Amanda Knox's conviction reinstated by appeals court in Italy

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

  1. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    That's what I see on the streets around here though. May be they are Amish? Of course, they probably think they are hip.

    My style is more of a pencil skirt, high heels yuppie variety.
     
  2. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    The Kirchner are victims.. Of course. Just not necessarily of the Justice system. That was my point.
     
  3. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    I've written this before.

    When Knox made her initial statements, investigations did not have suspects and had not taken turns yet. So the police could have never indicated Lumumba as a suspect (there's proof of the proceding of the investigation).

    Knox, talking to the police, indicated Lumumba as the killer and placed herself in the house while the crime was occurring.
    The lie about Lumumba however is not an issue in her murder conviction.
    As I understand it, in placing herself in the house while (supposedly) Lumumba was killink Kercher, Knox described precisely in detail what happened to the victim: so far no one has been able to explain logically and convincingly how she could have known what she described, hadn't she been there.
    This is one of the 14 issues of the appeal trial sentence that the Supreme Court raised flags on, for not being legally and/or logically sound.

    After talking to the police, Knox, while completely alone, decided to write her statements down, in her own nice hand writing, and then proceded to give the papers to the police.

    Later on, she repeated the same statements during a conversation she had with her mother, while the two of them thought they had privacy.

    The interrogation was not recorded, but Knox hand writing is still there, and so is the conversation she had with her mother.


    There is no doubt the italian justice system is a mess (more so the civil part than the criminal part): it is designed to stretch time further than human decency, it's filled with burocracy, and many offences that would normally considered small to no relevance are considered crimal.

    There's a good reason for that: in a country heavily corrupted and allergic to rules, statute of limitation together with long procedures and overloaded courts, keep out of jail anyone with money. It's legalized anarchy.

    This case is taking too long? Probably.

    But please note the difference between burocracy and judging skills.

    Italian judges are very good at their job; writer Saviano (author of Gomorra) said more than once that they are asked for their expertise from all over the world, for their experience and their skills.

    Also, this happens to be a case that, for its relevance (young victim, young possible offenders, media attention, US diplomacy attention, money, lawyers involved) will not result in a light conviction, nor a conviction that comes from incompetence.

    On the contrary, if anything, the overall scenario (for reasons I've already pointed out) suggests that if there's a way to let the two of them go without breaking work ethics, judges will gladly take it.
     
  4. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Amanda was convicted (definitive sentence) for defamation against Lumumba. I'm lazy and not checking right now, but I seem to remember she was sentenced to two plus years. Immediately released, of course, since she had already served more.

    I believe that people in italian jails awaiting her sentences are more than a third of the entire jail population. It's orrible, but they mean it to be that way.
    Every so often, they cry jail overpopulation (completely true), but instead of acting on the causes of the problem, they decide to release a number of people listing a number of crimes that will benefit grace. Each time, crimes in the list include white collar ones, and simply delete any justice trouble for important and wealthy people (from politicians to bankers), that have never served a day.

    There should be international awareness about the italian justice huge problems, and there should be international pressure to solve them. There isn't much, go figure.

    In any case, none of the travesties above will inflence Knox sentence: judges, as I said, are generally good, and will pay extra attention to this case.
     
  5. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Loulou, do you think that we will ever, really, feel that justice has been served? It seems that the Italian court has an impossible situation, in this case. There is so much contradiction. First a wild drug and sex party gone wrong. Now, an escalated argument over housework and toilet flushing. The crime scene, itself, was badly botched. There is no DNA to prove Knox or Sollecito were there during the murder. Knox'x behavior, after the murder, was bizarre, at best. The cartwheels, etc. She came across as a spoiled, out of control American. Even many americans saw her that way. She was judged, by many, on her perceived personality, rather than facts. They have DNA proof that Guede did it. What would be the motive for two kids, with no prior acts of violence, to participate? I realize that you are saying that she gave up Lumumba before multiple interrogations occurred. But, did they have her cell phone? It is my understanding that Lumumba's name came up due to texts on her cell phone. Was she really there? That is a huge question. And if she was there, was she involved? She admitted that she had been doing drugs that night, the police asked her to imagine what happened. Could her story be simply that, a fabrication, asked for by the police? I don't recall reading anything about her describing, in detail, exactly what happened to Kercher. But, rather, what she imagined happened. Was she accurate? If she was not in the room, but was there and covered her ears to the screams, how could she know what happened in the room? I do not question the competence of the Italian criminal courts. But, the back and forth, the changes in the story, the lack of real evidence all suggest that they really don't know what to do with this one. If the conviction is held up, there will be people who will never believe she did it. If she is exonerated, there will be people who think she got away with murder. As has already been said, no one wins, either way.
     
  6. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

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    Grunge was the first and only time I ever was fashionable. Bring it on.
     
  7. loulou

    loulou Well-Known Member

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    Of course, once you've been instructed on italian law, on the science that is involved, on every piece of paper ever written on this case by expertises, prosecutors, lawyers and judges, every testimony (word by word), the complete timeline, and also juridical science - pro and cons of the rules, how and why they might work best, in what country.
    Then you can decide if the rules (as a whole) are unjust, and/or if they weren't followed.

    Did you know that in italian trials, defendants can take the stand, make free statements and then refuse cross examination?
    Sollecito did so in this last appeal.

    You can rest reassured though: a troup of lawyers and diplomats is looking over Knox best interest.


    I have good reason to believe Italy is heavily corrupted, and that usually the people denying it are ready to contribute to it or have already.
    I have reason to believe human rights are shaky ground in Russia or China.
    I have reason to believe kids in some parts of Africa are dying even if they could be saved.
    I have reson to believe having lobbies outside of politician rooms aren't helping the best interest of a country.

    I have, however, no good reason to believe that Knox sentence will not be just, as I said: as just as humanly possible.
    Because nothing in the scenario suggests it.
    I have no reason to believe the judges are incompetent. No reason to believe they'll convict her if the science represents that scenario as impossible, no reason to believe they'll convict her if there's doubt, no reason to believe Knox is not well represented, no reason to believe she'll exploit every possible defense line and no reason to believe she'll be carefully heard.

    I think it's pointless and harmuful to get into details. We'll never have the full picture, or the expertise to understand it, much less form an opinion.
    Details are used to drive opinions, because you can stress some and conviniently ignore others. And while judges probably work best without a ton of pressure on their shoulders, rather than their compelling work ethics, Knox's best interest is to inflame the US people as much as possible, so that political and diplomatical actions will have to take it into account.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  8. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    ^^ I agree with you, loulou. But, what I meant was do you think that people will ever really believe that justice was done? As I said, whichever way it goes, there will be large groups who feel the decision was unjust. We see it right here, in this thread. I feel confident that there are many, here who will feel she was unjustly convicted if the conviction holds. And I feel confident that there are those who will feel it unjust if she is exonerated. In that sense, it is a no win situation, for Kerchers, Knox, Sollecito, and the Italian courts. That is part of what I meant when I said the court is in an impossible situation. I believe the courts and judges are capable of evaluating evidence. But, the evidence seems so screwed up, and public opinion, so strong, can the court come out of this with people believing they were just?

    And, if she is held to guilty, what does the US do? We do have extradition agreements with Italy. Because of the original guilty verdict, the US double jeopardy law will not apply. The US will have no legal reason not to extradite. When the US wants criminals extradited to the US, for punishment of crimes, we are loud and insistent. I don't see how the US could not comply and extradite.
     
  9. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Innocent people make false confessions while undergoing custodial investigations, especially when the investigation is prolonged and certain basic principles of human rights (such as access to an attorney and, if a foreigner, access to consular assistance) are not followed.

    A few good examples of when this has happened are the Salem Witch Trials (which inspired The Crucible) and the cases of the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven (which inspired In the Name of the Father. One of the reasons why the U.S. was criticized for waterboarding was that the people subjected to it said things that weren't true simply to stop the torture.

    I don't think Amanda Knox should be blamed for having lied in custody. Who knows how each of us would have done under the circumstances? I am, however, appalled by the fact that the Italians prosecuted and convicted her for, essentially, being a victim of human rights abuses. What justification could there be for it, other than to discredit her and distract attention from their own actions?
     
  10. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Vagabond, I think a lot of this goes to the prosecutor, himself. Hadn't he been indicted for something, prior to the Knox trial? I don't condemn the entire Italian judicial system. But, something is very wrong here, for reasons you and many others have stated.

    I wonder why Knox's interrogations were not recorded. Deliberate?
     
  11. 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
  12. 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.
     
  13. 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?
     
  14. 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?
     
  15. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving 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:
     
  16. 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.
     
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving Admin Staff Member

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    Yes, it is. Knox is a convicted slanderer. End of.
     
  18. 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.
     
  19. 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?
     
  20. 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
  21. 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?
     
  22. 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.
     
  23. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological 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.
     
  24. 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?
     
  25. 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.
     
  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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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. ;)
     
  27. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving Admin Staff Member

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

    taf2002 flower lady

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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.
     
  29. 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.
     
  30. 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.