Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Netflixhoax 3: Omitted - The Deliberate Demonization Of Dr Mignini To The Satisfaction Of The Mafias
Posted by Peter Quennell
The Cynical Demonizing Of Dr Mignini
This was was in fact a deliberate PR ploy, with some collusion from the mafias.
Remember that huge PR campaign, probably the largest and most abusive ever run for someone charged with a crime? Which the Netflix producers somehow managed to forget totally?
More on that later. This corrects wrong impressions about a main target.
The demonization originally began as a ploy to stop Amanda Knox talking. It was because she was so exceptionally naive.
The Supreme Court noted how Curt Knox shut her down angrily when her parents first visited Knox at Capanne Prison. Family knew she could very well spill the beans, and she maybe came very close to that at various times.
From late 2007 she seemed to rather like Dr Mignini, and to want to keep explaining to him over and over again. Dr Mignini thought she came really close at the interrogation on 17 December 2007 when her lawyers stepped in to stop her.
So they started to demonize Dr Mignini in her eyes.
In her book she says she wanted to keep talking, especially to him, and she quotes things that they told her to try to frighten her - pretty far from the truth. The lawyers once said quite publicly that they wish she’d simply shut up.
The demonization was deliberately jumped to a higher plane by Curt Knox, Paul Ciolino and David Marriott, still with no basis in fact unless you consider Doug Preston’s and Mario Spezi’s MOF book fact (they left out that they were caught trying to frame an innocent man) in a meeting in West Seattle in January 2009.
The month the trial began, after 14 months already of Knox still dropping herself in it.
Watch this amazing Powerpoint in which Kermit brilliantly takes the big lie apart.
Here we correct two of the main hoaxes which yet again pushed out, this time by the Netflix team.
False Charges And A False Verdict Against Dr Mignini Were ANNULLED
Annulled means “wiped off the books” as the Supreme Court’s First Chambers wiped off the books most of Hellmann’s appeal verdict in 2013.
The year 2013 was the year BEFORE Morse’s dishonest tweet. Both the rogue prosecutor and rogue judge took considerable hits.
By then it was extremely well known why and how Dr Mignini was set up, and why the Florence Appeal Court and Supreme Court not merely arrived at a not-guilty verdict but annulled the verdict of the rogue Florence Court.
Dr Mignini Has Never Consulted A Psychic, Never Claims Satanic Plots
Take a look at what Dr Mignini himself wrote to Corriere on this in 2013. This was translated and posted here three years ago.
To the editor of Florence Corriere
I am Giuliano Mignini, the magistrate who performed the investigation and trials of first instance and appeal in Perugia against the people accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher, as well as the investigation into the death of Francesco Narducci linked to the one performed by the Florence Prosecution Office in relation to the masterminds of the “Monster of Florence” murders.
I saw reported the interview that the journalist Mario Spezi – a person accused in the Narducci case – did with Amanda Knox, a main defendant in the appeal trial that will start today – published in the Corriere Fiorentino on Sep. 29.
In two recent cases the Court of Cassation has annulled verdicts, which acquitted Knox and Sollecito, and which decided [by Judge Micheli] a dropping of charge against Spezi (the parts regarding ‘lack of certainty about malice’ were annulled too).
Therefore I don’t need to add anything further on that point. Instead, I need to point out the falsehood of an assertion which Mr. Spezi makes at the beginning of his article, as he tries to explain the reason for a link which, in his opinion, allegedly exists between the two cases, the one related to the Monster murders and Narducci’s death, and the one about the Kercher murder.
Mr. Spezi’s text says: “… a strangely similar background, for two different cases, behind which the magistrate thought he could see satanic orgies on the occasion of Halloween for Amanda, and ritual blood sacrifices as a worship to the Devil in the Monster of Florence case…”.
This is an assertion that Mr. Spezi and crime-fiction author Douglas Preston have been repeating for years, but does not find the smallest confirmation in the documentation of the two trials, nor in the scenario put forward by the prosecution in which the Meredith murder (which didn’t happen on Halloween but on the subsequent night) was the consequence of a sex hazing to which Meredith herself did not intend to take part, and, above all, it was the consequence of a climate of hostility which built up progressively between the Coulsdon girl and Amanda because of their different habits, and because of Meredith’s suspicion about alleged money thefts by Knox.
Furthermore the object of the proceedings in the Narducci case is the scenario about the murder of the same Narducci and the attempt, by the doctor’s father and brother, to conceal the cause of his violent death, and this included the background within which the event – which was a homicide in my opinion and in the opinion of my technical consultant, coroner Prof. Giovanni Pierucci of the University of Pavia – had developed and taken place.
I had already denied several time assertions of such kind, but Mr. Spezi and Mr. Preston, and some people connected to them, go on repeating a lie, apparently hoping that it will become true by repeating it.
Another astonishing fact is that, despite that I was the prosecutor in the Kercher trial together with my colleague Manuela Comodi and then subsequently with my colleague Giancarlo Costagliola [at annulled apeal], and despite that I limited myself to formulating judicial requests which were all agreed to by a multitude of judges and confirmed by the Supreme Court, I am still considered as the only one responsible for an accusation against Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, by twisting its content in various ways.
In the Narducci case, in the same way, I simply limited myself to performing the investigation and requesting the remands to trial, and the trial will have to start again now because the Supreme Court has annulled the dropping of charges [by Judge Micheli] and sent back the trial to another preliminary judge in Perugia.
The purpose – quite overt – of such endlessly repeated lies, is to defame the investigator, picturing him as a magistrate who is following alleged personal obsessions rather than sticking at facts, as instead he is.
The hope that such conscious misrepresentation of reality could bring advantage to the defences (foremost that of Spezi himself) is consistent with a bad habit which has all along flourished in Italy but is now also copied abroad.
Therefore I ask you to please publish my rectification against false and seriously defamatory information.
Do you know who is most often on TV in Italy DENOUNCING the notion that satanic plots are widespread? Dr Mignini, in fact. Satanic plots do occur (the MOF crimes are accepted in Italy as one) but they are extremely rare.
Dr Mignini in fact locked up the psychic for false testimony to the police. And as he says, and as a vast volume of documents and media reports and court testimony attests, he never ever claimed anything satanic in Meredith’s case.
Dr Mignini Is Doing Just Fine
Dr Mignini is a huge hero in Italy for getting both the Knox-Sollecito-Guede case right (even Judge Hellmann and the Fifth Chambers did not fully let the perps off the hook) and the Monster of Florence case right.
Meanwhile, the crackpot Stephen Robert Morse who rages incessantly at Dr Mignini looks terrible. Much more to come.
Special credit to Machiavelli, Ergon, the Machine, Kermit, and the PMF Dot-Net crowd, for the guts of this post.
Archived in Those officially involved, The prosecutors, Hoaxes Italy & the case, Florence MOF hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, Hoaxers - main media, The Netflix hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Preston & Spezi, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting, Movies on case
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Monday, September 12, 2016
Netflixhoax 2: Omitted - Any Accurate Representation Of Dr Mignini’s Fine Track Record
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. The Wider Context
Longtime Italy-berater Judy Bachrach is one of the first to view the Netflix movie Amanda Knox. Predictably, she raves about it.
At bottom here Dr Mignini explains the actual final judgment on Knox and Sollecito, and shoots huge holes in Bachrach’s claims.
Judy Bachrach resembles one of those wind-up parrots. She repeats about a dozen of the Knox-PR talking points like mantras again and again.
There are literally hundreds of evidence points on this and other sites that overwhelmingly point to Knox and Sollecito guilt. There is no other way to account for them all. That is why the 2009 trial was so decisive.
Try running those past Bahrach and she is quite certain to come up short of any other explanation. Even simply our two posts directly below this, providing a flavor of that, would leave her seriously stumped.
She published her first very simplistic take on the case in 2008, months before trial when much evidence was not public and the myth-making Knox and Sollecito PR was ramping up. Then another simplistic take every several years since. She has also repeatedly found her way onto TV and perhaps a dozen simplistic YouTubes are one result.
At Guede, she really rants. Clearly in her eyes the nasty black guy did it, and did it all alone even though not one court, ever, ruled that.
She makes it routine to mischaracterize Dr Mignini, who she seems to think really had it in for the girl (she always forgets Sollecito) because of something to do with sex. And in her mind all of Italy has been fooled.
Our main poster Machine posted an analysis of nine of Bachrach’ wild claims way back in April 2010. They are highly worth reading, here. Machine’s overall conclusion on Bachrach was this.
We have been analyzing Judy Bachrach’s many, many articles and TV commentaries about the case, and they all seem to point to the following conclusions.
- That she hasn’t ever read the Micheli report and doesn’t seem to have actually ever mentioned it.
- That she hasn’t had full access to the prosecution’s 10,000-plus pages file of evidence, and maybe she has had no access at all.
- That she didn’t attend the key court sessions in which highly incriminating forensic and circumstantial evidence was presented.
- That she hasn’t absorbed the numerous factual newspaper and magazine reports about the key forensic and circumstantial evidence.
- That she seems to rely either a lot or totally on sources with vested interests who feed her wrong theories and false information.
- And that she comes across to us as the reporter most often showing on US media outlets the most complete ignorance of the case.
Quite a track record. We wonder if she is really very proud of it. She seems to sound so.
2. Judy Bachrach’s Latest Crackpot Claims
Judy Bachrach was fast to start beating the drum about the Netflix flick. Almost the first reporter there. You can read her article here. She clearly loves the Netflix report.
That it leaves out about 95% of the key facts seems to be over her head.
In the article, she quotes her recollection of an interview Dr Mignini gave her years ago. This was clearly a gotcha moment for her - suddenly it was crystal clear why Amanda Knox is being tried for the crimes. Sex! It seems over her head that officially there really were sex crimes; all three were charged with them.
It pays to understand four things.
(1) Not only did the Netflix flick get things wrong and leave myriad things out (how many, we shall soon know) but it appears to accept that innocence was proved and that Knox and Sollecito had zero role. That was not what the Supreme Court said. See Dr Mignini’s final damning paras below.
(2) Italian lawyers think the Fifth Chambers ruling may have been illegal as well as bent. The reasoning can be read here. That is headed to court soon.
(3) Judy Bachrach’s crackpot inventions are not backed up by even one document, transcript or report. She really does parrot the Knox PR and uses inventions to fill in any gaps.
(4) There is a mafia angle, of which Bachrach could be part. Humiliating the forces of justice is what they like to do. We cannot go public until this officially starts to come out. Sollecito first drew attention to it, and law enforcement are on top of it.
3. Dr Mignini Corrects The Record At Length
We offered Dr Mignini this opportunity. He kindly came through. It is made pretty obvious that Bachrach was maliciously putting words in his mouth. Dr Mignini spoke in Italian, and we translated, and he approved.
Dr Mignini speaks
I will share just some of my thoughts after reading the article in that magazine, which I would really prefer not to speak about. I mainly want to say that those statements which are put between quotation marks as attributed to me contained in that article? I never pronounced them.
I have never said – and anyone who knows me would understand (though this journalist Judy Bachrach doesn’t know me, doesn’t know me at all and I myself didn’t have the misfortune to know her) that I would never say, I’d never talk about, and I’d never mention, the morality or the immorality of a person as an argument within the explanation for a crime. Absolutely no way.
A crime is a violation of a law, an action that may be reprehensible or whatever you like, but it is an action regulated as provided by the penal code, subjected to penalty by the code, that needs to be ascertained, period. And that’s all. It needs to be ascertained following totally objective criteria. A crime is an objective action, a codified action. It has nothing to do with moral qualities, or allegations of moral qualities, or lack thereof, of an individuals.
The discussion in the article of Bachrach about those allegedly quoted statements about “morality” attributed to me, they are FALSE, I have simply never said them. And one cannot even say that they were a little changed, because I’ve never said anything even remotely like them. Those are statements of a kind that I would NEVER make.
Such is one statement reported in the article where I allegedly said “Amanda killed because motivated by a wish to be liked at any cost” – by the way, statements like those do not make any sense: the person who makes up such statements doesn’t realize she is saying things void of any meaning.
The Italian Penal Procedure code (art. 220) prohibits that any research into the personality of a suspect could be used in court as evidence, such as the finding of a propensity of a suspect to commit crimes or similar argumentations. A proper research into the personality of a suspect is permitted only when there is a need to establish mental capabilities. On the other hand, some features of a suspect personality might be considered during investigations but only to understand the context of a crime.
When I happened to point at some features apparent in the personality of the suspects, I actually cited observations made by criminal psychiatrist Dr. Mastronardi who had given his opinion on the case. Aspects of personalities traits, showing features such as manipulative behaviours or a passive and dependent attitude – to mention some findings involving the suspects – were rather noted, highlighted or detailed not by the prosecution, but by the judges on various instances of the investigation and pre-trial hearings (Investigation Judge C. Matteini, Re-Examination Judge M. Ricciarelli, and Preliminary Judge P. Micheli).
[Editors note. These are the judges who really guided the case. Go to this post and scroll down and click through to posts #13 to #16. That includes the findings of the Supreme Court, which backed up the findings of Dr Matteini and Dr Ricciarelli’s panel. It also includes Dr Mignini’s interrogation of Knox, in which she in effect froze up; this was done at her own request though her lawyers were none too thrilled - they feared she would bomb out, and she did.]
As for the “motive” on this case. It should be pointed out that in a case like the murder of Meredith Kercher – the murder of a young student girl who was uninvolved in dangerous circles and had no enemies – independently from the identity of the perpetrators, we are talking about a crime that cannot have have a “motive” with a rational or consistent logical structure, nor could it be ascribed to a particular conscious and organized intention.
We may talk about causes that could have contributed to leading to a situation that ended in committing the crime. Among the factors we know that unbalanced personalities, life or emotional disorganization of perpetrators, behavioral excesses, inabilities to handle relations, psychological fragilities, are elements that always contribute to this kind of crimes, and we had reasons to believe that drugs also played a role.
The task of the judiciaries is not really to set out the motives of the individuals from a subjective point of view. We know that unfortunately a record of cases exists, in which apparent “ordinary” looking young people – including students – have committed very violent murders, in contexts where no “motive” could be explained in a way that appears rational or serious from an objective point of view, since futile crimes - including group murders - may emerge from the building up of situations involving individuals not able to handle issues of adult life.
Thus, all statements within quotation marks as reported in the article by Bachrach are false, I’d say absolutely false: they are the product of a making-up or a spin (I reserve for myself any necessary action in the event there is also a defamatory report) or reported without their context or with their context changed (like falsely reporting the dates, such as when I mentioned the time when some Perugian citizens used to compliment me).
I was stunned by one statement by the end of the article, that says – in which I am reported to have said – that “if they were innocent, they should forget”. That is a statement which I said on request of one of the two interviewers, who asked “what would you say to those young persons in the event that they were actually innocent?”. So what could I say, what should I answer to a question framed and spun in such a way? I might say: “it’s an experience that unfortunately happened to you, something that may happen, try to forget, seek all legal ways” – but I was saying that in the abstract, purely in the abstract – “that you think you can follow if you deem that you suffered an injustice” – albeit the Cassazione ruling is in the dubitative formula (Art. 530 § 2. cpp).
But then the Vanityfair journalist does not report my *second* statement, that is, the other one I said just following: “And what about if they are guilty? If they were guilty I’d suggest them to remind that our human life ends as trial that has an irreversible sentence, that will last forever”. My answer was made of two statements, not of one. Both were rhetorical and hypothetical. The last statement was the one I thought would have unleashed criticism, but curiously it’s the one missing in the article, there is no comment about it.
Another thing: it is true that people in Perugia happened to come to shake my hand and compliment me, but that happened much later, around 2013 and later, and those people basically complimented me about the Narducci case. It was somehow satisfying because it came after many years of difficulties and attacks. The Perugian people expressed their support to me because of the Narducci case, and secondarily they also expressed their support because of my independency in facing the international media campaign that was mounted against me after the Kercher case.
I don’t know if Vanityfair was the one which made up or spun my answers, falsely reporting them from the Netflix documentary, or if it was Netflix itself who made them up by editing the interview and disseminating content from a video prior to the premiere. I had a positive experience working with the documentary directors at the time. Not knowing what the journalist watched or made up, I will anyway reserve my decision as a consequence. I have to say, I am quite disconcerted about the way a certain American environment appears to think and keeps going on in a raving manner about this case.
One stunning aspect of this, is that the narrative they put forward, such as in the article we talk about, seems to be based on a focus on me, as if I were to become a kind of key character functional to their fictional story. I found this particularly strange since in reality the Kercher case investigation was actually based on the work of a number of judiciaries, all of them making decisions with a power that was equal, or greater than mine. So is how the Italian system works on these type of serious crimes.
The fact that even a second Public Minister was appointed almost from the beginning may suggest that we didn’t have personal investment: I asked Manuela Comodi – who has my equal rank, is not my deputy – to share the investigation and deal with the technical parts, such as the expert witnesses, since she is very good in this area. The other, multiple judiciaries involved beside us, all had greater powers, each of them could have stopped the investigation or changed its orientation and settings.
Therefore, a personalization of the case – as if I had some kind of special power – or a “polarization” of it – like a narrative that is woven between me and one of the suspects as main characters – that appears unrealistic to any person with a minimum of understanding of the system. Indeed if there are reporters who like to make up a story where a person with my name plays the role of a picturesque fictional character, motivated by “moral” or religious obsessions or else, all of this only shows an agenda pursued by those journalists that tells much more about them and about the type of campaign they are part of, than about the case.
There is anyway one important element which, unfortunately, I know was left out from the documentary – partly because it was produced earlier than the publication of the Cassazione ruling – I know that something the documentary omits to mention, is the actual content of the latest ruling by the Fifth Panel of Cassazion. If we leave aside, for a moment, the several issues of consistency and law inherent in the ruling itself (those that may be spotted by those who read it with some knowledge of the topics), there is anyway the fact that the ruling confirms certain findings.
Some facts recognized as certain by the Cassazione, not reported in the documentary, are that it is anyway a “proven fact” that Amanda Knox was present at the scene of crime when crime was committed. The same ruling also points out how it is proven beyond doubt that Meredith Kercher was murdered by more than one person, and Rudy Guede certainly acted together with others. The fact that Amanda Knox was certainly there is emphasized by the Court to the point of noting their agreement with the lower Court on the fact that Ms. Knox heard Meredith’s harrowing scream, and even noted that she had the victim’s blood on her hands, that she washed them in order to clean them from Meredith’s blood.
The High Court only raises a reasonable doubt about the active participation of Amanda Knox in the action of killing. The Court – in agreement with other definitive findings – also reminds that Ms. Knox voluntarily lied as she falsely accused an innocent, and notes that no way could this finding ever be overturned. All these things are missing in the documentary. I’d like all American friends to bear in mind these last bits of information as well, whenever they decide to seek information about the Kercher case.
Archived in Justice systems, Italian system, Those officially involved, The prosecutors, Hoaxes Italy & the case, Italian justice hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, Hoaxes Knox, Knox persona hoax, Hoaxers - main media, The Netflix hoax, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting, Movies on case
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Friday, September 09, 2016
Netflixhoax 1: Omitted - Netfix’s Own Difficulties In The Business World Makes For Suspect Messenger
Posted by Peter Quennell
Netflix stock has lost more than 1/5 of its value this year. That’s around $10 billion. Stockbrokers are issuing sell-the-stock recommendations.
Axiom Capital’s Victor Anthony this morning initiated coverage of the stock with a Sell rating, and an $80 price target, based on concerns about its “super-rich multiple” against “rising competition, diminishing pricing power, and rising content costs.” “Netflix has enjoyed premium valuations for rapid subscriber growth,” he writes, “but subscriber growth is slowing.”
Owww. How timely if the documentary “Amanda Knox” burnishes Netflix’s reputation!
Obviously it would help Netflix a lot if everyone who really knows the case declares the report to be even-handed and objective - and especially if it doesnt leave key facts on the cutting-room floor.
The movie premiers tonight in Toronto.
From the reporting in the next few days, we will gain an increasing sense of the value and slants of its content. Ergon hopes to offer us a review in about a week’s time, and of course at the end of this month we can all shell out to watch it.
If the Netflix report has indeed left anything out we will start building an online list of these omissions.
Maybe the report wont, of course.
But all non-Italian media, virtually without exception, has left things out - hundreds and hundreds of points, points that have almost 100% of Italians seeing Knox and Sollecito as guilty.
This was one example. This is another.
Non-Italian media incessantly repeats the notion that Knox’s interrogation on 5-6 November scared her into fingering Patrick.
It leaves out that Sollecito tossed her under the bus that night and many, many times later.
It leaves out that Knox herself demanded to make both the written statements she signed that night. It leaves out that in both statements she said she went out from Sollecito’s house on the night. So much for several of her numerous alibis claiming she didnt.
Already we count two dead canaries in the Netflix coalmine.
1) Ergon has just posted this statement in the thread under the previous post - itself a pretty awkward post for Knox apologists.
Press release from the Meredith Kercher Wiki re the Netflix documentary:
“For The Press. September 09, 2016: The Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox” opens at the Toronto International Film Festival today Amanda Knox. While claiming to be a balanced perspective its producer Stephen Robert Morse had made inflammatory reports about the prosecutor Giuliano Mignini (who was interviewed by the film makers) of “having been convicted of crimes” (he was acquitted) and being “a power-hungry prosecutor running the show”. Requests to producer Mette Heide on August 13, 2016 for comment about his bias were not replied to by this time.”
Well, Dr Mignini was never “running the show”. In fact a whole row of judges, up to and including five Supreme Court judges, was always calling the shots though to trial, and more subsequently.
On 17 December 2007 Dr Mignini kindly gave Knox a UNIQUE opportunity to clear herself (she dismally failed it). There was a very compelling trial, and a unanimous trial jury, and a 400 page verdict report - which barely mentions Dr Mignini.
And in a fiery repudiation Cassation agreed with the appeal court in reversing his conviction (for cops planting a bug a judge had in fact approved), and roasted both the Florence trial judge and prosecutor who since have fared badly. Meanwhile Dr Mignini is expected to be the next Prosecutor-General of Umbria.
2) This is from a film review today by Seattle’s Moira Macdonald
Mostly without editorializing [the filmmakers Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn] just let the witnesses speak — among them the DNA experts whose eventual testimony led to Knox and Sollecito’s eventual exoneration — and I suspect some members of the lingering Amanda-is-guilty camp might revise their opinions by the end of the running time.
The “independent” Hellmann DNA consultants Conti and Vecchiotti? Who were roasted by the Carabinieri labs, the Florence Appeal Court, and the First Chambers of the Supreme Court for bias and extremely sloppy methods? See the image at botttom.
Dear Netflix: You really chained your future to Amanda Knox, and to that very discredited pair? You hired the crackpot Stephen Robert Morse to guide you? You didnt do any due diligence? You piled on more anti-Italy bigotry?
Poor Netflix. At first glance, it seems the stockbrokers’ advice could be smart advice.
Archived in Hoaxes Italy & the case, Italian justice hoax, Hoaxes Knox, Knox persona hoax, Hoaxers - main media, The Netflix hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Sollecito team, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting, Movies on case
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Sunday, September 04, 2016
How Bob Woffinden And So Many Others Managed To Misstate The Case And Get Away With It
Posted by Peter Quennell
The attack on Meredith as summarised by Dr Mignini in the Machine’s must-read post below was reconstructed by Italy’s best crime-scene specialists, from Rome Headquarters, and it took an entire Saturday. Every mark in Meredith’s room and on her body were convincingly accounted for.
After the killers left and locked her in, Meredith was still alive, holding both sides of her neck to stop her life-blood leaking out. She might have lived for half an hour, in great pain, during which time an ambulance could easily have arrived and saved her.
But nobody called one. Her death was quite deliberate.
The Massei jury is said to have found all this evidence very powerful and left in NO doubt three had been involved (unanimous verdict) in what was a prolonged and exceptionally barbaric attack.
The Kercher family had asked Judge Massei in January 2009 for a closed trial as the autopsy part in particular would be key but also long and very graphic. Unfortunately it was settled that only the trial days covering the autopsy and the horrific attack would be closed.
This unique call by Judge Massei turned out to be a terrible one. It has caused immense damage to public understanding outside Italy, and to the legitimacy of the case ever since.
The public and the two later appeal juries never got to witness directly all this compelling evidence. In Italy, descriptions leaked out (not illegal) and so Italians following the case could get a good grasp - and the vast majority, perhaps all, were convinced (and still are) that the government team had got it right.
But the Hellmann and Nencini appeal juries and the Marasca/Bruno panel of the Supreme Court never got the full impact. And trial followers in the US and UK and so on had no idea (and even now only a very few have any idea) of what was presented behind those closed doors in 2009 and how it came across (several present were in tears during it) to the trial jury.
This terrible situation has allowed Knox and Sollecito and their teams and media supporters starting with Doug Preston, Candace Dempsey and Frank Sfarzo and ending (for now) with Woffinden to lie incessantly for eight years about Guede as a lone wolf and about the numerous hard facts of the attack and the autopsy.
There would be NO effective PR and NO effective appeals and NO effective innocence fraud otherwise.
Our summaries of the sentencing reports by Judge Micheli for Guede and by Judge Massei for Sollecito & Knox are very good, but even they fall short here. The best way to get all this powerful evidence right is to read the full Micheli report (translated by Catnip) and full Massei report (translated by Skeptical Bystander and team). Both reports are on the case wiki.
“Missing” still from the public record because it was part of the closed trial was what is said to be a very compelling video construction of the attack. This video is also ridiculed and misrepresented by Sollecito and Knox and their teams and apologists - because they could get away with it.
Will the Netflix movie being unveiled in Toronto this week explain all or even any of this? Why do we doubt it?
Archived in Those who were charged, Rudy Guede, Hoaxes Italy & the case, Evil Mignini hoax, No-evidence hoax, Hoaxes Guede, Guede good guy hoax, Hoaxers - main people, More hoaxers
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Thursday, September 01, 2016
How Bob Woffinden, Aggrandizing Investigative Journalist, Attempts To Perpetrate Innocence Fraud
Posted by The Machine
1. Woffinden and innocence fraud
These days innocence fraud is a very real thing.
A stern warning was issued to crime laboratory administrators that some post-conviction exonerations may have been secured by innocence activists using malicious tactics, or ‘innocence fraud’, creating potential public safety threats as convicted felons are released from prison.
In this post, I will analyse another example of innocence fraud, this time by British journalist Bob Woffinden on Meredith’s case. Woffinden has done this on other cases before.
He specialises in alleged miscarriages of justice, and has written articles for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The New Statesman and authored a number a books about high-profile murder cases: Miscarriages of Justice; Hanratty: The Final Verdict and The Murder of Billy-Jo.
Woffinden’s default position when it comes to controversial murder cases seems to be to assume a miscarriage of justice, and to claim someone has been convicted of a crime they didn’t commit.
He’s claimed that James Hanratty, Jeremy Bamber, Barry George, Sion Jenkins and Jonathan King are all innocent. Reflexively anti-police, Woffinden as I described in the post linked to above on the James Hanratty case has a history of putting victims’ families through considerable pain.
2. Woffinden On Meredith’s case
Here he tries to prove that Rudy Guede is innocent of murder, and falsely claims he was convicted because he was black. He also tries to cast doubt on the hard fact that Meredith was sexually assaulted - or that the police got anything right.
Anyone who has read the official court documents and court testimonies with regard to the Meredith Kercher case will be able to assess Bob Woffinden’s professionalism and credibility and ethics as an investigative journalist article by reading his contorted take.
To those who really do know the case, it is immediately apparent that he’s pretty ignorant of the main facts, and that he hasn’t bothered to read the official court documents or the court testimonies available in English here.
He mindlessly repeats various endemic Friends of Amanda PR myths. For example, he erroneously claims the prosecutors concocted the scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.
“The second mistake then ensued from the first. Needing to explain the presence of their three suspects in connection with the supposed sexual assault – and knowing there was absolutely no evidence to link Guede with Knox and Sollecito – they [the prosecutors] concocted the absurd scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.”
Dr Mignini didn’t ever say anything about there being a sex orgy that went wrong when he presented his scenario to the court at the trial in 2009 and the numerous hearings (which Woffinden seems totally unaware of) in the 15 months before.
Instead he gave the court a detailed chronological account briefly summarized below of a vicious physical and sexual assault on Meredith, which culminated in her dying some time after the killers left and locked her in.
23:21: Amanda and Raffaele go into the bedroom while Rudy goes to the bathroom.
23:25: A scuffle begins between Amanda, helped by Raffaele, and Meredith. The English girl is taken by the neck, then banged against a cupboard, as shown by wounds to the skull. She resists all this. Rudy Guede enters.
23:30: Meredith falls to the floor. The three try to undress her to overcome her; they only manage to take off her trousers. The girl manages to get up, she struggles. At this point, the two knives emerge from the pockets of Amanda and Raffaele: one with a blade of four to five centimetres, the other, however, a big kitchen knife. Meredith tries to fend off the blades with her right hand. She is wounded.
23:35: The assault continues. Sollecito tries to rip off the English girl’s bra.
23:40: Meredith is on her knees, threatened by Amanda with the knife while Rudy holds her with one hand and with the other hand carries out an assault on her vagina. There is first a knife blow on her face, then straight away another. However, these blows are not effective. The three become more violent. With the smaller knife, Sollecito strikes a blow: the blade penetrates 4 centimetres into the neck.
There is a harrowing cry, which some witnesses will talk about. Amanda decides to silence her, still according to the video brought to court by the prosecutors, and strikes a blow to the throat with the kitchen knife: it will be the fatal wound. Meredith collapses on the floor.
23:45: Meredith is helped up by Rudy and is coughing up blood. The English girl, dying, is dragged along so that she can continue to be undressed.
Why is Woffinden unable to substantiate his claim that the prosecutors concocted the scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong with a verbatim quote from Mignini or Comodi?
Because they never claimed this at all. A competent and ethical professional journalist should be able to support every claim they make.
Woffinden regurgitates another popular PR myth by claiming that Rudy Guede pleaded guilty late in 2008.
“Even as he [Rudy Guede] pleaded guilty, he vehemently asserted his innocence, saying, ‘I can’t talk about things I haven’t seen and that didn’t happen to me’.”
Rudy Guede has never pleaded guilty or confessed to Meredith’s murder. He has always denied killing Meredith. He opted for a fast-track trial in mid 2008 because he could escape a blatant attempt to frame him as sole perpetrator by the Knox and Sollecito defense.
It meant he would automatically received a third off his prison sentence but at the time he had no idea what that would look like.
Bob Woffinden gets yet another fact wrong when he claims the Hellmann appeal court sanctioned a full review of the scientific evidence.
“…the Italian court sanctioned a full review of the scientific evidence on which they had been convicted.”
It did nothing of the kind. Hellmann merely asked Carla Vechiotti and Stefano Conti to review two pieces of DNA evidence - the knife and bra clasp evidence.
They didn’t review the bloody footprint on the bathmat, the bare bloody footprints which had been revealed by Luminol, or the five samples of Knox’s DNA or the blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage.
Yet another wrong “fact”. Bob Woffinden claims that a police officer flushed away Rudy Guede’s faeces and thus destroyed evidence.
“His recollection that he had leapt up from the toilet seat the instant he heard the scream was bizarrely corroborated by the fact that there were faeces still in the pan when the police arrived. Needless to say, one officer activated the toilet, thereby flushing away important evidence.”
Needless to say? In fact this claim is complete and utter nonsense. The faeces in the toilet wasn’t flushed away. It was carefully collected as evidence and tested. However, it didn’t yield any results.
“The faeces present in the toilet of that bathroom did not, however, yield any results, and Dr Stefanoni, the biologist of the Scientific Police, explained that the presence of numerous bacteria easily destroys what DNA might be found in faeces.” (The Massei report, page 43).
Why would Woffinden make these and other demonstrably untrue claims? It seems obvious that he wants to portray the Italian National Scientific Police (much respected by the FBI) as the Keystone Cops, in order to ridicule the forensic investigation, seemingly his purpose here.
Woffinden makes yet another false claim by stating that Guede made only one inconsistent statement.
“Guede’s solitary inconsistency was this. He did comment at the outset of the investigation that ‘Amanda doesn’t have anything to do with it’. But, at that stage, perhaps he couldn’t believe that she did have.”
Judge Micheli, who found Rudy Guede guilty of sexual assault and murder in October 2008, pointed out in his sentencing report of January 2009 that Guede’s accounts were unreliable and varied a lot.
“Analyzing the narratives of the accused…he is not credible, as I will explain, because his version is (1) unreliable, and (2) continuously varying, whether on basic points or in minor details and outline.”
Bob Woffinden also seems to be pushing the wrong notion that Rudy Guede didn’t implicate Amanda Knox until much later - which is another FOA PR myth.
Guede first implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito whilst on the run in Germany on 19 November 2007 in an intercepted Skype conversation with his friend Giacomo Benedetti:
Giacomo: “So they [Knox and Sollecito] killed her while she was dressed.”
Guede: “Yes, here it says that they [clothes] were washed in the washing machine, but that’s not true. She was dressed.”
Bob Woffinden makes the erroneous and offensive claim that there’s no evidence that Meredith was sexually assaulted,
“In their investigation, prosecutors made a series of blunders. The first serious mistake was their assumption that Meredith was sexually assaulted. If one takes cognisance of Guede’s account, there is no evidence of this. The second mistake then ensued from the first. Needing to explain the presence of their three suspects in connection with the supposed sexual assault – and knowing there was absolutely no evidence to link Guede with Knox and Sollecito – they concocted the absurd scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.”
Had Bob Woffinden actually bothered to read the key Massei trial report, he would have known that several medical experts - Dr Lalli, Professor Marchionni, Professor Bacci and Professor Gianaristide Norelli - testified that there were indications of sexual violence on Meredith.
Such conclusions were further explained [by Dr Lalli] at the hearing of April 3, 2009, in which it was highlighted that signs were present of sexual activity with characteristics of non cooperation by the young woman, which can be derived from the lesion pattern at the vulvo vaginal level (page 40 of transcripts).
 These signs were present in the purple ecchymotic type spots detected on the inner surface of the labia minora, the area where they are usually produced. It is the first point of contact for the sex organ or object including fingers penetrating the vagina and therefore the point at which an action ... performed without the full cooperation of both actors would produce purplish spots of this kind. (The Massei report, page 116).
He [Professor Marchionni] noted in this regard that, even without lubrication injuries of this nature are not the result of consensual sexual intercourse, and he argued that the cause of these lesions had originated from a “forcing” that could have been done by the penis or by hands (page 21, hearing on April 4, 2009). (The Massei report, page 117.)
With regard to sexual violence, he [Professor Bacci] referred to the inspection of the genital area conducted by Dr. Lalli at the morgue operating room. On the internal surface of the labia minora, attention was focused on areas of discolouration, which can be interpreted as small bruises, small abrasions associated with small haemorrhages indicative of “small lesions” (page 16, transcripts) consistent with a violent action of friction, pressure an typical of sexual violence and, while affirming the absence glaring signs of typical sexual violence (page 16, transcripts) he concluded compatibility with non-consensual sexual intercourse’ (page 16, hearing, hearing on April 18, 2009). (The Massei report, page 121.)
He [Gianaristide Norelli] further underlined the presence of a slight bilateral suffusion in the area of the iliac spines, i.e. in the areas corresponding to the anterior lateral part of the flank, which represent the end/terminal parts of the wings of the [pelvic] basin and the fact that “lesions in this area are fairly characteristic of seizure [grasping] and immobilisation”; [it is] an area which is ‘highly suggestive’ in the context of the investigation of sexual assault. (The Massei report, page 124).
It should be stressed that the the doctor who actually performed the autopsy - Dr Lalli - believed Meredith had been sexually assaulted.
“The prosecution focused on Lalli’s statements that he believed there had been non-consensual sex.” (Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 April 2009).
You need just an ounce of common sense to know that murder victims who were also raped or sexually assaulted didn’t consent. The Kerchers’ lawyer Dr Maresca made this very point:
“Sex that ends with someone dead is not consensual.”
Dr Maresca also highlighted the fact several medical experts said there were signs of sexual violence in court. Dr Maresca told the court that the expert witnesses
“sustained the prior results and valuations of the coroner who performed the autopsy and the forensic evidence specialists who already testified”. He added: “And for the first time today, we also heard that the bruises on the victim’s hips were consistent with a sexually violent approach.”
Unbelievably, Bob Woffinden regards Rudy Guede as a reliable and credible witness.
I’m surprised anyone would believe Guede’s ever-changing versions of events when they are so blatantly untrue. Guede gave two different accounts of arranging a date with Meredith and they’re both demonstrably false.
Meredith didn’t go to the Halloween party at the Spanish students’ house on 31 October 2007.
Guede then changed his story and claimed that he had met her at Domus, but Meredith was with her friends continuously and none of them saw her with him. None of Guede’s friends saw him with her either.
“He [Rudy Guede] stated that he met the girl on Oct. 31 in the house of some Spanish students and did not meet her later in the “Domus” pub, that the next day, shortly before going to the date with Meredith…
In the third interrogation, by the P.M. [public prosecutor] on March 26, 2008, he changed the place of his meeting with Kercher on Oct. 31 from the Spanish students’ house to the Domus pub” (Judge Giordano’s Supreme Court report, page 17).
“…and also because none of Meredith’s friends (Amy Frost, Robyn Butterworth and  Sophie Purton, with whom she had gone out on the evening of Halloween, Oct. 31, 2007) nor any of Guede’s friends (among others AC and PM) had ever seen them talk to each other.” (Judge Giordano’s sentencing report, page 10).
Meredith had NOT arranged a date with Guede at the cottage on Via della Pergola on 1 November 2007. She and Sophie Purton left their friends early that evening because they mistakenly believed they had lectures the next day.
“They [Meredith Kercher and Sophie Purton] were to meet on the morning of the second at around 10:00 am for a lecture at the university…:” (The Massei report, page 35).
“Meredith was tired from the day before when she had come home about five in the morning; the next day she supposed that she had a lesson at the University at 10 am and she needed to prepare for this and she had to also think about resting” (The Massei report, page 58).
Judge Massei explained at length in his report why Rudy Guede’s claims he had a date with Meredith were not credible.
“Speaking of Meredith, there has already been occasion to make mention of her personality (serious, not superficial, with a strong character), of her romantic situation [i.e. her love life] (she had not long beforehand begun a relationship with Giacomo Silenzi), of the plans she had for that evening (studying, preparing for the following day believing that there would be classes at the University, finishing a piece of homework, as her mother recalled during the hearing of 6 June 2009, and resting).
None of the people she frequented and in whom she confided (her relatives and her English girlfriends) testified that Meredith had made any mention to them at all of Rudy, for whom, therefore, she must not have felt any interest. With regard to the totality of these circumstances, it must be considered that Meredith could only have made an outright refusal to Rudy’s advances” (The Massei report, pages 365-366).
In rejecting Guede’s final appeal Judge Giordano succinctly summarised the reasons why he was found guilty of sexual assault and murder in his Supreme Court report. It had nothing to do with the colour of his skin.
“The judgement rationale thus proceeds through rigorous logical steps, quite consistently, with no possibility of misinterpreting evidence, distorting significant data, or disruption of the overall probative reasoning. Meredith Kercher, before being slaughtered with the deadly blow at her throat, was the victim of a series of wounds, of forced restraining of her limbs, especially the left hand and arm - and on the cuff of the left sleeve of the sweatshirt she wore clear traces of DNA of the defendant are found – aimed at overcoming her resistance to sexual violence, of which the traces of DNA of Guede of the vaginal swabs are evidence, which then led to the violent behaviour of the deadly slaughtering.
The version of the accused is totally unrealistic because, even apart from the obvious omissions and contradictions detectable in his many statements, his previous acquaintance of Meredith, shaped in his story by a meeting on the night before the murder at the Domus pub, by a kiss between the two and by a date for the evening of the following day, is clearly disproved by a whole articulated testimonial structure,  coming from several people and indicating that: the two did not meet at the Domus (indicated by the testimonies of all the friends who were accompanying Meredith), even less did they converse, even briefly, at the Shamrock pub during the match between England and South Africa broadcasted the day before (indicated by the testimonies of AC, PM and F), and Kercher never confided anything, as would have been natural, to her friends about a date with Guede, not even on the afternoon of Nov. 1, as she had done in other occasions about details of her personal and love life (indicated by the testimonies of Robin Carmel Butterworth, Sophie Purton).
This is consistent with the portrait of Meredith’s character; she avoided sexual relations with other men apart from Giacomo Silenzi with whom she had begun a relationship that she absolutely did not mean to betray, as stated by her friends, especially not for unimportant adventures.” (Judge Giordano’s Supreme Court report, pages 17-18).
Bob Woffinden has made a name for himself by publicly championing the causes of convicted killers and sex offenders. Mainstream media organisations such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The New Statesman have given him a certain degree of credibilty and respectabilty by publishing his articles. Many people will trust him and assume that he’s a reliable and trustworthy journalist.
However, their trust is misplaced. His lack of due diligence with regard to his article about Rudy Guede and the Meredith Kercher case is disturbing and unacceptable. He doesn’t get the basics of journalism right - which is astonishing for someone who has worked as a journalist for decades. He gets basic facts wrong and he has made numerous demonstrably false claims.
A professional journalist should be able to substantiate every claim they make. Bob Woffinden is unable to do this because he has relied on some of the numerous factually inaccurate articles and the massive defense and PR spin about the case instead of the official court documents and court testimonies.
It defies belief that he accepts Rudy Guede’s fairy tale version of events. You don’t expect such childlike naivety from an adult let alone an investigative journalist. He’s obviously blissfully ignorant of the fact that Guede gave contradictory and confllcting accounts.
It seems he has a deep-rooted psychological need to believe in innocence and police malfeasance, which completely clouds his judgement to the point where he blindly supports and campaigns on behalf of people who are blatantly guilty of sexual assault and murder like James Hanratty and Rudy Guede.
If there’s a more sloppy and self-serving journalist in the world, I haven’t come across them yet.
Archived in Those who were charged, Rudy Guede, Those officially involved, Police and CSI, The prosecutors, Evidence & witnesses, Real crimescene, Hoaxes Italy & the case, Evil Mignini hoax, No-evidence hoax, No sex assault hoax, Hoaxes Guede, Guede good guy hoax, Hoaxers - main people, More hoaxers, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Florence Courts Resent Mangling Of RS/AK Appeal By Cassation Now Have Ominous Ways To Re-Visit
Posted by Peter Quennell
It is not lost on anyone that Sollecito defense lawyer Bongiorno was given special favors, including being allowed to argue unchallenged before the Fifth Chambers for some hours beyond the legal limit. Or that the Fifth Chambers should never ever have received the appeal. Or that the drafter, Bruno, was suffering seriously ill health at the time, and delivered a report which is largely legal nonsense.
But the Florence courts are not done yet. They are still processing cases involving Knox, Sollecito, Sfarzo and Aviello. They still sit on this potential bombshell of a case against Sollecito lawyer Maori, which explains how the Fifth Chambers apparently acted highly illegally.
Other cases are also possible, and two involving Knox are still continuing in Bergamo.
Now Rudy Guede’s team of lawyers in Rome and Viterbo prison have filed an appeal against his own conviction. It is filed with the courts in Florence.
The team notes that judgments against Guede up to and including the Supreme Court’s First Chambers concluded that he had acted against Meredith only in collusion with others and not in isolation.
This could reopen the Marasca/Bruno outcome which argued that he DID act alone or at least not with RS and AK though there is massive evidence to the contrary. That judgment while final in the normal course of things cannot stand under Italian law if illegalities were entered into.
With more and more documentation being read widely, the case against Knox and Sollecito acting in collusion with Guede is coming to look as strong as it did throughout their trial in 2009.
That is the quite possible Florence outcome.
It is one that Guede might accept fairly calmly, as his fury at Sollecito is quite palpable, and he wants nothing more than to nail his fellow attacker.
Archived in Those who were charged, Rudy Guede, Appeals 2009-2015, Cassation 2015, Hoaxes Knox, Knox persona hoax, Knox alibis hoax, Hoaxes Sollecito, Sollec persona hoax, Sollecito's alibis, Sollec not-there hoax, Hoaxes Guede, Guede sole perp hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Sollecito team, Other legal processes, Italian related
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Thursday, August 25, 2016
The West Memphis Three: Another Instance Where A Strong Pro-Guilt Case Is Being Garbled For Profit
Posted by The Machine
1. Overview of the series
In my last post on how media hype can badly tangle crime cases, I examined Sarah Koenig’s biased coverage of the Adnan Syed case for the Serial podcasts and her flawed approach to assessing the evidence against him.
In this post, I will analyse a critically acclaimed documentary about another alleged miscarriage of justice: West of Memphis and associated media hype.
The Peter Jackson documentary claims three men known as the West Memphis Three (the WM3) were wrongly convicted as child killers and points the finger at another man.
2. West Memphis 3 background
In May 1993, three eight-year-old boys - Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore - were found dead in a ditch in West Memphis in the US state of Arkansas. There is a crimescene video at the bottom here.
They had been stripped and bound. Steve Branch and Michael Moore had drowned and Christopher Byers had bled to death after his genitals had been mutilated and partially removed.
Three teenagers - Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley - were arrested following a tip that Echols had been seen covered in mud the evening the boys disappeared and Misskelley gave a confession.
The WM3 were convicted of murder in 1994 (see the judge and courthouse below) and sent to prison.
However, they were freed in August 2011 after taking an Alford plea. This is a deal which allowed them to maintain their innocence while agreeing prosecutors had enough evidence to convict them.
3. The media campaigns
There have been high-profile campaigns to free the WM3 and cast doubt on their convictions. HBO Television made three films about the case: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, Paradise Lost 2 Revelations and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. CBS News produced a documentary about the case entitled A Cry for Innocence.
A number of celebrities and musicians supported the WM3, including Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, James Hetfield from Metallica, Henry Rollins, actor Johnny Depp, Natalie Mains from The Dixie Chicks, and film director Peter Jackson. Do any of these celebrities put forward a compelling case for innocence?
In a word - no.
Johnny Depp and Henry Rollins basically say they could relate to Damian Echols.
“I immediately related to Damien and what he went through growing up. He comes from a small town from Arkansas. I come from a relatively small town in Kentucky. I can remember being kind of looked upon as a freak or, you know, different because I didn’t dress like everybody else. So I can empathize with being judged by how you look as opposed to who you are.” (Johnny Depp, A Cry for Innocence, CBS News).
“Damien liked to hang out alone and wrote he was depressed. Hello! He liked to listen to weird music. Check! He was a wise ass in the face of law enforcement. Are you kidding? It could have been me.” (Henry Rollins, West of Memphis)
After reading some of the comments in the media about the WM3 case, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Damien Echols was only a suspect because he wore black, listened to Metallica and read Stephen King books.
This comment by Guardian journalist Emma John is a typical comment by the supporters of the WM3
“At their subsequent trial, evidence introduced by the prosecution included the fact that Echols wore Metallica T-shirts and read Stephen King novels”
Several documentaries angled to exonerate the three have been widely promoted on HBO and Netflix including this one.
Emma John and countless other journalists, as well as the producers of Paradise Lost and West of Memphis, completely ignore Echols’ startling mental health records - Exhibit 500 - that show he was a seriously disturbed and violent individual.
He was sent to a mental health hospital on three separate occasions. He threatened a number of people with violence and on occasion attacked others. For example, he threatened to kill his parents and to eat his father alive and he admitted trying to “claw the eyes of out” of a student. According to a report, Echols sucked the blood from the wound of one of the boys in Arkansas Juvenile Detention Center.
Damien Echols’ lawyers presented his mental health records as evidence in the sentencing phase of his trial, presumably to convince the jury he was mentally ill and not fully responsible for his actions, in order to spare him from the death penalty.
4. The West of Memphis production
West of Memphis is available to watch on the streaming for-pay movie site Netflix. Netflix flatly states that the West Memphis Three are innocent.
“They spent 18 years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit—and the real killer is still out there.”
There’s no legal basis for such an unequivocal claim. The WM3 accepted the court’s judgement of guilt. They were not acquitted by a jury or exonerated by the Supreme Court of the United States.
West of Memphis doesn’t provide any credible exculpatory evidence to support Netflix’s categorial assertion that the WM3 are innocent. No-one should expect this to be the case because if there had been any exculpatory evidence, it would have been presented in court.
A couple of the prosecution’s witnesses recanted their testimony, but that doesn’t mean the entire case against the WM3 collapses. In the Perugia case Judge Massei didn’t find two of the prosecution’s witnesses to be credible, but he and the other judges still found Knox and Sollecito guilty of Meredith Kercher’s murder.
The Telegraph and Empire gave West of Memphis five stars out of five. The Guardian gave it four stars. Does the documentary deserve such high ratings from these mainstream media organisations?
If you compare West of Memphis to Andrea Vogt’s documentary about the Meredith Kercher case is Amanda Knox Guilty? (which is the gold standard for true crime documentaries because it’s balanced and factually accurate) you have to conclude that it’s light years away from being anywhere near as good as Andrea Vogt’s documentary.
The producers haven’t made a balanced and objective documentary that lets the audience make up their own minds. As with all documentaries about people who have been convicted of murders they allegedly didn’t commit, the cherrypicked story is told primarily from the defence point of view.
This isn’t surprising - Damian Echols and his wife were two of the producers.
I strongly suspect this is also the reason why most of the evidence that led to the convictions of the WM3 is completely ignored. When I found this out, I felt that the producers had been sly and dishonest. Their commitment is clearly to the WM3 - and not the truth.
If you want to have an informed opinion on the WM3 and to understand why they were convicted, you need to read the official court documents and witness statements, and then consider all the pieces of evidence as a whole.
When you research the case for yourself, you will discover that Damian Echols didn’t become a suspect because he wore black, was different, and a bit of an outsider.
When he was questioned in connection with the murder of the three boys, he failed a polygraph test.
A ten question polygraph test was formulated and three polygraph charts were conducted. The test contained the following relevant questions:
Q.#3. At any time wednesday or wednesday night, were you in robin hood hills? “No”
Q.#5. Were you present when those boys were killed? “No”
Q.#7. Did you kill any of those three boys? “No”
Q.#9. Do you know who killed those three boys? “No”
Q.#10.do you suspect anyone of having killed those three boys? “No”
It is the opinion of this polygraph examiner that this subject recorded significant responses indicative of deception when he answered the above listed relevant questions in the manner noted.
Conclusion: deception indicated.
By reading the official court documents, you will also discover that Echols knew specific details about the crime.
“Detective Bryn Ridge testified that Echols said he understood the victims had been mutilated, with one being cut up more than the others, and that they had drowned. Ridge testified that when Echols made the statement, the fact that Christopher Byers had been mutilated more than the other two victims was not known by the public. The jury could have reasonably concluded that Echols would not have known this fact unless he were involved in some manner.
“Echols took the witness stand, and his testimony contained additional evidence of guilt. When asked about his statement that one victim was mutilated more than the others, he said he learned the fact from newspaper accounts. His attorney showed him the newspaper articles about the murders. On cross-examination, Echols admitted that the articles did not mention one victim being mutilated more than the others, and he admitted that he did not read such a fact in a newspaper.”
The police obtained further corroboration that Damian Echols had been involved in the murder of Steve Branch, Michael Moore and Chris Byers when his friend Jessie Misskelley told them that he, Echols and Jason Baldwin had attacked and killed the boys.
“On June 3, or almost one month after the murders, Detective Mike Allen asked Jessie Lloyd Misskelley, Jr., about the murders. Misskelley was not a suspect at the time, but Echols was, and it was thought that Misskelley might give some valuable information about Echols. Detective Allen had been told all three engaged in cult-like activities. Misskelley made two statements to the detective that implicated Echols and Baldwin, as well as himself. The statements can be found in Misskelley v. State, 323 Ark. 449, 459-61, 915 S.W.2d 702, 707-08 (1996).”
(Damien Wayne ECHOLS and Charles Jason Baldwin v. STATE of Arkansas,Supreme Court of Arkansas).
It should be noted that Jessie Misskelley repeatedly claimed that he, Echols and Baldwin had killed the boys before and after he was convicted. On one occasion, he confessed despite being warned not to by his lawyer.
This should trouble anyone who believes the WM3 are innocent because Misskelley wasn’t threatened or promised any deal by the investigators.
He may have a low IQ, but he wasn’t hallucinating when he made these confessions. In short, they were voluntary statements made over a significant period of time - from 3 June 1993 to 17 February 1994.
Furthermore, Misskelley also knew specific details about the crime. He told the police that Christopher Byers had been castrated in an interview on 3 June 1993.
RIDGES: Cutting him in the face. Alright, another boy was cut I understand. Where was he cut at?
JESSIE: At the bottom
RIDGE: On his bottom? Was he faced down and he was cutting on him, or
JESSIE: He was
GITCHELL: Now you’re talking about bottom, do you mean right here?
GITCHELL: In his groin area?
RIDGE: Do you know what his penis is?
JESSIE: Yeah, that’s where he was cut at.
RIDGE: That’s where he was cut.
GITCHELL: Which boy was that?
JESSIE: That one right there.
GITCHELL: You’re talking about the Byers boy again?
RIDGE: Are you sure that he was the one that was cut?
JESSIE: That’s the one that I seen them cutting on.
RIDGE: Alright, you know what a penis is?
RIDGE: Alright, is that where he was cutting?
JESSIE: That’s where I seen them going down at, and he was on his back. I seen them going down right there real close to his penis and stuff and I saw some blood and that’s when I took off.
Jessie Misskelley’s claim that Christopher Byers was castrated was corroborated by the autopsy report.
“The skin of the penis, scrotal sac and testes were missing. There was a large gaping defect measuring 2 3/4 inch by 1 1/2 inch. The shaft of the penis was present and measured 2 inches in length. The gaping defect was surrounded by multiple and extensive irregular punctate gouging type injuries measuring from 1/8 inch to 3/4 inch and had a depth of penetration of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.”
In West of Memphis, it’s claimed that turtles might be responsible for the missing genitals. I found this theory to be fanciful to say the least.
According to the medical examiner, Chris Byers bled to death because his genitals had been mutilated and partially removed. I believe Jessie Miskelley that this happened before he was thrown into the ditch.
In the same interview, Jessie Misskelley told the police officers that one of the boys was cut in his face.
RIDGE: Okay, now when this is going on, when this is taking place, you saw somebody with a knife. Who had a knife?
RIDGE: Jason had a knife, what did he cut with the knife. What did you see him cut or who did you see him cut?
JESSIE: I saw him cut one of the little boys
RIDGE: Alright, where did he cut him at?
JESSIE: He was cutting him in the face.
Prosecutor John Fogleman highlighted the fact that Jessie Misskelley knew facts that nobody else knew in his closing argument. He pointed out that Misskelley knew one of the boys had been cut in the fact and that this specific detail wasn’t mentioned in any of the newspapers.
Nothing in there [the newspapers] about a boy being cut in the face. Said they were beat up real bad, but nothing, nothing in there about somebody being cut in the face. He [Jessie Misskelley] says, “Yes, one of them was cut in the face.”
Jessie Misskelley also claimed that Damian Echols grabbed one of the boys by the ear and that the ear was discoloured as a result.
MISSKELLEY: He [Damian Echols] grabbed one of’m by the ear, I don’t know which one, he grabbed on of’m by the ear trying to pull his ear off or something. He grabbed’m pretty tight. It turned kind of red.
This was also corroborated by the autopsy report for Chris Byers. According to the report, he suffered injuries to his right ear:
The right ear was abraded and contused. The inferior aspect of the right ear showed multiple linear abrasions measuring 1/2 inch to 1 1/4 inch.”
When you find out the three boys were stripped and two of them had injuries to their genitals, it’s natural to assume there must have been a sexual motive. Jessie Misskelley told the police that Damian Echols and Jason Baldwin sexually assaulted two of the boys.
JESSIE: Then they [Damian Echols and Jason Baldwin] tied them up, tied their hands up, they started screwing them and stuff, cutting them and stuff, and I saw it and turned around and looked, and then I took off running, I went home, then they called me and asked me, how come I didn’t stay, I told them, I just couldn’t.
John Fogleman also drew the jury’s attention to the fact that Jessie Misskelley knew that two of the boys had been sexually assaulted - something that was also corroborated by the autopsy reports. Chris Byers and Steve Branch had injuries to their genitals.
Finally, in talking about the boys being sexually abused, Inspector Gitchell says, “So they both did it to all three of the boys?” Jessie: “Just them two as far as I know.”
According to Lisa Sakevicius - a criminalist from the state lab - the three victims were tied with three different knots.
Her testimony would seem to rule out that the three boys were killed by a single attacker and indicate there were three attackers.
Jessie Misskelley didn’t just confess to the police. According to his friend Buddy Lucas, Misskelley also confessed to him.
Lucas - so we sit there, sit there, and I said, he said man me jason and damien we went walking last night in the town of west memphis, I said why didn’t you all come by and get me? we will we uh, we were in a hurry and everything go up there and come back home. I said alright I understand (inaudible) now since I found out I’m kinda glad he didn’t come by and get me
Ridge - okay, what did he tell you he do?
Lucas - we…. he told me that uh, that he got in a fight, that’s what he told me at first
Ridge - okay
Lucas - I said damien and jason they helped you? He said um-yea and everything so I said well did you all hurt anybody? And he said yea, I didn’t think it was those 8 year old kids or anything, so I turn around and come to found out that jason he was with jason and damien when they sacrificed them little kids. I was come and tell you all
Ridge - he tells you he’s in some trouble?
Lucas - uh-huh
Ridge - and what did he tell you he was in trouble over?
Lucas - that he really, he said um, we hurt, uh…. uh we hurt a couple of boys, that jason and damien killed
Ridge - okay
Lucas - couple, I said was you involved? He said yea, I said what did you do? I finally got it talked out of him what did he do, he said I hit uh, a couple in the back of the head
Ridge - okay, and
Lucas - and everything to keep them from running and everything
Ridge - and that’s what he told you?
Lucas - yes sir
Two witnesses claimed that Damian Echols admitted he had killing the three boys.
Twelve-year-old Christy VanVickle testified that she heard Echols say he “killed the three boys.” Fifteen-year-old Jackie Medford testified that she heard Echols say, “I killed the three little boys and before I turn myself in, I’m going to kill two more, and I already have one of them picked out.”
The testimony of these two independent witnesses was direct evidence of the statement by Echols. These witnesses were cross-examined by Echols counsel, and it was the jury’s province to weigh their credibility.
(Damien Wayne ECHOLS and Charles Jason Baldwin v. STATE of Arkansas,Supreme Court of Arkansas).
5. Alternative perp Terry Hobbs
The producers of West of Memphis make a case for Terry Hobbs - the stepfather of Steve Branch - being the killer and that his friend David Jacoby was a possible accomplice. However, Hamish McKenzie points out in an article for The Atlantic that the filmmakers are guilty of hypocrisy.
“But the rave reviews miss a dangerous hypocrisy at the heart of the film, which was paid for and produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, and directed by Amy Berg. In their quest to clear the names of the “West Memphis Three"—Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. who were teenagers when they were convicted for the 1993 killings—the filmmakers decide that they have found the actual murderer: Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the murdered boys. And in publicly making the case against him, they perpetrate a similar sort of injustice to the one they originally set out to correct: relying on questionable evidence to prosecute in the court of public opinion.”
The producers of West of Memphis point the finger at Hobbs because he has a history of domestic violence, he gave inconistent alibis and they think two hairs found at the crime scene implicate him and his friend Jacoby. However, Thomas Fedor, one of the defence experts, called the hairs weak evidence.
“The two hairs that I know about – the one that could have in fact come from Mr. Hobbs and the one that could have in fact come from David Jacoby – constitute what I call weak evidence. Because there are other people it could have come from and there isn’t any way to really prove our selection of possible sources for that hair.
I don’t think – my personal opinion – I don’t think that that hair evidence would be enough to convict Mr. Hobbs or Mr. Jacoby or anyone that would be in a similar situation because it’s simply not strong enough.
The percentages I gave of people who could be the source of those hairs are 1.5% of the population in the respect to one hair and 7% in respect to the other hair. That’s not particularly strong evidence and especially in the context of what most people are accustomed to with DNA testing.” (Thomas Fedor, Forensic Serologist).
6. Some conclusions
Concluding the WM3 are innocent on the basis of watching West of Memphis would be like concluding Amanda Knox is innocent after reading Waiting to Be Heard. The documentary is clearly biased and one-sided.
The producers did not address most of the evidence that led to the convictions of the WM3 let alone refute it. This is not surprising when you consider the fact that Damian Echols is one of the producers.
The defence lawyers assessed the evidence and recommended that their clients accept a court judgement of guilt. Surely if there was no credible evidence against the WM3 they would have opted for a new trial. If they had been found not guilty, they would have been able to sue the state for millions of dollars.
The supposedly exculpatory evidence was that some DNA was recovered from the crime scene was not attributable to any of the victims or the WM3. Since it is not known to whom that DNA belongs, one cannot say what that person’s role, if any, was and whether the evidence would help the defendants.
Above: from freeway, crime scene is by a creek within trees in left background
7. Valuable Sources
Click: ‘West Memphis Three’ freed after 18 years in prison
Click: Damien Echols: Statements and Polygraph Reports (May 9-10, 1993)
Click: Supreme Court of Arkansas
Click: Closing Argument of John Fogleman
Click: Damien Echols - mental health records - Exhibit 500
Click: Peter Jackson’s West of Memphis: the tale of three wronged men
Click: Damien Echols: how I survived death row
Click: West Memphis Three Facts
Click: The Unsettling Recklessness of Peter Jackson’s ‘West of Memphis’
Click: Misskelley v. State
Click: Statement of Jessie L. Misskelley, Jr. (June 3, 1993 at 2:44 P.M.)
Click: Statement of Jessie Misskelley, Jr. February 17, 1994
Click: Autopsy report for Steven Branch
Click: Autopsy report for Chris Byers
Click: Autopsy report for Michael Moore
Click: Lisa Sakevicius’s testimony
Click: A Skeptic’s Guide To The West Memphis Three Documentaries
Click: Is Amanda Knox Guilty?
[Below: The crime scene about 1 mile west of Memphis - warning, images of the murdered boys are included]
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Bad News For Knox - Buzz From Italy Is Spurious ECHR Appeal Will Probably Fail
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
We have posted repeatedly that the ECHR had “accepted” nothing - a processing clerk had merely asked prosecution and defense for actual hard facts “acccidentally” omitted from defense lawyer Dalla Vedova’s submission documents.
Had Dalla Vedova acted ethically and truthfully, there would have been no need at all for this stage.
We explained especially that Knox’s team had never lodged a complaint with any Italian court as Italian law requires and so due process in Italy prior to involving the heavily burdened ECHR had not even begun.
And that pre-emptively the Italian Supreme Court itself had already forcefully ruled that Knox had no ECHR case.
All this was known to Knox and her lawyers and PR but they continued to lie to the world anyhow.
Now the buzz is that detailed Italian government submissions to the ECHR have killed all prospects for Knox’s fraudulent appeal.
The absence of any effective comeback to the ECHR from Knox lawyer Dalla Vedova is understandable - by not filing any complaint in Italy first on behalf of Knox he might have been breaking Italian law requiring such a complaint if deemed credible.
Archived in Those who were charged, Amanda Knox, Hoaxes Knox, Knox alibis hoax, Knox interrog hoax, Knox ECHR hoax
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Tuesday, August 09, 2016
So Where Would YOU Want To Go On Trial? In Italy Or In The U.S.?
Posted by Peter Quennell
Maybe 9 out of 10 Italians think this.
Over the years the Italian justice system has become immensely tilted against prosecutors and victims at trial. Right now it is one of the toughest - or if you like, most lenient - anywhere in the world.
We have still not seen even ONE American lawyer claim that after the first trial in 2009 which found RS and AK guilty that there were strong grounds for an appeal.
In the US, back in 2009, full prison terms would have been begun.
And in fact virtually nothing at the 2009 trial was challenged in the appeal. But the defenses subversively organized to get Civil Judge Hellmann instead of Criminal Judge Chiari to preside, and in 2011 a farcical “not guilty” outcome was the result.
Then there was a THIRD jury trial, in 2013-14, which (as so often in Italy) threw out the not guilty outcome of the previous appeal trial.
And finally, in 2015, due to more subversive defense machinations with a little mafia help, the final Supreme Court appeal was assigned to the FIFTH Chambers, for the first murder appeal that Chambers has ever heard.
A second farcical “not guilty” outcome was the result.
Say what you like about the American system, there is not remotely any parallel in its judicial history to all of that. Quite the opposite in fact. We have had various posts pointing to an increasingly hard line in the US.
This is one not necessarily sought or appreciated by prosecutors or judges, who usually like trials and want to see juries of peers call the final shots.
It is actually being imposed by Federal and State politicians, many of whom were prosecutors themselves. Bizarre jury outcomes as at the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials contributed somewhat to this trend.
One result is a trend the exact opposite of Italy’s - the increasing elimination of juries and even of trials altogether. The New York Times explains.
The criminal trial ended more than two and a half years ago, but Judge Jesse M. Furman can still vividly recall the case. It stands out, not because of the defendant or the subject matter, but because of its rarity: In his four-plus years on the bench in Federal District Court in Manhattan, it was his only criminal jury trial…
The Southern District held only 50 criminal jury trials last year, the lowest since 2004, according to data provided by the court. The pace remains slow this year.
In 2005, records show, there were more than double the number of trials: 106. And decades ago, legal experts said, the numbers were much higher.
“It’s hugely disappointing,” said Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a 20-year veteran of the Manhattan federal bench. “A trial is the one place where the system really gets tested. Everything else is done behind closed doors.”
Legal experts attribute the decline primarily to the advent of the congressional sentencing guidelines and the increased use of mandatory minimum sentences, which transferred power to prosecutors, and discouraged defendants from going to trial, where, if convicted, they might face harsher sentences.
In 1997, according to federal courts data nationwide, 3,200 of 63,000 federal defendants were convicted in jury trials; in 2015, there were only 1,650 jury convictions, out of 81,000 defendants.
Former Judge John Gleeson, who in March stepped down from the federal bench in Brooklyn to enter private practice, noted in a 2013 court opinion that 81 percent of federal convictions in 1980 were the product of guilty pleas; in one recent year, the figure was 97 percent.
Judge Gleeson wrote that because most pleas are negotiated before a prosecutor prepares a case for trial, the “thin presentation” of evidence needed for indictment “is hardly ever subjected to closer scrutiny by prosecutors, defense counsel, judges or juries.”
“The entire system loses an edge,” he added, “and I have no doubt that the quality of justice in our courthouses has suffered as a result.”
The article lists a number of resulting ill effects. Will the Knox apologists be up in arms? Dont hold your breath.
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Saturday, August 06, 2016
Crash Ruins Prospect Of Olympic Gold For Italy’s Cycling Star the “Shark Of Messina”
Posted by Peter Quennell
What a real shocker for cycling-mad Italy..
You could watch world-class cycling for years, and maybe never see anything quite like this.
The men’s Olympic cycling road race is unusually long and grueling - six hours on average.
The American TV commenters were agreeing that the course, on the coast just south of Rio, was the most beautiful ever - and also the most dangerous.
Termed dangerous because there were three steep descents down one mountain, and then two more descents, even steeper, down another mountain with a ten-to-one gradient.
A main leader throughout, Vincenzo Nibali, is not for nothing called the Shark of Messina.
Just minutes before the race’s end a breakaway group of 3 cyclists, including Nibali, were heading down the final descent so fast that the motorbike with the camera could not keep up with them.
Breathtaking stuff. Normally you just never ever see that happen. All 3 disappeared from sight, leaving just shots of an empty road descending sharply.
When the TV camera DID catch up with them several minutes later it was only because of what you see in the video - two of the lead cyclists unstuck at a probable 60-plus mph.
The commentators had been saying a gold for Nibali seemed certain. Now he is not only out of the Olympics - he is being flown back to Italy for surgery.
Archived in The wider contexts, Italian context
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Artificially Controversial Adnan Syed Case Adds To Tilt Against Victims Worldwide
Posted by The Machine
1. The Media Overview
Doug Preston, John Douglas, Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer are by no means the only crackpots in America perpetrating innocence fraud.
Their main distinction was to perpetrate it in English against a victim and a police and court system of other countries, using ignorance and smears and a largely complicit American media to trample hard truths in the case.
But innocence fraud is still a tiny industry in Italy as compared with the godzilla it is becoming in America - often with politically vulnerable judges and usually with naive do-gooders in compliance.
2. The Adnan Syed/Hae Min Lee serial podcast
Much of the public seems to have developed an insatiable appetite for documentaries about people who have been convicted of murders they allegedly didn’t commit. Faux TV documentaries title American Girl, Italian Nightmare, Paradise Lost, West of Memphis, and Making of a Murderer, have all been watched by millions of people.
Podcasts are another way of reaching them. Wikipedia defines a podcast as “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.”
High school student Hae Min Lee was the victim in this 1999 Baltimore murder case and her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted in 2000 of her murder and is serving a life sentence plus 30 years.
The serial podcast about the Adnan Syed/Hae Min Lee case has been downloaded over 80 million times now. According to Apple, it’s the fastest podcast to reach five million downloads and streams in the history of iTunes.
In the light of public sentiment inflamed by it a retrial has been ordered, a ruling which Maryland’s attorney general will now seek to overturn.
Why was this serial podcast so popular?
Natasha Vargas-Cooper and Ken Silverstein made the following observation about the success of Serial in an article about the case for The Intercept:
“The reality is that ‘Serial’ only worked if it could demonstrate that there were serious doubts about the fairness of Syed’s trial and conviction. If he were guilty, there was no story. The storytelling device was to amplify claims that favored Syed’s defense and contrast that with a watered-down version of the state’s case”
TV producers and podcast makers know full well that an innocent person being railroaded by corrupt or incompetent cops is a far more melodramatic story than a run-of-the-mill domestic violence murder.
Paul Ciolino admitted in a question and answer session about the Meredith Kercher case at Seattle University that CBS News didn’t care whether someone was innocent. The only thing they care about is the story.
“I work for CBS News. I want to tell you one thing about CBS. We don’t care if you did it. We don’t care if you’re innocent. We like a story. We want to do a story. That’s all we care about.”
CBS News produced one of the most biased and factually inaccurate documentaries about the Meredith Kercher case “American Girl, Italian Nightmare”.
The CBS documentary is an archetypal example of innocence fraud. The story is told primarily from the defence point of view, incriminating pieces of evidence are ignored and the programme contains a number of significant factual errors.
3. Faults by podcast creator Sarah Koenig
The Serial is another example of innocence fraud. Sarah Koenig, the executive producer and host of Serial, tries to be partial and objective, but fails miserably.
Instead of maintaining a professional distance from Adnan Syed, she becomes emotionally attached to him, and it’s clear she desperately wants to believe he’s innocent.
She can barely hide her disappointment when she finds out things that show Syed in a bad light. Her comments that Syed doesn’t seem like a killer are just crass. She comes across as an unwordly academic who has been sheltered from the real world in her ivory tower.
She says she doesn’t buy the motive put forward by the prosecution i.e. Adnan Syed couldn’t deal with being dumped by Hae Min Lee and it erupted in violence.
In reality, people kill other people for the most banal and trivial reasons. She doesn’t seem to understand that there are seven billion on the planet and not everyone shares her logic and morals. There have been a number of high-profile murder cases where seemingly normal people have committed horrific and senseless murders with little or no motive.
And motive is not a required element in any common law jurisdiction.
She adopts a piecemeal cherrypicking approach to the evidence and analyses each piece of evidence in isolation from the other pieces of evidence. If there’s an alternative innocent explanation not matter how far-fetched it is, she wrongly assumes it nullifies that particular piece of evidence.
It’s no surprise she concludes there isn’t enough evidence to convict Adnan Syed of murder: “It’s not enough, to me, to send anyone to prison for life.”
She doesn’t understand the concept and application of the “beyond a reasonable doubt standard” and that all the pieces of evidence have to be considered wholly, not separately - by a jury actually present to size up all witnesses.
According to the Supreme Court of the United States in Victor. Nebraska (92-8894), 511 U.S. 1 (1994):
“…absolute or mathematical certainty is not required.”
“You may be convinced of the truth of a fact beyond a reasonable doubt and yet be fully aware that possibly you may be mistaken.”
You put all the pieces of evidence together to see whether a picture of guilt emerges.
According to the Supreme Court of Canada in Stewart v. The Queen,  2 SCR 748:
“It may be, and such is often the case, that the facts proven by the Crown, examined separately have not a very strong probative value; but all the facts put in evidence have to be considered each one in relation to the whole, and it is all of them taken together, that may constitute a proper basis for a conviction.”
4. Main facts of the case against Adnan Syed
The key pieces of evidence in the case were the testimony of his friend Jay Wilds and the mobile phone records which destroyed Adnan Syed’s initial alibi that he was at the mosque on the evening of 13 January 1999 - the day Hae Min Lee disappeared- and corroborated Wilds’ claims that he and Adnan were in Leakin Park that evening.
This is significant because Hae Min Lee’s body was found in Leakin Park. There’s no question that Jay Wilds had inside knowledge about the murder - he led the police to Hae Min Lee’s car. He confessed to being an accessory to murder after the fact.
On 13 January 1999, Hae Min Lee was supposed to pick up her cousin from the Campfield Early Learning Center after school and take her home. She must have been abducted by her killer whilst on the way to the kindergarten.
This means the window of opportunity for her killer to abduct her was extremely narrow. It takes approximately 11 minutes to drive the 3.8 miles from Woodlawn High School to the kindergarten.
Jay Wilds told the police that Adnan Syed’s plan was to get a lift with Hae Min Lee. Becky and Krista, who were friends with Hae and Syed, claim they heard him asking Hae for a lift on 13 January 1999. Scott Adcock, a police officer, testified that Syed had told him he had asked Hae for a lift that day.
Syed would later deny that he had asked Hae for a lift. Adnan Syed had lent Wilds his mobile phone and car that day. However, it should be pointed out that it wasn’t the first time that Syed had done this.
Kevin Urick, one of the prosecutors, acknowledged in his interview with The Intercept that the two key pieces of evidence - the mobile records and Jay Wilds’ testimony - are of weaker probative value when considered separately, but pointed out that when you put them together, they are strong pieces of evidence.
“Jay’s testimony by itself, would that have been proof beyond a reasonable doubt?” Urick asked rhetorically. “Probably not. Cellphone evidence by itself? Probably not.”
But, he said, when you put together cellphone records and Jay’s testimony, “they corroborate and feed off each other–it’s a very strong evidentiary case.”
He also pointed out that the mobile phone records destroyed Adnan Syed’s alibi that he was at the mosque on the evening of 13 January 1999. From The Intercept:
“Yes. Early on in the Syed case, the defense sent us a disclosure of about eighty names stating that these were witnesses that were going to testify that Syed was at the mosque because it was Ramadan. He was praying all evening and that’s where he was [Intercept ed’s. note: We have corrected this in the introduction].
If they called those eighty witnesses, they would’ve obviously been testifying falsely, because the cellphone records in conjunction with all the evidence we gathered about the cellphone towers, who made the calls, who received them, place him everywhere but at the mosque.
The best defense an attorney can put on is the defense the client is telling them. But attorneys still are not supposed to put on fabricated evidence. And that would’ve been fabricated evidence. And I think once Gutierrez recognized that fact, she did not put it on.”
Adnan Syed chose not to testify at both his trials. If he had, Kevin Urick would have asked him a pertinent question.
“And my very last question would be, what is your explanation for why you either received or made a call from Leakin Park the evening that Hae Min Lee disappeared, the very park that her body was found in five weeks later?”
The mobile phone records also showed there was a call from his mobile phone to his friend Nisha’s landline at 3:32pm on the day Hae disappeared. This is significant because Jay Wilds didn’t know Nisha and Adnan Syed claims he didn’t have his phone at this time as Jay Wilds had it. The phone call lasted more than two minutes.
Sarah Koening speculates that the Nisha call could have been a “butt dial”.
Dana Chivvis, one of the “Serial” producers, puts the pieces of evidence together in episode 12 and seems to have serious reservations about Adnan Syed’s innocence.
“Adnan has always said it was his idea to loan Jay the car because he wanted to get Stefanie a birthday present right. So that’s pretty crappy luck that you loaned this guy who ends up pointing the finger at you for the murder that you loaned him your car and cell phone the day you ex-girlfriend goes missing. The next thing is that it seems pretty clear to me that Adnan asked Hae for a ride after school because we’ve got at least two of their friends saying they overheard him ask for a ride from Hae.
Adnan himself tells the cop that day he asked Hae for a ride. And In Jay’s first interview with the detectives, he says to them Adnan’s plan was to get in Hae’s car by telling her that his car was broken down and asking her for a ride. Then the next piece of bad luck is the Nisha call. I mean even if the Nisha call could potentially be a butt dial… in the realm of possibility maybe it was a butt dial, but what are the chances? Like that sucks for for you that your phone butt dialled the girl that only you know and would call on this day your ex-girlfriend goes missing that you happen to loan your car and phone out to the guy who ends up pointing the finger at you. That sucks.
And the last thing that I think really sucks for him if he’s innocent is that Jay’s story and the cell phone records match up from about 6 o’clock to about 8 o’clock which is when Jay is saying that you’re burying the body and that’s the time of day when you have no memory of where you were…But you Adnan you don’t really remember where you were that evening and that blank spot in your memory that’s the window of time when Jay’s story actually does seem to be corroborated by the cell phone records.”
It’s important to put the evidence that Dana Chivvis outlines into the wider context of Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee’s deteriorating relationship.
In November 1998, two months before Hae Min Lee was murdered, she wrote a break-up note to Syed telling him to move on, accept her decision to end their relationship, and to “hate me if you will.” On the back of the note Adnan Syed wrote: “I’m going to kill.”
Is it a coincidence that two months later that Hae Min Lee was killed?
Is it a coincidence that Adnan Syed can remember very little about this day even though it wasn’t an ordinary day because the police called him to tell that Hae was missing and asked him if he knew where she was?
Ann Brocklehurst wrote a blog article criticising Sarah Koenig for consistently minimising the warning signs of intimate partner violence and noted that she overlooked that fact that Hae had asked a teacher, Hope Schab, to help her hide from Syed.
5. Doubts Sarah Koenig tries to raise
Sarah Koenig seems to think that Asia McClain is a credible witness - she claims she saw Adan Syed in the library that afternoon. However, Kevin Urick points out why the judge in the post-conviction trial didn’t take her claim seriously.
“I think the judge in the post-conviction trial does a very good job of pointing out that in the letters to Syed, she is very vague and indifferent about what she’s doing. The difficulty comes from Syed. In all his statements about his whereabouts the day of the case he says that he was at the school from 2:15pm to 3:30pm.
He never once, in any statement, at any time, made any reference about being in the public library. His defense was that he was at the school from 2:30 to 3:30. So [Asia McClain’s] reporting seeing him at the public library contradicts what he says he was doing.”
Kevin Urick also stated that Asia McClain told him she was being put under a lot of pressure from Adnan Syed’s family.
“Asia contacted me before the post-conviction hearing, she got my number and called me and expressed to me a great deal of concern about whether or not she would have to testify at the post-conviction hearing. She told me she was under a lot of pressure from Adnan’s family and to get them off her back she wrote him a couple letters.
The implication was she was trying to appease them and she didn’t want to have to stick by it at that time. And I testified to that when I appeared in the post-conviction hearing.”
Sarah Koenig also seems to think that Jay Wilds’ testimony shouldn’t have been used to convict Adnan Syed because he gave conflicting accounts. Kevin Urick explained why these inconsistencies don’t discredit him as a witness.
“Like I said, people who are engaged in criminal activity, it’s like peeling an onion. The initial thing they say is, ‘I don’t know a thing about this.’ And then ‘Well, I sort of saw this.’ You get different stories as you go along. This is the real world. We don’t pick our witnesses, we have to put them on as they are. There were a lot of inconsistencies throughout Jay’s prior statements. Almost all of them involve what we would call collateral facts.
“A material fact is something directly related to the question of guilt or innocence. A material fact would have been, ‘I was with Adnan,’ and then you’ve got the cellphone corroborating that material fact. A collateral fact would be, We were at Joe’s Sub Shop,’ but then you find out actually they were at the auto repair store. That’s a collateral fact. It’s not necessarily material to the question of guilt or innocence. So, many of the material facts were corroborated through the cellphone records including being in Leakin Park.”
Sarah Koenig is not the only person who thinks Jay Wilds’ testimony shouldn’t have been used to convict Adnan Syed.
Civil lawyer Richard Dwyer says doesn’t believe Adnan Syed and thinks he might be guilty, but he states he shouldn’t have been convicted because Jay Wilds gave conflicting statements and the timeline wasn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
There seems to be a widespread misconception that the prosecution must be able to prove with absolute certainty each and every element of a second-by-second comprehensive timeline and that witness testimony must be discounted if there are any contradictions.
The bottom line is the jury found Jay Wilds to be a credible witness and found Adnan Syed guilty of murder.
6. Some Conclusions
A biased and one-sided 12-part documentary presented by a partisan journalist doesn’t supercede a criminal trial where the jurors get to hear the defence and prosecution present their cases and watch witnesses being cross-examined in court.
Justice shouldn’t be a like a reality TV show where the public gets to decide whether someone convicted of murder should be allowed leave the big house. However, there’s no doubt that these types of documentaries do influence legal proceedings. A judge has recently ruled that Adnan Syed will be given another trial.
We can expect Adnan Syed’s supporters and a number of media organisations will try to influence the legal proceedings before and during the new trial. This couldn’t happen in the UK because of the sub judice rules which prevents the media from commenting on a case until a verdict is reached in order to prevent the jury from being swayed.
The Guardian recently published an article entitled “Adnan Syed is innocent. Now find Hae Min Lee’s real killer”, which was written by Adnan Syed’s chief advocate Rabia Chaudry. I hope the mainstream media provide balanced and factually accurate reports on the case - something they didn’t do when covering the Meredith Kercher case.
Journalists and the public should remember that a miscarriage of justices are not just cases where innocent people have been convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. They include cases where people have literally got away with murder. I can’t think of one documentary about such a case.
7. The reactions of Hae Min Lee’s family
Hae Min Lee’s family sat through the trials along with the juries and have no doubts that Adnan Syed killed her.
“It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for Hae.”
Unlike Sarah Koenig or any of the 80 million people who downloaded the Serial podcasts, they actually attended every day of both trials, heard the arguments put forward from the defence and prosecution and saw the witnesses being cross-examined on the stand.
“unlike those who learn about this case on the internet, we sat and watched every day of both trials – so many witnesses, so much evidence”.
Some Of The Main Sources
One: Serial Season One
Two: EXCLUSIVE: PROSECUTOR IN ‘SERIAL’ CASE GOES ON THE RECORD
Three: EXCLUSIVE: SERIAL PROSECUTOR DEFENDS GUILTY VERDICT IN ADNAN SYED CASE, PART II.
Four: Serial podcast rehabilitated a schoolgirl’s murderer, so where’s the feminist outrage?
Five: Serial case: victim’s family offers rare statement before hearing resumes
Six: Adnan Syed is innocent. Now find Hae Min Lee’s real killer
Seven: Syed Of ‘Serial’ Podcast Given Retrial
Eight: Serial Podcast Locations
Nine: ‘Serial’ takes the stand: How a podcast became a character in its own narrative
Ten: Serial Finale—Why I Don’t Believe Adnan Syed
Archived in Justice systems, Other systems, Other legal processes, Those elsewhere
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Saturday, July 16, 2016
Crime Of This Self Adulating Killer Is As Horrific As Self Adulating Knox’s Killing Of Meredith
Posted by Peter Quennell
When Knox is not salivating over her own sheer amazingness, she salivates over the sheer amazingness of other crimes and other criminals.
Knox would find much to salivate over in Pakistan, where hundreds of women are being brutally killed annually by relatives in honor killings - and some of those relatives get to be on TV gloating over their own sheer amazingness.
The strangulation of Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch 10 days ago by one of her six brothers initially inspired much praise for him among twisted “traditionalists” but this is being overtaken by shocked reactions worldwide and to an increasing extent in Pakistan.
The brother fled but is already captured and faces a probable death sentence. Pakistan’s government could now have to move much more strongly to stop all these honor killings.
There are already over 100 YouTubes, many in remembrance and protest, with combined views totaling several millions.
Below, an outraged commentary just posted, by Pakistani-Canadian Giana Sim. Terrific statement, Giana.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Other legal processes, Those elsewhere
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Sunday, July 10, 2016
Italian Justice: Describing A Fine System And How To Improve It
Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)
[Revered prosecutor Paolo Borsellino was assassinated 1992 with probable political connivance]
Trashing Of Justice System Gets Worse
Does this Reuters report capture Italian justice correctly?
We linked to it on 30 June and it seemed to have some key points missing. For example it omits, as English-language reports tend to, that the system as originally designed strove above all to be fair, and that crime rates in Italy are low and murder rates lower and levels of incarceration and recidivism tiny by European standards.
Also that the police and justice system remain more popular and trusted than other institutions in Italy.
Archived in Must read first posts, Justice systems, Italian system, Other systems, Hoaxes Italy & the case, Italian justice hoax, Evil Mignini hoax, Evil police hoax
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Sunday, July 03, 2016
How Amanda Knox Is Encouraging West Seattle To Adulate Seriously Sick Individuals
Posted by Hopeful
At bottom: judge Persky may be fired for a light rape sentence
Fellow poster Pensky encouraged us to consider some bizarrely narcissistic postings by Knox on her Facebook.
That led me to her June 13, 2016 discussion of the Stanford rape case. My eyeballs nearly popped out at seeing Knox wax eloquent about Brock Allen Turner (right, at bottom, with lawyers).
He assaulted a comatose young woman outside a frat party, ran away but was seized by passersby. Then 12 jurors unanimously convicted Turner guilty of 3 felonies, but all he has admitted to doing is ingesting alcohol.
He is defiant, unrepentant, and really got lucky with Judge Persky giving him a slap on the wrist, 6 months in county jail, not even prison and he may serve only 3.
IMO, Brock Allen Turner is Knox’s new object of envy and Judge Persky is her new hero.
She waxes prolific about this light-sentenced rape case in the West Seattle Herald yet never ONCE reproaches or rebukes Brock Turner in a sincere and unambivalent way. She minces words, dances around in the passive voice, pretends to silently agree with the public’s outrage, yet she doesn’t fool anybody.
She is seething with jealousy that Turner got such a light sentence!
She is probably comparing Turner’s lucky escape with how she might have dodged a bullet had she only let Meredith live and not “finished her off” (my quotes, my assumptions).
Instead of dispatching the violated Meredith, Knox hoping to avoid prosecution by silencing her victim, now regrets it even more when she sees that Brock Allen Turner left his rape victim alive and that despite his alcohol fueled assault, he got off very lightly. Oh, how green with envy is Foxy Knoxy in retrospect.
Her entire article trumpets the concept of “punishment does no good”.
Yes, just let the devils go because nobody can make them feel ashamed of their crimes if the perp doesn’t wanna feel ashamed. Knox knows that from experience. She sees it in Brock, with his mealy-mouthed letter he wrote as a smokescreen fake apology.
Knox remains defiant and without remorse like Brock Turner. In this article she has the audacity to talk about how sexual assault can rarely be determined; that it’s mostly a he said/she said dilemma as to consent, and thus the suspect must be considered innocent due to reasonable doubt in most cases.
She even quotes Blackstone: “better for 10 guilty folks to escape than one innocent suffer”. I certainly agree with that. Knox got the benefit of that adage. So did Sollecito. Because they scrubbed and cleaned so well.
Knox wonders in this article if Turner’s torments in having to register as a sex offender, lose his college scholarship, lose great job opportunities, live with his reputation in tatters—if these realities will prevent him from reoffending.
She concludes, “Perhaps not. Judge Perky’s [sic] humanization of Turner-the-criminal is not abominable.” Of course not, Knox loves this judge. Herself the felon would desire the judge to go easy on all such birds of a feather as herself.
Nope, Knox isn’t into punishment. Not severe ones at any rate. No, punishment does no good in her opinion.
Her solution? to support the victim, to educate women on how not to become a victim, give victims solidarity and support, “pay attention and care about the suffering of the victim, whether they are vindicated in a court of law or not.”
Duh…this is precisely what TJMK and Perugia Murder File.net and .org have been doing for nearly a decade!!!
Knox’s desire as in the title of her article about redirecting focus, redirect it to what? To Knox’s new wisdom that sentences of any sort do no good, they’re vengeance and we should support the victim rather than shame the criminal! Otherwise, the criminal if treated too harshly has the right to his own victim status.
I do agree that extremely harsh sentences do as much damage to the soul of a prisoner as the lightweight joke sentence Brock Turner received.
Knox must be so jealous of the bumbling Mr. Turner. Oh if only she had let her victim live and accepted a few months behind bars, is probably her regret.
Like Turner, Knox confesses to nothing but being confused and forgetful on the night of the crime due to a fog of cannabis. She pretends to have been reduced to a dream state, thus removing any culpability in her conscience. How convenient.
Turner’s best ally and defense was his inebriation. So was Knox’s. Thank goodness for substance abuse which removes felt guilt, though the victim lies dead on the floor.
I cannot believe the gall of Knox to highlight the Brock Turner rape case and parade as a pundit for improved sentencing (or cessation of all sentences, in her ideal world, right?)
She is a ridiculous twisted pundit who claims to seek to improve the criminal justice system. Unmitigated gall. Most jailbirds like her do have great ideas for what society “should have done” with them other than imprison them for their crimes.
She talks about good things but they all assume the victim is still alive to help, things like “embrace a victim through their recovery, offer them resources, give them voice, recognize their value.” But did she recognize Meredith’s value? She could barely speak her name at trial or write it in her book. How many trees has she planted for Meredith?
Her last paragraph says not to equate condemning a criminal with recognizing a victim, and do not deny the “reparation a victim deserves.” What reparations has she paid Patrick Lumumba?
I will assess her silly Dawndra Budd photo spread soon. It is just more blind preening and another form of lies. Dawndra Budd has been deceived along with many others but The Herald article takes first prize in the brass mule contest. Knox loves Mr. Turner the escape artist.
And I am by no means entirely sympathetic to the drunk Emily Doe who was raped by Turner due to her own bad morals and stupidity.
However the really egregious culprit is the even dumber and cowardly Turner. His father is his best apologist, until Knox. At least Brock Turner did his crime alone and without a knife in hand and without a wolfpack of strong accomplices for moral support like Knox needed, if one compares the “courage” of Knox and Turner. They both used Dutch courage from a bottle as the saying goes.
Turner the lout deserves at least a two or three year sentence in lockup and extra community service hours, and stiff fines paid to his victim. Knox has skipped out on three-fourths of her rightful sentence and she remains as defiant and unremorseful as Turner, and she offended much much worse than he did. She seems to hint she might reoffend.
She never really denounces Turner, nor clearly supports Emily Doe except to admire Doe’s courage to “articulate her experience of absolute vulnerability with clarity and dignity”.
Articulate, schmiculate. Emily Doe cries loud and long about her offended dignity when there was little dignity to start with as her drunken public stupor showed. She did not deserve a physical attack, however.
Knox sympathizes with her because Doe was angry at the litany of questions put to her by the police and the wringer the police put her through about her lifestyle in an effort to delegitimize her. Knox takes umbrage with the police at all times, recalling her own dangerous position under interrogation.
Unlike Emily Doe, however, Knox was hiding a true crime of her own. Doe was merely ashamed of her alcoholic excess and her flirting at the frat party with guys when she had a boyfriend elsewhere. Knox totally empathizes with Doe’s lifestyle (remember David Johnsrud and others besides Raffaele when she dated him).
Meredith doesn’t need to articulate. She lived her goodness all along. Actions speak louder than words. Meredith never got to write her memoirs, but they would have been anointed. And truthful, unlike Knox’s clever lies.
Archived in Hoaxes Knox, Knox persona hoax, Knox no-PR hoax, Hoaxers - main media, Seattle press, Reporting, media, movies, Biased reporting
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Thursday, June 30, 2016
New Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi Might Ultimately Be The One To Push Justice Reforms Through
Posted by Peter Quennell
He is now being buffeted on two fronts: by Euro-skeptics and Euro-separatists, and by an invisible coalition of MPs and bad guys who really dont want those reforms to go through.
To fully understand why the justice reforms are bogged down this is a vital read though perhaps a bit harsh and in another post we will qualify it a bit.
In large part the problem is within Mr Renzi’s own Democratic Party in the Parliament which Mr Renzi is not deft at handling.
Mr Renzi’s party still leads in the polls, but the relatively new Five Star Movement is gaining fast. It stands for honesty in public life above all else.
Virginia Raggi of the populist, Euro-skeptic Five Star Movement was a relatively unknown lawyer just a few months ago.
In a landslide, she has just beaten Mr Renzi’s candidate for mayor of Rome.
Mr Renzi, who has worked hard on Angela Merkel to get all possible EC breaks, had previously announced a referendum of Italy in October to see if he can get the Italian electorate to force his reforms through.
He has said he would resign if the vote does not go his way.
If he fails and he does resign, an election could put Five Star in power, and Virginia Raggi could be a top leader in Parliament. (in Italy, wearing two hats is allowed; see Giulia Bongiorno as the classic case.)
In fact she could even end up as Prime Minister - which could result in female leadership in Germany (Merkel), England (May), the United States (Clinton) and Raggi in Italy. Norway and Poland have female prime ministers too, and Scotland has one in effect.
Well over half a billion people of the western world. Women often manage in an effective inclusionary style, which is maybe what we could use more of right now.
Given the growing post-Brexit “monkeys-are-running-the-zoo” perception in other EC countries, more EC Exits soon dont seem in the cards. Though they are very much for interactive democracy, Five Star is unlikely to stick Italy with a referendum on the EC any time soon.
But on those reforms Ms Raggi would not be encumbered with a partially-corrupt party she would have to fight. Her effecting of the reforms could have Italy riding high morally and economically in Europe and the world.
Dramatic stuff. A tragic pity Meredith misses all this.
Archived in Justice systems, Italian system, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Monday, June 20, 2016
How The Italian “Justice Tortoise” Is The Likely Winner Compared To For Example the US System
Posted by Peter Quennell
The things you do to make a living. The running of your house and your garden. The education and general development of your children. The restaurants and metro railways and bus services. The police and military and football teams - and grand opera!
All are purposeful systems.
Purposeful systems have created all we have ever built on this planet - all wealth, all structures, all machines, all culture. Typically any educated adult has within them at least 200 significant systems AKA their skill-set: cooking a meal, riding a bicycle, driving a car, using a computer, playing basketball.
You probably dont have a manual for each of them but each time you exercise a skill you probably follow the same hard-learned steps each time you want the benefit obtained previously.
One of the world’s great problems now - starkly seen in the British argument over its future in Europe, and in slow growth in the Arab world (the world’s slowest), and in China’s economy slowing and in anyone without a college degree likely to be worse off going forward - is that we are locked into whole huge arrays of these systems at various levels (family, corporate, city, country, region) that are archaic and mostly quite wrong for our needs going forward.
And few are sure which of all of them add any real value. We are flying blind on a mammoth scale.
With regard to the US as the main economic locomotive, in the 90s two very significant things happened. The East Asia economies really rocketed - because they adopted good systems pioneered by Japan, which itself had started out with many invented in America.
And for a while at least, many Americans really began to “see” systems, and corporations started a huge push toward quality control. You can see one outcome in today’s automobile ads - cars largely sell on their reliability. Their drive systems and safety systems are what sells cars now.
Latest thinking which we often touch on here is that tweaking of any systems anywhere has a short half-life, and after that the only way to get any better is to totally replace them. Go down the road and start over. Jump to the next level through complete reinvention.
After WWII Germany and Japan and Italy of necessity all did that and for most of the time since they really benefited.
But right now, most systems in most countries are archaic and nobody - at least no political leader or candidate - seems to be able to arrive at the vision and technique vital to jumping to the next level. That in fact should really be done mostly bottom-up, with national politicians playing quite a minor role.
“Path dependencies” like the myriad systems of the common market, many very old now, are today at least as deadly to our long-term future as any aliens from other planets.
Italy is working to try to update its justice system right now and we will report on that shortly. At least in theory, it has one of the easiest tasks in the world, because post WWII its legal system was redesigned from the ground up. It had already junked bad aspects, some going back centuries.
Italy already has some of the world’s smartest juries - jury service is compulsory, so smart people cannot dodge them. And the system already has some other very positive things going for it.
Mainly what is needed is some weeding. And such reforms are made easier in Italy because (1) judges and prosecutors all follow career paths and so they are not politically competing with one another; and (2) there is the Council of Magistrates (CSM) which can be very progressive in the reforms it pushes at its level.
Overarching reform in the United States is way way more difficult because power is so diffused in the political system and the political system is so vast, and so split by ideologies, and there is no CSM.
Here is an editorial in the New York Times about curbing the massive damage being done by over-zealous prosecutors - something already taken care of in the Italian system, despite the busload of idiots claiming otherwise.
And here is a blog post calling the New York Times editorial a convoluted crackpot of a column and saying the Times should get real. At least in that way, reform aint ever going to happen.
Hop on a plane, guys. Go to Italy, and learn something.
Archived in Justice systems, Italian system, Other systems, The wider contexts, Italian context, N America context
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Revenge of the Knox, Series 4: Exposing The Tortured Logic That Permeates Her Book #2
Posted by Chimera
1. Series Overview
This is the second in a two part series contexted at the top of the previous post here.
Further context can be found in our numerous posts on the Knox psychology here. These passages go to show to what extreme lengths Knox had to go in contradicting her own self to make the big lie stick.
They are vital to all the hoaxes being pulled off.
It is deeply shameful that the book agent did not pick up on this, or the shadow writer, or the publishers, or any of the US media, or more than a very few readers - there are dozens of unquestioning 5-star reviews seething venom against Italy and the officials that handled the case.
2. Examples of Tortured Logic (Continued)
Tortured Logic #21: AK and RS go Before a Judge to Determine if They can be Released
[Chapter 14, page 164] ” ... Also in the room were three women. The one in black robes was Judge Claudia Matteini. Her secretary, seated next to her, announced, “Please stand.” In an emotionless monotone, the judge read, “You, Amanda Marie Knox, born 9 July 1987 in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., are formally under investigation for the murder of Meredith Kercher. How do you respond? You have the right to remain silent.”
[Chapter 14, Page 166] ” .... The report continued: “It is possible to reconstruct what happened on the evening of November 1.
Sollecito Raffaele and Knox Amanda spent the entire afternoon smoking hashish.”
Judge Matteini claimed that I met Patrick at a “previously arranged” time and that Raffaele, “bored of the same old evening"—a phrase Raffaele had once posted online about himself—came along.
She went on to say that we hadn’t called 112, the emergency number for the Carabinieri military police; that the Postal Police arrived at 12:35 P.M., and that our calls to 112 came afterward, at 12:51 P.M. and 12:54 P.M., suggesting that the police’s appearance at the house took us by surprise and our calls were an attempt at orchestrating the appearance of our innocence. It wasn’t until our trial that this accusation was proven to be erroneous.
The report said that in Raffaele’s second statement, made on November 5, he changed his story. Instead of saying that we’d stayed at his apartment all night, as he’d done originally, he told police we’d left my apartment to go downtown at around 8:30 or 9 P.M., that I went to Le Chic and he returned to his apartment. He said that I’d convinced him to
[Chapter 14, Page 168] ” ... “It’s the judge’s paperwork,” the male guard explained, his voice without inflection. “The confirmation of your arrest. It says the judge ‘applies the cautionary measure of custody in prison for the duration of one year.”’ “One year!” I cried out.
Commentary: This even though bail for such crimes does not exist and house arrest is very rare. If bail doesn’t exist, then why is she getting what amounts to a bail hearing?
Tortured Logic #22: Dalla Vedova and Ghirga Have Never Heard of a SECONDARY CRIME SCENE
[Chapter 27, Page 330] Carlo, who’d never sugarcoated my situation, said, “These are small-town detectives. They chase after local drug dealers and foreigners without visas. They don’t know how to conduct a murder investigation correctly. Plus, they’re bullies. To admit fault is to admit that they’re not good at their jobs. They suspected you because you behaved differently than the others. They stuck with it because they couldn’t afford to be wrong.”
Commentary: Just because a murder occurred in a single room, does not mean the surrounding areas are not relevant. If you consider Meredith’s room to be the primary crime scene:, then (a) Filomena’s room—the entry point; (b) the bathroom where Guede took a sh**; (c) the other bathroom where AK/Meredith’s blood was; (d) the hallway with Guede’s shoeprints and the cleaned prints of AK/RS; (e) AK’s room where the lamp was taken should all be considered secondary crime scenes.
Of course, one could also argue that the entire house is the primary crime scene, and that: (a) RS’s home (where the knife was, and the computers for his alibi); (b) the yard where Meredith’s phones were tossed; (c) RS’s car—if he transported evidence would all be considered secondary crime scenes.
Tortured Logic #23: Guede is Both a Skilled Burlgar and a Disorganized One
(Illogical) Guede breaks in through Filomena’s window, the most visible one from the street.
(Illogical) Guede “breaks in” some time between 8 and 10pm, when people are usually home and awake.
(Illogical) Guede chooses an entry point with a difficult climb.
(Organized) Guede is able to get into Filomena’s room without leaving a trace of himself.
(Brilliant) Guede breaks the window after it is open from the inside, making police suspect an insider.
(Disorganized) Guede leaves plenty of evidence (which AK assures us is strong, in Meredith’s room
(Brilliant) Guede ransacks the place, and then breaks the window, again, making it look like an insider.
(Brilliant) Guede leaves not his blood, but AK and Meredith, leaving himself a patzy.
(Illogical) Guede takes a dump in 1 bathroom, but “cleans up” in the other.
(Illogical) Guede cleans up bare footprints of AK/RS, but leaves his own shoeprints.
(Illogical) Guede’s accomplices—“Mr. X’’ and ‘‘Mr. Y’’ leave no traces of themselves at the entry point, murder scene, or elsewhere.
Commentary: Having trouble classifying Guede as an offender? Me too.
Tortured Logic #24: A Burglar or Killer’s Point of Entry is not Relevant
[Chapter 6, Page 68] ” .... Then I opened Filomena’s door. I gasped. The window had been shattered and glass was everywhere. Clothes were heaped all over the bed and floor. The drawers and cabinets were open. All I could see was chaos. “Oh my God, someone broke in!”
Commentary: Ask any police officer, and they will tell you that how a person breaks in and how they leave are very relevant to the crime investigation. However, AK downplays this for 2 reasons: (1) As shown in the last point, #23, breaking in through Filomena’s room was an illogical place, for many reasons; and (2) Guede’s blood/DNA is not in that room, but AK’s is, mixed with Meredith’s.
Tortured Logic #25: A Sh***y Bathroom is Relevant, While a Bloody Bathroom is not
[Chapter 6, Page 65] ” .... I wasn’t alarmed by two pea-size flecks of blood in the bathroom sink that Meredith and I shared.
There was another smear on the faucet. Weird. I’d gotten my ears pierced. Were they bleeding? I scratched the droplets with my fingernail. They were dry. Meredith must have nicked herself. It wasn’t until I got out of the shower that I noticed a reddish-brown splotch about the size of an orange on the bathmat. More blood. Could Meredith have started her period and dripped? But then, how would it have gotten on the sink?”
[Chapter 6, Page 66] ” .... I went to the big bathroom to use Filomena’s blow dryer and was stashing it back against the wall when I noticed poop in the toilet. No one in the house would have left the toilet unflushed. Could there have been a stranger here? Was someone in the house when I was in the shower? I felt a lurch of panic and the prickly feeling you get when you think someone might be watching you.”
[Chapter 6, Page 75] ” .... In the middle of my muddy thoughts I had one that was simple and clear: “We have to tell the police that the poop was in Filomena and Laura’s bathroom when I put the hair dryer away and was gone when we came back,” I told Raffaele. The poop must have belonged to the killer. Was he there when I took my shower? Would he have killed me, too?”
[Chapter 7, Page 77] ” ... I was the first person to come home that morning. I was anxious to explain everything I’d noticed, starting with the open front door and the droplets of blood in the sink.”
Commentary: So the killer cleans up in one bathroom, but then takes a dump in the other? I would be more concerned with the bloody bathroom. While a sh***y bathroom may indicate carelessness, or a plumbing malfunction, no one but AK would instinctively think that it belonged to the killer, and she seems to give them equal weight. And at this point it must be 12+ hours old and REALLY reek. AK never says she ever thought about flushing, as would any normal person.
Tortured Logic #26: AK and RS Walk Around With Bleach on Their Feet
[Chapter 27, Page 339] ” .... The situation was similar to the prosecution’s claim throughout the investigation, the pretrial, and now the trial that my feet were “dripping with Meredith’s blood.” My lawyers and I had spent hours trying to figure out why they thought this. We knew that investigators had uncovered otherwise invisible prints with luminol. Familiar to watchers of CSI, the spray glows blue when exposed to hemoglobin. But blood is not the only substance that sets off a luminol reaction.
Cleaning agents, bleach, human waste, urine stains, and even rust do the same. Forensic scientists therefore use a separate “confirmatory” test that detects only human blood,
Under cross-examination during the pretrial, Stefanoni was emphatic. “No,” she responded. It wasn’t until Dr. Gino read the documents Judge Massei had ordered the prosecution to share with us that she, and then the rest of my defense team, began seeing a pattern. As with the knife, it turned out that Stefanoni’s forensics team had done the TMB test and it came out negative. There were footprints. But they could have come from anything—and at any time, not necessarily after the murder. What matters is that there was no blood.
Commentary: In Honor Bound, Andrew Gumbel argues that there were measurement errors. Here, AK just says the foot prints weren’t blood. Okay, if it were just a cleaning agent, , then wouldn’t we expect to see stains from other people who may have walked through it at some times? Or was there a special cleaner used this time? Rust? The floor is not metallic. So the question is: why are AK and RS walking around with bleach or cleaning agents on their feet?
Tortured Logic #27: CDV and Ghirga Don’t Think AK Needs to Know What her Legal Options Are
[Chapter 23, Page 273] ‘’ ... The first day of the pretrial was mostly procedural. Almost immediately Guede’s lawyers requested an abbreviated trial. I had no idea the Italian justice system offered this option. Carlo later told me that it saves the government money. With an abbreviated trial, the judge’s decision is based solely on evidence; no witnesses are called. The defendant benefits from this fast-track process because, if found guilty, he has his sentence cut by a third…’‘
Commentary: After 11 months in custody, AK is now just being told about this?!
Tortured Logic #28: CDV and Ghirga Fight For Knox, But DON’T Report Her Being Sexually Assaulted and Mistreated in Prison
[Chapter 11, Page 137] ‘’ ... Still, what came next shocked me. After my arrest, I was taken downstairs to a room where, in front of a male doctor, female nurse, and a few female police officers, I was told to strip naked and spread my legs. I was embarrassed because of my nudity, my period—I felt frustrated and helpless. The doctor inspected the outer lips of my vagina and then separated them with his fingers to examine the inner. He measured and photographed my intimate parts. I couldn’t understand why they were doing this. I thought, Why is this happening? What’s the purpose of this? ....’‘
[Chapter 12, Page 149] ‘’ .... I was hit on the head, twice.” I said. The doctor gestured to the nurse, who parted my hair and looked at my scalp. Not hard,” I said. “It just startled me. And scared me.” “Ive heard similar things about the police from other prisoners,” the guard standing in the background said.
[Chapter 16, Page 191] Doctor-patient confidentiality didn’t exist in prison. A guard was ever-present, standing right behind me. This bothered me so much that, as time went on, I skipped a needed pelvic exam and didn’t seek help when I got hives or when my hair started falling out. Whatever happened in the infirmary was recycled as gossip that traveled from official to official and, sometimes, back to me.
How each visit went depended on the doctor, and I was grateful for any gesture that wasn’t aggressive or disdainful. A female physician liked to talk to me about her trouble with men. And one day, when I was being seen by an older male doctor, he asked me, “What’s your favorite animal?”
“It’s a lion,” I said. “Like The Lion King—Il Re Leone.”
The next time I saw him he handed me a picture of a lion he’d ripped out from an animal calendar. I drew him a colorful picture in return, which he taped to the infirmary wall. Later, when he found out that I liked the Beatles, one of us would hum a few bars from various songs to see if the other could name the tune.
[Chapter 16, Page 194] ‘’ ... Luciano looked revolted, and Carlo urged me, “Anytime Argirò calls you alone into an office, tell him you don’t want to speak with him. He could be talking about sex because Meredith was supposedly the victim of a sexual crime and he wants to see what you’ll say. It could be a trap.”
[Chapter 17, Page 197] ‘’ ... Vice-Comandante Argirò broke the news. Instead of his usual greeting—a lecherous smile and a kiss on both cheeks—he stayed seated behind his desk. His cigarette was trailing smoke. His face was somber. Something was wrong….’
Tortured Logic #29: Accomplices Who Go ‘‘Short Form Trial’’ For the 1/3 Deductions Should Serve LONGER Jail Sentences
[Chapter 30, Page 384] ” .... That feeling was compounded when, about three weeks after Raffaele and I were convicted, the appeals court cut Rudy Guede’s sentence nearly in half, from thirty years to sixteen. Meredith’s murderer was now serving less time than I was—by ten years! How can they do this?! I raged to myself. It doesn’t make sense! The unfairness of it burned in my throat.
Guede’s fast-track conviction for murder and rape in collaboration with others had earned him the maximum. The appeals court had also found him guilty on the same count. But the prosecution’s new view—and the reason for the reduced sentence—was that Guede had not had the knife in his hand, and therefore had played only a supporting role, more responsible for Meredith’s rape than for her murder.
Here, AK answers her own questions
[Chapter 21, Page 254] “I know,” Carlo said, sighing. “But they’ve already decided that you and Raffaele faked a break-in to nail Guede.’‘
[Chapter 23, Page 273] ‘’ ... The first day of the pretrial was mostly procedural. Almost immediately Guede’s lawyers requested an abbreviated trial. I had no idea the Italian justice system offered this option. Carlo later told me that it saves the government money. With an abbreviated trial, the judge’s decision is based solely on evidence; no witnesses are called. The defendant benefits from this fast-track process because, if found guilty, he has his sentence cut by a third…’‘
Commentary: While AK tries to act stunned, Guede went ‘‘short-form trial’’ for 2 reasons: (1) AK/RS tried to pin it all on him; and (2) the short-form trial offers a lesser sentence. The fast track trial ended with him getting the maximum “allowed under those rules”, which was only 30 years, AK leaves that detail out. And AK lies when she says the reduction from 30 to 16 was due to a less participatory role. AK/RS got 24 years for the murder itself—and they chose the long form trial—and 1/3 less is 16 years. Guede would have gotten more if he had staged the crime scene, transported a weapon, or falsely accused an innocent person.
Tortured Logic #30: The Hardworking CSIs Who ‘‘Nail’’ Guede, are the Same Incompetents Who ‘‘Contaminate’’ Things for AK/RS
On the evidence against Guede .....
[Chapter 10, Page 105] ‘’ .... There was a bloody handprint smeared on the wall and a bloody shoeprint on the floor. A blood-soaked handkerchief was lying in the street nearby.’‘
[Chapter 21, Page 254] ‘’ ... “Amanda, the investigators are in a conundrum,” Carlo said. “They found so much of Guede’s DNA in Meredith’s room and on and inside her body. But the only forensic evidence they have of you is outside her bedroom. Raffaele’s DNA evidence is only on the bra hook. If you and Raffaele participated in the murder, as the prosecution believes, your DNA should be as easy to find as Guede’s.” “But Carlo, no evidence doesn’t mean we cleaned up. It means we weren’t there!” “I know,” Carlo said, sighing. “But they’ve already decided that you and Raffaele faked a break-in to nail Guede. I know it doesn’t make sense. They’re just adding another link to the story. It’s the only way the prosecution can involve you and Raffaele when the evidence points to a break-in and murder by Guede.”
[Chapter 23, Page 274] ‘’ ... Guede’s lawyers must have realized that he was better off in a separate trial, since the prosecution was intent on pinning the murder on us. The evidence gathered during the investigation pointed toward his guilt. His DNA was all over Meredith’s room and her body, on her intimate clothing and her purse. He had left his handprint in her blood on her pillowcase. He had fled the country. The prosecution called Guede’s story of how he “happened” to be at the villa and yet had not participated in the murder “absurd”—though they readily believed his claims against Raffaele and me. One of the big hopes for us was that with so much evidence against Guede, the prosecution would have to realize Raffaele and I hadn’t been involved….’‘
[Chapter 23, Page 274] ... He didn’t look like a murderer. He was wearing jeans and a sweater. It was almost impossible to imagine that he had cut Meredith’s throat. But if he hadn’t, his DNA wouldn’t have been everywhere in Meredith’s room.”
[Chapter 27, Page 339] ” Copious amounts of Rudy Guede’s genetic material had been found in Meredith’s bedroom, on her body, in her purse, and in the toilet.”
[Chapter 27, Page 342] ‘’ .... Had Raffaele been in the room, his DNA would have been as abundant as Guede’s. It would be illogical to suggest that it was left on a single small hook on Meredith’s bra and nowhere else.’‘
[Chapter 28, Page 352] ‘’ ... Guede had stolen! He had killed Meredith! He had left a handprint in Meredith’s blood! He had fled! He had lied!’‘
Afterword, Page 464] ” .... None of my DNA was found in my friend Meredith Kercher’s bedroom, where she was killed. The only DNA found, other than Meredith’s, belonged to the man convicted of her murder, Rudy Guede. And his DNA was everywhere in the bedroom. It is, of course, impossible to selectively clean DNA, which is invisible to the naked eye. We simply DNA and left Guede’s and Meredith’s behind. Nor was any other trace of me found at the murder scene, not a single fingerprint, footprint, piece of hair, or drop of blood or saliva. My innocence and Raffaele’s was irrefutable. Like my legal team, I believed that the Corte di Cassazione would affirm the innocence finding.
And on the evidence against AK/RS ......
[Chapter 17, Page 203] ‘’ ... The knife was a game changer for my lawyers, who now feared that the prosecution was mishandling evidence and building an unsubstantiated case against me. Carlo and Luciano went from saying that the lack of evidence would prove my innocence to warning me that the prosecution was out to get me, and steeling me for a fight. “There’s no counting on them anymore,” Carlo said. “We’re up against a witch hunt. But it’s going to be okay.”
[Chapter 17, Page 203] ‘’ ... I was choked with fear. The knife was my first inkling that the investigation was not going as I’d expected. I didn’t accept the possibility that the police were biased against me. I believed that the prosecution would eventually figure out that it wasn’t the murder weapon and that I wasn’t the murderer. In retrospect I understand that the police were determined to make the evidence fit their theory of the crime, rather than the other way around, and that theory hinged on my involvement. But something in me refused to see this then…’
[Chapter 23, Page 276] ” ... Starting right after we were indicted, Raffaele’s and my lawyers had requested the raw data for all Stefanoni’s forensic tests. How were the samples collected? How many cotton pads had her team used to swab the bathroom sink and the bidet? How often had they changed gloves? What tests had they done - and when? Which machines had they used, at what times, and on which days? What were the original unedited results of the DNA tests?”
[Chapter 25, Page 304] ‘’ ... When the defense questioned her, Napoleoni’s manner switched from professional —albeit dishonest—to exasperated, incredulous, and condescending. For instance, when Raffaele’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno asked if the gloves police used at the crime scene were sterilized or one-use gloves, Napoleoni took a snarky tone, saying, “It’s the same thing.”
[Chapter 27, Page 335] ‘‘On the witness stand, Marco Chiacchiera of the Squadra Mobile had explained that “investigative intuition” had led him to the knife. That flimsy explanation did not help me understand how the police could pull a random knife from Raffaele’s kitchen drawer and decide that it was, without the smallest doubt, the murder weapon. Or why they never analyzed knives from the villa or Rudy Guede’s apartment.’‘
[Chapter 27, Page 338] ‘’ ....Gino said. Stefanoni had met none of the internationally accepted methods for identifying DNA. When the test results are too low to be read clearly, the protocol is to run a second test. This was impossible to do, because all the genetic material had been used up in the first test. Moreover, there was an extremely high likelihood of contamination in the lab, where billions of Meredith’s DNA strands were present.
[Chapter 32, Page 414] Before the first trial, the defense began requesting forensic data from the prosecution in the fall of 2008, but DNA analyst Patrizia Stefanoni dodged court orders from two different judges. She gave the defense some of, but never all, the information. Now it was Conti and Vecchiotti’s turn to try to get the raw data that Stefanoni had interpreted to draw conclusions about the genetic profiles on the knife and the bra clasp. Stefanoni continued to argue that the information was unnecessary. Not until May 11, under additional orders from Judge Hellmann, did she finally comply.
Commentary: Either the police got the right suspects, or they completely f***ed up the crime scene. It can’t simultaneously be both. AK/RS never argue that contamination wrongfully put Guede away.
Tortured Logic #31: Judge Paolo Micheli is the Wise Judge Who Convicted Guede, and the Moron Who Sent AK/RS to Trial
[Chapter 23, Page 276] ” .... The pretrial judge, Paolo Micheli, allowed testimony from two witnesses. The first was DNA analyst Patrizia Stefanoni for the Polizia Scientifica. Starting right after we were indicted, Raffaele’s and my lawyers had requested the raw data for all Stefanoni’s forensic tests. How were the samples collected? How many cotton pads had her team used to swab the bathroom sink and the bidet? How often had they changed gloves? What tests had they done - and when? Which machines had they used, at what times, and on which days? What were the original unedited results of the DNA tests?
Her response was “No. We can’t give you these documents you continue to ask for, because the ones you have will have to suffice.”
[Chapter 23, Page 277] ” .... The other testimony came from a witness named Hekuran Kokomani, an Albanian man the prosecution called to prove that Raffaele and I both knew Rudy Guede. Our lawyers argued that Raffaele had never met Guede. I’d said “Hi” to him once when we hung out at the apartment downstairs. My other encounter with him was taking his drink order at Le Chic.
Kokomani said he’d seen the three of us together on Halloween, the day before the murder. A massive lie. Kokomani’s testimony made the pretrial seem like a farce. According to him, after dinner on Halloween, driving along Viale Sant’Antonio, the busy thoroughfare just above our house, he came upon a black garbage bag in the middle of the road. When he got out of his car, he realized the “bag” was two people: Raffaele and me. He told the court that Raffaele punched him, and I pulled out a huge knife the length of a saber, lifting it high over my head. “Raffaele said, ‘Don’t worry about her. She’s a girl,”’ Kokomani testified. “Then I threw olives at her face.”
Commentary: Seriously? This is how your pre-trial went? Why no complaints? And why no defence that Guede may be wrongfully convicted? After all, that is your new calling in life.
Tortured Logic #32: AK is Both A Daffy, Clueless Woman, and a Careful Observer During the Trial
[Chapter 13, Page 161] ‘’ ...As I gathered this insider’s information, I felt more like an observer than a participant. I found that being watched by a guard every time I peed or showered or just lay on my bed seemed less offensive when I looked at it with an impersonal eye. 1 saw the absurdity in it and documented it in my head.’‘
Commentary: AK projects herself as being observant and following the proceedings very carefully. Yet her antics throughout the 2009 trial showed that she was very unaware (or just didn’t care), what she showed to others.
Tortured Logic #32: Pacelli (Lumumba’s Lawyer) and Prosecutors ‘‘Grill’’ AK on the Witness Stand, but Don’t Ask any Questions about the Evening Meredith was Murdered
[Chapter 23, Page 323] ” ... The first person to question me was Carlo Pacelli, Patrick’s lawyer. Lawyers technically aren’t allowed to add their own commentary at this point, only to ask questions. But he made his opinions known through pointed questions like “Did you or did you not accuse Patrick Lumumba of a murder he didn’t commit?” and “Didn’t the police officers treat you well during your interrogation?”
[Chapter 23, Page 324] ” .... Pacelli tried to insinuate that I’d come up with Patrick’s name on my own in my interrogation. “No,” I said. “They put my cell phone in front of me, and said, ‘Look, look at the messages. You were going to meet someone.’ And when I denied it they called me a ‘stupid liar.’ From then on I was so scared. They were treating me badly, and I didn’t know why.
“It was because the police misunderstood the words ‘see you later.’ In English, it’s not taken literally. It’s just another way of saying ‘good-bye.’ But the police kept asking why I’d made an appointment to meet Patrick. ‘Are you covering for Patrick?’ they demanded. ‘Who’s Patrick?”’
[Chapter 23, Page 325] ” ... I slapped my own head to demonstrate.
“One time, two times?” Luciano asked.
“Two times,” I said. “The first time I did this.”
I dropped my head down as if I’d been struck and opened my mouth wide in surprise.
“Then I turned around toward her and she gave me another.”
[Chapter 23, Page 326] ” .... Then it was Mignini’s turn. “Why did you say, ‘Patrick’s name was suggested to me, I was beaten, I was put under pressure?”’
As soon as I started to answer, Mignini interrupted with another question. He’d done the same thing to me during my interrogation at the prison. This time, I wasn’t going to let it fluster me. I was going to answer one question at a time. Showing my irritation, I said, “Can I go on?”
I described my November 5 interrogation again. “As the police shouted at me, I squeezed my brain, thinking, ‘What have I forgotten? What have I forgotten?’ The police were saying, `Come on, come on, come on. Do you remember? Do you remember? Do you remember?’ And then boom on my head.” I imitated a slap. “‘Remember!’ the policewoman shouted. And then boom again. ‘Do you remember?”’
[Chapter 23, Page 326] ” .... When the hearing ended, I got two minutes to talk to my law-yers before the guards led me out of the courtroom. “I was nervous when you first spoke,” Luciano admitted, “but by the end I was proud of you.”
Commentary: The reason AK’s 2 days on the witness stand (June 12/13, 2009) only focused on this was because of pre-arranged rules limiting the scope of questioning.. It didn’t help.
Tortured Logic #34: CDV and Ghirga Keep Trying to Put AK on Trial Again and Again
[Chapter 31, Page 397] ” .... The appeal wouldn’t be a redo of the first trial. Italy, like the United States, has three levels of justice—the lower court, the Court of Appeals, and the highest court, the Corte Suprema di Cassazione, their version of our Supreme Court. The difference is that, in Italy, someone like me is required to go through all three levels, all the way to the Cassazione, whose verdict is final.
Cases often take turns and twists that would surprise and unsettle most Americans. Even if you’re acquitted at level one, the prosecution can ask the Court of Appeals to overturn the verdict. If the appeals court finds you guilty, it can raise your sentence. Or it can decide that a second look is unnecessary and send you on to the Cassazione for the final stamp on the lower court’s decision—in Raffaele’s and my cases, to serve out our twenty-five- and twenty-six-year sentences. At each level, the verdict is official, and the sentence goes into immediate effect unless the next court overturns it.
In Italy’s lower and intermediate levels, judges and jurors decide the verdict. And instead of focusing on legal errors, as we do in the United States, the Italian appellate court will reopen the case, look at new evidence, and hear additional testimony—if they think it’s deserved.
In our appeal request, we asked the court to appoint indepen-dent experts to review the DNA on the knife and the bra clasp, and to analyze a sperm stain on the pillow found underneath Meredith’s body that the prosecution had maintained was irrelevant. In their appeal request, the prosecution complained about what they thought was a lenient sentence and demanded life in prison for Raffaele and me.
Commentary: While AK’s summary is fairly good in some ways, she neglects to mention that the DEFENCE actually filed the appeal, (the one that ended up before Hellmann/Zanetti). AK/RS were convicted at trial, and they appealed the convictions. The Prosecution CROSS-APPEALED, saying that AK/RS should actually have been given a longer sentence. This happens fairly often in Common Law Countries. AK also omits that the 3 tier system also lets convicted defendants, like herself, get 2 automatic appeals, something the Common Law does not permit—those require a higher burden. AK also leaves out that an appellate trial is not a full trial, and that calling in expert witnesses should be done at the trial level. No appellate court in the Common Law is asked to “re-try” the case.
3. The New 2015 Afterword
[Afterword, Page 465] ‘’ .... But in March 2013 the high court ordered yet another trial, directing the next appeals court to reexamine certain aspects of the case. My world was shattered—again. The court gave three primary reasons.”
Commentary: Casstion “allowed” AK/RS to refile their first level appeal, but did not “mandate” them to. The appeal that went to Judge Nencini was AK/RS’s own appeal. AK also minimizes just how thoroughly Hellmann/Zanetti had been repudiated
[Afterword, Page 463] ” .... We’d been through one lower court trial, two appellate trials, and a prior decision by the Corte di Cassazione. We had been found guilty, innocent, and guilty again. Based on this past, the best possibility my lawyers, my family, and I could imagine was that the judges would send the case back down to the appellate court for a fourth trial.
Commentary: So, at best, Cassation would allow you a 3rd attempt at your own appeal?
[Afterword, Page 466] ” .... Once again, our case had to go to the Corte di Cassazione. But my confidence had dissipated. If the Florence court could find us guilty after incontrovertible proof that we had no connection to Meredith’s murder, I didn’t know what to expect from the high court. I didn’t know how I would survive if I were made to go back to prison with no hope of an appeal.
Commentary: Without hope of appeal???? This Cassation appeal was AK/RS appeal against the Florence Appeals Court where Nencini (2014) upheld Massei (2009). It seems like AK/RS need better lawyers. These ones keep trying to put their clients on trial
(a) DEFENCE appeal—2011 (Hellman/Zanetti)
(b) PROSECUTION appeal—2013 (Cheiffi at Cassation)
(c) DEFENCE appeal—2013/2014 (Nencini)
(d) DEFENCE appeal—2015 (Bruno/Marasca at Cassation)
(e) DEFENCE appeal—2016 (hypothetical proposed by AK on page 463)
Tortured Logic #35: Prosecutors Don’t Feel the Need to Present Evidence at These ‘‘New Trials’‘
[Afterword, Page 466] ” .... The new court-ordered test on the knife revealed the source of the trace DNA. It was not Meredith’s. It was mine, likely left there when I used it to cook in Raffaele’s kitchen, as I had in the days before the murder. This reconfirmed the independent experts’ earlier finding that there was no proof that the knife was the murder weapon. I wasn’t surprised, but I was elated. This was the only new material evidence the prosecution presented and it undermined their case. Without new condemning evidence, everything was on track to clear us again and finally end this nightmare.”
Commentary: Yes, the knife was tested, but the DNA which AK refers to was found in the HANDLE, and it did strengthen the Prosecution’s case. And since when is the Prosecution expected to present more evidence when the “Defence” files an appeal? They presented their evidence in the trial stage.
Tortured Logic #36: Guede’s Prior Break in is ‘‘Relevant’‘, but AK’s ‘‘Staged Break in’’ is not
[Chapter 28, Page 352] ‘’ ....Evidence of Rudy’s crimes was everywhere, and his history of theft matched the burglary. Poor Rudy? Guede had stolen!
Commentary: Since we are getting into the character assassinations, then let’s include this one. Yes, Rudy, with his prior break in could have done it. Then again, Knox, with her prior “staged” break in could also have done it.
Tortured Logic #37: Business Judges Make Great Substitutes at Murder Appeals
Commentary: This is left out of AK’s book entirely, but Hellmann wasn’t supposed to be the lead judge at the 2011 appeal. It was a qualified judge named Chairi, who was pushed out in favour of Hellmann, who as it turns out is a business judge.
Tortured Logic #38: Prison Snitches Are Reliable Witnesses
[Chapter 32, Page 418] ” .... Mario Alessi was a brick mason given a life sentence for murdering an infant boy in 2006. He was in the same prison as Rudy Guede, and had written to Raffaele’s lawyers that he had information for our defense: Alessi said he went outside for exercise with other prisoners, including Rudy Guede, on November 9, 2009. “Guede told me he wanted to ask me for some confidential advice,” Alessi said in his court deposition. “There wasn’t a day that Guede and I didn’t spend time together ...
“I responded that I wasn’t a lawyer, and I didn’t know what to say, but that I believed it would be useful to tell the truth. So he confided in me, describing what happened the night of the murder.” Guede told Alessi that he and a friend had run into Meredith in a bar a few days before the murder. On the night of November 1, Alessi said, the two men surprised Meredith at the villa and, “in an explicit manner,” asked her to have a threesome.
Alessi said that Meredith “rejected the request. She even got up and ordered Guede and his friend to leave the house. At this point Guede asked where the bathroom was, and he stayed in the bathroom for a little while, ten to fifteen minutes at most. Immediately after, reentering the room, he found a scene that was completely different—that is, Kercher was lying with her back to the floor and his friend held her by the arms. Rudy straddled her and started to masturbate. While Guede told me these things, he was upset and tears came to his eyes ...
Commentary: Yeah, forget those false alibis, false accusation, turned off phones, mixed blood, bloody footprints .... I’m convinced.
Tortured Logic #39: Allegations of Bribery of Witnesses are Not Relevant
[Chapter 32, Page 420] ” ... Alessi’s story, however, sickened me when I heard it and haunted me long after. I knew it was only hearsay and that even though two of Guede’s other prisonmates corroborated it, it couldn’t be used as direct evidence. Real or not, it forced me to focus on the torture that Meredith was put through. And it opened up a question I’d never seriously considered and could barely handle: Had there been someone with Guede?
Commentary: AK leaves out the name of Luciano Aviello, how testified but alleged to have been bribed for this testimony. Some tell all book. And had someone been with Guede? Not that the prosecution was trying a “multiple-attackers” theory
Tortured Logic #40: Sending a Email Works Just as Well as Showing up to Court
[Afterword, Page 466] ” .... No legal process was issued to request my return to Italy for the September 2013 appellate trial in Florence. My lawyers presented my defense in my absence.”
Commentary: This seems like a tortuous way of saying AK didn’t show because she couldn’t be forced to. In reality, she hit the media circuit claiming to be afraid. She also claimed she couldn’t afford to go back which caused disbelief, given her book deal. But apparently was still concerned, as she sent an email to the Florence Court.
Tortured Logic #41: Cassation Learned as Much in 2 Days as the Massei Trial Court did in a Year
[Afterword, Page 478] ” .... On Wednesday, March 25, the Corte di Cassazione began hearing arguments by the prosecutors, the civil parties, and my defense attorneys. Unlike the previous high court hearing, the justices listened to all sides without interrupting the defense. The hearing took so many hours the court decided to reconvene in two days.
Commentary: Odd, how Cassation, even over 2 days, can learn as much as the 2009 trial court did. No witnesses, evidence, experts, or AK herself ever presented. And how can AK know how the 2013 and 2015 hearings differed? She attended neither. More likely, she remembers Carlo Dalla Vedova “filibustering” Mignini during her June 2009 questioning and assumes that Supreme Court appeals work the same way
Tortured Logic #42: Guede is an Accomplice to Murder, With no Actual Killer
Commentary: Guede’s Cassation appeal in 2010 confirmed he was guilty, but did not act alone. AK/RS 2013 Cassation hearing annulled the Hellmann acquittal, so those 5 judges believed that they were involved as well. AK/RS 2015 Cassation hearing clears them, but since no one else was ever charged, it leaves Guede as an accomplice with no actual killer.
Tortured Logic #43: AK was Present, RS Probably Was, but Meredith was Killed by ‘‘X’’ and ‘‘Y’‘
Commentary: Just read these fine summaries.
Tortured Logic #44: AK Still Hasn’t Learned not to Publish a Book Before the Cassation Report Comes Out
[Afterword, Page 480] ‘’ ... Minutes later Carlo Della Vedova, one of our two Italian lawyers, called.
“Does acquitted mean not enough evidence to convict?” I asked him. “Or did they find us innocent?”
“They found you innocent. Amanda!” he said. “It’s the best result possible!”;
0ne trial. Two appellate court retrials. Two Italian Supreme Court decisions. Four years in prison.
Seven and a half years of suspended life.”
Commentary: AK originally released the book after the March 2013 hearing, but before the report came out. She does the same thing here again: re-releasing in June 2015, after this ruling, but before the report was released in September 2015. Judges Bruno and Marasca stick the knife in AK/RS’s backs (how’s that for a metaphor), concluding AK was at the scene—though did not participate—and RS probably was there too.
See #43 for the summaries.
Bruno/Marasca can be explained in 1 word FINALITY
(1) B/M don’t want the ECHR reviewing the case too carefully, so they sabotage AK’s appeal for calunnia
(2) B/M don’t want AK/RS crowing about their innocence, so they write it this way to shut them up.
(3) B/M don’t want a civil suit from AK/RS, so they make it clear they don’t believe they are innocent. RS sues anyway.
(4) B/M don’t want to be investigated for corruption, so they try to make it more plausible than Hellmann/Zanetti.
(5) B/M don’t want the Kerchers going ahead, so they placate them, but stop just short of outright guilt.
Tortured Logic #45: Hellmann/Zanetti and Bruno/Marasca Must Have “Forgotten” About AK Falsely Accusing PL
[Epilogue, Page 444] ” .... “For the charges prescribed in letters A, B, C, D, and E,” Judge Hellmann continued, “La torte assolve gli imputati, per non aver commesso ifatfi7—“the defendants are acquitted by the court, for not having committed the acts.”
[Afterword, Page 480] ” .... “It’s confirmed!” I shouted. “We’re acquitted! We’re free! No more trials! It’s done!”
I jumped up from the table. Everyone started whooping and crying, hugging one another—spitting out the fear and tension of the past seven and a half years.
Minutes later Carlo Della Vedova, one of our two Italian lawyers, called. “Does ‘acquitted’ mean not enough evidence to convict?” I asked him. “Or did they find us
“They found you innocent. Amanda!” he said. “It’s the best result possible!”
0ne trial. Two appellate court retrials. Two Italian Supreme Court decisions. Four years in prison. Seven and a half years of suspended life.
The relief I felt was so sudden, so unexpected, so encompassing, I felt as weightless as a bubble. I feel freer than I have felt since I was twenty.
I’m as grateful for the reversal of Raffaele’s wrongful conviction as I am for my own. But I’m acutely aware that the loss of Meredith can never be reversed. This story cannot end happily. That is not possible. Nothing will bring Meredith back to her loved ones.
Commentary: For all her proclaimed mindfulness to detail, AK leaves out that Bruno/Marasca did not touch her calunnia conviction. In fact, they later sabotaged her ECHR appeal. In the original edition of the book, AK left out that Hellmann not only upheld that conviction, but raised it to 3 years. And how can it be a wrongful conviction, when she spent 3 years, 11 months in jail, but received a 3 year sentence? It is more or less “time served”.
Tortured Logic #46: AK Still Hasn’t Learned That Making False Accusations is not a Good Idea
Commentary: At the time ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’’ was released in April 2013, AK’s: (1) calunnia for falsely accusing PL of rape and murder had been confirmed, as had the 3 year sentence; (2) calunnia for falsely accusing police officers of assault, coercion and intimidation was still before the courts.
So you think any intelligent ghost writer (Linda Kulman) or publishing agent (Robert Barnett) or publisher (HarperCollins) might have had second thoughts about any of the following? Did they ever read it?
Tortured Logic #47: A Creative Writing Graduate Needs a Professional Writer for HER Story
[Acknowledgements, Page 460] ” .... I wouldn’t have been able to write this memoir without Linda Kulman. Somehow, with her Post-it Notes and questions, with her generosity, dedication, and empathy, she turned my rambling into writing, and taught me so much in the meantime. I am grateful to her family—Ralph, Sam, Julia—for sharing her with me for so long.”
Commentary: A university graduate in writing needed someone else to ghostwrite her book. I know university standards are steadily declining, but come on.
Tortured Logic #48: AK got paid $3.8 million for SOMEONE ELSE to Write This
Commentary: Originally I was just going to put “fuck my life”, but here is something more productive
AK’s take was $3.8M. It is reasonable to assume that there was a large advance, say a million upfront, with the rest based on sales. It is also reasonable to assume that Linda Kuhlman and Robert Barnett also got a significant chunk. And for easy numbers, let’s say publishing costs were $1M as well. (750,000 copies originally produced at $1.33/book is $1M).
While stores like Chapters/Coles/Indigo may sell the book for $30 retail, the publisher, HarperCollins does not get all that. Bookstores have employees and overhead, so HC may be able to get half of that, or $15 per book. Considering that nearly all books have large amounts of unsold copies, higher margins have to be factored in.
Also, keep in mind that bookstores routinely discount prices, even on relatively new books. And online options, like Kindle or Amazon, while lower overhead, sell for much, MUCH less than bookstores. If a copy is sold for $5.99, then rest assured H.C. is not getting $15/book.
A more likely scenario is HarperCollins getting about $8/book, and that is generous. Low margin sales, while they are “sales”, undermine profitability
***Scenario A: Very Few Books are Sold
AK still gets her $1M advance, and HarperCollins still has to pay $1M for publishing
RESULT: Loss of $2M
***Scenario B: 250,000 Books are Sold
AK gets $1M advance, and $1M for sales; H.C. incurs $1M for publishing. Total spent is $3M.
However, 250,000 copies sold at $8/copy is a $2M income.
RESULT: Loss of $1M
***Scenario C: 500,000 Books are Sold
AK gets $1M advance and $2M for sales. H.C. incurs $1M for publishing. Total spent is $4M.
However, 500,000 copies sold at $8/book is $4M income
RESULT: Approximate break even
***Scenario D: All 750,000 Books are Sold
AK gets all $3.8M; H.C. incurs $1M for publishing. Total spent is $4.8M.
However, 750,000 copies sold at $8/copy is a $6M income.
RESULT: Profit of $1.2M on $4.8M spent, a return of 25%
While a return of 25% is decent, it makes many assumptions: (a) That most or all books are sold; (b) That H.C. actually gets $8/book; (c) Kuhlman’s and Barnett—and anyone else’s—fees are neglible; (d) That H.C. won’t be sued by anyone or have the book forcibly pulled (see #46). Those are huge assumptions, and considering how successful HarperCollins is, this seems like a very bad business deal. Having to sell 70%+ just to break even?
So, I have to ask, did someone at HarperCollins get a bribe or a kickback to see this loss-making deal go through?
4. And So In Conclusion
This concludes the series, “Revenge of the Knox”, which was meant to expose just how completely false and malicious this “memoir” really is. It is insulting, inflammatory, literally makes hundreds of false claims, slimes many, accuses others of crimes, whitewashes AK’s history—including banging a coke dealer for drugs, greatly distorts the factual evidence, and makes very little sense, even to those who have not followed the case closely.
There is very little of this book that is not either exaggerated or outright made up. AK gets the major dates right, and most of the names, but that is about the extent of it.. This book reads like it was written by an angry 12 year old girl, detached from reality. Ironically, that part actually rings true. Pardon the cheap shot, but the quality of the writing sucks.
AK claims that she relies on court documents, but the only one she significantly references is her November ruling from Judge Matteini. She holds it up as proof that PL was framed. This is rather bitter, as she directly caused him to be wrongly arrested. She includes her 3rd statement (where she muddies the waters), but omits the 1st and 2nd where she conclusively accuses PL.
On a personal note, I actually enjoyed other research topics more. This book just gets me worked up. However it gets far higher readership. Oh well.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the s**tshow. Don’t get any on you.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Those who were charged, Amanda Knox, Hoaxes Knox, Knox book hoaxes
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Thursday, May 26, 2016
Carlo Dalla Vedova: Is ECHR Advised You Condoned Malicious Defamation By Knox Of Chief Prosecutor?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
You are trying to make the ECHR believe that while Knox may have lied to the police it was only under immense illegal pressure.
Really?! In effect your case is that Knox only lies and defames under extreme pressure?
Knox and her agent and her publishers all claim you okayed the Knox book Waiting To Be Heard before publication. If you had advised otherwise the book would never have been published.
Under our own analysis that book includes perhaps 600 lies and 100 defamations by Knox, written when she was under no pressure at all and seemingly simply intent on damaging people.
You provided the go-ahead for the book to be published in the 2013 hardcover and again, unrevised but with an addition, in the 2015 softcover. And those 600 and 100 are only the lies and defamations in the book. Knox is on record for numerous others.
Here is one of the most dangerous and destructive lies by Amanda Knox in that book.
As you know Dr Mignini was not even at the central police station when Amanda Knox was sitting with Rita Ficarra quite voluntarily building a list which you wrongly describe to the ECHR as an interrogation.
Days and days of trial testimony by all who actually were there on the night - which you and Knox both sat through - proved that Dr Mignini only saw Knox much later, to read her her rights and then be subjected to her beating his ear about Patrick. Knox finished the written statement she insisted upon at 5:45 am.
Knox here is claiming in her book written under zero pressure that Dr Mignini conducted a highly illegal interrogation - in effect he committed crimes which could destroy his career and perhaps even put him in prison -when in fact he was at home in bed at the time.
This is the spurious Knox claim about Dr Mignini in English. An Italian translation is at the bottom.
[This is a partial description of Knox’s voluntary discussion with Rita Ficarra concluding 12:45 am. Dr Mignini was at home in bed at the time.]
Eventually they told me the pubblico ministero would be coming in.
I didn’t know this translated as prosecutor, or that this was the magistrate that Rita Ficarra had been referring to a few days earlier when she said they’d have to wait to see what he said, to see if I could go to Germany.
I thought the “public minister” was the mayor or someone in a similarly high “public” position in the town and that somehow he would help me.
They said, “You need to talk to the pubblico ministero about what you remember.”
I told them, “I don’t feel like this is remembering. I’m really confused right now.” I even told them, “I don’t remember this. I can imagine this happening, and I’m not sure if it’s a memory or if I’m making this up, but this is what’s coming to mind and I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
They said, “Your memories will come back. It’s the truth. Just wait and your memories will come back.”
The pubblico ministero came in.
Before he started questioning me, I said, “Look, I’m really confused, and I don’t know what I’m remembering, and it doesn’t seem right.”
One of the other police officers said, “We’ll work through it.”
Despite the emotional sieve I’d just been squeezed through, it occurred to me that I was a witness and this was official testimony, that maybe I should have a lawyer. “Do I need a lawyer?” I asked.
He said, “No, no, that will only make it worse. It will make it seem like you don’t want to help us.”
It was a much more solemn, official affair than my earlier questioning had been, though the pubblico ministero was asking me the same questions as before: “What happened? What did you see?”
I said, “I didn’t see anything.”
“What do you mean you didn’t see anything? When did you meet him?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Where did you meet him?”
“I think by the basketball court.” I had imagined the basketball court in Piazza Grimana, just across the street from the University for Foreigners.
“I have an image of the basketball court in Piazza Grimana near my house.”
“What was he wearing?”
“I don’t know.”
“Was he wearing a jacket?”
“I think so.”
“What color was it?”
“I think it was brown.”
“What did he do?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“Are you scared of him?”
I felt as if I were almost in a trance. The pubblico ministero led me through the scenario, and I meekly agreed to his suggestions.
“This is what happened, right? You met him?”
“I guess so.”
“Where did you meet?”
“I don’t know. I guess at the basketball court.”
“You went to the house?”
“I guess so.”
“Was Meredith in the house?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did Patrick go in there?”
“I don’t know, I guess so.”
“Where were you?”
“I don’t know. I guess in the kitchen.”
“Did you hear Meredith screaming?”
“I don’t know.”
“How could you not hear Meredith screaming?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I covered my ears. I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m just imagining this. I’m trying to remember, and you’re telling me I need to remember, but I don’t know. This doesn’t feel right.”
He said, “No, remember. Remember what happened.”
“I don’t know.”
At that moment, with the pubblico ministero raining questions down on me, I covered my ears so I could drown him out.
He said, “Did you hear her scream?”
I said, “I think so.”
My account was written up in Italian and he said, “This is what we wrote down. Sign it.”
And here is the same spurious Knox claim about Dr Mignini in Italian.
Alla fine mi dissero che sarebbe entrato il pubblico ministero.
Non sapevo che fosse l’accusa, o che fosse il magistrato a cui si riferiva Rita Ficarra qualche giorno prima, quando aveva detto che bisognava aspettare di sapere cosa avrebbe detto lui, per vedere se potevo andare in Germania. Pensavo che “pubblico ministero” fosse il sindaco o qualcuno che detenesse una carica politica simile in città e che, in qulche modo, mi avrebbe aiutata.
Dissero, “Devi parlare col pubblico ministero di ciò che ricordi.”
Dissi loro, “Non credo che questo sia ricordare. Sono davvero confusa in questo momento.” Gli dissi perfino, “Non mi ricordo di tutto ciò. Riesco ad immaginarlo, ma non sono sicura se sia un ricordo o se lo stia solo immaginando, ma è quello che mi viene in mente e non so. Davvero non so.”
Dissero, “I tuoi ricordi torneranno. E’ la verità. Aspetta e ti ritornerà la memoria.”
Entrò il pubblico ministero.
Prima che iniziasse a interrogarmi, dissi, “Guardi, sono davvero confuse, e non so cosa sto ricordando e non mi sembra giusto.”
Uno degli ufficiali di polizia disse, “Ci lavoreremo su.”
Nonostante il setaccio emotivo per il quale ero passata, realizzai che ero una testimone e che quella era una testimonianza ufficiale, che forse avrei dovuto avere un avvocato. “Ho bisogno di un avvocato?” chiesi.
Disse, “No, no, peggiorerebbe solo le cose. Sembrerebbe che tu non voglia aiutarci.”
Era una situazione molto più solenne e ufficiale dei miei precedenti interrogatori, benché il pubblico ministero mi stava facendo le stesse domande che mi avevano già posto: “Cosa è successo? Cosa hai visto?”
Dissi, “Non ho visto niente.”
“Cosa intendi dire con non ho visto niente? Quando l’hai incontrato?”
“Non so,” dissi.
“Dove l’hai incontrato?”
“Al campo da basket, credo.” Avevo immaginato il campo da basket a Piazza Grimana, proprio al di là della strada dall’ Università per Stranieri.
“Ho un’immagine del campo da basket a Piazza Grimana, vicino casa mia.”
“Indossava una giacca?”
“Credo di si.”
“Di che colore era?”
“Credo che fosse marrone.”
“Cosa ha fatto?”
“Non lo so.”
“Cosa vuol dire che non lo sai?”
“Hai paura di lui?”
Mi sembrava di essere quasi in trance. Il pubblico ministero mi guidò in uno scenario e io concordai docilmente con i suoi suggerimenti.
“E’ successo questo, giusto? Lo hai incontrato?”
“Suppongo di si.”
“Dove lo hai incontrato?”
“Non lo so. Al campo da basket, suppongo.”
“Siete andati a casa?”
“Credo di si.”
“Meredith era casa?”
“Patrick é entrato?”
“Non so, crdo di si.”
“Dove vi trovavate?”
“Non lo so. Nella cucina, suppongo.”
“Hai sentito Meredith urlare?”
“Non lo so.”
“Come potevi non sentire Meredith urlare?”
“Non lo so. Forse mi sono coperta le orecchie. Non lo so, non so se mi sto solo immaginando tutto. Sto cercando di ricordare e voi mi dite che devo ricordare, ma non lo so. Non mi sembra che sia la cosa giusta.”
Disse, “No, ricorda. Ricorda cosa é successo.”
“Non lo so.”
In quel momento, mentre il pubblico ministero mi tempestava di domande, mi coprii le orecchie, così da non sentirlo.
Disse, “L’hai sentita urlare?”
Dissi, “Credo di si.”
La mia dichiarazione era scritta in italiano e lui mi disse, “Questo é quello che abbiamo messo a verbale. Firmalo.”
Archived in Those officially involved, The defenses, Hoaxes Knox, Knox ECHR hoax, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team, Other legal processes, Knox followup
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Monday, May 23, 2016
Carlo Dalla Vedova, Is ECHR Made Aware Italian Law REQUIRES Lawyers To First File Local Complaints?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
You are aware of this, right? It is not optional: if Italian clients credibly claim police abuse, their lawyers MUST lodge a complaint.
This is a serious requirement in Italian law, which looks to protect the client while heading off innuendo and frivolous appeals years down the road. Under the principle of infedele patrocinio (betrayal of the interest of the client), if you really believed Knox’s varying claims that she was abused, it seems you’d have no choice but to lodge a formal complaint.
Not only was no formal complaint that we know of ever filed by you, and so no investigation ever begun, summaries of your ECHR case by Cassazione and by ECHR itself make no mention of any process having been followed. They specifically ask you about this.
The ECHR quotes in full a letter to you from Amanda Knox dated 9 November 2007 claiming at length that police abuse explained why she was “confused” at the so-called “interrogation” of 5-6 November 2007.
But the ECHR seems to have not been made aware that you never passed this letter on to any prosecutor or any judge. In fact, you provide it as evidence only now. Why was this not made clear?
And even more daunting for your appeal, your legal colleague Luciano Ghirga at Rudy Guede’s trial late in 2008 specifically said this - in effect, the exact opposite of your current claim.
“There were pressures from the police but we never said she was hit.”
Now the ECHR in its first response to your submission is asking some questions of fact. It has addressed this first question to you.
1. Has the applicant exhausted the domestic remedies available to her to complain about the violation of Article 3 of the Convention, concerning the slaps (scappellotti) allegedly suffered, and under Articles 6 §§ 1 and 3 a), c) and e) and 8 of the Convention?
It appears that no, Knox the applicant never did initiate the formal process to seek a remedy through Italian law. The point is one that ends the ECHR appeal process all by itself if the answer is no.
- (1) because of the obvious status of inadmissibility of the application under the ECHR rules (no domestic remedy was first attempted),
(2) because of its damaging probative value for assessing the credibility of the version of facts provided by the applicant.
You will of course know of the legal provisions under Italian law about which the ECHR may not yet be aware:
- (1) the crimes of beating (cp 581), or physical violence or threat (cp. 610-612) require the victim to file a complaint in order to allow prosecution of the charge, otherwise investigation cannot be initiated;
(2) the Ethics Code of lawyers requires a defence attorney to file a charge if he/she collects a claim by a client under detention, and to properly inform the client about the necessity to file a complaint;
(3) if a lawyer is informed by a client under detention that the same client suffered violence or offence by authorities, and does not take proper legal steps, the lawyer would commit the extremely serious criminal offence of infedele patrocinio (betrayal of the interest of client) besides breaching the Ethics Code;
(4) a defence attorney is also required to object any irregularity of breach of the code that could be suffered by the client, namely, in any particular case, if the applicant’s current claims had been made at the time, the lawyers should have denounced the breach of Procedure Code claiming that a prosecution interrogation had taken place (thus, that would mean breaching the Procedure code that prevents prosecution from questioning a suspect prior to his/her appearance before a judge)
So, in summary, no formal complaint ever seems to have been filed allowing local investigations to begin. And the failure to initiate the procedure for domestic remedy by the applicant on this claim could be a crime under Italian law if Knox had insisted on it.
And it would seem to render the request inadmissible on this point. It also undermines any possible credibility of the claim itself. Regardless of whoever dropped the ball here, lawyer or client, it does not bode well.
Archived in Those who were charged, Amanda Knox, Those officially involved, The defenses, Hoaxes Knox, Knox interrog hoax, Knox book hoaxes, Knox ECHR hoax, Other legal processes, Knox followup
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Revenge of the Knox, Series 4: Exposing The Tortured Logic That Permeates Her Book #1
Posted by Chimera
1. Series Overview
Waiting to be Heard was first released in April 2013, after Cassation had confirmed AK’s false accusation of PL for rape and murder, and after it had thrown out the Hellmann/Zanetti finding of not guilty.
That successful prosecution appeal reverted their legal status back to “guilty, pending further appeals”. In light of this, the publisher, HarperCollins, seemingly thought they could avoid legal trouble if the book was pulled from the UK (on advice of their own lawyers) and Italy.
The paperback version was released on June 9, 2015, the day AK’s second calunnia trial—for making false accusations on the stand against Perugia police—was set to begin. The “new version” contained a whiny afterword, but left the previous stuff untouched.
Once again, it was released prior to Cassation actually releasing its sentencing report, in this case late in 2015, and once again it has come back to haunt AK/RS.
This is the fourth and final series of over 20 posts on the book in total, the previous series having been on (1) Knox’s 600 or so malicious and self-serving lies, (2) Knox’s 100 or so false accusations, and (3) instances of Knox being contradicted by the Supreme Court.
All the 20-plus posts can be read in sequence in our Knox book hoaxes category.
Included among around 600 smears and malicious lies, there are numerous smears about her “friends” Meredith, Laura and Filomena, about drug use while Knox with characteristic hypocrssy AK omits her own heavy drug use and her exchanges of sex for free drugs from Federico Martini.
Included among around 100 false accusations: AK accuses (1) Judge Paolo Micheli (pre-trial) and Judge Giancarlo Massei (trial) of professional misconduct; (2) Judge Claudia Matteini (preliminary hearing) of incompetence; (3) Prosecutors Mignini/Comodi of misconduct and suborning perjury; (4) Rita Ficarra of assault; (5) Ficarra, Monica Napoleoni, Marca Chiacchiera, Patrizia Stefanoni of committing perjury; and (5) translator Anna Donnino of misrepresenting herself.
(6) Knox also accuses the justice officials of trying to frame her and RS—and vilify them in the media—to save their careers and to look good. (7) She also claims that the police coerced/bullied her into making the false accusation of Patrick Lumumba. AK also accuses prison officials (8) of sexual assault; (9) of intimidation; (10) of sexual harassment; (11) of harassment; (12) of covering up police brutality; (13) of leaking confidential medical records; (14) of providing an unsafe environment for her; (15) of keeping her in isolation unnecessarily; and (16) of denying her counsel.
No complaints were ever filed, either in jail after being released, though Italian defense lawyers are REQUIRED to file complaints if their client tells them of illegalities. Publishing a book 18 months later is not at all the same thing and in fact sets up liabilities.
1. Knox’s Tortured Logic
The book just doesn’t make sense. It contradicts itself repeatedly, and makes many claims that just do not pass muster. It speaks to Knox’s extreme unreliabilty as a narrator and to her self-servingness at every posibility. Read these three posts for yourself, and see if any of this actually seems normal.
Tortured Logic #1: AK Shows What This is All About
[Chapter 2, Page 16] This was my first bona fide one-night stand.
I’d told my friends back home that I couldn’t see myself sleeping with some random guy who didn’t matter to me. Cristiano was a game changer.
We didn’t have a condom, so we didn’t actually have intercourse. But we were making out, fooling around like crazy, when, an hour later, I realized, I don’t even know this guy. I jumped up, kissed him once more, and said good-bye. I went upstairs to the tiny room Deanna and I were sharing.
She was wide awake, standing by the window. “Where have you been?” she asked. “I didn’t know where you were or if you were okay.”
[Chapter 3, Page 32] “Do you want to eat at my place?” Mirko asked. “We can watch a movie.”
“Sure,” I said, and instantly felt an inner jolt. It came from the sudden certainty that we would have sex, that that’s where our flirtation had been heading all along.
We carried our pizza boxes through Piazza Grimana, by the University for Foreigners, and down an unfamiliar street, past a park. Mirko’s house was at the end of a gravel drive. “I live here with my sister,” he told me.
During dinner at his kitchen table my thoughts battled. Was I ready to speed ahead with sex like this? I still regretted Cristiano. But I’d also been thinking about what Brett and my friends at UW had said. I could picture them rolling their eyes and saying, “Hell000, Amanda. Sex is normal.” Casual sex was, for my generation, simply what you did.
[Chapter 4, Page 39] The next morning I got up before he did, got dressed, and went to make myself breakfast. Bobby came into the kitchen a few minutes later. We were eating cookies when Laura came out of her bedroom. I’d never entertained a lover at the villa for breakfast, and it was awkward, despite Laura’s proclaimed sense of easy sexuality. All three of us tried to ignore the feeling away.
After breakfast Bobby left to return to Rome. 1 walked him to the door. He smiled, waved, and walked away.
I didn’t feel the same regret I’d had after sex with Mirko, but I still felt the same emptiness. I had no way of knowing what a big price I would end up paying for these liaisons.
[Chapter 5, Page 57] Being with Raffaele also taught me a big lesson about my personality that I’d tried so hard—and harmfully, in Cristiano’s case—to squelch. I was beginning to own up to the fact that casual hookups like I’d had with Mirko and Bobby weren’t for me.
I like being able to express myself not just as a lover but in a loving relationship. Even from the minuscule perspective of a few days with Raffaele, I understood that, for me, detaching emotion from sex left me feeling more alone than not having sex at all—bereft, really.
Commentary: So 4 of the first 5 chapters are devoted to describing her ‘‘campaign for casual sex’‘. Is that really why she wrote the book - to prove she is sexually obsessive and voracious?
Tortured Logic #2: AK Turning Off her Phone Would Notify Patrick She was Unavailable if he Texts
[Chapter 5, Page 62] Quickly checking my phone, I saw that Patrick had sent me a text telling me I didn’t have to come in. Since it was a holiday, he thought it would be a slow night.
“Okay,” I texted back. “Ci vediamo piu tardi buona serata!“— “See you later. Have a good evening!” Then I turned off my phone, just in case he changed his mind and wanted me to come in after all. I was so excited to have the night off that I jumped on top of Raffaele, cheering, “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!”
Commentary: If Patrick called then he would know she was unavailable, but texting a message would not get rejected.
Tortured Logic #3: AK Turning Off her Phone to be Alone—And This Happened to be the First and Only Time
[Chapter 5, Page 62] Then I turned off my phone, just in case he changed his mind and wanted me to come in after all. I was so excited to have the night off that I jumped on top of Raffaele, cheering, “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!”
Commentary: If AK did this normally, this wouldn’t raise much suspicion. But it is the first time, and both she and RS do it. If AK was really wanting private liasons, wouldn’t it make more sense to do it when she is with Cristiano (a.k.a. Federico Martini, the drug dealer she met on the train)?
Tortured Logic #4: Knox’s ‘‘Account’’ of November 6th, After she has had 6 years to think about it.
[Chapter 6, Page 65-67] 0n that cold, sunny Friday morning, I left Rafael asleep in his apartment and walked home to take a shower and get my things together, thinking about our romantic weekend in the Umbrian hills. In hindsight, it seems that arriving home to find the front door open should have rattled me more. I thought, That’s strange. But it was easily explained. The old latch didn’t catch unless we used a key. Wind must have blown it open, I thought, and walked inside the house calling out, “Filomena? Laura? Meredith? Hello? Hello? Anybody?”
Nobody. The bedroom doors were closed.
I wasn’t alarmed by two pea-size flecks of blood in the bathroom sink that Meredith and I shared. There was another smear on the faucet. Weird. I’d gotten my ears pierced. Were they bleeding? I scratched the droplets with my fingernail. They were dry. Meredith must have nicked herself. It wasn’t until I got out of the shower that I noticed a reddish-brown splotch about the size of an orange on the bathmat. More blood. Could Meredith have started her period and dripped? But then, how would it have gotten on the sink? My confusion increased. We were usually so neat. I went to my room and, while putting on a white skirt and a blue sweater, thought about what to bring along on my trip to Gubbio with Raffaele.
I went to the big bathroom to use Filomena’s blow dryer and was stashing it back against the wall when I noticed poop in the toilet. No one in the house would have left the toilet unflushed. Could there have been a stranger here? Was someone in the house when I was in the shower? I felt a lurch of panic and the prickly feeling you get when you think someone might be watching you. I quickly grabbed my purse and coat and somehow remembered the mop I said I’d bring back to Raffaele’s. I scrambled to push the key into the lock, making myself turn it before I ran up the driveway, my heart banging painfully.
By the time I was a block from home I was second-guessing myself. Maybe I was overreacting. Maybe there was a simple reason for the toilet being unflushed. I needed someone to say, “, you’re right to be scared. This isn’t normal.” And if it wasn’t okay, I wanted someone to tell me what to do. My skittering brain pulled up my mom’s mantra: when in doubt, call. Forgetting the nine-hour time difference between Perugia and Seattle, I pressed the number sequence for home. My mom did not say hello, just “, are you okay? What’s wrong?” It was in the middle of the night in Seattle, and she was worried.
“I’m on my way back to Raffaele’s,” I said, “but I just wanted to check in. I found some strange things in my house.” I explained my reasons for worrying. Then I asked, “What do you think I should do?” “Call your roommates,” she said. “Go tell Raffaele, and call me right back.”
Hearing Mom’s voice calmed me. It can’t be that bad, I thought. Im out of the house. Nothing happened. Pm safe. No one’s in danger. I called Filomena first and was relieved when she picked up. “Ciao, ,” she said. “Ciao,” I said. “I’m calling because when I came home from Raffaele’s this morning, our front door was open. I found a few drops of blood in one bathroom and shit in the other toilet. Do you know anything about it?”
Commentary: This is an excerpt, the whole passage is too long to quote it all here, but AK tries to ‘‘combine’’ every alibi and excuse she has had in here. It actually comes across as more absurd.
Tortured Logic #5: AK Takes Her Ear Piercings Out Just After Getting Them Done
[Chapter 6, Page 65] ” ... faucet. Weird. I’d gotten my ears pierced. Were they bleeding?”
Commentary: In some versions, AK describes herself as “taking them out to clean”. This is absurd, as any woman who has gotten piercings knows that lobe piercings stay in at least 6 weeks. Cartilage piercings can be 3 months or more.
Tortured Logic #6: Knox is Targeted Although ‘‘Everyone’’ From the House was Detained.
[Chapter 7, Page 89] It was early morning by the time I put my notebook away. The police weren’t stopping to sleep and didn’t seem to be allowing us to, either. Rafael and I were part of the last group to leave the questura, along with Laura, Filomena, Giacomo, and the other guys from downstairs, at 5:30 A.M.
Commentary: AK whines that she was targeted, but by her own admission everyone from the house was held at the Questura.
Tortured Logic #7: Knox’s “Friends” Don’t Mind her Publishing Embarrassing Things About Them
[Chapter 8, Page 88] ” ... Did we ever smoke marijuana at No. 7, Via dells Pergola? “No, we don’t smoke,” I lied, squirming
inwardly as I did…”
[Chapter 8, Page 92] ” ... Next we went to the room that Marco and Giacomo shared. There was no blood—or contraband plants. While we stood there, the detectives started asking me pointed questions about Giacomo and Meredith. How long had they been together? Did she like anal sex? Did she use Vaseline? “For her lips,” I said. When I’d first gotten to town, Meredith and I had hunted around at different grocery stores until we found a tiny tub of Vaseline.
Giacomo and Meredith had definitely had sex, but I certainly didn’t know which positions they’d tried. Meredith didn’t talk about her sex life in detail. The most she’d done was ask me once if she could have a couple of the condoms I kept stashed with Brett’s still-unused gift, the bunny vibrator, in my see-through beauty case in the bathroom Meredith and I shared.”
Commentary: So much for being respectful as she so often praises herself for.
Tortured Logic #8: Perugia’s Micromanaging ‘‘Mayor’’ Leads Murder Investigations
[Chapter 10, Page 119] Eventually they told me the pubblico ministero would be coming in. I didn’t know this translated as prosecutor, or that this was the magistrate that Rita Ficarra had been referring to a few days earlier when she said they’d have to wait to see what he said, to see if I could go to Germany. I thought the “public minister” was the mayor or someone in a similarly high “public” position in the town and that somehow he would help me.
[Chapter 11, Page 136] My memorials changed nothing. As soon as I gave it to Ficarra, I was taken into the hall right outside the interrogation room, where a big crowd of cops gathered around me. I recognized Pubblico Ministero Giuliano Mignini, who I still believed was the mayor.
[Chapter 14, Page 164] ” ... room—Monica Napoleoni, the black-haired, taloned homicide chief; a male officer from my interrogation; and Pubblico Ministero Giuliano Mignini, the prosecutor, who I still thought was the mayor. Napoleoni was resting her chin on her hand glowering at me, studying my reaction. She seemed to be enjoying this.”
Commentary: If AK really wanted to go with the ‘‘public figure’‘, then Attorney General or Police Commissioner would have made more sense.
Tortured Logic #9: Police Tap Knox’s Phone, but Don’t Bother Pulling Her Phone Records
[Chapter 7, Page 78] ” .... Now I see that I was a mouse in a cat’s game. While I was trying to dredge up any small thing that could help them find Meredith’s killer and trying to get my head around the shock of her death, the police were deciding to bug Raffaele’s and my cell phones.”
Commentary: Setting aside that fact that MANY phones were bugged, why would the police not go the extra mile and actually pull the records of AK’s calls and text? Also, why would they not be able to find out then and there that AK actually had her phone turned off? As AK assures us that this was a police sting, it seems very half-assed.
Tortured Logic #10: Police Leak to the Press That Meredith’s Roommates are Suspected PRIOR to Making an Arrest
[Chapter 9, Page 97] Had I seen a news item that morning in The Mail on Sunday, a London tabloid, it might have shifted everything for me. The article said the Italian police were investigating the possibility that the murderer was a woman—someone whom Meredith had known well. “‘We are questioning her female housemates as well as her friends,’ a senior police detective said.” Or I might simply have thought: It’s not Laura, it’s not Filomena, it’s not me. Whom could they possibly be thinking of?
Commentary: It is not common practice—anywhere—to name a possible suspect, or drop hints, who has not been arrested, unless asking for the public’s help tracking him or her down.
Tortured Logic #11: U.S. Embassies Are Good Sources of Information for all Potential Witnesses in Murder Investigations
[Chapter 10, Page 105] ‘’ .... When my phone rang I drew in my breath, exhaling only after I realized it was Dolly. “Have you reached the American embassy?” she asked.
“No,” I said, stepping into the hall. “I haven’t had time, but I’ll try to figure it out. I’m back in class.’‘
In truth, I hadn’t even thought about calling the embassy.’‘
Commentary: Sure after one has been arrested abroad, an embassy may be helpful. But why contact them during a murder investigation? And in the next point, #12, the UW exchange office calls to check on AK, just because there happened to be a murder in Europe.
Tortured Logic #12: The University of Washington Monitors its Former Students While on Vacation
[Chapter 1, Page 10] ” .... “No, I’ll have to find my own housing, but I’m sure I can get a good apartment close to campus. I checked with the UW foreign exchange office—they say the University for Foreigners will give me a housing list when I get there. I’d really like to live with Italians so I can practice speaking the language.”
Commentary: She checked with the UW foreign exchange office? Why? She wasn’t on an exchange.
[Chapter 8, Page 86] ” .... I hated that I felt so traumatized. As my family, friends, and the UW foreign exchange office checked in one after another, they each said some version of “Oh my God, you must be so scared and alone.” I didn’t want to admit that they were right, that what I was going through was too stressful for me to handle by myself. But the last thing I wanted from my parents—even though it’s probably what I needed most—was to be treated like a child.”
Commentary: Several things: (1) AK wasn’t on any official exchange with the U of W; (2) AK wasn’t actually taking any classes at U of W at all; (3) How would UW even know where AK is at the moment, let alone care?; (4) Even if UW knew where AK was, why would they monitor global news to see what was happening in Perugia?; (5) Was UW foreign exchange office acting like a probation officer or something?; (6) Does UW monitor many students, or just AK?
Tortured Logic #13: AK is ‘‘Lured’’ to the Police Station by Police Who Tell Her to Go Home
[Chapter 10, Page 108] Did the police know Id show up, or were they purposefully separating Rafael and me? When we got there they said I couldn’t come inside, that I’d have to wait for Rafael in the car. I begged them to change their minds. I said, “I’m afraid to be by myself in the dark.”
Commentary: AK is lured to the Questura, but has to beg and plead to be let in? Some sting. What if AK, like 99% of people, had just left when told to?
Tortured Logic #14: AK is ‘‘Lured’’ Into a Sting, but no Interpreter or Video Cameras are Available
[Chapter 10, Page 108] ‘’ ... I was still clueless, still thinking I was helping the police, still unable or unwilling to recognize that I was a suspect. But as the next hours unfolded, I slowly came to understand that the police were trying to get something out of me, that they wouldn’t stop until they had it. To the unnamed police officer, I said, "Okay, but I’ve told you everything I know. I don’t knowvwhat else to say."
‘‘Why don’t you keep talking about the people who’ve been in your house—especially men?’’ he suggested.
[Chapter 10, Page 110] ‘’ ... The walls were blank. I had nowhere to look but at the police. They said, “We’re going to call in an interpreter.”
While we waited for the interpreter to arrive, they said, “Tell us more about the last time you saw Meredith.”
Commentary: If what AK says is true, then she was a suspect all along. So, in 4 days, no cameras or interpreters were available for the “sting”?
Tortured Logic #15: The Police Have a Male ‘“Suspect’’ Available, but get Knox to Accuse SOMEONE ELSE
[Chapter 9, Page 99] ‘’ .... But as much as he was helping me, we were careening to a bad end together. Whether it was kissing outside the house while Meredith lay inside dead, or whispering, joking, and making faces in the questura, our behavior had aroused suspicion. I was oblivious to it, but apparently once the police thought we were guilty, it colored everything.’‘
[Chapter 10, Page 108] ‘’ .... Did the police know Id show up, or were they purposefully separating Rafael and me?’‘
I was still clueless, still thinking I was helping the police, still unable or unwilling to recognize that I was a suspect. But as the next hours unfolded, I slowly came to understand that the police were trying to get something out of me, that they wouldnt stop until they had it.
[Chapter 10, Page 113] ‘’ .... Just then a cop - Monica Napoleoni, who had been so abrupt with me about the poop and the mop at the villa - opened the door. “Raffaele says you left his apartment on Thursday night,” she said almost gleefully. “He says that you asked him to lie for you. He’s taken away your alibi.”
[Chapter 10, Page 114] ‘’ .... “Where did you go? Who did you text?” Ficarra asked, sneering at me.“I don’t remember texting anyone.”
They grabbed my cell phone up off the desk and scrolled quickly through its history.
“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”
“My boss at Le Chic.”
“What about his text message? What time did you receive that?”
Commentary: Assuming (for the sake of argument) that RS ‘‘had’’ been lured to the Questura to break AK’s alibi, why have AK accuse someone else entirely? It would make far more sense to get AK to flip on RS. Remember: AK was acting weird and inappropriate “with” RS. And if you assume that because it was a sexual assault that a man did it, again, RS would be the perfect target.
Tortured Logic #16: Police Are Able to Target a Couple Who Both Incredibly have Such a Loose Grip on Reality
[Chapter 9, Page 102] ” .... I was naive, in over my head, and with an innate stubborn tendency to see only what I wanted.
Above all, I was innocent. There were so many what -ifs that I never even began to contemplate. What if I hadn’t thrown the bunny vibrator in my clear makeup case for anyone to see? What if I hadn’t gone on a campaign to have casual sex? What if Rafael and I hadn’t been so immature? What if Id flown home to Seattle right after the murder, or to Hamburg? What if I’d asked my mom to come immediately to help me? What if I had taken Dolly’s advice? What if I’d gotten a lawyer?”
Commentary: So, sleeping around, being juvenile and showing off her vibrator got her arrested? I can understand the desire to flee the country or get a lawyer, but this just makes no sense.
Tortured Logic #17: Police Simultaneously Want to Know: (a) Who Patrick is; (b) Who Knox Went Off to Meet.
Seems Like They Answer Their Own Questions
[Chapter 10, Page 114] ” .... “I don’t remember texting anyone.”
They grabbed my cell phone up off the desk and scrolled quickly through its history.
“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”
“My boss at Le Chic.”
“What about his text message? What time did you receive that?”
[Chapter 10, Page 116] ” ... “Who did you meet up with? Who are you protecting? Why are you lying? Who’s this person?
The questions wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t think. And even when it didn’t seem possible, the pressure
I said, “Patrick is my boss.”
[Chapter 10, Page 117] ” .... People were shouting at me. “Maybe you just don’t remember what happened. Try to think. Try to
think. Who did you meet? Who did you meet? You need to help us. Tell us!”
A cop boomed, “You’re going to go to prison for thirty years if you don’t help us.”
Commentary: AK told them who Patrick was, yet the police seem to still want to know who Patrick is.
[Chapter 10, Page 117] ” .... The silver-haired police officer took both of my hands in his. He said, “I really want to help you. I want to save you, but you need to tell me who the murderer is. You need to tell me. You know who the murderer is. You know who killed Meredith.”
Commentary: AK has told them who she went to meet, and who Patrick is. Do they not put 2 and 2 together?
[Chapter 15, Page 175] ‘’ ... “I didn’t come up with those things on my own,” I said. “I told them I’d been with Raffaele all night at his apartment. But they demanded to know whom I’d left to meet, who Patrick was, if I had let him into the villa. They insisted I knew who the murderer was, that I’d be put in jail for thirty years if I didn’t cooperate.”
Commentary: See point #9, the police apparently had the foresight to tap AK’s phone, but never bothered to pull her phone records. Had she been a target all along, they could have had this information when they launched their sting (meaning not calling AK and telling her to go home when she arrived uninvited).
Tortured Logic #18: Italian Prisons and Police Stations Double as Hotel Rooms
[Chapter 11, Page 129] “We need to take you into custody,” she said. “Just for a couple of days—for bureaucratic
Custody? What does that mean? Are they taking me to a safe house?
The silver-haired cop had told me during my interrogation that they would protect me if I cooperated, if I told them who the murderer was. Will my mom be there with me? Can I call her? What does “bureaucratic reasons” mean? Does it mean they’re just processing my paperwork, my spontaneous declarations?
Commentary: AK is again turning on the BS machine.
Tortured Logic #19: AK, Who Speaks Limited Italian, is Able to Remember VERY LONG Quotes in Italian Years Later (With no Interpreter)
[Chapter 10, Page 110] Then they said, “Okay, minute by minute, we want you to tell us what happened.”
I still thought they were using me to find out more information about Meredith - her habits,
whom she knew, who could possibly have had a motive to kill her. I started trying to describe the
exact time I saw Meredith leave the house. I said, “I think it was around two P.M. - one or two.
I’m not sure which. I don’t wear a watch, and the time didn’t matter - it was a holiday. But I
know it was after lunch.”
[Chapter 10, Page 111] ‘’ ... Then the questions shifted. They asked, “When did you leave your house?”
At first, when they started questioning me about what I did, I thought they were just trying to test whether I was telling the truth - maybe because I’d lied about our marijuana use.
I said, “Before dinner - four- ish maybe.”
They said, “Are you sure it was four- ish? Was it four o’clock or five o’clock? You didn’t see the time?”
“No. Then we went to Raffaele’s place.”
“How long it did it take you to get there?”
“I don’t know - a couple of minutes. He doesn’t live far away.”
“What happened then?”
“Nothing happened. We had dinner; we watched a movie; we smoked a joint; we had sex; we went to bed.”
“Are you positive? Nothing else?”
“Well, I got a text message from my boss telling me I didn’t have to work that night.”
“What time did that happen?”
“I think around eight P.M. - maybe. Maybe it was before then.” I was thinking, It had to be before I’d normally go to work. “Maybe seven or eight?”
That wasn’t good enough for them.
They kept asking me for exact times, and because I couldn’t remember what had happened from 7 P.M. to 8 P.M. and 8 P.M. to 9 P.M. they made it seem as if my memory were wrong. I started
second- guessing myself. Raffaele and I had done some variation of watching a movie, cooking dinner, reading Harry Potter, smoking a joint, and having sex every night for the past week.
Suddenly it all ran together so that I couldn’t remember what time we’d done what on Thursday, November 1. I kept saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
I was afraid to say that I didn’t know the difference between 7 P.M. or 8 P.M., and I was beginning to feel panicky because they were demanding that I know. My heart was hammering,
my thoughts were scrambled, and the pressure on the sides of my head made it feel as if my skull were going to split apart. I couldn’t think. Suddenly, in trying to distinguish between this time or
that time, this sequence of events or that one, I started forgetting everything. My mind was spinning. I felt as if I were going totally blank.
“Which was it?”
I took a deep breath. “I don’t remember.”
Ficarra thrust her hand out aggressively and insisted, “Let me see your cell phone.”
I handed it to her. As they looked through it, they kept pounding me with questions. “What
movie did you watch?”
“How long is that movie?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did you watch it all the way through?”
[Chapter 10, Page 112] “Well, we paused it at some point, because we noticed that the sink was leaking.”
“But you said you’d had dinner before that.”
“I guess you’re right. I think the sink leaked before we watched the movie, but then I remember pausing it.”
“Why did you pause it?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Why? Why? What time?”
[Chapter 10, page 113] ‘’ ... The interpreter, a woman in her forties, arrived at about 12:30 A.M. It’s inconceivable to me now that all the questioning up to that point had been in Italian. For a couple of hours I’d done my best to hang in there, to grasp what they were saying. I kept saying, “Okay, I understand.” I was always mortified when I had to admit that my Italian wasn’t up to speed.’‘
[Chapter 12, Page 149] ‘’ ....Amanda Knox. K-n- o-x.”
“Do you have allergies, illnesses, diseases?”
“No,” I replied.
“Well, we’ll need to do blood work anyway,” he said. Just then I felt a sharp pinch from the back of my head. The nurse had snuck around me and plucked a hair from my scalp. I started to turn and glare at her, but instead asked the doctor, “Blood work? For what?”
“For diseases,“he said. “Sign this. For the tests.” He pushed a document and a pen in front of me, and I signed it.
“How do you feel?”
“Worried”, I said. “Worried and confused.”
I shrank down in my seat.
“Confused?”; he asked.
“I feel terrible about what happened at the police office. No one was listening to me,” I said.
Tears sprang to my eyes again.
“Hold up there, now,”; Argiro said.
“Wouldn’t listen to you?” the doctor asked.
“I was hit on the head, twice,” I said.
The doctor gestured to the nurse, who parted my hair and looked at my scalp.
“Not hard,” I said. “It just startled me. And scared me.”.
“I’ve heard similar things about the police from other prisoners,” the guard standing in the background said.
Commmentary: How is this possible? (a) As AK keeps pointing out, there were no cameras; (b) All of the police accounts are very different; (c) AK claims she was traumatized. Makes you suspect she made the whole thing up. This book has many such conversations, all while AK claims to have only a rudimentary knowledge of Italian.
Tortured Logic #20: Italian Police Give ‘‘Good-Bye” Hugs to Accused Sex Killers as They Drop them Off
[Chapter 11, Page 141] ‘’ .... At a wave from our driver, we entered the building, Ficarra ahead of me, the other officer behind, each gripping one of my arms. Once inside, they let go. “This is
where we leave you,” they said. One of them leaned in to give me a quick, awkward hug.
“Everything’s going to be okay. The police will take care of you.”
Commentary: Not sure what to say here.
Archived in Those who were charged, Amanda Knox, Hoaxes Knox, Knox book hoaxes, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team
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Monday, May 02, 2016
Revenge “On” The Knox: Bruno And Marasca Strike Back
Posted by Chimera
1. Overview Of The Post
We have posted both multi-part analyses of the Amanda Knox book (extended 2015 edition) and also multi-part analyses of the 2015 Supreme Court verdict attempting to apply closure to the case.
Primarily because they both make so much up and leave so much out, both efforts appear to Italian lawyers and observers and our own team to have fallen far short.
Worse, as I demonstrate here, Knox and the Supreme Court were not even on the same page. They used different arguments which tend to cancel one another out.
In effect the report of Judges Bruno and Marasca late in 2015 pulled the rug out from under Knox’s book published a few months before.
2. Arguments Of The Supreme Court
The final report from the 5th Chambers of Cassation was released in September 2015, several months late, with rumors swirling in Rome that it was proving a tough task.
From James Raper critique Part 1
The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:
1. The standard of “beyond any reasonable doubt” was not met due to insufficient and/or contradictory evidence - pursuant to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.
2. Multiple attackers upheld. Guede was guilty with others unknown.
3. The break-in in Romanelli’s room was staged.
4. Amanda Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but there is insufficient evidence that she played a participatory role.
5. The DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife and the DNA profile of Raffaele Sollecito on the bra clasp have “no probative or circumstantial relevance”
6. “Motive is not irrelevant” and motive was not established.
7. No selective cleaning.
8. No purpose would be served in remanding the case back to the 1st instance court of appeal (as had occurred on appeal against acquittal)
From James Raper Critique Part 5
The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:
1. Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but in a non-participatory role. Very probably (if this is not a held fact) she had scrubbed Meredith’s blood off her hands in the small bathroom.
2. Sollecito was very probably there as well, but it cannot be known when.
3. There was certainly an assailant (and perhaps more than one) in addition to Guede.
4. There was a staging of the break-in in Filomena’s room.
While this seems (in a very tortuous way), to assert an “insufficient evidence” finding rather than an “innocence” finding, the findings of the 5th Chambers are now considered final, unless they are overturned.
That being said, these findings directly refute the bulk of Knox’s book “Waiting to be Heard”
3. Arguments of Amanda Knox
Our 12-part series taking apart the claims in Knox’s book can be found here.
(1) Chapter 5, 6: The Evening and Morning After Meredith Died
Knox Version (A): AK/RS were at his apartment, watching Amelie, smoking pot, reading Harry Potter and f***ing. AK returned to her home late the next morning.
Knox Version (B): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith
Knox Version (C): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith, and RS was probably there
Knox Version (D): AK has no clue what was going on, and doesn’t remember anything.
Version (A) is the story AK told in her book and on television—though the details are flexible. Versions (B), (C), and (D) are the 3 statements she made November 5th/6th.
However, the truth Bruno and Marasca think is closest to the truth (pun intended), is version (C), with Guede as the killer instead of PL.
Other courts: Pre-Trial Judge Micheli (October 2008), Trial Judge Massei (2009), Appeal Judge Nencini (2014) all found that Knox was not only involved, but that she personally killed Meredith. Even if you accept the Cassation ruling that AK wasn’t actually involved, the final ruling did place her at the crime scene, and RS probably so.
Bullshit level: COMPLETE
(2) Chapters 7, 8, 9: The Ensuing Investigation
AK goes on and on in WTBH about how she was trying to help the police. She complains about how she was subjected to repeated and very lengthy interviews. However, she never shared any of the insider information she had about that night. The police officers involved noted that she and RS seemed particularly unhelpful.
Bullshit level: COMPLETE
(3) Chapters 10, 11: The Knox Interrogation Hoax
AK goes on in great detail especially in Chapter 10 about how she was lured to the police station, and brutally interrogated. In her December 2013 email to Judge Nencini, she refers to it as “torture”.
Interesting how she remembers it with such lurid detail.
As AK points out, there is no recording or video
All of the officers involved give “very” different accounts
AK claims to be traumatized and have her memory go blank
AK’s performance was convincing enough to make Judge Claudia Matteini (November 2007) believe PL was the killer. But since then ....
(a) the 3 judge panel headed by Judge Massimo Ricciarelli (November 2007);
(b) the 5 judge Cassation panel headed by Judge Torquato Gemelli (April 2008);
(c) pre-trial Judge Paolo Micheli (October 2008);
(d) trial jury headed by Judge Giancarlo Massei (December 2009);
(e) appellate jury headed by Hellmann/Zanetti (October 2011);
(f) Cassation panel headed by Judge Chieffi (March 2013);
(g) appellate jury headed by Judge Alessandro Nencini (January 2014);
(h) Cassation panel headed by Bruno/Marasca (March 2015)
.... have ALL ruled that AK framed PL, and that she did it willingly, and wasn’t tricked or coerced.
Bullshit level: COMPLETE
(4) The Afterword: Everything After Hellmann’s Ruling
AK triumphantly declares that Cassation (2015) found her and RS innocent. But once again, AK releases her book prior to the Cassation report. Idiot.
AK does misrepresent far more than just the 2015 Cassation findings in the Afterword. More on that later.
Bullshit level: COMPLETE
(5) Understanding the Bruno/Marasca Ruling
At a minimum, Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and the Afterword of “Waiting to be Heard” are complete bullshit.
Considering that these bogus claims are repeated throughout the book, it can reasonably be inferred that much of the rest is made up as well.
This is not me talking. This is referencing the Bruno/Marasca ruling, which as it stands, is final.
(6) Author’s Note
This is a lot of speculation on my part, (as Andrew Gumbel would say “hearsay and speculation abound”), but feel free to comment
The B/M report can be understood in one word: finality. They don’t want any one else looking at it.
(A) B/M rule “insufficient evidence” rather than “innocent” hoping to placate the Italian public.
(B) B/M sabotage AK’s ECHR appeal chances, as they don’t want another court looking to carefully at it
(C) B/M ruling essentially says “just short of guilty” to stop AK/RS from crowing about their innocence.
(D) B/M ruling claims AK/RS lied and obstructed to ward off any potential wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.
(E) B/M do strongly imply AK/RS are guilty to try to give a “moral win” to the Kerchers.
(F) B/M appear to bend over backwards to acquit, trying to look “incompetent, at worst”, rather than corrupt.
(6) The problem is: Bruno and Marasca haven’t taken into account the personalities of everyone involved
(a) The Hellmann/Zanetti ruling (October 2011) stunk of corruption, so Italy would be immediately suspicious of anything remotely similar.
(b) AK’s ECHR appeal seems to warded off for now, but AK seems hell bent on going ahead anyway.
(c) AK/RS did start parading around again, and AK re-released her book
(d) RS and Papa Sollecito sued anyway.
(e) Far from giving a “moral win”, this ruling and the accompanying report just leave a bad taste.
(7) Bullshit in WTBH (Beyond Bruno/Marasca)
Chapter 1: Before Leaving Italy
Chapter 2: Federico Martini (a.k.a. Cristiano)
Multiple: Capanne Chapters
Chapter 31-35: The Hellmann Appeal
4. Final Thoughts
I stand by my claim that WTBH is 90-95% bullshit.
Fair to say, Bruno and Marasca would likely agree.
Archived in Those who were charged, Amanda Knox, Those officially involved, Supreme Court, Appeals 2009-2015, Cassation 2015, Hoaxes Italy & the case, Italian justice hoax, Hoaxes Knox, Knox book hoaxes, Hoaxers - main people, Knox-Mellas team
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Sunday, May 01, 2016
“Guilt” Crime Drama 13 June On US Cable TV Features An Abrasive Self-Absorbed Troublemaker
Posted by Peter Quennell
Reminiscent of? You got it. Here’s one synopsis.
“Guilt” is a soapy drama about a young American woman in London who becomes the prime suspect in the savage murder of her roommate.
As the investigation unfolds, viewers will question whether she’s a naïve, young girl whose poor decisions are being magnified under the ruthless glare of the British tabloids, or whether she’s a sociopath who brutally murdered her friend.
Even her sister, who comes to London to defend her, will question how well she knows her little sister as more and more ugly truths come out.
This mystery will twist through all layers of London society – from a posh but depraved sex club, all the way up to the Royal Family itself.
Knox did soar high for a short while. But her self-absorbed manner on TV was never helpful to her. And now she has been hung out to dry by an angry Guede, an angry Sollecito, and even a disbelieving Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court (see the next post by Chimera).
Archived in Reporting, media, movies, Media news, Movies on case, The wider contexts, N America context
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Monday, April 25, 2016
Another Effective Innovation By New York Police Is Being Duplicated By Others
Posted by Peter Quennell
Those crowd-calming police horses seen nightly in the Times Square area go way back, and their presence was never reduced back when some other cities did so - often to their later regret.
There is endemic pressure (especially after 9/11) to keep the city as safe as possible.
From that sustained effort at systems improvement, other American police forces, some very besieged at the moment, attempt to learn something.
New York police both themselves innovate and also adopt good ideas from elsewhere - not least from the brave, popular and effective police forces of Italy.
We posted in January 2013 on New York’s adoption of an Italian approach to policing.
One approach which seems a natural for Italy with all of its art is proving successful in New York now.
Described in the NY Times today is this ongoing exercise in staring at artworks. The point being to sharpen the perceptions of investigators, and to put them all on the same page objectively.
To teach people how to notice details they might otherwise miss, Amy E. Herman, an expert in visual perception, likes to take them to museums and get them to look at the art. Recently she escorted a group of New York City police officers to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asked them to describe some of the things they saw.
They did their best. “This seems to be a painting of some males with horses,” one officer said of Rosa Bonheur’s mid-19th-century work “The Horse Fair,” a scene of semi-chaos as horses are driven to market. He tried to abide by Ms. Herman’s admonishment to avoid words like “obviously.” “It appears to be daytime, and the horses appear to be traveling from left to right.”
Another pair of officers tackled Picasso’s 1905 “At the Lapin Agile,” which depicts a wilted-looking couple sitting at a French bar after what might have been a long night out. “They appear to have had an altercation,” one observed. The other said, “The male and female look like they’re together, but the male looks like he’ll be sleeping on the couch.”
The officers asked that their names not be used because they were not authorized to speak to reporters. They said that they did not know much about art — their jobs allow little opportunity for recreational museumgoing — and Ms. Herman said she preferred it that way.
“I’ve had people say, ‘I hate art,’ and I say, ‘That’s not relevant,’” she said. “This is not a class about Pollock versus Picasso. I’m not teaching you about art today; I’m using art as a new set of data, to help you clear the slate and use the skills you use on the job. My goal when you walk out the door is that you’re thinking differently about the job.”
A painting has many functions. It’s a cultural artifact, an aesthetic object, an insight into a time and a place, a piece of commerce. To Ms. Herman, it’s also an invaluable repository of visual detail that can help shed light on, say, how to approach a murder scene. “It’s extremely evocative and perfect for critical inquiry,” she said in an interview. “What am I seeing here? How do I attach a narrative to it?”
One of the processes:
Before unleashing the officers in the galleries, she talked to them in a classroom in the Met’s basement. She put up a slide of “Mrs. John Winthrop,” a 1773 portrait by John Singleton Copley. The painting, showing a woman sitting at a table holding little pieces of fruit, is considered a masterpiece of fine detail — the intricacy of the lace trim on the lady’s gown, the rich decorations on her hat. But there’s a detail that’s so obvious, or maybe so seemingly irrelevant, that most people fail to mention it in their description.
“Everyone sees that this is a woman with fruit, and 80 percent miss the mahogany table,” she said. (They also miss the woman’s reflection in the veneer.)
Ms. Herman also displayed a pair of slides featuring reclining nudes: Goya’s “The Nude Maja” (1797-1800) and Lucian Freud’s 1995 “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping,” who is very fat. Ms. Herman asked the group to compare the pictures. “Most cops, when I ask this question, say it shows someone before and after marriage,” she said.
Several officers raised their hands.
“Uh, the woman at the bottom is more generously proportioned,” one said.
“She is morbidly obese,” said another.
“Right!” Ms. Herman said. “Don’t make poor word choices. Think about every word in your communication.”
Ms. Herman, who has a new book out, “Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life,” came to her vocation in a roundabout way. She worked first as a lawyer, did not like it, took a job in the development office at the Brooklyn Museum and then moved to the Frick Collection. Earning a master’s degree in art history at night at Hunter College, she eventually became head of the Frick’s education department.
There, inspired by a program in which Yale medical students studied works of art to better observe their patients, she helped devise a similar program for the Frick. Eventually she moved beyond medicine. She has been offering the courses full time as her own business since 2011; her clients include federal and local law enforcement agencies across the country, as well as medical students and business executives.
Also successful elsewhere:
Steve Dye, chief of police at the Grand Prairie Police Department in Texas, brought in Ms. Herman recently to talk to a group of officers from the region. He said her presentation was invaluable in showing the officers how to better observe and document their findings accurately and free from bias.
“Some of the works of art she showed us, we wouldn’t notice the finer details,” he said. “And we’re supposed to be professional observers.”
When forced to deconstruct paintings in group settings, people from different professions tend to respond differently.
For cops it’s a natural.
“The law enforcement community is much more forthcoming,” Ms. Herman said. “Cops will outtalk you every time. Doctors and medical students are much more inhibited. They don’t want to be wrong, and they never want to show that they are ignorant about anything.”
The New York Police Department is one of Ms. Herman’s most important clients. She tailors her presentations to her audiences, and they are on the regular training curriculum at the detective bureau and the training bureau at the Police Academy; other divisions use her services from time to time. In general, her program is voluntary rather than mandatory.
“Amy reminds officers to explore outside the box,” said Police Officer Heather Totoro, who added that the program helped officers in training because of its “uniqueness and power.”
“She taps into officers’ unique sixth sense, teaching them to tell her what they see, not what they think.”
Law enforcement officials tend to view the works through the lens of the job: Who has done what to whom? Where is the perp?
“Sometimes they’ll say, ‘We have an E.D.P. here’ — an emotionally disturbed person,” Ms. Herman said. Once she showed some officers El Greco’s “The Purification of the Temple,” which depicts Jesus expelling the traders and money-changers amid turmoil and mayhem.
“One cop said, ‘I’d collar the guy in pink’” — that would be Jesus — ‘“because it’s clear that he’s causing all the trouble.’”
Among the works she finds most interesting as a learning tool is Vermeer’s exquisitely ambiguous “Mistress and Maid,” a 1666-7 portrait of a lady seated at a table, handing over (or being handed) a mysterious piece of paper. “There are so many different narratives,” she said. “The analysts come away asking more questions than answers — ‘Who’s asking the question? Who’s doing the talking? Who’s listening?’ The cops will say, ‘It’s a servant asking for the day off.’”
She also likes “House of Fire,” a 1981 painting by James Rosenquist that has three absurdist parts: an upside-down bag of groceries, a bucket under a window shade, and a group of aggressively thrusting lipsticks. “It’s really conducive to good dialogue,” she said. “How many times do officers have to make order out of chaos? So many times in our work we come across things that don’t have a coherent narrative.”
The officers in the class seemed impressed, both by Ms. Herman and by their grand surroundings.
One officer said that she had learned “how to sit down with colleagues and deal with the fact that you can perceive things so differently from each other.” It was her first trip to the Met, or indeed to any art museum.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “It’s very Thomas Crown-ish, isn’t it?”
Archived in Justice systems, Other systems, Those officially involved, Police and CSI, The wider contexts, N America context
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Monday, April 18, 2016
Justice Systems Comparisons #5: How Appeals Differ in Italy and Common Law Countries
Posted by Chimera
1 Series And Post Overview
Meredith’s case generated enormous amounts of legal confusion and false statements around the world.
This was particularly so in the United States, and some of the confusions were by American lawyers. We have Curt Knox and the now-defunct Marriott-Gogerty PR firm in part to thank for that. But also part of the misunderstanding comes from the differences in the Italian criminal procedures v.s. the US procedures which derive from English Common Law.
Of course, Knox/Mellas/Marriott have had a vested interested in ensuring that these differences are not made clear. Although it has antecedents in Roman law and French law, Common Law emerged distinctively in England back in 1215 when King John was made to sign the Magna Carta codifying a number of popular rights and of course reducing the king’s powers.
Note: I write this based on my experience in Appellate Court in Ontario (I’m Canadian). However, the process is similar throughout Canadian Provinces (with minor variations), and I imagine throughout UK and US. If anyone in other countries has some insight or experience to share, please do so.
2. The Appeals Process in Common Law Countries
- Appellant—The Party that initiates the Appeal, regardless of who was who at the trial
- Respondent—The Party that receives the Appeal, again, regardless of who was who at the trial
- Cross Appeal—The Respondent has the right to launch their own, think of it as a counter appeal
- Leave to Appeal—Permission to appeal, in some cases it must be granted
- Proof of Service—Means filing an Affidavit of Service (Form 16-B), with the Appellate Court
- Back Cover—is a back page put in all submissions (Form 4C)
The decision is handed down by the Court. For minor criminal matters it is a Bench Trial (trial by Judge alone); for major crimes the Defendant has a choice of a Judge alone or Jury Trial. In criminal cases, even though the Jury may vote to convict, the Judge will impose the sentence—for every crime except 2nd degree murder, the jury votes on that. Afterwards ....
Option 1: If leave is needed, it must be granted in order to file. This is usually for (a) 2nd level appeals; (b) To get Court Orders put in hold; (c) To Appeal prior to a final decision [Rule 62.01]
Option 2: If leave is ‘‘NOT’’ required, then just file notice.
Within the time limit—usually 30 days from the Lower Court ruling—serve a Notice of Appeal (Form 61-A), and file with the Appeal Court. [Rule 61.04]
If the Appellant intends to submit evidence, then the Appellant’s Certificate Respecting Evidence (Form 61-C) must be served on the other side then filed with the Court. This is actually optional. [Rule 61.05]
[15 days after Notice of Appeal] If the Respondent intends to cross appeal, as in launch their own challenge, then Notice of Cross Appeal (Form 61-E) must be served then filed with the Court. [Rule 61.07]
[15 days after Notice of Appeal] If the Respondent has their own evidence to submit, then the Respondent’s Certificate Respecting Evidence (Form 61-D) must be served then filed with the Court.
[30 days after Notice of Appeal] If a transcript is required, a Certificate of Ordering (proof a transcript has been ordered) must be filed with the Appellate Court [Rule 61.05(5)]
Option 1: If no transcript is required—Appellant must file appeal books within 30 days of Notice of Appeal
Option 2: If a transcript ‘‘is’’ required—Appellant must file appeal books within 60 days of Transcript being completed
In either case, the Appellant must include a Certificate of Perfection
[60 days after Certificate of Perfection Filed] Respondent must submit all books (and cross appeal if one was filed) to the Appellant and the Court
BOOKS TO BE SUBMITTED
[Rule 61.09] and [Rule 61.12] (by Both Sides):
(Mandatory) Appeal Book and Compendium—a collection of various documents and decisions related to the case [Rule 61.10(1)]
(Mandatory) Factum—this is your ‘‘legal arguments’‘, and usually restricted in length, unless permission given [Rule 61.11(1)]
(Optional) Exhibit Book—If there was some evidence that the Appellate Court should consider, it gets included here [Rule 61.10.1]
(Optional) Transcript—If there was reversible error at trial, or in another hearing, it gets sent. It can be stand alone, or included in the exhibit book
(Optional) Book of Authorities—If there is an error of law, a collection of decisions, a case book, is sent
Note: Factum and Compendium are required by both Appellant and Respondent. The others may be included, depending on the type of appeal being argued
Note: There is flexibility with the formatting of the Authorities book, and the timing. It may be sent much later, and cases just downloaded from the internet.
Note: The Appellate Courts are even strict about the colours of the book covers. They are
- (Buff)—Appellant’s Appeal Book and Compendium, Appellant’s Exhibit Book
- (White)—Appellant’s Factum, Appellant’s Book of Authorities
- (Buff)—Respondent’s Compendium, Respondent’s Exhibit Book
- (Green)—Respondent’s Factum, Book of Authorities
- (Red)—Transcript of Evidence
- (Blue)—Motions filed in the matter
BEFORE THE APPEAL IS HEARD:
While everyone is entitled to ‘‘file’’ an appeal, there is no guarantee the appeal will actually be ‘‘heard’‘. If the appeal is truly without merit, it will be thrown out before it is fully heard.
One such option (at least in Ontario), is to invoke Rule 2.1.01(6) and ask that the Appeal be dismissed, or grounds it is frivolous, vexing, or an abuse of process.
AT THE ACTUAL APPEAL:
Depending on the Court, it may be a single Judge, a Panel of 3, a Panel of 5, or a Panel of 9 Judges. These are actual Judges, with years of experience. In the Provincial High Courts (Ontario Court of Appeals, BC Court of Appeals, Alberta Court of Appeals ....) it is usually 3 Judges who will hear the case. The Supreme Courts (at least of Canada and the U.S.) are composed of 9 Judges.
The Appeal (and any Cross-Appeal) is restricted to the points raised in the Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal. Nothing else may be argued.
The Appellant goes first, explaining what was wrong with the trial, with references to various books. The Judge (or panel of Judges) may interrupt at any time.
The Respondent goes second, countering the Appellant. Again, the Judges may interrupt at any time.
The Appellant gets a rebuttal, not a rehash, but to refute anything the Respondent said, or to being in new points.
The Judge (or Panel) may immediately rule, but more likely will reserve its decision, and rule later.
The parties themselves do not address the Court (except for those self-representing), and no witnesses are called.
If (in criminal appeals), the Defendant does not show up, an arrest warrant would be issued, and the appeal likely dismissed out of hand.
With rare exceptions, an appeal hearing takes only a few hours. Not weeks or months.
(1) The Appellate Court ‘‘corrects’’ the Lower Court ruling
(2) The Appellate Court ‘‘sends back down’’ the case to the Lower Court, with specific instructions
(3) The Appellate Court dismisses the Appeal
The Appellate Court has wide discretion in how long they make their ruling. It could be a single sentence confirming the Trial Court, or up to dozens of pages explaining a decision for either side.
3. Contrast This with Criminal Appellate Trials in Italy
The Jury (composed of 2 Judges and 6 Lay Judges) hands down a verdict, and a sentence to go with it. By Contrast, in Common Law, a Defendant may be convicted but not sentenced for several months.
[90 days after sentence] The Trial Court hands down a ‘‘Motivation Report’’ explaining in great detail the decision. In serious cases, this may be hundreds of pages.
[45 days after Motivation Report] The ‘‘Losing Side’’ files an appeal with an Appellate Court
Even if the appeal grounds are extremely weak, the Appeal can still go ahead.
The Appellate Trial is then scheduled. Like the Trial Courts, it is a panel of 2 Judges and 6 lay Judges. Although it functions as a trial, it is not meant to be a ‘‘re-start’‘, but rather a ‘‘continuation’’ of the earlier proceedings.
The Judges decide how much (if any) of the evidence submitted by the Prosecution and Defence will be heard. If the Prosecution has thoroughly proven its case at trial, there may be no need to submit any new evidence. In the case of AK/RS, Prosecutors Mignini/Comodi had overwhelmingly convinced Judge Massei (2009) of guilt.
The Defendants may address the Court (Spontaneous Declarations), or they may agree to actual questioning (Cross Examination). In this case, AK/RS gave several speeches at the Hellmann Appeal (2011), but neither agreed to actually be questioned. At the Nencini Appeal (2013/2014) RS gave speeches but again refused to be questioned. AK didn’t show up at all.
To be fair, the reason AK/RS may have refused questioning at the Hellmann or Nencini appeals may have been due to the trainwreck with Judge Massei
Neither AK nor RS were obligated to attend the Florence Appeal in 2013/2014, but they should have. It is rude and contemptuous to skip out of the Court deciding your future. AK hit the media circuit claiming to be afraid, while also arguing that she couldn’t afford to go back (despite a $3.8 million book deal). RS showed up sometimes, but it interfered with his suntanning abroad.
Although new evidence may be submitted, there are still restrictions about bringing in expert testimony, as it should properly be done at the trial level. Cassation (2013), was highly critical the Judge Hellmann let Conti and Vecchiotti appear. This is to say nothing of their actual reports.
Both the Prosecution and Defence are then able to make a Summation of facts for the Appellate Court to consider.
What needs to be said is that the goal is not to ‘‘prove all over again’‘, but to determine if there were sufficient errors, and/or sufficient new evidence to overturn the trial verdict.
A verdict is handed down, either confirming or overturning the Trial Court ruling. The Appellate Court of Hellmann/Zanetti (2011) overturned the Massei Trial Conviction (2009), while the Appellate Court of Nencini (2014) confirmed Massei’s original ruling, but with a small sentence increase.
The actual Appellate Trial may take place over several months. With Judge Hellmann (2011) it was 20 sessions that took nearly a year, and with Judge Nencini (2014) it was 10 sessions, which took 4 months.
(90 days after verdict) The Appellate Court must submit their own Motivation Report, which will be scrutinized
4. Other TJMK Posts Of Relevance
5. Some Final Thoughts
The ‘‘Appellate Trial’’ as known in Italy, does not have an equivalent in the Common Law Countries. To be fair though, the Italian Supreme Court hearings (Corti di Cassazione) do resemble Common Law appeals in that they are fairly short hearings restricted to arguing various points of law.
The goal of the ‘‘Appellate Trial’’ is to give the Defendants a huge amount of rights (including re-opening the case) not afforded in Common Law Countries. Even after going through a full trial, it is an opportunity to re-examine much of the case.
The ‘‘jury’’ of Appellate Trials not the ‘‘Panel of Judges’’ that many would think out here.
The option to testify (and especially to give Spontaneous Declarations) in an Appeal is unheard of in Common Law Appeals.
However, both in Italy and in the Common Law, it is illegal to make false accusations or to sabotage the Court process. AK doesn’t seem to have learned.
Weak appeals in the Common Law would be thrown out at the preliminary stages, in Italy the burden seems to be much lower.
The Trial and Appellate Trial Courts in Italy seem to go much more into detail about why they make their rulings.
While it is normal to have a Common Law Appeal in just 1 day, the decision may be reserved for months. Contrast this with an Italian Appellate Trial, which takes place over months, but the verdict is handed down at the end.
This article is not meant to knock Italy in any way. There are valid reasons for how things are done. But without living in both regions, or having lots of exposure to both, few would know about these differences.
Author’s Note: Pardon my lopsided detail when it comes to describing the process in Canada, as opposed to Italy. If someone would like to come up with a more detailed version for Italian Appeals, it would go nicely.
Archived in Justice systems, Italian system, Other systems
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Endemic Hints By RS That He WAS One Of The Real Killers Pretty Blatant In Italy #2
Posted by Guermantes
The humorless and un-self-aware RS and AK really play into skeptical Italian commentators’ hands.
Almost everything Sollecito says and does now is put under the microscope. He seems to sort of get that he becomes the butt of a lot of often-subtle jokes. His ticked-off reactions only make things worse.
April 5, 2016
Raffaele Sollecito becomes crime commentator on TV with TgCom24. Next stop – knife sharpener?
By Selvaggia Lucarelli
A year ago, the Court of Cassation definitively acquitted Raffaele Sollecito (and Amanda Knox). Evidentiary framework that would confirm their guilt beyond reasonable doubt was lacking. Now Raffaele Sollecito is a free man and has an inviolable right to do what he wants. He could be a singer, an insurance agent, a tailor, a blacksmith, a web designer, or a pizza maker.
And yet, all of his amazing attempts to kick off a second life are clues and evidence (which is rather damning) not to be guilty of murder “beyond reasonable doubt”, but to be guilty of bad taste, inelegance, missed opportunities and unintelligence beyond reasonable doubt. Beyond any doubt or hesitation at all. Beyond any uncertainty.
On this matter, the evidence is rather overwhelming and reliable. And no, I’m not part of that forcaioli (pitchfork, gallows) lobby Sollecito often likes to quote. I am part of that large group of people who witness his awkward and incoherent attempts at liberation / redemption and wonder if there is no one sensible next to him to suggest that he chooses a career a few fields away from the dead people / murder victims.
Because there would be other things to do if he wished so, yet the dear Raffaele, for now, of all the brilliant ideas about his future career has given birth to two: the first was that of an app (funded by the Puglia region with 66,000 Euro) to arrange funerals, share photos of the dead with others and, as is written in the introduction to his website, “to eliminate, through the services of the app, the distance between you and the person you want to commemorate.”
I mean, if really, thanks to Sollecito, there exists a way to keep in touch with the dead, we hope that Meredith’s mother downloads the app as soon as possible and chats with her daughter to ask who had murdered her, together with Rudi Guedè, seeing as he was convicted of murder in complicity with someone, but that someone has never been identified.
However, the Sollecito app, for which he won a grant (the Puglia region realized that the idea of funerals 2.0 was likely to slide into second place in the ranking of the top apps in the world after Whatsapp), must not have had the desired effect because Raffaele has decided to take a second road.
The news is just a few days old: Sollecito is now a TV crime expert in the Mediaset’s program “This Week’s Mystery” where he discusses amiably the most famous murder victims.
Of course, it should be recognized that in a world of improvised TV experts, it could not be said that the young man did not chew on his arguments, so all in all we appreciate his choice of Mediaset to work towards competence. It is the issue of good taste that continues to leave us vaguely incredulous, so much so that TgCom24 announced Sollecito’s debut on April 1, and virtually no one paid attention to the news believing that it was yet another surreal April Fools’ joke.
After three days and the airing of the program everyone had to believe the unbelievable and the news yesterday was revived by all. The moral of the story: Sollecito, commentator on TV in a broadcast on murder victims, in the history of all the April Fools’ jokes from the Cretaceous to the present, is not, alas, a false story mistaken for true, but the first real news mistaken for false.
I wonder now what will be his next steps in the world of work: maybe it would be a nice idea to open a guest house for students. Or become a sharpener of knives. Or open a real estate agency in Perugia. What is certain is that in the wake of this macabre narcissism anything is possible.
And yes, of course, that is the basic premise. The certainty that Raffaele Sollecito can do whatever the hell he wants. It is also true, however, a healthy person judged innocent by a court while half of Italy is still convinced he’s guilty would instead seek media oblivion.
And if not oblivion, at least a career a few fields away from the smell of death, the suspicion that death carries with it, the face of a little girl named Meredith who was killed like a dog. Not Raffaele, he does not intend to sever that bond (with the dead) but, on the contrary, seems to want to ride on with uncanny persistence.
Too bad. It took eight years to prove his innocence, it would take five minutes to prove his intelligence. Maybe opening a kiosk outside the stadium or an architectural bureau in Barletta, instead of going on TV to argue with Bruzzone who knows most about killings, would be a better idea. Meredith’s parents would appreciate this, I’m sure.
Archived in Those who were charged, Raff Sollecito, Hoaxes Sollecito, Sollec persona hoax, Sollecito's alibis, Sollec not-there hoax
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