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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    I have to say that I never understood the claim that Knox was being persecuted because she was so attractive. She isn't, and even if she was, that's something that usually helps a case rather than the other way around.

    Actually, that part can be explained. People make false confessions for all sorts of reasons, and might know details that "only the killer would" because police interrogators provide them, inadvertently or on purpose (see here, here and here, for example). That's why it's important to 1. record interrogations in full and 2. have forensic evidence that supports confessions.

    I don't know about the rest of it, though, and certainly implicating an innocent man does not reflect well on her. Sometimes false confessions also involve accusations against other parties (e.g. Jessie Misskelley of the West Memphis Three), but in her case she simply fingered him as the sole perpetrator, didn't she?
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  2. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    What is unclear, though, is whether the police put the suggestion in her head. There have been reports that the police asked her if Lumumba could have been there/done it. To imagine the scene, if he had. All stemming from texts they found on her phone, between she and Lumumba regarding work.
  3. zippy

    zippy Active Member

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    She certainly didn't give details no one else would know in her recorded statements - that was the most confused word salad I've ever read. "I remember confusedly that he killed her" is describing precisely in detail what happened? She and all the roommates had already been told that Meredith had been found under a duvet on the floor with her throat cut. If she gave other details during the interrogation, we'll never know, because it wasn't recorded. None of that was supposed to be considered during the trial anyway because no lawyer was there. Not to turn this into an attack on Italy's justice system but that is one of the points that Americans have a hard time with, that it was ruled inadmissible in the trial but it was heard by the jury anyway since the defamation case occurred simultaneously. And now apparently is a factor in the latest conviction.

    Really? The trial documents are easily available online. Some of us have plenty of science background to be able to understand the forensic details and problems with the prosecution's evidence. If everyone was so complacent, the West Memphis Three might still be in prison. We can look at the evidence:

    Rudy Guede's handprint set in the victim's blood was found on a pillowcase underneath the body and on the wall in the bedroom where the murder took place. His bloody shoe prints were found in the bedroom and in the hall leading out the door. His fingerprints were on the victim's purse and his DNA was inside the victim. His stool was in the toilet. He had a history of break-ins similar to the one at Knox's and Kercher's house. While the Knox/Sollecito prosecution claimed it was impossible for him to scale the window, there's video evidence of people climbing it in a flash. Guede also had a cut on his right hand and had fled the country. Unlike Knox and Sollecito, Guede was picked up only after forensic evidence pointed to him.

    The physical evidence of Knox and Sollecito: None in the room where the murder took place except a bra clasp that was left to collect dust for 47 days following the murder and had been kicked around to several locations and eventually collected by investigators who never changed their gloves, per crime scene video. The clasp had the DNA of FOUR people on it, including Sollecito's. He had visited the apartment several times and had been involved in the attempt to break down Meredith's door. Since a large component of dust is human epithelial cells, it wouldn't be surprising to find his DNA there even if contamination in the lab could be ruled out.

    The prosecution's star piece of evidence in the first trial was a knife found in a kitchen drawer at Sollecito's apartment. It did not match a bloody imprint of a knife at the scene or the victim's wounds. To fit the narrative, prosecutors then said more than one knife was used. Knox's DNA was found on the handle and a very small amount of Kercher's DNA was on the blade. From this, the prosecution asserted that Sollecito held Kercher down while Guede raped her and Knox stabbed her (sorry for the graphicness, but that was the "sex game gone wrong" story). Maybe the evidence could fit that, but the problem was no trace of blood was ever found on the knife. Typically, if a knife is used as a murder weapon, blood collects in the small spaces around the handle even if an attempt to clean it is made. If an attempt to clean it is so thorough that even this is eliminated, the DNA would have definitely been denatured by the cleaning product. The only possible conclusion is there was never an attempt to clean it of blood and Knox's DNA was there from cooking, while Kercher's was there due to transfer of some kind. Kercher's DNA was present in so minute an amount that it wouldn't be allowable by international standards, btw. This is what was ruled in the second trial and it was thrown out, but reinstated for the third trial. There were also bread crumbs found on the knife.

    There were also some footprints found in the hallway attributed to a female, revealed by Luminol. This is often reported that these are bloody footprints, and the investigator testified they knew it was blood "because of the color" of the luminol. Luminol reacts with several substances - hemoglobin from blood is one, and bleach is another. It always turns blue no matter what substance it reacts with. They were leading from the bathroom and it's logical they were traces of bleach from cleaning products used in the shower. The footprints never tested positive for blood or DNA. Then there's the evidence of "Amanda's DNA mixed with Meredith's blood" in the sink. Knox had brushed her teeth in that sink, and large swabs were used to pick up the DNA.

    The prosecution's other main point was the medical examiner who said the murder must have been done by more than one person. Several expert witnesses, including those belonging to the prosecution, admitted that wasn't necessarily true, and if there had been multiple assailants, there would have been no way to not leave evidence of their presence in the room where the murder happened.

    I think that sums up the prosecution's main case from the forensic evidence. Is there something I'm missing, from those who believe Knox/Sollecito to be guilty?
  4. duane

    duane New Member

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    Thank you Zippy for the excellent summary, and it's why I so believe in Knox and Sollecito's innocence. Knox, Sollecito, and Guede all supposedly participated in the brutal murder of Meredith. Are we to believe that Knox and Sollecito were able to distinguish and clean away all their prints and DNA from the crime scene, while strategically leaving behind those of Guede's?
  5. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    A victim of human rights abuses? :rofl:

    And comparing her treatment to that of the Guildford Four or the Maguire Seven (or the friggin Salem Witch trials) is ridiculous. :rolleyes:
  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Is it? Coercive interrogation for five days without stop while being told that having a lawyer present would make things worse for you is not so different from what happened to the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven, though some (but not all) of those suspects were physically tortured.
  7. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    Yes, it is. Knox is a convicted slanderer. End of.
  8. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't think what happened to Knox is on par with what was done in those cases or anywhere near it, and I have no idea if she's culpable in any way in the death of Meredith Kercher. But interrogating a suspect for an extended period of time without access to an attorney, or to food and water, and without recording the questioning isn't really solid police procedure. There's also plenty of evidence that it can have unwanted repercussions, such as false confessions and various inaccuracies. Perhaps a better comparison would be the Robin Hood Hills murders/West Memphis Three? That was also a shocking murder case with allegations of sexual rituals and mutilation, shoddy police work and problems with the forensic evidence, and what was very likely a false confession that implicated others.
  9. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Let's leave aside the fact that she made the statements under coercion.

    Do you really think that people should be imprisoned for slander?
  10. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    As I said, as I understand it - and again, I don't think it's meant for us to understand - "no one has been able to explain logically and convincingly how she could have known what she described". I'm sure that if, as you say, it can easily be explained, then her lawyers will do so.

    All italian sentences come with long and detailed explanations on each and every point, so whether an argument is believed or reject and why is put on paper. If her lawyers explain to the court how Knox could say what she said, and the court decides to reject the explanation, they will have to point out the law and the logic that guided them.


    How many match points does it take to make a fingerprint? Is it a universal number, or does it vary from country to country?


    I'm curious though, why would people think italian judges and courts would be so determined to convict two young people without solid evidence, clearly bringing on themselves a hurricane of critiques?
    It would also be a career hazard: each and every decision will be put under a microscope, and each and every eventual mistake will be shouted to the world, why would they want to risk that much?
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  11. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    This is one of the 14 points the Supreme Court raised a flag on.
    Knox conviction for defamation is definitive, which means it went throu three trials and her laywer troup was not able to overturn it.
    It also means that her declarations were considered not coerced.

    Why? Why would italian courts and judges (three different sets) consider her statements not coerced, if, as you say, they clearly were?
  12. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    We have an expression in figure skating:

    Other than that, the fact that she was apparently not physically tortured was probably good enough for them.
  13. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    It varies from country to country; in Italy, it's 17 points, which is more than some but less than others.

    Not sure what this means, but there you are.
  14. zippy

    zippy Active Member

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    But what did she describe? Where is this written? There's nothing like this in her written statements in question, or the conversation with her mother - just garbled statements about meeting Lumumba at the basketball court, him having sex with Meredith and "confusedly remembering" that he killed her - all of which was wrong, btw. Where is the bombshell detail she described that only the killer could have known? Is it a state secret, or is it just another bit of unfounded sensationalism surrounding this case? Lots of rumors and myths were propagated by journalists, such as the shopping for sexy lingerie, Amanda's bloody footprints, even the cartwheel was apparently an exaggeration according to Knox (she says it was a split after a woman at the station commented on her flexibility while stretching). I've read the supposedly damning Massei report and there's nothing in there about this.

    Am I wrong to have the understanding that public opinion in Italy is strongly against Knox? Wasn't there a public outcry (with a "hurricane of critiques") following the second trial when she and Sollecito were acquitted?
  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Awareness regarding false confessions and understanding of the causes for such confessions differ by location and judicial system. False confessions can occur even without blatant coercion, and in some places, confessions are still seen is superseding all other evidence (or lack thereof). Again, I am not suggesting that Knox is innocent or that the courts were wrong to convict her, only that the police procedure in her case was apparently not ideal and that her confession could be attributable to that.
  16. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Yes, you have. But repeating something over and over doesn't make it true.

    And this is a prime example. I have read many articles about the case and none of them agree with this statement. They all say that what Knox said did not include information that no one but the killer knew and many of them said that the information was fed to her by the police.

    No. Just like I do no have to know how to do a triple axel to be able to critique one, I do not have to be a lawyer and expert in the Italian criminal justice system to know injustice when I see it.

    And yet we are supposed to believe that in this case everything is being done properly and that the conviction of Knox is sound. Sorry, don't buy it.

    There is EVERY reason to believe that Knox will not get justice. It's a classic case of "we screwed up in the beginning so now we have to scramble to make it seem like we didn't."

    You see this happening everywhere, not just Italy. It's human nature to not want to admit you screwed up and to cling to your original version of how the crime went down. There are people here in the US who have been convicted of crimes they clearly didn't commit that have another suspect who is a much more viable suspect yet the justice system refuses to look at that other suspect because to do so would be to admit they did something wrong the first time.

    And I see that happening in Italy with this case as well. At least Guede is in jail for the murder even if there is a blind determination to put Knox and Sollecito there too.

    So I guess this means this will be your last post on the subject. ;)
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    When you falsely accuse someone of as serious a crime as murder, then yes.
  18. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Slander & libel are civil matters & usually carry a monetary sentence. The fact that her victim suffered loss of reputation & stress would or should add to the amount. I've never heard what kind of judgement was assessed.
  19. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    Slander and libel are civil matters in the US. They might not be in other countries.
  20. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    So, do you know, for a fact, that her words were not coerced, led to, or misrepresented? Did she deliberately lie? Do you know? Do any of us? If the police suggested that Lumumba was the killer and she, after hours and days of interrogation, in a language she is not fluent in, went along with it, is SHE lying? Or is she confused? Did she understand what she stated? Was she asked something in Italian, that she half understood and answered without really knowing what she was accusing Lumumba of? She had no lawyer to explain anything to her.
  21. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    I think Amanda has already served her time for the slander charges against Lumumba, so I am not concerned with those charges. I do not believe she murdered Meredith Kercher. No, I do not know all the facts that the Italian courts know. Of course I do not. No one in this thread does, as none of us are part of that court as far as I know. If anyone is, I would love to hear that person present the facts, though I doubt they would be allowed to disclose everything, in which case it is a moot point anyway.

    Based on the evidence I have been able to collect and read, which is probably more than some and less than others in this thread, I do not believe she killed Meredith, and I believe the court is wrong. Yes, I am biased by my own justice system - anyone would be, and I won't apologize for that. Every single person in this thread is making a judgment based on the facts they have been able - or willing - to collect and read. That is the way human beings operate, and that is what we do in every single thread on this website and in others. We give, argue, and discuss our opinions based on the facts we believe, in whatever way we came across them.

    I take exception to the people who have decided to accuse every single one of us who believe she is innocent of, essentially, being idiot, ignorant, egoistic Americans who don't know their assholes from their heads. I do not see a difference between our opinions, formed by the facts that we have read, and yours, except that we happen to have come to different conclusions. I do not have cable, I haven't been following this on the news, I sought out the information on my own, from both sides of the case. And I do believe that the evidence is inconclusive, to say the least. I believe she has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I do not know if reasonable doubt exists in Italian courts, but if it does not then I will say - and perhaps this does make me an egotistical American - that I think a person absolutely should always be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I believe in that right. And I do not believe they have proven it beyond a reasonable doubt.

    And now I think I should stay away from this thread.
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  22. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    It means that everything we mention hides procedures, laws, labs, most of which differ from county to country, most of which would take long days to be reported in full complexity. A fingerprint, for example, isn't just universally such, even though we tend to treat it as such.

    Zippy wrote: "Some of us have plenty of science background to be able to understand the forensic details", and proceded to sum up the whole forensics of the case in a few lines. He/she should have been consulting the experts that struggled and fought on this case, filling up half a room with reports.



    I have no idea.
    I can however tell you that, because of Berlusconi, a good part of Italians despises judges, and a good part of italian media is just waiting for an opportunity to bash them.
    The town where Kercher was killed is strongly against this trial, and a conviction in particular: they couldn't care less about justice, but they do care about the business that students - foreign and american students in particular - bring there. Or used to bring there.
    Based on that, my guess would be no.


    And again, I'm sure she's having every opportunity to point that out in court.


    Yes, you do have to know how a proper triple axel should be performed if you're going to critique one. Otherwise, on what basis would you critique?


    I was actually surprised no one was picking up on that line, but here you are.

    Italy is heavily corrupted, but.

    As far as I'm aware of, not much has ever emerged on italian judges, and never to have a conviction, expecially when the other part is the State.
    The profession doesn't seem to be affected the same degree the country as a whole is.

    But let's say this might be a scenario that contemplates corruption.

    Who would be corrupting the judges to convict Sollecito and Knox? And where is the money coming from? This kind of corruption, with all the media attention and the US alert, must be expensive.

    Since you're not buying it, please answer my two questions.

    If I had to assume corruption was involved in this, and I'm not saying I think it is, I would guess it would be coming from the defendants.

    I already noted how Sollecito's lawyer, when he was sentenced not guilty, was sitting in the parlament, associated with Berlusconi, and head of the justice commettee.
    She could have impacted the professional lives of the judges, which I believe is a huge conflict, and stinks.
    Also, being associated with Berlusconi does not present someone as astranged to corruption or other filthy methods, quite the opposite.

    And finally, the defendants have strong motives that could push some people in their position to turn to corruption. But I don't see motives for corruption elsewhere.


    Let me see if I get this straight: you're assuming the judges are convicting Sollecito and Knox without solid evidence, they are putting their career at risk, they are exposing themselves (!) to the US media and US diplomacy, they are causing a riff that could endanger the relatioship amongst countries like Italy, the UK and the US, to cover up a possible mess made by some small town, low ranked police?


    You are a wonder.
    Me, I was wondering; if you could sum up, effectively and efficiently as you're capable of, the 14 flags the Supreme Court raised, regarding the first appeal.
    I tried to look at pieces of the originals, had to read them twice, and still had trouble fully understanding them.
    Can you help?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  23. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Surely there is a difference between voluntarily filing a false police report and making false statements after undergoing custodial interrogation for several days without an attorney and your instinct for self-preservation kicks in, no? Otherwise, you might as well prosecute people who made stuff up when they were subjected to waterboarding by the U.S. and its minions.

    ETA: FWIW, filing a false police report is normally a misdemeanor in the United States and does not necessarily involve defamation.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  24. duane

    duane New Member

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    From what I've read, you're totally correct that public opinion in Italy is strongly against Knox.
  25. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    And again, what is your point? :confused: If there were no Knox or Sollecito fingerprints found at the murder scene by Italian legal standards, then there were no fingerprints to consider as evidence in the court case.

    I think it would be bizarre in the extreme to look at evidence that wasn't part of the actual case. The issue is not whether or not there was evidence other than what was used in court, but whether the evidence that was used in court was sufficient.
  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Then why has it been widely reported that there were demonstrations in the street and outrage by a large portion of the populace when the guilty verdict was overturned?

    What I said was that it is possible to have that knowledge -- of how a triple axel is properly performed -- without being able to perform a triple axel oneself. Therefore, your question makes no sense.

    It's about saving face. Upholding the conviction saves face for the country.
  27. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    No, it doesn't.
    It's not pointless at all to discuss how opinions are formed.


    I'm hoping this has nothing to do with me, though my english is never conveing my points sharply enough.

    Everyone is entitled to believe Knox is innocent.
    You migth feel like convicting her is a tragic mistake.
    But, by your own admission, your judgement and everyone else's in here, isn't an educated one. It couldn't possibly be. People who do that for a living spent months on the case.

    My point (on this thread, not directed to you) is you can have a feeling, and call it an opinion, but you can't claim unjust, not by the law, which societies chose over anarchy.

    Because I wouldn't see anything in the past or in the present that could bias this against Knox, or that could lead to think judges are uncapable, or that Knox isn't well represented and heard.
  28. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    As you point out, you have to have the knowledge.
    To say that the rules are unjust or that they are broken, you should know the procedures, the laws, the science, what laws work better when in place, and where.


    You have a weird sense of what saves a face.
    If you make a huge and tragic mistake as unjustly convicting two young people, you can only save your face by correcting it.
    You certainly do not save your face, infact you make matters worse, if you hold to your mistakes, once you're aware and convinced of them.


    Also, I made you two questions you hadn't answered.
  29. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    By that logic, I can't fight against female circumcision in other countries.
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  30. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    I'm struck by the claim that Amanda made incriminating statement when she was secretly recorded speaking to her mother. How would that be connected to at all to false confessions under custodial investigation? I would think if Amanda did indeed just make it up, she would have said something to that effect when she spoke with her mom privately. But apparently that's not what happened.
  31. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that the forensics science has been the key point for the convinction overturn in the first appeal, the science was the main controversy.
    How can we sum up in a few lines a controvery that lies in the science, in its possible interpretations and its possible manifestations, without mentioning those? without owning the science nor all the files of the trial?
  32. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    No, unless you're saying in this case were applied barbarian laws.

    Why did the US sign an extradition treaty with Italy if Italy had such brutal laws?
    Why didn't the US government warn citizens Italy was dangerous in that way?
  33. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    It is my understanding that this was one of the reasons that made the Supreme Court raise a flag over Knox initial statements.
    From what I was able to get, they said that while her statements couldn't be considered as the plot of the story, they couldn't have been disregarded entirely either, unless further justification to this choice was provided - hence, ordered the new appeal, which led to this last conviction.
  34. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    If the US could ignore Mussolini for a butt-long time, it can ignore a lot.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  35. Sk8ngCat

    Sk8ngCat Member

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  36. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    According to the link above, and in a translation of the Italian court findings, Amanda's DNA is indeed found at the crime scene (as is her boyfriend's), in multiple places.

    Not sure where the story arose that no DNA evidence from Knox was present :confused:
  37. missing

    missing Well-Known Member

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    I know so little about the case that I truly have no opinion about guilt or innocence. But I do wonder if she'll "escape." Is it easier now or harder to vanish from sight? Can she settle into a reasonably comfortable life somewhere or is she too well known internationally to become a new persona in a different world?
  38. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Because the DNA was found in the apartment but not in Meredith's room. The mixed DNA was found in the bathroom. The other DNA was on a knife and the bra clasp; see zippy's posts for why those findings were disputed.
  39. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Signing an extradition treaty does not mean forfeiting constitutional protections of basic rights. Thus, Italy, for example, which has no death penalty, will not extradite a criminal defendant to a jurisdiction in which he might face the death penalty. Instead, Italy would require the prosecution to waive the death penalty.

    If you don't like this, and think Italy should be extraditing people to face the death penalty, go tell your own government, not ours. :)
  40. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    The statements she made to her mother were very confused and vague. And mostly about Lumumba. She certainly didn't tell her mother that she killed Knox or any incriminating details.