. Then the prosecutor decides if he/she will let the new decision stand or will retry the case. However, if the original trial produces a not guilty, there can never be an appeal. That would constitute double jeopardy.
  26. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Death stare of sexiness?? It's entirely possible.
  27. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I think loulou's confusion stems from hearing that the case could not be appealed when the lower court found Knox not guilty if it had been held in the US.

    The prosecution cannot appeal in the US. The defense can.

    There are exceptions to the double jeopardy rule, too, so that's not entirely cut and dried, either.
  28. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I bet she's crying all the way to the bank :lol: Recoup is one thing, but she's made a clear fortune from this far beyond the legal fees. If she were the only one accused, that'd be something...but Rafael hasn't made that kind of cash, so once again there is a double standard.


    Nor will your bitterness change whether or not Knox and Sollecito were involved. I'm sorry for what you and your family went through, but I guarantee the Knox and Sollecito families are far better off than the Kerchers, who had their daughter brutally murdered. There's no end for them, ever. Assuming Amanda and Rafael are innocent, the Kerchers are still victims of the justice system as well. They've been let down by a botched investigation and questionable trial just as much as the others have. Where is their justice? At the end of the day, Amanda and Rafael are alive and their families will have more comfort in that than the Kerchers, who will only ever be able to visit their daughter and sister's grave and nothing more.

    Precisely.

    Why not? She's an independently wealthy young woman, walking free in her home country, and getting an education. Sounds like she has been getting on with her life. Even if the appeal upholds the convictions, she may never spend another day in prison. She has a life - that puts her in a far better position than Meredith.

    Try to put yourself in their shoes. Since 2007, they've been told that Knox and Sollecito did it. Unless the police admit they were wrong, which they haven't, what have that family got to go on? They've been let down by this as much as anyone else. Their mindset is that they believe what the police and two separate courts have told them, which is that Knox and Sollecito are guilty. If we as bystanders can't be objective, why do you expect the victim's family would be?

    They're not trying to ruin two more lives without reason; they're trying to get justice for their family. Whether or not that sense of justice is misplaced, I don't know, and neither can anyone else posting here.
  29. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Just how much money has Amanda made, anyway?

    And how is it a double standard that she has made money and Rafael has not?
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Yoohoo!? Legal eagles of FSU??!! :drama:

    I repeat, how do people who think Knox and boyfriend are guilty when their DNA wasn't found at the scene? And that other guy's DNA was all over, IIRC? That seems to be convincing that at least they weren't in the room, but perhaps in the house?

    I also want to see her tragic haircut.

    ETA: found the haircut--it IS tragic. Also, found this old article about facial expression and how people like to interpret what they see as the truth. We here on FSU are particularly fond of doing this, myself included.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/08/amanda-knox-facial-expressions

    My favorite quote:
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  31. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Well…not surprising that some people are turning into a European v. American thing. Posters can be so predictable.

    I echo everything Coco has said in this thread. There are way too many cases of human beings saying things they think the interrogator wants to hear under intense interrogations and duress and having those statements shown to be false.
  32. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    These two statements don't seem to match to me. Either an appeal is always granted (to the defendant) or it isn't - I understand a defendant can always request.
    In Italy, appeal is always granted. Which is why Knox is free.


    No. And I don't think I was ever confused, but I believe I don't make myself sufficiently clear.
    I was refferring to what OliviaPug says. I thought in the US appeal wouldn't be always granted, and, as far as I know, there was no base in Knox first trial that would have granted her an appeal in the US. Hence, she wouldn't have been free by now.

    Now I'm confused though, I don't know if appeal is always granted to the defendant.


    As far as comments about DNA and messed up evidences/investigations, I think it's hard for us to discuss.
    All we know is filterd, at best, by someone who knows how to. I believe both in the US and in the UK it is also filterd from an angle.

    Convictions can be made on strong circumstantial evidences (in the US too, I remember someone posting here they were on a jury and did it just fine).

    I have a hard time believing they would convict the two of them on strong circustantial evidence, if the scenario wasn't scientifically plausible too.
    Not in this case, there's too much behind those guys for that to happen: media attention, money, important lawyers and such a big country as the US, which is on it full weight.
    In my opinion, they are being careful, and if they can sentence not guilty without breaking work ethics, they will.
    US people always talk about Knox being pressured, but hardly see how the judges are.

    Sollecito's defence made news a few weeks ago: for the first time they asked to the judges to consider Knox and Sollecito seprately, as in not being together that night. It was reported they changed strategy because they had seen that the Supreme Court arguments on Knox initial statements left little to no room to a nice verdict, and hoped to make Sollecito's position less severe. It appears from the sentence it didn't work.

    As I understand it, but again, I don't think it's for us to understand, they are being convicted on strong circustantial evidences, which come mainly from Knox initial statements, when she falsely accused Lumumba. The scientifical part can be explained and does go with it. If it doesn't, Supreme Court will tell, with US diplomacy waiting outside the door.

    For those who say she's been forced, it appears that she made her statements three times: talking to the police, later on wrote them down while alone and then gave the sheets to the police, later again while talking to her mother thinking no one was listening (yes, it appears she told her mom Lumumba had killed Kercher).


    -- One more thing: someone asked if a defendant could lie on trial. I believe so, I believe the italian law allows a defendant to lie on trial. Witnesses can't though.
    UK lawyer Mills was convicted for lying on Berlusconi's trial to save his a$$, though then spared by statute of limitation. Mills had been bribed. When his tax people asked where the money came from, the fool wrote them a letter claiming it was Berlusconi's bribe "to cut tricky corners on stand". He must have thought they were all as filthy as he is.
  33. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    No; appeals are only granted if there is a finding of judicial error in the initial trial.

    Whether or not there would have been an appeal granted in this case would have depended on the trial. I don't think you can say one way or another, given the differences in systems.
  34. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    That makes quite a difference.
    It might suck that in Italy the prosecutor can appeal, but it must be nice to know that if you are convicted, you'll be able to read in detail why, and you'll be granted an appeal in which you'll have the chance to address your previous failures.


    I haven't heard anything that could weaken the first trial: as far as I know it was by the book. And I also haven't heard about new elements added later on. What I believe they did, is merely introducing different scenarios (particularly related the scientific evidences), that could plant doubts.

    But you're right: I can't say whether Knox would have been granted appeal in the US, nor anyone else can say she wouldn't have been convicted in the US.
  35. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    how many ignore lists are you on gurl?

    if anyone had the ability to scrub their dna out of that room, while leaving guede's - they need a CSI show.
  36. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    That's the thing, though; the book would be different. A jury here might not convict on the same evidence; some evidence may or may not have been admitted; any number of things could have resulted in a different outcome.

    If they had been convicted and appealed, the success or failure of the appeal would also depend on what occurred at that specific trial.

    I think that if the trial had been held here in the US, the lack of DNA at the scene would have made it very hard for a prosecutor to get a conviction--provided that that information was allowed into the trial (one never knows)--because everyone watches CSI and jurors tend to think they know a lot about DNA evidence, much to the exasperation of both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Nearly all cases in the US are tried based on circumstantial evidence, so that by itself isn't a significant difference, but I think the DNA thing would be deadly for the prosecution here.

    And having said that, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Americans in general might overestimate their knowledge of DNA evidence, but that doesn't mean that DNA evidence or the lack thereof is not a real issue.
  37. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I know Prancer doesn't have one. :p And she has a legal background, no?
    They need a bloody Nobel in physiology or medicine.
  38. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    prancer has all the backgrounds, remember that before you type
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  39. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    PML! I was a paralegal in business and real estate 25 years ago.

    It you want legal advice on a criminal trial issue, find a criminal lawyer. We ought to have one around here somewhere; we have several lawyers on board.
  40. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this statement. The Kerchers are victims of the botched justice system. I really don't know what I think about Amanda's innocence or guilt.