The New Amanda Knox Verdict is Ridiculous. WTF Italy?

The reinstatement of the guilty verdict in the trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia came down several weeks ago. American Amanda Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted, then acquitted, then retried and have now been re-convicted for the 2007 slaying of Kercher, who had been Knox’s roommate. Here’s what’s bizarre about the conviction: the court declined to believe the prosecutor’s argument that the murder occurred during a sex-game gone wrong. Instead, they came up with an entirely novel theory of the case, that Knox had killed Kercher over a dispute about the rent.

WTF, Italy?

The court, in its decision, rejected the the prosecutor’s theory of the case. But, they still found her guilty. To do so, they still relied upon the worst of the government’s evidence, the discredited DNA evidence, and MADE UP a new theory about what happened out of thin air. The capper is that the court found that Knox delivered the fatal blow with one knife, which does not match the imprints at the scene. He then finds that Sollecito also cut the victim with a different knife, which has never been found or put into evidence. The judge is literally making stuff up. He invented a two-knife theory to try to make his ruling fit the facts.

I have long attacked the sex-game theory wildly imaginative and wholly lacking in credibility. But that’s what they were trying to prove at trial. How can a reasonable court reject that and find her guilty on a theory that not only did they not try to prove, but one that also is lacking in ANY actual, physical evidence.

Knox has spoken since the ruling, and she’s exactly right on one point: it is really a simple case. Rudy Guede, a drifter from out of the country, raped and killed her. He had a separate trial, where he was convicted of raping and murdering her. He allegedly committed some other break-ins around that time, also armed with a knife. After the murder, he fled the country, and was later caught in Germany. His fingerprints, DNA, and other implicating evidence at the scene, let to his conviction. He blamed the murder on a shadowy Italian man, but his claim was rejected.

That should be the end of the case. But political issues, personalities, and media coverage have driven the prosecution of Knox and Sollecito. The original prosecutor on the case has a history of wild sexual allegations: he was later convicted of abuse of office, though that conviction was overturned. It’s like they let Nancy Grace be the prosecutor and the jury.

Ironically, I like that the Italian courts issue documentation of their reasoning for verdicts. Every lawyer who practices in this country has experienced verdicts, and even judicial rulings, that are incongruous and baffling. However, when the court issues its ruling, and the reasoning proves to be just as baffling, it makes you shake your head. The death of Meredith Kercher is a tragedy, one for which the killer has already been held responsible. The courts do not honor her memory by politically driven, poorly reasoned and specious prosecutions.

25 responses to “The New Amanda Knox Verdict is Ridiculous. WTF Italy?

  1. I agree with you completely, except for one point. You said “The capper is that the court found that Knox delivered the fatal blow, with a different knife, that has never been put into evidence”. Wasn’t that the knife from Sollecito’s apartment? If so, it WAS put into evidence. Now the DNA of the victim that was purported to be on the knife was rejected at the appeal that acquitted Knox, but as far as I know, the knife was put into evidence.

    Appreciate that I’m not a lawyer, so maybe I’m missing something in what you wrote here.

    • Thanks Bob, I made an edit to give some clarification and correction: there is a kitchen knife in evidence, but there are bloody knife prints at the scene that don’t match the knife that is in evidence. A different knife was definitely used in the killing. Also, the DNA on the knife in evidence that supposedly came from Kercher has been found not to be a match. The judge invented a 2-knife theory to justify his ruling.

      • More on the knife: they found a kitchen knife, in Sollecito’s kitchen, that has Knox’s DNA. That is not evideitarily significant, as she had prepared food in Sollecito’s kitchen before. That knife does not match bloody impressions left at the murder scene.

        At one point, prosecutors thought the knife had a bit of partial DNA from Kercher on it. It does not. The kitchen knife, which is in evidence, has no real value as evidence. The second trial court found that it was not the murder weapon. The knife that Guede used to commit the murder has not been located.

  2. Thanks for clearing that up. I note also that the last appeals court had the kitchen knife re-tested (one of only two defense requests that the appeal court granted) and the test was negative for the victim’s DNA. This should have strengthened the defense case, but instead the court chose to believe the original, faulty, DNA test.

    • Meredith had six knife wounds in her neck. Raf’s kitchen knife is completely incompatible with all but ONE, the largest, most fatal wound. Raf’s knife is only compatible morphologically with this one (wide enough) but it is too long. That wound is 8cm, cut through hyoid bone but not out other side. Raf’s kitchen knife is 17cm long. Do murderers plunge knifes in less than halfway with no bone in the way? Carlo Torre, Forensic professor at University of Torino testified about all of this at 2009 trial.
      Prosecution still claims Raf’s knife, carried around by Amanda in her bag for protection, was responsible for this wound. They claim other wounds were caused by another knife which was never found. They tested all of Raf’s other knives. No blood. No DNA. (he got rid of it, you say? then why put the other one back in drawer!?) How many knives did they take from Guede’s flat? a grand total of…. zero.

  3. yes, that’s the most baffling thing, to me, about the new ruling.

  4. Noel Dalberth

    Throughout this case, the prosecution has offered excuse after excuse. From the mishandling of evidence, to the clearly illegal interrogation, the coercion they used to manipulate Amanda into implicating Lumumba, the withholding of files, changing the motive and much more. There are so many violations that if this gets to the ECHR, Italy should fasten their seatbelts. This is a gross miscarriage of justice.

    • The interrogation procedures used on Knox are unfathomable in the American justice system. They are structured to generate unreliable statements, and in Knox’s case, her statements were demonstrably incorrect. The statements would not have been admissible in court under the U.S. Constitution.

    • Well Said !!! I’m certain you are absolutely right !!!

  5. You also missed tat the judge who convicted them this year did so on the basis of women having Y-Haplotype genetic material.

    Read Italian Luca Cheli’s analysis on Judge Nencini’s motivations report here at:

  6. Good article. So many baffling things. Like: if she was guilty and was trying to clean up, why did she call one of the other roommates at 12.15, speaking about blood and door open? She should have finished cleaning up and go as far as possible and let others discover the body.

  7. It is the trial of Guede that has nailed Knox and Sollecito .
    Guede said he didn’t act alone that he didn’t actually kill Meredith , that Knox and Sollecito were there at the time and must have done the killing while he was defecating in the bathroom .
    That is the accepted finding of Guede’s trial , rattified and finalised by the court of Cassation . Those are the Established facts relating to Merediths murder , that acording to The Italian Justice System cannot be altered or refuted in another trial . In the Nencini trial , from the outset that was an established fact , that his trial had no way of circumventing or denying .
    I have long believed that Nencini’s Trial was predetermined to convict , because in view of the fact established in the trial of Guede , no other verdict is acceptible . / credentials can be used.

  8. crimcourts
    The interrogation of Knox and her statements were deemed inadmissible at the first trial . However in Italy it is possible to run civil trials concurrently with major criminal trials . Information from the interrogation was leeked through the civil trial and subsequently used in the Nencini trial .

  9. It appears that in Italy , The Supreme Court , judiciary , magistrates and prosecutors are a closed society , only answerable to themselves .
    There appears to be no higher body at government or senate level that can comment or criticise legal shortcomings , malpractice or outright Injustice as in the Knox/Sollecito case . I believe the minister of justice is aware that their trial has gone badly wrong . Several MPs have voiced concerns too , but no one has the power to castigate the supreme court . Perhaps the President could pardon Knox and Sollecito , but that isn’t an aquittal and still leaves a gross injustice .

  10. It should be made clearer that it was Amanda Knox’s appeal, and she lost. It was not the Prosecution calling for a ‘retrial’ at all.

    • Actually, this retrial was pursuant to the government’s appeal. Knox initially lost, but was acquitted on retrial, and the government appealed. This retrial was ordered from the government’s appeal, and the guilty verdict reinstated.

      • Meredith Street , NO , You are completely wrong !!! Knox and Sollecito’s appeal was heard by Judge Hellmann , who aquitted them .
        The supreme court overtuned Hellmann’s verdict and ordered a new Appeal trial , which was presided over by Nencini . Judge Nencini has allowed many errors , which may cause his judgenent to be abandoned , or Knox and Sollecito will appeal again . Failing all else the case will pass to the ECHR .

      • Crimcourts
        Firstly I believe that Nencini was directed by the supreme court to achiece a guilty verdict , that the Nencini appeal was predetermined to convict .
        Unlike British judges , Italian judges do actively participate in trials . Nencini has clearly done his best to stear his appeal to a guilty verdict , it nearly went wrong when the jury were deliberating . Even before his statement , Nencini appeared partial . I believe Nencini did what he was instructed to do , but at the end he knew that he had sentenced to young innocent people and he actually felt bad about it .
        Saving the face of the supreme court and the judiciary , comes before convicting the innocent or justice for the plaintiff .

  11. She was originally found guilty in 2009, then acquitted on appeal in 2011, that appeal was subsequently annulled, so she appealled the original guilty verdict again, but it was upheld. All of these processes are part of the same trial.

  12. witch trial and frame job

  13. Ever since reading about this case a couple of years ago, I’ve been flabbergasted at the behavior of the Italian courts, not that our own do any better. We hear about this case only because it’s a pretty white middle class girl with something of a support system who has suffered from the “justice” system.

  14. Pingback: Amanda Knox Decision may be Issued Tomorrow | crimcourts : A Criminal Law Blog

  15. Pingback: Amanda Knox Acquitted by Italian Court | crimcourts : A Criminal Law Blog

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