Friday, July 03, 2009

The Trial Resumes: The Court Agenda For Friday, Saturday And Monday

Posted by Peter Quennell

On Friday and Saturday Raffaele Sollecito’s defense will interrogate several of the Carabinieri who will explain how they think the police made mistakes at the crime scene. 

And on Monday the forensic scientist Carlo Torre will testify for Amanda Knox’s defense team. Dr. Torre is one of the most prominent forensic scientists in Italy and some of those he has testified for have walked.

These witnesses may make a dent or they may not. It is common to have experts from within law enforcement who say, well, they would have done it another way.

Mr Torre may be more impressive but the forensics are only a fraction of the case and no-one else has undermined them so far.

And there is the endlessly confounding question hanging over Knox: who moved Meredith later - much later? 

A whole day of prosecution evidence on the final day was offered on this belated rearrangement of the crime scene.

It may leave Mr Torre pretty stuck for an answer.


Sounds like a huge day for the prosecution. If the defence manage to pull apart the collecting of the evidence, the forensic tests carried out then I think it’s game over for the prosecution.

Not because I think there’s not enough to convict without it so far, but because it strikes a blow to the credibility of the prosecution in the eyes of the jury.

I hope and pray, for Meredith’s family’s sake that the prosecution holds its own.

Posted by mikeyverve on 07/03/09 at 04:44 AM | #

just remember, the jury has some judges on it, right?  i think they will look at the defense presentation through different eyes than just a regular off-the-street juror.  perhaps their knowledge and wisdom will see enable them to see through a smokescreen put on by the defense.  hoping.  will there be cross-examination?  and like peter said, there is SO much more than just forensics.  will the prosecution be allowed to ask about the movement of the body, etc.?

Posted by gramjan on 07/03/09 at 06:12 AM | #

Timing of what the defense seems to have hoped would be a dramatic highpoint of their presentation seems a little unfortunate. 

Today is a vacation day in the US and one of the 2-3 busiest travel days of the year as tomorrow is July 4th. Readership by US-based followers of the case will be down for sure.

And although four trial days are scheduled for next week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) the Rome-based foreign press corps will then mostly be two hours south of Perugia at L’Aquila covering the G-8 summit.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/03/09 at 03:19 PM | #

I appreciate concerns like those expressed by mikeyverve, but I don’t agree that the defense will be able to undermine the validity of the evidence in a way that would lead them to render a verdict of not guilty.

In order to do that, they would have to demonstrate that: 1) the dna evidence on the bra is faulty; 2) the bloody footprints are questionable; 3) the blood spots mixed with Meredith’s and Amanda’s dna is faulty; AND 4) the dna found on the knife is faulty. Really??

(BTW, can you imagine if, let’s say, Amanda Knox had been murdered and this evidence existed against an accused perpetrator? How do you think her family would feel about the evidence then?)

And this doesn’t even get into issues like: 1) Why were AK and RS standing outside the cottage with a mop and bucket when the police arrived?; 2) who moved Meredith’s body?; 3) why was the glass in Filomena’s bedroom on top of the scattered items?

We saw this dynamic in the OJ Simpson trial in the U.S., where the defense, led by Johnny Cochran, was able to get the jury to focus on picking apart a few ‘trees’ so to speak of problems with collection of evidence and lose sight of the forest of evidence against Simpson. It is hard to imagine how anyone reading about the case could not see that he was guilty of the crime. And, of course, what has happened since then—his attempt to publish the book “If I Did It,” or some such outrageous title—demonstrates that he did.

This was accomplished, in part, because they were working with a hand-picked jury. It has been pointed out on TJMK that jury selection in the U.S. can be a whole art/science of manipulation itself, and skewed, if only for the fact that people with responsible, professional jobs (ie. most well-educated people) can’t afford or aren’t willing to take weeks or months off work to serve on a jury.

The criticism being leveled at the Italian system, which enables educated, highly functioning citizens who have full lives to contribute to society in this way, is laughable in this respect.

Posted by wayra on 07/03/09 at 08:07 PM | #

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