Breaking news: Sadly, another bad earthquake hits Italy, epicenter about 90 miles south-east of Perugia. As so often with the oldest towns the death-rate appears high. Cause of these earthquakes was explained here. The central mountains are sinking and the coasts moving further apart.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Knox’s Nasty-Prisons Hoax: NY Times Describes How Italy Leads The World In Rehabilitation

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



A classy restaurant in an Italian prison which inmates in training fully run

1. The Knox Picture Of Italian Prison Conditions

Three years ago Amanda Knox devoted 200 pages of her book to an extended horror story about her stay in prison.

Knox provided zero proof. Knox has never published her charges in Italian in Italy, so the rebuttals by those Knox maligned are not (yet) in.

But almost immediately English-language corrections and rebuttals started to flow.  See also all these rebuttals here.

Knox was contradicted by her own lawyers who had visited her often and heard no complaints. She was contradicted by the US Embassy in Rome which monitored her often and heard no complaints. She was contradicted by Rocco Girlanda, an Italian Member of Parliament, who checked her conditions over 20 times (and then wrote a loving book) and reported no complaints. Her own parents reported no complaints.

Even so, one year ago, Knox reissued her notoriously dishonest book. It had been added-to, but not even one of the malicious claims was withdrawn.

Our main poster Chimera highlighted the lies throughout the entire book (over 400) and Posts #3 to #9 here are devoted to Knox’s prison lies.

2. The Real Picture Of Italian Prison Conditions

The Italian prison system was historically always very humane - bathrooms and sometimes kitchens attached to cells; TV in all cells; walk-around rights during the day; numerous group activities such as concerts and games; hair-dressing for women and even massage; and skills training for inmates in an occupation of their choice (Guede and Sollecito both completed degrees).

Around five years ago, largely because of immigrant crimes, the prison population (previously below 100,000 - in the US, California prisons alone hold almost twice that) began to balloon.

New prisons were built, with no expenses spared, and in these images you can see the result.

Stories of extreme over-crowding have gone away, and the New York Times profiles the new prisons and their programs of today.

For years, Italy has struggled with its prison system, as well as how to balance punishment with rehabilitation. Overcrowding had become such a problem that in January 2013 the European Court of Human Rights ordered the country to fix the system. [Actually the ECHR cannot “order” anything, and anyway the building program was already well under way.]

Italian lawmakers responded with more alternative measures for minor crimes. In 2014, Italy also repealed harsh drug sentencing laws enacted during the 1990s, similar to the “three strikes” laws in the United States. In 2014, Italy began releasing 10,000 inmates (of roughly 60,000) who had been convicted of minor offenses.

But the issue of how best to rehabilitate offenders — and lower the recidivism rate — remained difficult. Italy has long allowed inmates in medium-security prisons to move around the facilities during the day.

“The main problem has been that they do little during the day, which doesn’t help them at the present, nor for their future outside prisons,” said Alessio Scandurra, who works for Antigone, a nonprofit group focused on the rights of detainees.

The Bollate prison was at the vanguard of experimentation even before opening the restaurant. Under the director, Massimo Parisi, the prison offers an array of programs. Companies have work programs on prison grounds. Volunteers teach theater and painting. Carpentry skills are taught in workshops equipped with power drills and saws. Inmates maintain a stable of horses in the prison yard.

There is also an initiative involving a carefully vetted group of 200 inmates who are allowed to leave each day for jobs with an outside firm. Inmates travel without supervision on public transportation; they must check in upon arrival at work, and at other points during the day.

Mr. Parisi said only one inmate had failed to return at the appointed time, and he showed up a few days later.

The Times reporter follows this with what has to be a global first - a topnotch restaurant run by inmates right inside one jail.




Posted on 03/07/16 at 05:11 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Saturday, March 05, 2016

Italian Justice & The Telling Status Of Extraditions To And From Italy

Posted by Peter Quennell




The Italian Justice System

Any faithful adherents of this campaign know that, in two respects, Italy’s popular justice system is very unusual. 

First, crime-rates and especially murder-rates are low by European standards and very low by American standards and its incarceration rate is only 1/6 that of the United States. At the same time it still does suffer under the presence of several mafias and their fellow travelers and nefarious cousins the rogue masons and corrupt politicians.

Second, Italy’s justice system was set up post WWII to be exceptionally fair to defendants and in subsequent reforms even more-so, for example all appeals are automatic and “fairness” process steps can stretch on for years. And yet even so, the mafias and their fellow travelers and rogue masons and corrupt politicians bend the system even more now and then to their advantage.

The Knox-Sollecito-Guede case played out in these contexts and was unquestionably corrupted.

There has still been zero attempt to repudiate these accusations of law-breaking by Judges Marasca and Bruno of the Fifth Chambers of Cassation. Sollecito’s several visits to the Caribbean hideyhole of these relatives to try to pull strings is known about on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Italian justice system does not give up easily. Multi-prong law-enforcement and media investigations do continue into those angles and other angles. To our occasional frustration they mostly play out behind the scenes. But clearly the case will not be not fully over for some years yet.

International Votes Of Approval

If countries agree to extradite to other countries, that suggests a high degree of trust in justice at both ends. They are in effect voting confidence in each other’s justice systems.

Italy achieves an exceptionally high rate of extraditions in both directions and continues to sign more bilateral treaties.

It is clearly trusted almost worldwide as a destination where those charged will receive a fair shake. And it is very no-nonsense about sending back fleeing felons who try to go to ground there.

Had Amanda Knox’s final appeal not been corrupted, it is extremely unlikely that any a-political judge in the United States would have concluded Italian police and prosecutors had done a poor job and refused to extradite her. Right now she would be serving out her much-deserved time in a nice Italian prison.

The CIA Operatives Case (Resumed)

Now back in the news is the Abu Omar kidnapping case. Remember that one? We posted on it frequently. See our posts here and here and here and here.

Milan CIA Chief Robert Lady and over 20 other CIA agents and several Italian agents kidnapped Abu Omar - a suspected radical who actually had zero involvement in terrorism - and most received prison sentences, some later anulled but not all of them.

For murky reasons Italy’s Ministry of Justice never formally requested the United States to extradite the operatives.

But they did initiate both European and worldwide arrest warrants (red notices) which are close to being the equivalent - they create a kind of living hell, label fugitives as felons worldwide, and make all their foreign travel parlous.

The fugitive Milan chief Robert Lady quietly set himself up in Panama which then had no extradition treaty with Italy. Panama was about to hand him over anyway, but he skipped out on an American aircraft. He was last heard from somewhere in the US lamenting that he is flat-broke (Italy seized his planned retirement home, his main asset) and not in good health and was muttering about suing the CIA or the State Department.

The President of the Italian Republic - the head of the justice system - did agree last year to reduce his sentence from nine to seven years.

Operative Sabrina de Souza

Sabrina de Souza (who has joint US and Portuguese citizenship) was another CIA operative the Italians have long wanted.

You can see her image above and in this report where she too was muttering about a lawsuit against the US government.

Five months ago, Sabrina de Souza was nabbed in Portugal and the Portuguese justice system observed due process in examining the arrest and extradition warrants.

It now seems likely that Sabrina de Souza will become the first CIA operative in the case to serve time in an Italian prison.

The US is not intervening, even though she may spill the beans in a way that could be embarrassing (well, embarrassing for the GW Bush legacy).

Our Own Learning Experience

Note that this case is five years older than Meredith’s case - the crime was in 2003 and trial in 2009 - and yet the legal processes keep ticking.

And Knox faces known further trials, and may not be safe from a red notice during her lifetime. 

Posted on 03/05/16 at 05:46 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Serial Killer Robert Pickton Tries To Cash In - Why Son-of-Sam Laws Should Be Enacted Worldwide

Posted by Chimera



Possibly not all of the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton, publicity hound

Son of Sam Anti Bloodmoney Laws

We explained here why laws against blood money are called Son of Sam laws in the US.

Attempts by murderers to persuade gullible publics by way of east access to tone-deaf publishers and TV is becoming an unwelcome phenomenon worldwide and maybe luring others into crime. 

Lawmakers worldwide are being prompted to set this right. There is currently no Son-of-Sam Law in the Canadian Province of British Columbia. Vancouver is the largest city in BC.

BC’s Robert Pickton Serial Killer Case

This is a Vancouver case now in the national Canadian news.

The transcription below is a jailhouse conversation between Robert Pickton, who stood accused of murder, and an undercover police officer.

[0:04] Pickton - They got me.  They got me on this one.

[0:07] Undercover - No.  No shit.

[0:18] Undercover - Fuck, what have they got? Fuck, there’s old carcasses.  So, what have they got, you know what I’m saying?

[0:26] Pickton - DNA

[0:28] Undercover - Fuck

[0:30] Pickton - Yeah

[0:32] Undercover - Come on buddy.  Fuck, that’s nothing.  They can’t finalize it though if you fucking got ... if you’ve fucking got a missing person.  It’s pretty hard to collect DNA on that

[0:44] Pickton - They got DNA

[0:45] Undercover - Fucking guy does it right.  I find the best way to dispose of something is fucking take it to the ocean

[0:56] Pickton - Oh really?

[0:58] Undercover - Oh, fuck, you know what the fucking ocean does to things?  There ain’t much left.

[1:14] Pickton - I did better than that.

[1:15] Undercover - Who?

[1:16] Pickton - Me

[1:17] Undercover - No. huh?

[1:34] Pickton - A rendering plant.

[1:36] Undercover - Hey?

[1:36] Pickton - A rendering plant.

[1:36] Undercover - Ha ha.  No shit.  That’s gotta be fucking pretty good, hey?

[1:44] Pickton - Mmm hmmm

[1:45] Undercover - There can’t be much fucking left?

[1:52] Pickton - Oh no, only I was kinda sloppy at the end, getting too sloppy.

Now, however, Pickton decides he doesn’t want to be just another inmate serving life.  He wants some fame, money and extra publicity as well.

Robert Picton’s Attempt At A Book

With this brazen act Robert Pickton joins the ranks of other sickos who commit murder and then cash in

    (1) O.J. Simpson was paid $600,000 for Pablo Fenjves and Dominick Dunn to write his book ‘’[If] I did it’‘.

    (2) Raffaele Sollecito was paid $950,000 for Andrew Gumbel to write his book ‘‘Honor Bound’’

    (3) Salvatore (Sammy) Gravano was paid $1.5 million for Peter Maas to write his book ‘‘Underboss’’

    (4) Amanda Knox was ostensibly paid $3.8 million (possible world record) for “Waiting to be Heard’‘

Pickton, who is serving 6 life sentences at the Kent Institution in British Columbia was apparently sending his work out piece by piece to Michael Chilldres out in California.  (Author’s Note: it is not clear if “Chilldres” is an alias).

Chilldres claims he only typed out the manuscript, and did not write it, and that it was being done for a friend.

The guards have long been aware of this, according to the Union.  But now that publishing is a reality, it is becoming clear that no effort was made to actually stop it.

    *** Side Note ***  Robert Pickton’s book, titled ‘‘Pickton: In his Own Words’’ was being sold by Barnes and Noble, who also helped Knox sell her (memoir) ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘.

    *** Side Note *** Pickton supposedly wrote his own manuscript, unlike creative writing graduate Knox.

    *** Side Note *** Pickton actually waited until his appeals were exhausted before writing a book (or having someone else do it).


A Partial Timeline

The numerous cruel murders took place more than a decade ago.

    December 2006: Jury selection takes place.

    December 2007: Pickton was convicted on 6 counts of 2nd degree murder (not 1st degree) and sentenced to 6 life sentences.

    February 2008: The B.C. Attorney General makes the controversial decision ‘‘not’’ to try Pickton for the additional 20 murders, if his current 6 convictions survive appeal

    June 2009: The BC Court of Appeals rejects 2-1 Pickton’s appeal for a new trial, saying the errors in jury instructions were not enough to overturn the conviction.

    July 2010: The Supreme Court of Canada rejects 9-0 Pickton’s appeal for a new trial.

    August 2010: BC confirms that to save time, money and hardship, the other 20 murder victims will not result in additional charges.

To clear up the confusion, the police and prosecutors actually had evidence that Pickton committed 26 murders, although he was suspected in many more. 

The Crown (Prosecution), chose to only prosecute the 6 strongest cases, leaving the other 20 in limbo.

The Crown argued that there wasn’t much of a difference between 6 life sentences and 26, and the time and expense had to be considered.

While this is true, it left a bad taste for the families of those victims.  Justice wasn’t being pursued literally because of convenience. 

Present State Of The Case

The Attorney General, Premier, and victims right’s groups are working to ensure not only that this book gets pulled, but that Pickton cannot profit from it. Some more:

Posted on 03/03/16 at 01:06 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Surprising Similarities Between Sammy The Bull Gravano And The Ex-Perps In Meredith’s Case

Posted by Chimera


Overview

This piece is about Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, an admitted serial killer.

He had a career in the mafia, and was the underboss and hitman for the notorious mob boss John Gotti.  Although his is a case about organized crime, there are many similarities between Gotti v Gravano, and Knox v Sollecito v Guede.

Some Gotti/Gravano history

John Gotti was a captain in the Gambino crime family (named after Carlo Gambino), based in New York, NY.  A serious problem emerged for him when several members of his ‘‘crew’’ were indicted for drug dealing.

These indictments included his younger brother, Gene Gotti, and Angelo Ruggiero, a childhood friend.  The policy within the crime family for many years had been ‘‘deal-and-die’‘.

The upper leadership of the mob had figured that drug dealing was too high profile a crime, and that the extra police attention was not worth it.  True, this was extremely hypocritical, as the bosses collected their cut of all income, knowing that a large portion of those proceeds came directly from drugs.

The drug indictments suddenly meant that John Gotti was in danger.

Though not personally implicated, he thought he might also be killed on the assumption that he approved of the alleged dealing.  He decided to strike first, to save his own neck by having then boss Paul Castellano ‘‘rubbed out’‘.  Gotti solicited the help of Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, who was known as a prolific killer.

Paul Castellano had inducted Gravano into the mob in 1978.  However, Gravano had no qualms about killing his ‘‘friend’’ since Gotti offered him even more: a promotion to ‘‘capo’’ or to ‘‘captain’‘.

Gravano helped Gotti set up the hit for December 16, 1985.  With Castellano (and driver Tommy Billoti who was at the time underboss) dead, the family was temporarily leaderless.  Gotti got himself voted in, and took over the Gambino family.

Castellano wasn’t the only ‘‘friend’’ that Gravano murdered, or would later murder.  Gravano murdered Robert di Bernardo—a business partner, Louie Molito—a childhood friend, and others.  He then took over any assets that they had.  Some ‘‘friend’‘.

For the next several years, Gotti deliberately put himself into the spotlight.  He managed to win 3 criminal trials, and seemed untouchable.  However, in 1990, his mouth got him into trouble, and the FBI recorded Gotti implicating himself and other Gambino associates on murder and other crimes.

Gotti also made many nasty insults towards Gravano, now his underboss.

Gotti, Gravano, and Frank LeCasio (then the 3rd in command) were arrested December 11, 1990.  All were held without bail.  When Gravano finally heard the tapes of what Gotti had been saying about him, he turned and became a ‘‘mob rat’‘.  Gotti and LeCasio were convicted of murder, racketeering and other crimes, and received life without parole. 

Gravano, however got a deal that would put Karla Homolka to shame: 5 years for 19 murders.  True, he could have served 20 for racketeering, but the judge cut it far below that.

For the complete interview, please see the YouTube video at the top here. This was shot in the 1990’s and converted to digital, so the quality is not that great.  Here are a few more for background.  The third one, the movie ‘‘Gotti’’ is fairly accurate, though off on some points.


Gambino family highlights

(1) Albert Anastasia (underboss to Vincent Magino) made his ‘‘friend’’ disappear.  Anastasia then took over.

(2) Carlo Gambino (underboss to Albert Anastasia) had his ‘‘friend’’ shot in a barbershop.  Gambino then took over.

(3) Carlo Gambino made sure the ‘‘best qualified person’’ took over when he had a heart attack.  He hand picked his brother-in-law Paul Castellano to succeed him.

(4) Paul Castellano’s underboss, Neil Delacroce, died of cancer.  Castellano hand picked his buddy, Tommy Bilotti, to become new underboss.

(5) John Gotti and Salvatore (Sammy) Gravano, had their ‘‘friend’’ Paul Castellano shot dead in public.  Gotti took over.

(6) While in prison, John Gotti made sure the best qualified person succeeded him as boss.  He hand picked his son, John Jr.

So…. murder and nepotism seem to be how the top spots get filled in the mafia.

Excerpts From the Video

2:55 (Gravano)  You can relate me to a soldier in Vietnam who killed hundreds of people.  I was a soldier of Cosa Nostra.  I am a hitman.

No. You are just a slimeball who kills for money.

3:25 (Gravano)  Here I am

3:30 (Sawyer)  They have said that you are the single most important witness ever to testify against the mob.

3:36 (Gravano)  I think I am.

3:39 (Sawyer)  So there’s a word you use, for people who turn ...

3:42 (Gravano)  Who cooperate.  You trying to goat me into the word?  Rat?  Is that the word?

3:51 (Sawyer)  That’s the word.  So are you a rat?

3:53 Gravano)  I look at it as ‘‘I was betrayed.  I betrayed him.’‘

3:59 (Sawyer)  Double crosser?

4:01 (Gravano) Loud sigh ... master double-crosser.  John’s a double-crosser.  I’m a master double-crosser.  We played chess, and he lost.

Gravano had in the past sneered at the idea of people testifying.  However, when it is his turn, he dismisses it as a game.

4:30 (Gravano)  Power has a way, where you can believe for a while that you can walk on water.  And I think this is what happened to him.

And people who can walk away from 19 murders?  What are they thinking?

5:25 (Sawyer)  Were you Gotti’s friend?

5:30 (Gravano)  His pit bull.  And his friend.

5:42 (Sawyer)  What was the reason, the real reason you cooperated?  Or was it just to save your skin?

5:48 (Gravano)  I was just tired of the mob, and tired of fighting.  It was a door out of the mob.  You know I watched the David Karresch incident, and I would say to myself: ‘‘how could these people get so brainwashed?  Are they crazy?  Are they nuts?’’ And then I look at myself in the mirror and I say ‘‘brainwashed?’’  Here I am on orders, killing people left and right.  And I’m calling them brainwashed.

6:18 (Sawyer)  There was a book written about you that you said you had a characteristic of committing murder with the non-chalence of someone pulling open the tab on a can of beer.  That was about all that it phased you, or about all it took.

6:30 (Gravano)  As far as being a hitman goes, I was actually good at it.

6:36 (Sawyer)  Because you were fast, and lethal?

6:39 (Gravano)  And loyal.  If I was on your case, I dropped everything.

6:45 (Sawyer)  Look at this list.  There are ... how many?

6:49 (Gravano) 19

6:51 (Sawyer)  Serial killers don’t have 19.

6:53 (Gravano)  We’re worse than they are.

Okay, which is it?  You turned on Gotti because it was a chess game?  Or you did it because you were tired of the mob and the games?  It can’t be both.

7:00 (Gravano)  We only kill ourselves.  What are you worried about?  The public seems to like what we do.  Look at John Gotti.  If I have 19, forget about what he has.  When he wanted a hit, he wanted it done yesterday.  He would sent me to supervise it, or to control it, make sure the job got done.  And I obviously did.  When you’re the boss, and you’re giving orders, you’re credited with all of it, even if you’re not on the street.

Gravano is pulling the ‘‘John was even worse’’ card here.  And he seems somewhat proud of what he has done.  Sicko.

17:55 (Gravano)  I remember something that surprised me is that I had no remorse at all.  None.  I didn’t feel sorry for him in the least.  I felt power.  I felt like my adrenaline in my body was completely out of control.

18:09 (Sawyer)  You were excited?

18:13 (Gravano)  I guess it’s like an animal going after its prey.

18:35 (Gravano)  Everything changed.  .... At a club, oh, no Sammy, you don’t have to wait in line.  You can come right in.

18:40 (Sawyer)  You were a player?

18:45 (Gravano)  I was out of the minor leagues.  I was in the major leagues.

No comment needed.

Other parallels with our pair

  • Gravano is of Italian-American descent.
  • Knox is American.
  • Sollecito is Italian.


  • Gravano was paid $1.5 million for ‘‘his’’ book called Underboss.
  • Knox was paid $3.8 million for ‘‘her’’ book called Waiting to be Heard.
  • Sollecito was paid $950,000 for ‘‘his’’ book, called Honor Bound


  • Gravano tried to ‘‘cash in’’ on his murders by admitting what he had done.
  • Knox/Sollecito tried to ‘‘cash in’’ on Meredith’s murder


  • ’‘Gravano’s’’ book was really written by Peter Maas.
  • ’‘Knox’s’’ book was really written by Linda Kuhlman.
  • ’‘Sollecito’s’’ book was really written by Andrew Gumbel.


  • The families of Gravano’s victims are outraged he is cashing in on the notoriety of his crimes.
  • The Kercher family is outraged AK/RS are cashing in on the notoriety of their crimes.


  • Gravano got an interview from Diane Sawyer.
  • Knox’s first (of many) interviews was with Diane Sawyer.
  • Sollecito’s first (of several) interviews was with Katie Couric.


  • Gambino boss John Gotti was referred to as ‘‘John Gotti’‘.
  • Sammy Gravano was referred to as ‘‘John Gotti’s Hitman’‘.
  • Amanda Knox is referred to as ‘‘Amanda Knox’‘
  • Raffaele Sollecito is referred to as ‘‘Amanda Knox’s Italian Ex-Boyfriend’‘


  • Gravano has no problems airing personal details about his ‘‘friend’’ John.
  • Knox has no problems airing personal details about her ‘‘friend’’ Meredith.


  • Gravano criticizes Gotti’s public lifestyle, then after his deal becomes a media whore.
  • Knox claims she wants to live in peace, but becomes a media whore to sway public opinion, and sell ‘‘her’’ book.
  • Sollecito claims he was just dragged into Knox’s case, but becomes a media whore for the same reasons as Knox.


  • Gravano blames Gotti for destroying the Gambino family, even though he was the one who testified at trial.
  • Knox seems to blame Meredith for her own death, even though she stuck the knife in (well, she had it coming).


  • Gravano (at least he claims) to have rigged Gotti’s racketeering trial to ensure an acquittal (or at worst a hung jury)
  • Knox’s and Sollecito’s case was rigged by Hellmann/Zanetti and Marsca/Bruno to ensure an acquittal.


  • Gravano was psychologically evaluated before leaving prison, and the results were disturbing.
  • Knox and Sollecito were psychologically evaluated in prison, and the results were disturbing.


  • Gravano smeared other mob associates for getting involved with drug trafficking.
  • Knox smeared others (especially in her book) for drug use.


  • Gravano’s drug smears were hypocritical as he was later brought to justice for drug trafficking.
  • Knox’s drug smears were hypocritical, as she was into drugs, and slept with a dealer (Federico Martini) for drugs.


  • Gravano’s most depraved act (outside of murder), was marrying a woman whose brother he had killed (Nick Scibetta).
  • Knox’s most depraved act (outside of murder), was continuing her sex-for-drugs deal even after Meredith’s death.
  • Sollecito’s most depraved act (outside of murder), was his various bride shopping efforts to avoid extradition.


  • Warning signs?  Gravano murdered his business ‘‘friends’‘, so betraying Gotti was no real surprise.
  • Warning signs?  Knox staged a break in, wrote rape stories, and threw rocks at cars, so violence in her home was no real surprise.
  • Warning signs?  Sollecito had supposedly attacked a classmate with scissors, so stabbing someone was no real surprise.


  • Collateral damage?  Gravano was prepared to kill innocent bystanders during the December 16, 1985 hit on boss Paul Castellano.
  • Collateral damage?  Knox framed an innocent person (Lumumba), and tried to pin it all on accomplice Rudy Guede.
  • Collateral damage?  Sollecito helped to pin it all on Guede, and cost his sister Vanessa her career with the Carabinieri.


A Final Thought:

Knox liked the Beatles.  Here is ‘‘Working Class Hero’’ by John Lennon.

.... There’s room at the top
They’re telling you still
.... But first you must learn how to
Smile as you kill
.... If you want to be like all
The folks on the ‘Hill

Posted on 02/26/16 at 09:17 PM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why The Peaking Of Rage And Early Deaths Of Middle-Aged Lower-Prospects Whites In The US?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Recently a study was published showing that middle-aged less-successful whites in the US are dying off unusually fast.

Approximately this same group may be behind the “radical” candidatures for president of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. No question but that those supporters have a serious unmet need.

It may also be behind a lot of the rage we encounter on the web.

In the New York Times this “reference group theory” hypothesis by Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist, has just appeared. Excerpts from a longer whole:

Why are whites overdosing or drinking themselves to death at higher rates than African-Americans and Hispanics in similar circumstances? Some observers have suggested that higher rates of chronic opioid prescriptions could be involved, along with whites’ greater pessimism about their finances.

Yet I’d like to propose a different answer: what social scientists call reference group theory. The term “reference group” was pioneered by the social psychologist Herbert H. Hyman in 1942, and the theory was developed by the Columbia sociologist Robert K. Merton in the 1950s. It tells us that to comprehend how people think and behave, it’s important to understand the standards to which they compare themselves.

How is your life going? For most of us, the answer to that question means comparing our lives to the lives our parents were able to lead. As children and adolescents, we closely observed our parents. They were our first reference group.

And here is one solution to the death-rate conundrum: It’s likely that many non-college-educated whites are comparing themselves to a generation that had more opportunities than they have, whereas many blacks and Hispanics are comparing themselves to a generation that had fewer opportunities….

In the fourth quarter of 2015, the median weekly earnings of white men aged 25 to 54 were $950, well above the same figure for black men ($703) and Hispanic men ($701). But for some whites — perhaps the ones who account for the increasing death rate — that may be beside the point.

Their main reference group is their parents’ generation, and by that standard they have little to look forward to and a lot to lament.

In a comment on a previous thread our frequent poster Grahame Rhodes described a syndrome among ex-military looking for a cause, and asked if we have any ideas.

Strange thing about the civilian mind set concerning Military personnel who have been involved in the actual horrors of warfare. Most civilians are squeamish about the necessity of eradicating an enemy by killing them. They deny the horrors of warfare by pretending that it does not exist, and yet civilians pay for the training and the arming of military personnel to keep them safe. Of course after soldiers are no longer members of any military organization they are generally ignored and even vilified for having taken part in saving any form of saving democracy.

Recently I was at a reunion quite close to Seattle, and sitting at a table among a group of perhaps thirty or so old soldiers the closes one asked me.
“What do you see?”
I said “I see a lot of old soldiers.”
The answer I got was as follows.
“Ah yes but I see far more than that. See him over there? He’s a weapons tech, or perhaps him, he used to teach unarmed combat, or those two who have served in several hot spots the world over.
There is a wealth of knowledge here from medics to drivers etc: But there is something far more important. Everybody you see, all highly trained in warfare and subversive operations are bored out of their mind. They need something to do.”

I said that was very true and very interesting. The point being that when old soldiers are put out to pasture all that training goes to waste. That is a shame and something should be done about it.

Any suggestions?

My own suggestion for what it’s worth was this.

Great story. I know many or most ex-military have a tough time. Here’s an idea that I think might provide them with a viable way forward.

You’d think from what comes out of Hollywood that all our great problems can only be solved by some perverse lone-wolf superhero maverick essentially working against great resistance and with no team or one that is very small.

In fact that is not at all how most real progress works. The two things that create all good change are (1) group-group-group and (2) “seeing” systems and how to adjust them or build new ones afresh.

Really huge and significant processes can be made to come alive, which would fit well with most purely military missions. The kind of thing totally lacking after Bush’s wonderful war in Iraq,

A massive lack throughout the world of people skilled and organized according to these two principles is the root cause of global growth slowing down. There is shockingly little of it going on though US corporations and some others are doing more than they did.

Ex military are already at least 50% down the road in each of them.

They have learned dozens of systems, including the personal skills part, and they are very used to doing things in groups.

“Civilianizing” those abilities could have them playing key roles in exciting processes in communities and corporations and so on that need to upgrade.

Do you know of any book or training that says anything like this? If not I sense a need. As to what to read first, I’d suggest this book as a “compulsory read”.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-Business/dp/0062060244

Posted on 02/23/16 at 08:24 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyThe wider contextsN America context
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sollecito v Italy & Guede: Damning Incriminations He Will Probably Be Faced With #1

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Sollecito in one of numerous interviews, usually falling short of convincing everyone

Series Overview

We will be running series summarizing the damning and still-standing facts against Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede.

With this post we start into the damning and still-standing facts against Sollecito. He and his father and legal team have already filed a damages lawsuit in Florence against the Republic of Italy.

His intention seems also to be to sue Rudy Guede for defamation. In the RAI interview Guede did pretty solidly place him at the scene of the crime.

These posts will suggest what Sollecito could see thrown back at him. We’ve already pointed out that previous legal threats and court filings went nowhere. We may of course see that happen here also.

Exhibit One

This first post consists of a pre-emptive rebuttal by the pro-bono team working for Rudy Guede at Viterbo Prison. (He also has a pro-bono legal team in Rome now.) They are responding to an attempt by Sollecito to put his case to bed in the weekly Oggi.

As with Guede’s interview this includes claims that are very self-serving. But it does also highlight the kinds of problems Sollecito faces.  It is kindly translated and submitted by Guermantes, one of our friends at PMF dot Net.. Guermantes used Catnip’s new translation of the Micheli Report.

***

February 5, 2016

The Centre for Criminological Studies of Viterbo responds - on behalf of Rudy Guede - to Sollecito’s assertions made in the Oggi article of January 26, 2016:

Raffaele Sollecito responds to Rudy Guede: “How many lies in the interview with Leosini”

Raffaele Sollecito “challenges” Rudy Guede on stories told by the Ivorian on TV

OGGI, analyzing word for word the interview with the Ivorian, imprisoned for the murder of Meredith Kercher, has identified at least eight omissions and blatant lies aired without being corrected. Among these, the appointment with the girl, the denial of having performed thefts, the use of hard drugs, the content of the judgment of the Supreme Court regarding the placement of Sollecito and Knox in the murder house.

The story of Rudy Guede still stands up though. Here is why …

Viterbo - Received and published – We learned of Raffaele Sollecito’s indignation, who, in an article published by a well-known weekly (Oggi, ed), complains about the inappropriateness of the broadcast of the ‘Cursed Stories’ program, in addition to the way it was recorded and run without contradiction[uncontested].

On this point, it is hardly necessary to recall that Raffaele Sollecito had been the guest on a large number of programs such as Porta a Porta, La vita in diretta, Domenica In, Piazza Italia (Rai programs, public television), Quarto Grado, Pomeriggio 5, Matrix (Mediaset), Otto e Mezzo (La7). All this - before, during and after the trials / verdicts that concerned him.

In the article just published, he notes, however, that comments and observations about current events should be offered before the verdicts and not after. Otherwise we would be “in the presence of a surreal fourth degree of judgment.”

We respect this opinion but we would also like to add that another school of thought argues that trials should be conducted in courtrooms and not on the pages of newspapers or in television studios. And Rudy Guede has waited eight years until the end of all sets of proceedings (including those relating to Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox) before expressing his opinion.

Among other things, during a single television broadcast and not on the talk show circuit of national broadcasters. A choice, of Rudy, which should be respected. Because it is broadly related to the principles and values that characterize the Italian legal system.

Then, shifting the focus to the set-up of the program “without contradiction” [counter-arguments], it is necessary to point out at the outset that, in all those years of “Cursed Stories” programming, no one has ever complained about this mode. Moreover, Raffaele Sollecito himself was also the only guest “without contradiction.” Beginning with Porta a Porta of Bruno Vespa and ending with Otto e Mezzo of Lilly Gruber.

The [Oggi} article summarizes in eight points the alleged lies by Rudy quoting in some cases (not all) excerpts from transcripts or judgments about the case of Perugia. We try to respond to each of them, expressing the views of Rudy.

Point #1)

Rudy had no appointment with Meredith? It may be! But speaking of appointments, the Court of first instance expressed itself by saying that “it is normal for twenty-somethings in a university town to meet up in the usual places without having to first set up a notary’s deed. “ [Par. 206.50] (page 93, Sentence of the First Degree Rudy Guede). This statement may also be taken into account even in the case of objection to Rudy’s words as having no value?

Still on point 1, credence is given to a few statements by Mr. Barrow, without saying, however, that the same had not only debunked at the hearing all his previous claims, but had also been in conflict with Rudy as regards girls. Moreover, the testimony of Mr. Barrow was interrupted by “the emergence of criminal behavior regarding monetary negotiations with a television news organization” (p.52). So much so that the witness was deemed unreliable.

Source: The Micheli Report

[194] Mr BARROW, already interviewed by the Public Prosecutor on the 11th of December 2007, which is to say a few days after Mr GEUDE’s return from Germany, had declared to knowing Mr GUEDE for some years, having often played basketball. On that occasion, though, he specified not moving in the same circles as him, due to RUDY being a habitual liar, drinking and using drugs, not to mention annoying the girls by molesting them in public and trying to kiss them.

[195] As for Ms KERCHER, who he described as shy and reserved, Mr BARROW had said he knew her from their shared visiting of the night clubs in the town centre, and in fact he had seen her on Halloween at the Domus, where – he says – RUDY definitely wasn’t; nor did it appear to him that the accused knew MEREDITH, and according to him it was not in fact true that he had spoken to her or had met her.

[196] In court, Mr BARROW restructured his grounds, saying for example that Mr GUEDE used to drink but a bit like how all the other young men were doing it, even if he had often seen him drunk; he instead denied being certain about any drug use on the part of RUDY, about whom he had mentioned it only for having heard gossip.

And also as regards the molestations, he corrected the gist of what he’d said in remembering only once when the detainee had struck up a conversation with a girl, without knowing that she was actually Mr BARROW’s girlfriend, and a squabble arose: on other occasions, he had seen him pull a girl towards himself while they were talking, although describing it as a gesture common to many others of the same age.

[197] On RUDY’s lies, the witness limited himself to saying that one time Mr GUEDE had been accused of having robbed something in a discotheque from a girl’s purse [translator’s note: handbag in BrE], the accused had immediately denied it, but then it had come out on the grapevine that it certainly had been him; on the presumed certainty that Mr GUEDE had not been at the “Domus” on the evening of the 31st of October, finally saying (and in effect he could not have said otherwise, ab initio) that he had not seen him, without being able to rule out that he really was there.

[198] The testimony, which in practice had not led to anything of significance being acquired, was then interrupted by the emergence of the outlines of an offence by Mr BARROW, concerning negotiations of a monetary nature with a leading television journalist, in whose regard he had presented a claim of trespass (when in reality he had invited those reporters in asking them for money for an interview), and it turned out he had then put forth a further request for money to settle things back to normal.

Point # 2)

Rudy is a serial thief? The article in question contains two sentences that actually relate to the same incident five days before the tragedy, namely his entering an asylum in Milan. A reprehensible episode. So much so that Rudy has earned a related conviction for it (i.e. for possession of stolen goods.). However, beyond this, there is not a single record of another conviction, nor the presence of a complaint concerning other items mentioned in the article. Not only that, but the same Sentence of First Instance refers on page 101 to the absence of a “previous criminal record”, Rudy not having been tried yet for the Milan incident.

[Par. 44]”…on 27 October 2007 (ergo, just five days before the murder) he had been identified in the Milan jurisdiction and had been charged without arrest [a piede libero] for theft, receipt of stolen goods, holding and carrying arms.

Point # 3)

Rudy had left genetic traces in Meredith’s purse? In the trial papers we have not read even one time that Rudy’s genetic material was found inside her purse; if anything, only on the outside. And the difference is not trivial. In fact, finding his trace on the outside of the purse would allow to assume / hypothesize a simple movement of the object in question, while claim to have isolated Rudy’s DNA inside it would mean that the boy might have really went through it, the latter circumstance, which did not result in any conviction, was not confirmed because not supported by any element.

It is therefore in itself horrible and defamatory, the expression used in the [Oggi] article: “While Meredith was bleeding to death” Rudy “rummaged” [in her purse,] Also cell phones and anything else missing from Meredith’s bag were found elsewhere, without any fingerprints or traces of Rudy.

As far as first aid provided by Rudy to Meredith, his efforts were described even by judges who – still on p.101 of the Sentence of First Instance – conclude: “not being able to explain otherwise the presence near the body of three towels.”

Point # 4)

flight into disco. As unspeakable as this behavior is, it is hardly necessary to mention that as regards Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, the Court of Appeal judges commented that there were “numerous and varied ways of how human beings react,  faced with tragic situations” (taken from the Supreme Court with reference on page 17). Why should the same not apply to Rudy?

Point # 5)

Rudy is a liar and he used cocaine? It is true that during the indictments are read expressions like the ones shown in quotation marks in the [Oggi] article, but in many circumstances the same assertions are revisited and subsequently confirmed by the judgments. Moreover, even as regards Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, it states that “the two have given versions not supported by objective evidence and not credible”.

Among other things, it is certainly not the case of measuring the credibility of all the defendants relying on the seriousness of the lies told; otherwise it would be appropriate to recall that Amanda Knox put at the scene of the crime an innocent, namely Lumumba, who only through an iron-clad alibi managed to get out of it.

[Par. 260.77] “It must finally be taken into account, still on the level of serious indicia of guilt and however arguing a contrario, that the two accused have given implausible versions [of alibis] or not substantiated by objective corroboration.

[Par. 260.78] “The circumstance of the missing memory or of the state of confusion, perhaps invoked with (convenient) reference to suggestive pressures on the one hand, or cloudiness of mind through use of stupefactants on the other hand, does not have concrete merit.

Point # 6)

On this point Rudy says nothing special, so we do not understand just where the challenge is to what he said during the TV program.

Point # 7)

The presence of Amanda and Raffaele at the crime scene. It turns out that during transmission Rudy have never claimed to have recognized the person he encountered that evening in via della Pergola. So we don’t understand the complaints about the alleged presence in that house.

It should be noted that in the Supreme Court ruling that absolves Sollecito and Knox is stated (p. 44) that “the hypothesized presence of the current appellants cannot in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt.”

Why cannot the same reflection be taken into account for Rudy? Because the latter would leave traces “everywhere”? Rudy was there and admitted to having been there.

It should however be pointed out that this alleged abundance of traces must be scaled down seeing that on page 97 of the Sentence of First Instance it states that “the quantity of biological material referable to the accused could have been categorized, in effect, as minimal” [Par. 201], “ultimately nothing suggests that there was Rudy’s biological material in great abundance.”

[Par. 201] ”… with the conclusion that the biological material of Ms KERCHER was abundant, and Mr GUEDE’s, in proportion, was quite small.”

[Par. 9.3 on p.41 of the English translation (“pre-final”) of the Bruno/Marasca Report]:  “…the supposed presence in the house of the current appellants cannot, in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt.”

Point # 8)

In the last point it is reported that the substantial reasons for the denial of permission to obtain benefits requested by Rudy is to be attributed to the “lack of critical review of what has happened. He has not showed any remorse or repentance”.

First, if you intend to bring back quotation marks, it would be appropriate to bring it [the quote] back as it was actually written. And that is: “…found that the applicant has committed serious crimes in respect of which he does not recognize his responsibilities.”

Why would he recognize [his responsibilities] if he claims to be innocent to the point of wanting to request a review of the process? Is it not his right? Or the rights that characterize the Italian legal system do not apply to Rudy?

If he really is a liar, he takes the consequences and responsibilities. But ultimately, in this dramatic story, it seems that it is widely assumed. Maybe - and we stress, maybe - far beyond his faults.

Posted on 02/17/16 at 04:37 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeHoaxes SollecitoSollec not-present hoaxSollecito's alibisSollecito book hoaxesSollec persona hoax
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Italy Fights For Justice For A Murdered Student As The Pathetic UK Government Never Did

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above: a minute’s silence in the Italian parliament for Giulio Regeni an Italian student found slain in Cairo a few days ago.

Hundreds of mourners have gathered in a village in northern Italy for the funeral of Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge PhD student found tortured and dead in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo last week.

Flags were flying at half-mast in Fiumicello, where villagers offered spare rooms and couches for the 28-year-old’s friends and family, as the diplomatic fallout from his death continued in Rome.

The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, warned Egypt that the health of the relationship between the two countries rested on the quality of the investigation into Regeni’s killing.

Compare with how the UK government reacted after Meredith died. Basically it looked the other way. Many in Italian justice were amazed at how totally disinterested the UK government was in the case in all the years since Meredith’s death.

The US government sprang into action to help Knox and to make sure she was treated right, though there was no proof the Italians would do anything but. They found her a Rome lawyer with good English (Carlos Dalla Vedova) and monitored all her court sessions and her four years in Capanne.

This came at a probable cost of over half a million dollars. And that is just the public support. Nobody ever said “the Federal budget cannot stand this”.

The extent of the British government in pushing justice for Meredith and her family? Exactly zero over the years.

Nothing was ever paid toward the legal costs or the very high travel costs of the Kercher family to be in court as the family finances ran into the ground. Nobody from the Foreign Office in London or the UK Embassy in Rome observed in court except in Florence, just the once.

Appalling pro-Knox Italy-bashing in the UK media based on highly inaccurate accounts was never tamped down - presumably because the Foreign Office was itself in the dark, and did not have a clue what was going on.

The ugly message this sent to the world?  If you are going to be a student in foreign trouble, be an American or Italian. Not a Brit.

However, years after four-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal, the UK government is spending heavily to right a possible wrong there.  Back in 2007 Meredith’s case and Madeleine’s case began just a few weeks apart.

Maybe to right a possible wrong in Italy, the UK government could do likewise here.


Posted on 02/14/16 at 12:13 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Other legal processesOthers ItalianThe wider contextsItalian contextItalian system
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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Endemic Hints By RS That He WAS One Of The Real Killers Pretty Blatant In Italy #1

Posted by Peter Quennell



TV commentator Selvaggia Lucarelli voices what numerous Italians think


“Social Network For Dead People Launched In Italy By Amanda Knox’s Ex-Boyfriend”

We didnt make that headline up. Really. Sollecito’s gruesome venture is described here.

Called Memories, the business will provide a wide range of “graveyard” services, including lightning candles for the deceased, laying wreaths and flowers at graves, and even tombstone cleaning. Once a service is completed, the client’s profile will be updated with a high-resolution photo showing the work done. The prices start at €45 (50 dollars).

The project received a €66,000 grant (nearly $74,000) from Apulia’s regional authorities. Some extra expenses were covered by Sollecito and his family, The Local reported.

According to Sollecite, the idea came to him after his mother died in 2005. The grieving young man thought it would be a convenient way to look after her grave. “I wanted a way to make remembering her easier,” he explained.

Selvaggia Lucarelli is an influential blogger and a sharp and often very funny guest commentator on many TV shows in Italy.  Like many in Italy, she doesnt just want to hold her nose and give the death-fixated fruitcake a free pass.

This time Sollecito ends up in the clutches of a journalist known for her controversy and sharp tone.

It seems that Lucarelli did not welcome the new start-up by the engineer from Puglia.

“See, Raffaele Sollecito, this thing to create a portal for funerals may seem clever but but is really macabre and in addition paints you for who you are (disrespectful and unintelligent) and casts an even more disturbing shadow over you - 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.

But there is obviously a sadistic pleasure in you wanting to see yourself still, with your hair slicked back and a funereal expression, on the front pages of newspapers associated with the word “death” and social networks associated with predictable jokes on the name Meredith.

Meredith needs to be remembered and respected in the silence of your home, not on a portal through which you try to make your wallet fat - you know that wont happen - and boost your macabre popularity.


Thursday, February 04, 2016

Subtitled In English, Videos Of All Of The RAI Rudy Guede Interview Start Here

Posted by Eric Paroissien

The scene-changing Rudy Guede interview on the government owned Italian network RAI, with subtitles throughout.

Please tell us of technical problems? At the end of each video there SHOULD be a link to the next.

If they dont show up, here are all the direct links.  One and Two and Three and Four and Five and Six and Seven and Eight and Nine and Ten and Eleven. That’s it.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Knox’s Unsound Appeal To The European Court Of Human Rights Slapped Down By Cassation

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Knox lawyer Carlos Dalla Vedova may have drafted the dishonest ECHR appeal

1. The False Rumor Of ECHR Acceptance Of Knox Case

Eagle-eyed Ergon picked up this rumor, said to come from Chris Mellas (so whats new?): “Word on the street is the ECHR has accepted Knox’s appeal”

Really? Accepted? We contacted the Press Office in Strasbourg and they promptly denied it: “The case in question will be examined by the Court in due time. No decision has been taken as to its admissibility so far.”

That is the limbo status of about 95% of cases from all member countries lodged with the ECHR. The Court has in fact complained that Italian defense lawyers in particular are bogging down the Court’s work with numerous cases on spurious grounds.

2. The Knox Case Fails Our Extensive Lie-Checking

That Knox’s appeal was premature, legally unsound and factually incorrect was shown in great posts by Kermit and James Raper and FinnMacCool. James Raper also attacked the appeal from another angle.

Our mega-series on the Knox interrogation hoax and the Knox false confession hoax presented hard proof, not only that Knox had NOT been leaned on to criminally frame Patrick - she had not even been interrogated.

Her own lawyers had never once supported her, except in trying to chill her hyperbole when she was on the witness stand at her trial.

Nevertheless Knox still airs the phony torture charge at every opportunity, even including that false claim in her infamous email to Judge Nencini - which he sarcastically brushed aside with the advice that Knox should turn up in person.

3. The Knox Case Also Fails ECHR’s Own Submission Rules

ECHR appeals are not eligible for consideration before ALL national legal processes have been exhausted.

Nevertheless, the Knox team jumped the gun in filing the appeal several years early, and even trying to delay the final ruling of the Fifth Chambers so it could come first.

4. The Knox Case Also Fails Italian Law And Case Facts

The Knox defense in filing its submission to the Fifth Chambers had to reveal what its ECHR case was all about. Finally, some hard facts out in the open.

The case included once again the malicious charge Knox again and again makes of “torture”. Here is a summary of the Knox team’s ECHR appeal, as summarised in the Fifth Chambers Report: 

[4.1] And at the end, a delay of the judgment is proposed while waiting for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, following the presentation to the international judicial body on the appeal of 11.22.2013, for alleged violation of the right to an equal trial, according to the article 6 par. 3 lett. a/c ECHR; for alleged violation of defense rights, according to the article 48 par. 2 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; and for the violation of the prohibition on torturing, according to the articles 3 ECHR and 4 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

But Judges Marasca and Bruno for the Fifth Chambers ruled that Knox had no grounds for such a delay in their own appeal.

And beyond that, Judges Marasca and Bruno ruled (warning the Court in Strasbourg) that Knox had no ECHR case at all under Italian law.  In effect the ECHR should not waste its time.

[2.2]The request of Amanda Knox’s defense aimed at the postponing of the present trial to wait for the decision of the European Court of Justice [sic] has no merit, due to the definitive status of the guilty verdict for the crime of calunnia now protected as a partial final status against a denouncement of arbitrary and coercive treatments allegedly carried out by the investigators against the accused to the point of coercing her will and damaging her moral freedom in violation of article 188 of penal procedure code.

And also a possible decision of the European Court in favor of Ms. Knox, in the sense of a desired recognition of non-orthodox treatment of her by investigators, could not in any way affect the final verdict not even in the event of a possible review of the verdict considering

  • the slanderous accusations that the accused produced against Lumumba consequent to the asserted coercions; and

  • confirmed by her before the Public Prosecutor [Dr Mignini] during the subsequent session, in a context which, institutionally, is immune from anomalous psychological pressures; and

  • also confirmed in her memoriale, at a moment when the same accuser was alone with herself and her conscience in conditions of objective peacefulness, sheltered from environmental influence;

  • and were even restated, after some time, during the validation of the arrest of Lumumba, before the investigating judge in charge.


5. As ECHR Case Fails On All Fronts No Joy For Knox

A Strasbourg legal clerk only has to read the words in that last paragraph in bold, and the next notice from the ECHR Press Office will say that the appeal has been rejected.

End of story. Give it a rest, Chris Mellas and Amanda Knox.

Posted on 02/03/16 at 06:16 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Knox ECHR hoax
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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Prime Minister Renzi’s Proposed Reforms Might Have Received A Strange Nudge

Posted by Peter Quennell





So the President of Iran and the Prime Minister of Italy sit in a museum in Rome and stare at… a horse.

You probably know by now that eight nude statues in a Rome museum, male and female, were boxed up on somebody’s orders when the President of Iran visited to discuss several multi-billion-dollar deals.

It was hard to see any relevance of the resultant fuss to our case at all, but the New York Times helps us out.

As a consequence of Boxgate, Italy has suffered ridicule. Nothing is worse than ridicule. Here it is merited. Not so much, I would argue, for Italy’s clumsy attempt at courtesy, for courtesy is important and has become an undervalued virtue. Reading the fall of the West into the concealment of a nude is going too far. Mistakes happen.

No, the ridicule is merited because the decision to hide the works of art was, it seems, made by nobody. In Rome, the buck stops nowhere.

The Capitoline Venus just boxed herself up one night because she was bored and took a few deities along with her.

The prime minister, Matteo Renzi, did not know. The foreign minister did not know. The culture minister called the decision “incomprehensible.” They were, they insist (perhaps too much), as surprised as anyone to find all those white cubes — none, incidentally, provided by the prestigious White Cube gallery in London.

One account has it that a woman named Ilva Sapora who works at Palazzo Chigi, where Renzi’s office is located, made the decision after visiting the Capitoline with Iranian Embassy officials. “Nonsense,” Jas Gawronski, a former Italian member of the European Parliament, told me. The notion that a midlevel Chigi official in charge of ceremonial matters could have made the decision does seem far-fetched. Gawronski believes it is more likely to have been officials at the Farnesina, home to the Foreign Ministry.

One thing can be safely said: Nobody will ever know. I was a correspondent in Rome for some years in the 1980s. Periodically there would be developments in terrorist cases — the Piazza Fontana bombing of 1969 or the Brescia bombing of 1974. Trials, verdicts, appeals followed one another. Facts grew murkier, not clearer. It would take decades to arrive at convictions that did not resolve doubts. Italy has never had much time for the notion that justice delayed is justice denied.

Renzi has wanted to break with this Italy of murky secrets, modernize it, bring stable government and install accountability.

So this incident in a blazing spotlight could even help to push the current reforms of the justice and governance systems along.

And the strongest reform proponents of all? To escape this hamster wheel, judges and prosecutors of Italy. 

Posted on 02/02/16 at 08:01 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in The wider contextsItalian contextItalian system
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why Guede’s Ex-Lawyers Really Bailed On Him? The Italian Perception

Posted by Peter Quennell





Way too much is being made of this in the US in a wrong way.

Biscotti and Gentile of Perugia are not Italy’s winningest team. They have had precisely two cases of national significance in Italy. And both of their clients are serving long terms in prison.

  • Rudy Guede is serving 16 years in Viterbo Prison awarded by the Perugia court and confirmed by Cassation and another three years awarded by the Milan court for stolen property.

  • Salvatore Parolisi (seen above with the lawyers) was sentenced to 20 years for killing his wife Melania Rea with 35 stab wounds, and is appealing for a sentence reduction (really).

We posted a lot on Melania’s case starting even before it was clear that her soldier-husband killed her, in a very elaborate premeditated staging so he could continue life with his girlfriend.

Salvatore and Melania had a little daughter. Melania’s parents not only washed their hands of him after initially defending him, believing his tale that he was innocent.

They ran a blowtorch of a media campaign against him, the sort of thing Knox & Sollecito escaped, and for a while there he was the most hated man in Italy.

To their considerable credit, Biscotti and Gentile do accept to try to defend these low-income clients. But their fees cannot be remotely like those of the Sollecito and Knox teams.

And they do need to win some cases, and to attract more cases, and it is hard to see how they can help Guede to win anything at all in the law courts.

In fact, they never have won anything, ever, for Guede.

He chose the short-form trial in Perugia and the sentence was eventually set by Judge Massei at 16 years under the formula. The three years he was awarded in Milan was to code also.

Ten to one against this, but if the Sollecitos DO sue Rudy Guede as they are threatening for fingering RS as one of Meredith’s killers he is likely to spill the beans entirely.

That wont require any lawyers.

Posted on 01/27/16 at 09:38 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRudy GuedeThose officially involvedThe defensesHoaxes GuedeGuede bad guy hoax
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is Francesco Sollecito Forced Into Legal Aggression He Didnt Want & Which Could Rebound?

Posted by Peter Quennell




Legal Development

Francesco Sollecito is being reported as denouncing Guede and initiating actions against him - and the Republic of Italy.

What must have looked to him nicely wound up by the Fifth Chambers at the end of March last year does seem to have a pesky tendency to become unwound.

It was unwound a bit by the continuance of Sollecito’s book trial in which RS lawyer Bongiorno refused to become involved. It was unwound a bit by the charges Dr Mignini requested against the RS lawyer Maori mid-year. It was unwound a bit by the Fifth Chambers with the poisoned sting at the end of its Report.

That Motavazione as phrased could open the way to a wrongful death suit against Sollecito (and Knox) or a petition to the President. A “guilty” verdict on the numerous false claims in Sollecito’s book could open the way to civil suits.

The petition was filed today at the Court of Appeal of Florence by their lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. The lawyers decided to turn to the last trial court that dealt with the process. In particular, they demanded compensation of 516,000 Euros for the detention to which Sollecito was submitted from 6 November 2007 to 4 October 2011.

The computer engineer from Puglia has always proclaimed he was not involved in the murder and was finally acquitted along with Amanda Knox.  “I can not spend my life defending myself from something I have not done ...”: Raffaele Sollecito commented on the interview… 

He was followed by his father Francesco in transmitting a statement from their home in Puglia. “Raffaele is shocked and outraged,” said Francesco Sollecito. “I am also deeply outraged. I did not even sleep last night.” The father of Raffaele - finally acquitted for a murder he always proclaimed he was outside of - criticized in particular “Guede’s attitude towards the brutally murdered girl. Guede is refuted by the procedural documents, many of which are omitted in the interview. It was denied, among other things, by Raffaele’s friends that there was a random meeting with Meredith Kercher.”

“Guede still has to explain why he was in that house and why he went to the disco after finding the body. Let us remember, Francesco Sollecito empahsized again, that he is a person definitively convicted of murder. “

No mention at all of Knox? She was the one Guede really nailed, though Raffaele was pretty firmly placed at the crime scene too.

Last year, a bombastic Raffaele Sollecito had threatened to file a suit against Italy, but his father and lawyers had wound him back. Presumably because way, way, way too much could come out. “Take care about what you wish for.” “Let sleeping dogs lie.” “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Take your choice.

But such a suit is normal and expected. It would look suspicious if it was never filed. Now the Florence prosecution may get the chance to make the case in full the Fifth Chambers never heard.

Storms In The Past

Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele Sollecito and Vanessa Sollecito are all notorious for loosing their cool.

Francesco lost it here toward Raffaele, and especially here. Vanessa lost it here and again here. Everybody lost it toward Amanda Knox. Sollecito’s own book describes that rage.

And take a look. Despite supposed “honor bound” there are dozens of examples there.

Francesco Sollecito lost it after the Hellmann acquittal when Raffaele said he and Knox were still a thing, and again when RS took off to Seattle after Knox. He lost it again when a false felony claim in Sollecito’s book was unveiled on national TV.

Bongiorno also often seems in a rage. Hmmm. A group of people in a rage, and then things go too far. Where have we heard that before?


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Only In Italy? A Complete Orchestra - Of Women Playing Harps

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Complexity squared….

The venues are not given, but one looks like the La Scala Opera House in Milan, completely sold out. Actually, there are a few such orchestras elsewhere in Europe and in the US; in Italy they are thick on the ground.

Posted on 01/24/16 at 07:46 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaThe wider contextsItalian context
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sollecito Lawyers Threaten To Sue If Guede Tells Any Lies; Dont Hold Your Breath…

Posted by Peter Quennell

Bongiorno goes overboard at end of Nencini appeal; Italy laughs


Way to ensure high ratings? Now Bongiorno threatens to sue RAI if the interview propagates any “lies”.

Sources here and here. Good luck! If she DOES sue (dont put any money on that regardless of what Guede says) the Fifth Chambers report will not be her friend and she surely knows.

She hasnt commented publicly on that report though Sollecito has been very sulky of late. She still talks as if the March verdict is the only one that stands.

At other times there have been such threats to sue. None ever happened there. Examples:

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Aviello for saying she had been offering bribes to his cellmates in exchange for their testimony to help RS despite a threat.

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Lifetime TV as threatened for the movie about Knox - the RS character barely appears, maybe that was her beef - despite a threat.

    And Mignini’s case against Maori will really put Bongiorno and Maori in a bind, if Guede doesnt do damage enough.

    Posted on 01/20/16 at 07:03 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015Guede good guy hoax
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    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

    Reports That On Italian TV Thursday Guede Will Claim Knox & Sollecito Initiated Attack, Caused Death

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    It seems the serial defamer Amanda Knox wins no love at all in Italy. As we posted 10 days ago:

    A majority of Italians still believe that Amanda Knox led a cruel pack attack on Meredith and (to Guede’s and Sollecito’s seeming considerable shock) landed the fatal stab in Meredith’s neck.  They watched Knox on the stand for two days, in fact doing herself great harm.

    Italian media are sure looking forward to Guede dropping her in it on national TV later this week. There are half a dozen reports.  This summary in English by Liz Houle just went online.

    It is being reported on January 18, 2016 that Rudy Guede says that he is innocent of the murder of Meredith Kercher. In a clear and concise manner, Guede states that there is no evidence of his DNA on the murder weapon or in the simulated break-in room. He goes on to say that he knew both Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox but was more familiar with Knox. “It was not me, but I’m the only condemned” maintains Guede.

    Rudy Guede sat down in an interview on Italian television show Cursed Stories (Storie Maledette) and gave his unvarnished view of what happened. “It was not me. . . . “ pointing the finger back onto Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

    In precise and coherent language Guede describes exactly what happened the night Meredith Kercher was tortured and left bleeding to death on that cold November night. Guede explains “. . .when I was found in the house of the crime I fled because I was afraid. No one would believe me. I thought: Negro found guilty found. The subsequent investigations, conducted ​​badly, have shown that I was right.”

    There’s also this. Actually CNN has blown hot and cold, with Paul Callan and Chris Cuomo and Erin Burnett and Nancy Grace all coming out anti-Knox.

    Posted on 01/19/16 at 12:49 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedRudy GuedeThe Alessi hoaxGuede good guy hoax
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    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Beyond The Italian And UK Media Reports That Knox Was Found Not Guilty Of Calunnia II

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Knox with Rita Ficarra who Knox accused of hitting her.


    UK media are reporting that the case was about slander, in effect a civil case by those who consider themselves damaged.

    But in fact this was calunnia, which is more serious, a false accusation of a crime to a justice official, in this case the claim Knox made on the stand that she was forced to finger Patrick.

    We are told this is key context which the UK reporting leaves out. 

      1. The original complaint was made (the rules required it) by those who were accused before the 2009 trial ended with a verdict of Knox’s guilt.

      2. Preceding Knox on the stand had been all of those she accused. So to court-watchers in Italy her testimony was not a convincing show.

      3. Knox was thereafter found guilty for essentially the same crime, with a sentence set at three years by Judge Hellmann and endorsed by the Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court.

    In effect, justice had been served for the false claims. Italian justice officials still have a big shot at worse claims in Knox’s book.

    Under the Statute Of Limitations, as the book was added-to and re-issued in 2015, that opportunity exists for another five years.

    Posted on 01/15/16 at 04:21 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxThose officially involvedPolice and CSIOther legal processesKnox diffamazioneThe wider contextsItalian context
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    Saturday, January 09, 2016

    How A Major Media Controversy In The US Augurs Well For The Imminent Reframing Of The “Knox Case”

    Posted by Peter Quennell


    1. The Wisconsin Case Now In Dispute

    1. The Netflix Report

    In mid December a pay-per-view documentary about a murder case in Wisconsin was put online.

    Millions of people in the US and elsewhere have paid up and watched the 10-hour Netflix report. Convinced that they are experts now on the whole case, hundreds of thousands of Americans have signed petitions to the President and the State Governor requesting that the convicted Steve Avery be released.

    Some viewers have even taken to berating and threatening the investigators and the prosecution both online and in telephone messages and texts.

    Their take seems to be of the investigators and the prosecution corruptly making many, many things up during the investigation and trial. Their supposed motive was to cover their tails in a previous case where Steve Avery was indeed wrongly convicted, for which they could now face court and loss of jobs.

    Furthermore some reports claimed that a juror had said the jury felt intimidated and were never convinced of guilt.

    2. Reaction Of US Media

    A growing wave of reports and articles have been aired and published online in effect saying most of the hardest evidence was left out.

    The lead prosecutor has been quoted as saying “90 percent of the evidence” against Avery and a relative convicted as an accomplice was not even mentioned in the report.

    So a wave of fact-checking is going on.

    Even though it is still early days here and here are Time Magazine. Here is the Los Angeles Times. Here is the New York Times. Here is On Milwaukee’s website. Here is the International Business Times.

    Several TV documentaries contradicting the Netflix report are reportedly already in the works. See the reports here and here and also here.

    And the juror has now denied that the jury was intimidated and did not do an honest job. So far, all the jurors seem to be standing by their verdict, in the face of a lot of heat.

    Oh and on those petitions which Netflix stirred? President Obama’s spokesman has said it is not a Federal case so he will not intervene, and the Governor of Wisconsin has said he will not intervene either, as the state has good justice systems in place.

    So they will ignore opinion that was deliberately muddled for commercial ends, and instead leave matters to the courts.

    2. Parallels To Reporting Of The “Knox Case”

    The parallels to the Perugia case are in fact immense.

    The prosecution case in 2009 was extremely persuasive and the entire jury (panel of judges) voted for guilt. They sat through the very tough and convincing 1/4 of the trial that was held behind closed doors.

    A majority of Italians still believe that Amanda Knox led a cruel pack attack on Meredith and (to Guede’s and Sollecito’s seeming considerable shock) landed the fatal stab in Meredith’s neck.  They watched Knox on the stand for two days, in fact doing herself great harm.

    In contrast, almost the entire American media followed the Netflix route.

    Main media have struggled to report the trial for language and local-staff reasons, and the Associated Press carried by 2000 media outlets actively misled. Main media presented almost no reporting of the very painstaking judicial checking by ten judges that preceded the case ever going to court.

    Main media have still not translated not even one major document (the Wiki and two PMFs and TJMK have translated hundreds of documents now and are still not done) and have left hundreds of evidence points unaddressed.

    Main media have also misreported the overturning of the Hellmann outcome and the Nencini appeal. They have especially misrepresented the supposed complete Marasca-Bruno reversal for the Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court.

    As lawyers for Dr Mignini and three of our main posters (James Raper, Machiavelli and Catnip) have shown, in fact the Fifth Chambers (a) should not even have had the case; (b) broke two laws, (c) misinterpreted a few elements of the evidence, (d) left literally hundreds of evidence points out, (e) went against strongly established Italian legal precedents, and (f) even ridiculed plain hard science.

    And even so, they still placed Knox right at the scene of the attack at the time, and Sollecito probably so. Accessories before or after the crime. Felons in their view in fact.

    So here’s a prediction on what Americans will see in the media soon on this case.

    The widespread media reaction against Netflix will be reflected in a major correction in the main media against the serious under-reporting and misreporting of the Perugia case.

    We have some idea of what is already in the works. Stay tuned.

     

    Posted on 01/09/16 at 01:52 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Other legal processesOthers elsewhereThe wider contextsN America contextReporting, media, moviesMedia news
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    Thursday, January 07, 2016

    A Stretch Inside Not Only Protects Society: For Perps It May Be Best Shot At Coming Right

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    Video 1: Very good analysis by psychologist Dr Drew Pinsky on Tuesday 5 January 2016


    As we posted Ethan Couch killed four and maimed a fifth for life while drunk-driving in Texas two years ago.

    He is now in a Mexico City lockup for illegal immigrants seeking to avoid extradition to the US where he has violated his highly controversial probation. Many or most think this was a travesty for the families of the victims. The judge retired early. Justice was not seen to be done.

    Now he is reported to have run up a $1000 tab at a Mexican strip club which his mother paid. That $1000 apparently went in part toward drinks. He had skipped out of the US mid-December because he was videoed at a party with drinks.

    Sources say Ethan Couch and his mother Tonya went to a strip club called Harem in Puerto Vallarta on the night of Dec. 23. According to club employees, the pair had drinks before Tonya Couch left the club. Ethan stayed at the club and employees told ABC News that he went off to a VIP room with two women who worked at Harem. Hotel and club employees said Couch was extremely drunk.

    Few if any other criminal psychologists ever came out in support of Couch’s defense’s psychologist who convinced the judge two years ago that the affluence of the family was somehow a primary cause.

    In the past few days there have been various psychology panels on cable TV discussing the case. Articles too.

    From them Ethan Couch did not exactly get a lot of love. A term inside to remove him from his family and choke off his dependencies is what the psychologists incline towards, as Dr Drew in the top video highly recommends.

    Video 2: Dr Drew two years ago (this video was previously at the top)

    Posted on 01/07/16 at 08:12 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyOther legal processesOthers elsewhereThe wider contextsN America contextItalian system
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    Tuesday, January 05, 2016

    Worldwide In 20th Century, Maybe Half Of All Murders May Be Attributed In Part To Lead Poisoning

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    That lead damages brains has been known for many years. That it causes murders is more recently accepted. 

    The first graph below shows when the US began to move from leaded gasoline to unleaded gasoline in the mid 70s. Lead was removed altogether around 1990.

    Some but not all countries followed a similar pattern.

    The effects, though diminishing, are going to be with us for a long time. Maybe to mid-century? The pioneer researcher economist Nick Nevin wrote this about the murder-rate/lead correlation:

    Lead exposure trends affect homicide trends with a 21-year time lag, reflecting the impact of early-childhood neurodevelopmental damage when those children reach the peak ages of homicide offending.

    That suggests that anyone alive today over 25 may have had significant exposure. Roughly half the world’s population, some 3.5 billion.

    Very few of those committed murders, but of those that did the research findings reflected in the second graph below suggest that half might have been lead-affected and there remain among us millions of time-bombs. This is from a recent BBC report:

    Dr Bernard Gesch says the data now suggests that lead could account for as much as 90% of the changing crime rate during the 20th Century across all of the world.

    Numerous cases like this one now use lead poisoning as a defense.  It doesnt seem a get-out-of-jail-free card, but for some obviously mentally impaired it is proving helpful.






    Posted on 01/05/16 at 10:49 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyItalian system
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    Friday, January 01, 2016

    “Happy Day” By Universita per Stranieri Students Meredith Would Surely Have Got Along With

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

    Posted on 01/01/16 at 08:01 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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    Thursday, December 31, 2015

    Buon Anno 2016! Bay Of Naples Has A Fireworks Show Like… Not Your Normal Town

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Last year the fireworks of Meredith’s home town received a lot of praise - she was born not far from that giant wheel.

    Posted on 12/31/15 at 09:48 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaThe wider contextsItalian context
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    How American Judges Can Be Made To Feel The Heat Over Controversial Verdicts

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Why American judges can envy Italian judges part deux.

    As we surely all know now, most Italian judges advance along a career path. Only a few are politically appointed and none are elected.  All of the time their rulings are under minute scrutiny and (as we have seen with Judges Hellmann, Marasca and Bruno) the powerful Council of Magistrates can stop their advancement in a heartbeat if any of those rulings look suspect.

    American judges are mostly elected with little training requirements or qualifications testing. If they seem to have stepped out of line some of them can face political hearings and discipline boards (as Judge Heavey did) but not all do.

    But the worse reaction many fear more is the media and the public turning upon them, made vastly more possible because of the Internet and happening time and time again these days. 

    The American judge now much in the news - and not in a good way - is Jean Boyd of Texas.

    In March 2012 Jean Boyd, then a Juvenile Court judge, sentenced a 14-year-old black boy to 10 years for killing a smaller boy with one powerful punch.  She was criticised for being way too harsh then.

    In December 2013 she veered sharply in the other direction.

    She sentenced a now notorious teenager to mere probation and rehabilitation after he had killed four people and maimed a fifth for life when drunk-driving. The psychological defense she bought into was that his family was so rich that he grew up without the right parenting.

    This was apparently a unique defense and one that has never been attempted for poorer people. Judge Boyd was widely criticised for being way too light then.

    The two cases dropped out of the news for a while.

    But now the notorious white teenager Ethan Couch is all over the news again. A few weeks ago he was caught on video drinking - which could lead to his serving time in prison - and a couple of weeks ago he disappeared along with his mother.

    Considering that he has not yet even been charged with a transgression of his probation, the size and cost of the manhunt was extraordinary. Somehow the US Federal Marshall Service pinpointed his phone in a Mexican apartment, and the Mexican police arrested him along with his mother and locked them up.

    Today he is being held in an Mexican prison with his mother. It is just reported that they are fighting extradition.

    Good luck with that one.

    Judge Boyd actually retired a year ago in face of a petition demanding she be fired. She was given some credit by the local newspaper.

    But her verdict never convinced an angry public or the families of the four dead and one maimed victims, and both he and his irresponsible mother also now seem headed for prison.

    And it seems Ms Boyd is not returning phone calls.


    Below: Tonya Couch and Ethan Couch at the trial in 2013





    Posted on 12/31/15 at 12:02 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in The wider contextsN America contextItalian system
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    Monday, December 28, 2015

    In Commemoration Of Meredith On Her 30th: The Great Bach Tocata & Fugue In D Minor

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Fittingly, played by a woman. We think Meredith would have liked that.

    The woman is Emília Dzemjanová, and she is playing in St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice in eastern Slovakia where she has recorded often.

    A church organ is not an instrument that many women play, perhaps because it is physically the most taxing. And the thunderous D Minor is especially taxing and both feet need to be pretty busy. The lowest notes here would all be played by Emilia’s feet.

    In fact this is the only rendition on a church organ that we can find on YouTube by a woman. No harm in going where no woman has gone before, right?


    Posted on 12/28/15 at 05:00 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memory
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    Friday, December 25, 2015

    Capturing Collective Memories: Of Broadway Dance And Of Family Life

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    The only YouTube so far,  with costumes & lighting & orchestra the dances really take off


    There’s an astonishing Broadway show on in NYC now.

    If you are part of the million visitors in NYC at any one time (absurd, right?) it’s at the Joyce Theater, tkts are only $45 if you can get them, its a sponsored run. Its called American Dance Machine. Some 18 Broadway dancers and a fine orchestra onstage at the back.

    The promotional video above gives a hint but for-real it is a terrific jolt. Its only a brief season because the dancers are some of the best and are in great demand. A couple are from the several ballet companies here.

    The purpose is to capture and show again many dance routines and several songs from Broadway musicals that are mostly gone, some long gone, and wont be back again, and show just how good they were. Maybe every year there will be another brief season like this.

    How did they put this together? There was an audience panel of the creators and some dancers after the show one night and they explained. They had to hunt round and find choreographers and dancers who had memories of the routines and find videos of the routines at the Arts library at Lincoln Center. The collective memory is mostly still there but its elusive and spread around and it will fade.

    So. To the real point of this post, Does anyone have a family blog? The reason for having one is really the same. Collective memory, in this case of the family, while memories going back awhile are still around. Put down the family history as you know it and get some others in on it and pass it down.

    It might make those who follow want to write online in a more empowering and permanent way than social media, which scrolls away fast and can have limited satisfaction and real-results effects. Best of the family videos and photos can go there.

    Some 20-40-60 years hence those who come next are going to value that body of family history so much. They may not know you but they will know about you and what you did and felt and feel they are part of a great team going forward.

    Season’s cheer!

    Posted on 12/25/15 at 06:28 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in The wider contextsN America context
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    Wednesday, December 23, 2015

    National Justice Systems Learning From One Another Tho Far From “International Standards”

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Try searching for the “international standards” for DNA testing that Hellmann/Zanetti and Marasca/Bruno claimed Italian police labs dont follow.

    In fact, not only are there no international standards or even Europe-wide standards, there are not even any central mechanisms for crime-fighting research and training and standard-setting.

    Hellmann/Zanetti and Marasca/Bruno were irresponsibly myth-propagating - all suckered by a pair of dishonest DNA consultants on the defense payroll.

    This absence of mechanisms contrasts sharply with all the other segments of national infrastructures, for which the UN agencies run conferences and team efforts for hundreds of nations to learn from. (In them the US and UK and Italy are big players.)

    One reason we give the Italian justice system so much attention is that Italy has one of the lowest crime rates and incarceration rates among high-income countries.

    There is very much to be learned bilaterally from it. Part of its core model is that it has a large and glamorous and much-liked police presence - Italian police are possibly the world’s most popular.

    In contrast, stories of bad policing are pouring out daily in the US.

    Most in the US news for bad policing is CHICAGO right in Bruce Fischer’s backyard, where he abysmally failed to comprehend that there was an epidemic of police shootings while he foolishly gunned for Italy. Numbers dead from police guns there are up in the hundreds, and there is to be a Federal investigation.

    Meanwhile the effectiveness or even comprehension of Fischer’s pretentious “network” has been at zero (perhaps one reason why the Knoxes disinvited Fischer from Knox’s talk at a Chicago law school - also he had been panhandling them). Why do we doubt the Feds will consult him?

    In the news right now in the US is an attempt by jurisdictions to learn from the highly effective Scottish police practices.

    Scotland has an extremely low rate of police shootings, and the few police who do carry guns are trained to handle fraught situations to an extent most American police see only a fraction of. See the video.

    Here is a Daily Telegraph story, and here is a New York Times story:

    Forty minutes into a Scottish police commander’s lecture on the art of firearm-free policing, American law enforcement leaders took turns talking. One after another, their questions sounded like collective head-scratching.

    “Do you have a large percentage of officers that get hurt with this policing model?” asked Theresa Shortell, an assistant chief of the New York Police Department and the commanding officer of its training academy, where several hundred officers graduate each year.

    “How many officers in Scotland have been killed in the last year or two years?” Chief Shortell added.

    Bernard Higgins, an assistant chief constable who is Scotland’s use-of-force expert, stood and answered. Yes, his officers routinely take punches, he said, but the last time one was killed on duty through criminal violence was 1994, in a stabbing.

    There is poverty, crime and a “pathological hatred of officers wearing our uniform” in pockets of Scotland, he said, but constables live where they work and embrace their role as “guardians of the community,” not warriors from a policing subculture.

    “The basic fundamental principle, even in the areas where there’s high levels of crime, high levels of social deprivation, is it’s community-based policing by unarmed officers,” Constable Higgins said. “We police from an absolute position of embracing democracy.”

    That model is pretty close to the Italian one.

    Posted on 12/23/15 at 07:50 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Italian system
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    Sunday, December 20, 2015

    Latest Of The Documentaries That Make Us Focus On Psychopaths And Their Trails Of Wreckage

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    This is a one-hour YouTube video of an excellent BBC Channel 5 report aired several weeks ago.

    Our poster DavidB kindly drew our attention to it in a comment. There are increasingly more of these heads-up reports on YouTube, some of the most useful videos there.

    Posted on 12/20/15 at 08:05 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychology
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    Friday, December 18, 2015

    Knox Calunnia Trial #2: Judge Receives Arguments Of Prosecution And Knox; Verdict In New Year

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Court in session 7 September in Florence with Knox a no-show

    1. Latest Development

    We are informed that the final arguments to the judge by both sides have been submitted in writing.

    We will summarise and/or fully translate them, hopefully next week. Next step is the verdict from Judge Boninsegna, which may come early in the New Year.

    Below is a reposting of the background to this unusual case, and Machiavelli’s reports from the court on 7 September.

    Such trials are very rare. Usually it is only organized crime figures that in the course of a trial impugn police and prosecutors who in Italy are much respected. Defendants rarely even get on the stand, and if they do so, they invariably follow the advice of defence counsel to not dig themselves in any deeper. 

    In contrast, Knox pretty well went haywire. NOBODY in Italy has ever believed her. Not her own lawyers, nor multiple hearings & trial judges, or the skeptical media, or the watching population, or Hellmann & Zanetti, or even Marasca & Bruno…  Not even Curt Knox! He failed to turn up to give scheduled defense testimony that could have helped Amanda Knox last September.

    Gee, thanks, Curt….

    And she has left her own lawyers handicapped, as they had publicly counseled Knox to stop escalating her claims about illegal coercion at her “interrogation” on 5-6 November 2007.

    Their filing probably needs to be especially careful to avoid their own liability. 

    2. Background To Calunnia Trial

    This trial focuses on the claims of Amanda Knox at trial in 2009. Charges for malicious claims in her book will fall to another court, probably also in Florence. Oggi is already on trial for republishing some of them.

    There seems no parallel in US or UK legal history to this - to a defendant testifying prolifically for two days to crimes by investigators, in spite of even more days of prior testimony which all pointed the other way.

    Seemingly under strong pressure from her own family Knox willingly took a huge legal risk which her own lawyers had warned her about again and again, sometimes publicly, over nearly two years.

    They never ever lodged even one complaint. Nor did the US Embassy in Rome, which monitored all sessions in court, and often checked her out (as did Italian MP Rocco Girlanda) in prison at Capanne.

    The Massei court and the watching audience in Italy (read here and here) bought none of it. Knox still served three years for framing Patrick. Not even Judge Hellmann bought into her claims. Certainly not the Supreme Court.

    The current trial in Florence was preceded by an investigation by Florence prosecutors, who bring the charges and argue them because Knox impugned officers of the justice system in their official roles. 

    Prior to today the prosecutors’ investigation report had only been released to Knox’s defense. So we don’t yet know if the charges extend beyond Knox’s claims of having been abused into a false “confession” on 5-6 November 2007.

    Post #1 of our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series points toward what investigators testified to at trial.

    Four months later Knox contradicted them at length as summarised in our two posts here and here: “The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About”

    3. Machiavelli Reports From Trial 7 September

    1. Tweets from the Florence court:

    16. Zugarini was present throughout the interrogation and described when #amandaknox started to cry, remembered her peculiar hand-ear gestures.

    15. Napoleoni testified #amandaknox was brought a chamomille when she started crying at 01:45, the interrogation was immediately stopped.

    14. Napoleoni and Zugarini said they “cuddled” Knox because she was a 20-year old girl.

    13. Both Mignini and Zugarini described having had impression that #amandaknox was feeling “relieved of a burden” after accusing Lumumba.

    12. Mignini said Knox was not clearly a suspect to him by the 05:45 interrogation.

    11. Witnesses had inaccurate memory on some details, but were convergent on some peculiar details.

    10. Napoleoni said she did not enter interrogation room, she called Rita Ficarra out to talk to her.

    9. Zugarini said, as for her knowledge, Knox was not told that Sollecito withdrew her alibi.

    8. Zugarini said called interpreter only to ask #amandaknox more precise questions about people in her phone contact list.

    7. Zugarini said #amandaknox was able to explain herself in Italian. They called an interpreter to translate what police had to say.

    6. Testimony of Mignini was descriptive and framed thing in law. Mostly talked at length explaining alone, prosecutor listened.

    5. In today’s hearing, Mignini talked 2 hours, confirmed arrived at 3am, police interview was over, he asked no questions of AK.

    4. Napoleoni was precise and synthetic. Zugarini longer and IMO more interesting on many details.

    3. Mignini and Judge Boninsegna appeared irritated by Dalla Vedova’s remarks.

    2. Long hearing of Mignini at trial against Amanda Knox for calunnia. Napoleoni & Gubbiotti followed, then Zugarini

    1. Testimony of some of the investigators accused by Knox and the lead prosecutor Dr Mignini [image above] is being taken in court.

    [Reporting from the Florence court sometimes requires a wait to get to a place where mobile phones can connect to the outside.]

    2. Emailed report following day (8 September):

    No Knox calunnia session required today as last Friday and yesterday both sides completed their witness list.

    Amanda Knox and Curt Knox chose not to testify.

    Now Judge Boninsegna has ordered each side to prepare their arguments within three months (7 December).

    The verdict is likely to arrive in the New Year.

     

    Posted on 12/18/15 at 04:25 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    “Spotlight” Movie About Fine Example Of Investigative Journalism Is Oscar Best-Picture Favorite

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Hollywood has rewarded movies about investigations many times over the years.

    Maybe not such a bad thing when media are under such internet and political pressure - and too often prone now to propagating dishonest PR and misleading their audiences, as we have seen.

    “Spotlight” portrays an investigation by a Boston Globe newspaper team in 2001 and 2002 into myriad sexual abuses by priests in that very catholic city.

    This was the first-ever such investigation into the sexual abuses. It started very small - less than 10 priests were initially suspected - and ran into roadblocks and was nearly shut down several times.

    it eventually cascaded into the exposure of hundreds of priests in the US and many more worldwide. Numbers of victims are unknown but worldwide are numbered at minimum in the hundreds of thousands.

    The pace of the film is phenomenal. There is jolt after jolt as the reporters - most of whom are themselves catholic or lapsed-catholic and take some heat - in repeated disbelief find the numbers of priests and victims growing and growing.

    Pope Francis himself is reported as in favor of investigations continuing.  The various support groups representing the numerous “survivors” have welcomed the film.

    Some American priests have raised some objections. They dont seem to fault the movie for honesty though.

    Prophet’s Prey is a similarly gripping and unflinching movie, about children abused by fundamentalists. It is a documentary, and may be nominated for an Oscar in that category.

    Posted on 12/16/15 at 06:09 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Traitor? How Cowardly Sollecito Extensively Smeared Italy In English To Save His Own Skin #1

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    1. Overview Of “Sollecito As Traitor” Series

    By way for example of his new Italian book, Sollecito is trying hard to make himself liked in Italy.

    An uphill task at best. Most Italians, who could follow the case a lot closer than most people outside Italy, know about all of this.

      (1) At his central-police-station interview 5-6 November 2007 and his first Matteini hearing two days later he dumped very heavily on Knox.

      (2) Throughout trial he gave Knox no help with her current alibi (that she was at his place all night) and again and again pulled out the rug from under her.

      (3) After the Hellmann outcome late 2011 Sollecito took off like a rabbit for the US (with his family soon in hot pursuit) and after Knox stiffed him tried very hard to get someone - anyone - to marry him so he could stay.

      (4) Before the Nencini verdict came out in early 2014, a panicked Sollecito took off to the north in a car and got cold feet (or was warned to stop) at the Austrian border and ignominiously came back.

      (5) Before the Fifth Chambers verdict came out in early 2015 a panicked Sollecito took off for Bari rather than remaining at the Supreme Court to find out what the verdict would be.

      What Italians mostly dont know is this. In late 2013 Sollecito’s first book - only in English - came out, and he was soon all over American TV once again sticking it to Knox.

      In the book his self-serving strategy was threefold: (1) Despite the title, point hard to Knox; (2) Point harder to Dr Mignini and the supposedly bungling, mean police; and (3) Point hardest to the official mechanisms, by lying on a grand scale, to make them out to be brutal and highly archaic at best.

      This series will lay out how Sollecito, lying and lying from what he thought would be a safe distance across the Atlantic, tried hard to make Italy look bad in the eyes of the world.

      A lot of posters contributed to the analysis of Sollecito’s 2012 English-language book on which much of the series will be based. Thanks especially to Sara, Kermit, Cardiol MD, and James Raper, who did the most work. 

      1. Sollecito’s First 20 False Claims

      We first posted a version of this analysis in May 2014. These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages.

      Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate and they will be examined in future posts. 

      1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

      This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

      No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

      They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

      A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

      2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

      On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

      Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

      All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

      Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

      3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

      In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

      In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

      The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

      4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

      By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

      “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

      On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

      5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

      Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

      An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

      Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

      6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

      We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do—and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed—was murder Meredith Kercher.

      Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

      Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her drugs and one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

      Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

      Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

      7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

      Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

      There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

      And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

      And how many burglars break into an occupied home between 8:00pm and 9:00pm at night? Approximately none. So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

      8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

      But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she—not Meredith—might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us—Amanda especially—as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

      There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

      How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

      9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

      This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

      This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

      Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

      There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

      The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

      10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

      Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

      Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

      The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

      Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

      Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

      Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

      11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

      Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

      Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

      Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

      But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

      12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

      It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution—“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”—it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

      Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

      Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

      13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

      It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm—the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita—could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

      This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

      Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

      14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

      The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

      WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

      15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

      The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

      Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

      The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

      And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

      The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

      This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

      16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

      For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

      So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

      There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

      1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

      2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

      Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

      What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

      Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

      17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

      Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

      Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

      The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

      All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

      18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

      Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts—tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays—are the most reviled institution in the country.


      As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

      And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

      Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

      For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

      In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

      Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

      However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

      The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

      Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

      19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

      Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

      Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

      There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

      Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

      And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

      Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

      Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

      There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

      And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

      Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

      20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

      Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

      Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

      Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

      You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

      Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

      Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.

       

      Posted on 12/10/15 at 05:39 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
      Archived in
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      Tuesday, December 08, 2015

      One Of The Many Pluses That Amanda Knox’s Paid Defamers Would Prefer That Americans Don’t Know About

      Posted by Peter Quennell





      We have often mentioned these major justice-system pluses:

      (1) That Italy has one of the industrialized world’s lowest crime rates and that US cities have been observing its model.

      (2) That it has a very prominent and much admired police presence, and a small and much admired court and penal system.

      Now Thomas Williams is reporting this third big plus from Rome in Breitbart Business News

      A leading military analyst is citing Italy as a model of counterterrorism done right, pointing out that despite many factors going against it, Islamic terrorists have failed to kill a single person on Italian soil.

      In the most recent issue of Nikkei Asian Review, Romanian born political scientist and military analyst Edward N. Luttwak lays out a persuasive theory explaining how Italy has been so successful in thwarting Islamic terror attempts. In a word: Italy is not afraid to deport those it considers to be a threat to national security.

      In his essay titled “Doing Counterterrorism Right,” Luttwak contrasts Italy with France and Belgium, noting that although Italy is much more vulnerable than they are, it has been far more effective at stopping would-be terrorists before they strike.

      So where France has been “caught by surprise again and again by terrorist attacks with many lives lost” and in Belgium “terrorists have been coming and going for years, buying military weapons with remarkable ease,” Italy has remained unscathed.

      It would seem that Italy doesn’t have much going for it. It has porous borders and a Muslim population that exceeds 2 million and has played an active role in military expeditions in Islamic territories. Moreover, the Vatican is the “most iconic target in Europe,” and tops the list of objectives of the Islamic State, Luttwak observes. And yet, “nobody has been killed by Muslim terrorists in Italy.”

      Italian counterterrorism has been on full alert since 9/11, Luttwak says, and its combined forces “have detected and interrupted hundreds of terrorist plots large and small, at every stage from mere verbal scheming to fully ready actions.”

      So where terrorists have successfully attacked in Madrid, London, Paris, Toulouse, Copenhagen, Brussels and elsewhere, in Italy they have been foiled time after time.

      Luttwak suggests that Italy’s success is all a question of method, based on the insight that the only thing that can be done to stop potential terrorists is to follow those who are suspected to be truly dangerous around the clock so that they can be arrested or killed at a moment’s notice. Since the numbers of probable suspects can be astronomical, Luttwak says, their numbers must be effectively reduced if this strategy is to bear fruit. And this is exactly what Italy has done.

      State intelligence agencies throughout Europe monitor suspects, filling out reports and keeping files, but they often fail to take the action needed. The Italians, however, immediately conduct an interrogation on credible suspects, and many are sent home or arrested, if their situation merits it. Italy currently has more than 180 radical imams in prison, Luttwak notes.

      Employing this method, Italian authorities are able to keep numbers of suspected potential terrorists within a reasonable range and thus are able to monitor them effectively.

      Earlier this month, Franco Roberti, the head of Italy’s anti-mafia and counterterrorism task force, said he intended to protect citizens from the danger of terrorism “by adopting all the preventive measures necessary,” and noted that “we must be prepared to give up some of our personal freedoms, in particular in the area of communication.”

      The fact that the Italians lump together anti-mafia operations with counterterrorism is also telling. Unlike other European states, with the exception perhaps of the UK, Italy has a long history fighting serious organized crime within its borders, coming from the different branches of the Italian mafia working in various parts of the peninsula.

      The Italian interior ministry has reportedly also increased its “targeted expulsions” of persons considered to be a risk to national security. So far this year, 55 individuals have been deported and the ministry has said the numbers will only grow.

      According to Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, intelligence and counterterrorism units are reevaluating information gathered in recent months on some 56,000 people, scouring case files to see whether anything could have been overlooked.

      Given Italy’s impressive counterterrorism track record, it may be about time for other European nations to sit up and take note.

      Posted on 12/08/15 at 12:51 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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      Thursday, December 03, 2015

      Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book #12: Finally, We Nail Knox’s Self-Serving 2015 Afterword

      Posted by Chimera



      Phew. The nasties do finally go down.  Click here to get to Comments fast.

      1. Overview Of This Series

      My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

      Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

      One more quick post after this one, on the new Afterword, and the series will be done here. Then we will repost the final version on a new Knox Liewatch page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The ten posts before this one can all be read here.

      Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.


      2. Overall How The Afterword Misleads

      1. Again Knox goes on and on about how there is no evidence against her or Raffaele in the ‘‘murder room’‘, or the ‘‘murder scene’‘.  This is false and seriously misleading for several reasons:

        (1) Knox’s bloody shoeprint was found on Meredith’s bed (even though the shoes were not recovered).

        (2) Knox’s lamp (wiped of prints), was found on the floor in Meredith’s room.

        (3) The bloody impression of a knife (which matches a knife taken from Sollecito’s flat), was found on the bed.

        (4) Sollecito’s DNA was found on Merdith’s bra clasp, in the room.  Defence screams ‘‘contamination’‘, but doesn’t suggest where it came from.

        (5) Knox defines the crime scene solely as Meredith’s room.  It does not take the rest of the house into account.

          (a) Mixed blood of Knox/Meredith in Filomena’s bedroom, the supposed ‘‘point of entry’’ for the burglar.  But no trace of Guede.
          (b) Mixed blood of Knox/Meredith in their bathroom.
          (c) Sollecito’s bloody bare footprint on the bathmat.
          (d) Bare footprints (wiped away, revealed by luminol), of Knox and Sollecito in the hallway


      2. While Knox predictably misconstrues the evidence against her, she doesn’t talk about the other things we would like to see addressed.

      Of course, in this new addition to her book, Knox doesn’t talk about any of the hard evidence (of a non forensic nature).  She doesn’t address any of the multiple false alibis that she and Sollecito gave.

      Amanda Knox… Trapped, In Her Own Words

      Raffaele Sollecito… Trapped, In His Own Words


      3. Knox does briefly mention the false accusation against Lumumba, but again reiterates that it only happened due to police pressure.  A stunningly stupid thing to say, as she is facing a calunnia trial over exactly this issue.  But that is not disclosed.

      Updates: Sollecito’s Trial For Vilipendio And Diffamazione, Knox’s Trial For Calunnia #2


      4. In this new afterword, Knox fails to mention that the Italian magazine, Oggi, got into legal trouble from publishing parts of her book.

      (1) The Oggi Article Which Conveys To Italy Knox’s Claims Of Crimes Oggi Is Now Charged For

      (2) The Oggi Article Which Conveys To Italy Knox’s Claims Of Crimes: Our Claim By Claim Rebuttals


      5. Knox also fails to mention Sollecito’s current legal troubles over his own book which also made many false claims.

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #2

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #3

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #5


      6. Knox leaves out that this may not be the end (probably to secure the next publishing at this time).

      A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy Begins

      A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy #2


      7. Knox writes positively about Sollecito, but leaves out his ‘‘bride-shopping’’ efforts and anger at her.

      Interview Part 1 With Kelsey Kay About Her Sad Experience With Serial Exploiter Sollecito

      Interview Part 2 With Kelsey Kay About Her Sad Experience With Serial Exploiter Sollecito


      8. Knox omits Sollecito’s various efforts to throw her under the bus (Mr. Honour Bound wants to save himself), most amusingly.  Sollecito’s line since the Florence appeal is that he doesn’t really know where Knox was that night.

      Sollecito Suddenly Remembers He Wasnt There But Cannot Speak For Knox Who (As She Said) Went Out

      Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed

      Sollecito On Italian TV: Seems RS And AK Selling Out One Another Is Gravitating To A Whole New Plane


      9. Knox leaves out the resentment and bitterness she herself feels toward ‘‘Mr. Honour Bound’‘.

      Seeds Of Betrayal: In Interview Knox Reveals To Italy Her Considerable Irritation With Sollecito


      10. Knox leaves out that Guede said after the March verdict that he will push for a new trial.

      In Big Complication For Cassation Guede Demands New Trial To Prove He Was Not “Accomplice Of Myself”


      11. Knox still spends more time talking about her sex life in the early chapters than Cassation 1, Florence, Cassation 2 combined.


      12. Knox lies, and distorts much of the body of facts.  Her recollections are totally unreliable despite all the malicious quotes.


      13. Knox leaves out any information on the upcoming adventures of her, Sollecito and Guede. She acts like this is settled.


      14. The paperback was released June 9th, the same day her 2nd calunnia trial started in Florence.  No coincidence I’m sure.


      15. Much of the ‘‘I love my family’’ feels fake and contrived.


      3. Dissection Of Specific Knox Claims

      Here are dissections of the new part of Knox’s book.  Not all of it is included, just the most blatant stuff.

      My friend and co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito are innocent, but the past 7 1/2 years have shown that innocent people can be wrongfully convicted.  And that some minds will not be changed by the truth.

      • Well, Patrick Lumumba came close to being wrongfully convicted, as a result of your statements, remember that?

      • Some minds will not be changed by the truth?  Well, maybe Edda and Madison, they noticeably backed away.

      We’d been through one lower court trial, two appellate trials, and a decision by Corti di Cassazione.  We had been found guilty, innocent, and guilty again.

      • Finally, Knox seems to understand the difference between a trial and an appeal. Those verdicts were all only provisional, under Italian law.

      My hopes had been high during my first trial, in 2009, but Raffaele and I were convicted amid a media circus.

      But our first appellate trial, in which ended in October 2011, resulted in a clear and unequivocal finding that we were innocent, setting me free, and allowing my immediate return to the United States.  The presiding judge, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, had renewed my belief that innocent people are ultimately vindicated.

      • Hellmann also spoke the infamous and telling words: ‘‘The truth may be different.’‘

      • Hellmann released Knox even though she had a pending calunnia trial, for falsely accusing the police of brutality.

      • The prosecution didn’t get to present any evidence at all at this ‘‘new trial’‘, so it was very one sided.

      • Just to be clear, this was a defence appeal.  The prosecution did not ask for it.

      In Italy, every case is reviewed by the Corti di Cassazione before it is officially closed.  It seemed impossible that just seventeen months after we were found not just not guilty, but innocent, the justices would reverse the decision and send the case back for a retrial—especially since our appeal court-appointed experts rejected the prosecution’s handling of, and conclusions from, the DNA evidence.

      • Well, in this case the prosecution had valid reasons for asking Cassation to annul the Hellmann verdict.  More on that later.

      • The Massei trial court in 2009 saw all the evidence, and concluded guilt.  Hellmann only saw the cherrypicked pieces of evidence the defence contested, nothing else.

      • Cassation didn’t ‘‘send the case back for a retrial’‘.  They allowed you to file another appeal.  Big difference between the two.

      • C&V were not “independent” experts, they worked with the defense, and in fact were not really even experts as was later shown.  Consultants should not have been allowed at the appellate level.

      In fact, the DNA evidence cleared us conclusively.  It was straightforward: people leave DNA—lots of DNA—wherever they go.  None of my DNA was found in my friend, Meredith Kercher’s bedroom, where she was killed.  The only DNA, 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.

      • Very little usable DNA normally gets shed. There was even very little of Guede’s DNA in the room, in fact, and the entire room was not fully swabbed.

      • Knox’s DNA wasn’t found in Meredith’s bedroom, but your blood was found mixed with Meredith’s in Filomena’s room, (where the ‘‘burglar’’ broke in), and in the bathroom, where a killer cleaned up.

      • And while DNA might not be in the room, the alibi witness, Raffaele, has his on Meredith’s bra clasp.

      • It is also impossible to clean bloody footprints in the hallway, luminol brings them right out.

      • Even if defence claims about a few pieces of DNA had been valid, still it did not clear Knox conclusively.  It still doesn’t explain so many things: false alibis, false accusations, confusing accounts of your movements, shutting off your phones, and the other forensic evidence that was ‘‘not’’ in the appeal.

      We simply could not have cleaned our DNA and left Guede’s and Meredith’s behind.  Nor was any trace of me found at the murder scene: not a single fingerprint, footprint, piece of hair, drop of blood or saliva.  My innocence and Raffaele’s was irrefutable.  Like my legal team, I firmly believed that Corti di Cassazione would affirm the innocence finding.

      • First, Knox’s shoeprint (a woman’s size 37), WAS found in the room, so that is not true.

      • Knox’s lamp, wiped clean of prints, was also found in Meredith’s room and Knox was struck dumb trying to explain that.

      • Again, Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp, which had been cut off.

      • Bloody footprints (matching Knox and Sollecito), had been in the hallway, and cleaned.  Luminol revealed them.

      • Sollecito’s footprint in Meredith’s blood was found on the bathmat. It was unquestionably his.

      • The Incriminating Bathroom Evidence: Visual Analysis shows the Footprint IS Sollecito’s

      • An imprint (a clear one), in blood, on Meredith’s bed, matched a knife found in Raffaele’s home.

      • Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s and found in the bathroom and in Filomena’s room.

      • Knox associates only ‘‘forensic’’ evidence, but omits many other types of circumstantial evidence.

      • There was no trace of Guede in Filomena’s room, where the ‘‘break-in’’ took place, or on the ground or wall where he ‘‘climbed up’‘.

      • Again, Knox associates only ‘‘forensic’’ evidence with the guilty verdict , but omits many other types of circumstantial evidence.

      But in March 2013 the high court ordered yet another trial, directing the next appeals court to re-examine certain aspects of the case.  My world was shattered again.  The court gave 3 primary reasons.

      • Cassation didn’t order a new trial, but did give her the opportunity to appeal again.  Not the same thing.

      • Cassation gave many reasons, we’ll get to that.  But to focus on yours ....

      The first concerned the supposed murder weapon.  The independent experts had found there was no scientifically reliable proof that Meredith’s DNA was on it, but there was one micro-trace of DNA they deemed too small to test.  Based on the prosecution’s claim it could prove to be Meredith’s DNA, the justice’s said it should be tested in the new trial.

      • So, these experts deemed it too small to test, and therefore never actually did try to test it?  Some experts.

      • If a victim’s DNA could be on the murder weapon, that is a great reason to test it.

      • This is not a retrial.  It is Knox and Sollecito’s appeal.

      Second, during Guede’s appeal in 2009, the theory that there were multiple attackers worked in both the favour of the prosecution and Guede’s defence, which was aiming to reduce Guede’s sentence.  Neither Raffaele nor I could present evidence at that trial, so no evidence was presented that there was a single attacker.  In our hearing Corte di Cassazione said that Judge Hellmann had not properly factored in the findings of the court sentencing Guede that there had been—

      • Yes, strange that Knox can’t introduce evidence in the trial of someone she claims not to know.

      • It was more than just Guede’s appeal in 2009.  Judge Micheli in 2008 at the fast track trial, the 2009 appeal, and the 2010 Cassazione appeal all ruled that Guede was involved, but most likely was not alone.  Hellmann ‘‘should’’ have factored in the findings of the top court a year earlier.

      —this in spite of the fact that the only forensic at the murder scene belonged to Guede.  The court directed that the new trial must account for the other alleged attackers.

      • Knox repeats her 2 main lies:  (a) Forensic evidence is the only type that matters; (b) The ‘‘murder scene’’ is exclusively Meredith’s bedroom, not the whole house.

      • Again, it is not a new trial.  Knox and Sollecito have been allowed to redo their appeal.

      As for the third issue, the high court noted the Judge Hellmann looked at each piece of circumstantial evidence and found each to be unreliable.  The court directed that the circumstantial evidence should be reviewed ‘‘as a whole’’ in the new trial.

      • Again, it is not a new trial, it is an appeal. 

      • But otherwise, Knox is actually correct.  Cassation was very critical of how ‘‘piecemeal’’ and disjointed Hellmann seemed to view the evidence.  Cassation said that evidence should be considered in a way that best explains everything.

      • However, Knox seems to have preferred the disjointed method.

      My lawyers argued that this was like saying zero+zero+zero+zero=one.  Nonetheless the court ordered another trial.

      • This is getting repetitive, but Cassation did not order another trial.  It allowed Knox and Sollecito to redo their appeal.

      • 0+0+0+0=1 is a red herring.  Cassation thought that Hellmann considered everything to be unreliable because he viewed everything separately.  As a whole, the evidence makes sense, but only when trying to come up with (separate) explanations does Hellmann make sense.

      • Cassation was also critical as Judge Hellmann only considered a few pieces of evidence, rather than everything that was presented at trial.  Perhaps if a judge is to throw out the prosecution case, he/she should actually review it all.

      • Hellmann, while finding Guede unreliable, chose to reframe the time of death based solely on Guede’s statements.

      • Hellmann allowed Alessi and Aviello to testify for the defense, despite their history of making false claims.

      • Hellmann was critical of Antonio Curatolo, (who saw them together), and without cause found him to be unreliable.

      • Hellmann twisted parts of Marco Quintavalle’s testimony (who saw Knox in his shop the next morning).

      • Hellmann claimed Knox’s calunnia against Lumumba was due to duress, caused by a long interrogation.  This came despite the testimony in the 2009 Massei trial (and admitted by Knox herself), that she was treated well.  See, this is what happens when you have a one-sided trial.  Hellmann then increased Knox’s sentence for calunnia from 1 year to 3.

      • Speaking of the calunnia, Knox doesn’t mention this at all, but Cassation found that it was in fact done to divert attention from herself.  But this is left completely out of her ‘‘afterward’‘.

      • Cassation was critical of Hellmann for cherry-picking his facts.  Now, ironically, Knox does the same thing with her summary of Cassation’s verdict.

      • A Summary Of The Cassazione Ruling On Annulment Of The Knox-Sollecito Appeal

      No legal process was issued to request my return to Italy for the 2013 appellate trial in Florence.  My lawyers presented my defence in my absence.

      • It is expected that all accused will attend their own proceedings, especially when this is their own appeal.

      • Is this just a confusing way of saying she couldn’t be forced back?

      • Knox hit the talk shows claiming she is innocent, and afraid, and despite her $3.8 million book deal, can’t afford to go back.

      • Questions For Knox: How Do You Explain That Numerous Psychologists Now Observe You Skeptically?

      • Knox didn’t skip out of fear of prison officials, or the drug dealer, Federico Martini, that she got locked up, did she?

      • Yes, Knox’s lawyers did present in her absence.  Judge Nencini wrote it up as ‘‘FAILED TO APPEAR’‘.

      The new court-ordered test of the knife revealed the source of the trace DNA.  It was not Meredith’s, it was mine, likely left there when I used to cook in Raffaele’s kitchen, as I had in the days before the murder.  This reconfirmed the independent experts’ earlier finding that the knife was not the murder weapon.  I wasn’t surprised, but 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 and finally end this nightmare.

      • Yes, it was Knox’s DNA, in a groove in the handle.  The issue wasn’t whether it was used on Meredith (her DNA was also on it), but whether it could definitively be linked to Knox.

      • Knox’s DNA on a knife used to kill Meredith is actually pretty strong evidence.

      • The only new material evidence?

      • On her May 2014 interview with Chris Cuomo, Knox claimed the evidence presented ‘’ has been proven less, and less, and less’‘.

      • The Cuomo Interview: Why This May Be The Last Time Knox Tries To Argue Innocence On TV

      • On her own website, Knox claims ‘‘NO’’ new evidence was introduced at this ‘‘trial’‘.

      It made what came next even harder to stomach.  On January 30, 2014, the Florence court found Raffaele and me guilty again.  The court fell back on the multiple-attacker theory, even though there was no evidence to support it.

      • Hard to stomach?  Perhaps this is why Knox skipped her own appeal.

      • Why Knox & Sollecito Appeal Against Guilty Trial Verdict Fails: Multiple Wounds = Multiple Attackers

      • Meredith had 47 injuries, with no defensive wounds.  Unless Guede is Spiderman ....

      • Guede climbed Filomena’s wall, and broke in without leaving a trace outside.  Spiderman could do it ....

      • Guede was able to hop on one foot (one was bare, one had a shoe on it.  Spiderman could do it ...

      • Guede telepathically caused Knox and Sollecito to give multiple false accounts.  Did Spiderman have telekinesis? 

      • Guede left Sollecito’s bloody footprint and DNA behind.  Did Spiderman even know him?

      • Okay, we get it…. Guede is Spiderman.

      • While the first prosecutor initially that the murder was the result of a bizarre sex game gone wrong, the court now speculated that Meredith and I had fought over Guede’s presence in the apartment or money. and that an argument between us had somehow led Guede, Raffaele, and me to kill her.

      • Prosecutors never said it was a sex game gone wrong.  (Well, it might have been for Knox), but rather that it was a hazing/humiliation.

      My original sentence was 26 years, 4 of which I had served.  The new sentence was 28.5 years.  The extra time was for ‘‘aggravating circumstances’‘, meaning I’d purposely slandered Patrick Lumumba (when I’d been pressured into falsely implicating him—and implication I’d quickly recanted), in order to undermine the police investigation.

      Judge Hellmann, who had retired from the bench, did a rare and welcome thing—he publicly responded to the verdict, calling its decision ‘’ the result of fantasy’‘.  he told CNN.  ‘‘The Florence Appeal Court has written a script for a movie or a thriller book when it should have considered only the facts and evidence.’‘

      • Knox is being partially true here.  Hellmann did publicly criticise the Nencini verdict.

      • Knox, however, omits the fact that Hellmann was forced to retire by the CSM after his bungling of the 2011 appeal.

      • Knox also fails to detail the full reasons why Cassation so completely rejected his verdict.

      Once again, our case had to go to the Corti 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 don’t know if I would survive if I were made to go back to prison with no hope of an appeal.

      If the guilty verdict was upheld, Raffaele’s word would shrink to the size of his cell.  And there would be nothing that his family, his lawyers, or I could do about it.  Neither of us deserved jail, but being free while he wasn’t would torment me.

      The book advance helped repay some of the money my parents and step-parents had borrowed—the maximum allowed against their homes and retirements—and the mounting legal fees I owed my Italian lawyers.

      My notoriety left me vulnerable at times I least expected.  A couple of students in one of my large lecture classes at UW posted pictures of me online saying they were in class with a murderer.

      I had read Raffaele’s book and was surprised that there were things I hadn’t heard before.  This was my chance to ask him.  In it he describes himself as ‘‘Mr. Nobody’‘.  Although he had been falsely imprisoned as long as I had, the prosecution and media portrayed him as a second fiddle, manipulated by me.  The prosecution always said he took orders from me.  The media referred to him as ‘‘Amanda’s ex-boyfriend’‘.

      • There are probably many things in the book Raffaele hadn’t heard before.  He claims Andrew Gumbel wrote it, in his latest court proceedings.

      • This is Knox’s chance to ask him?  To get your stories straight?

      • He was falsely imprisoned for as long as Knox had?  Sollecito got 3 years for calunnia as well?

      • Yes, the media did portray it as the ‘‘Amanda Knox Show’‘.  He was just a secondary actor.

      He also writes that the prosecution had contacted his defence unofficially to suggest cutting a deal if he testified against me.  His family was willing to consider it, but Raffaele resolutely refused.  ‘‘I had no idea.’’ I said.  ‘‘Thank you.’‘

      In April 2013, when my memoir was published, I did my own media tour in New York.  I did a Primetime special with Diane Sawyer and made an appearance on Good Morning America!  I was featured in articles in USA Today and People.  I spoke with reporters as far away as Australia.  I gave so many interviews in my publisher’s office—one person after another—that my picture was being taken for one media outlet when the next reporter and photographer were coming in.  It was exhausting, but their was a huge upside.  I was sure once people hear me tell my story, they will embrace my innocence.

      Unlike the previous high court hearing, the justices listened to all sides without interrupting the defence.

      • As Knox did not attend the 2013 Cassazione hearing, she would not know how often they were interrupted.

      • Knox did not attend the 2015 Cassazione hearing, so she would not know how attentively they listened.

      • In fact neither in 2013 or 2015 were the Perugia or Florence prosecutions even represented at the Supreme Court at all.
      Posted on 12/03/15 at 07:00 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
      Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas teamOther legal processesKnox diffamazioneKnox book hoaxes
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      Saturday, November 28, 2015

      Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her Invented Claims #11

      Posted by Chimera



      More implacable nastiness in Star Wars.  Click for Comments.

      1. Overview Of This Series

      My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

      Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

      One more quick post after this one, on the new Afterword, and the series will be done here. Then we will repost the final version on a new Knox Liewatch page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The ten posts before this one can all be read here.

      Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.

      2. Dissection Of Pages 403 to Afterword

      Chapter 31, Page 403 ]  To the Kerchers, I wrote,

      I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to say so. Pm not the one who killed your daughter and sister. I’m a sister, too, and I can only attempt to imagine the extent of your grief. In the relatively brief time that Meredith was part of my life, she was always kind to me. I think about her every day.

      • Wow .... I was only kidding when I said Knox should send a ‘‘Sorry for your loss’’ letter.

      • You can only attempt to imagine the extent of your grief?  Right, you would have to care about Meredith.

      • You are charged with her death, and you think of her everyday?  Is that what you really meant?

      [Chapter 31, Page 403]  Disappointed and unsatisfied, I went back to my cell and came up with Plan B. I’d make a personal statement at the beginning of the trial. Unlike my declarations during the first trial, this one would be “spontaneous” in name only. I’d weave in Kassin’s work to explain why I’d reacted to my interrogation as I had. At the same time, I’d speak directly to Patrick and the Kerchers.I spent over a month writing drafts. Alone in my cell, I paced, muttering to myself as if I were speaking to the judges and jury.

      • So, you are allowed to address the court, and you try to get ‘‘scientific’’ information in by the backdoor?

      • You weren’t interrogated.  I get tired of saying that.

      • But at least since it is a defence appeal, prosecutors won’t be introducing any ‘‘evidence’’ in.

      • You come off as fake and rehearsed.  Now you admit you do rehearse.

      [Chapter 31, Page 404]  As I honed my statement, I decided it would be stronger to speak from my heart, without Kassin’s academic language. I’d tell the court about how I had been confused by the police and had lacked the courage to stand up to the authorities when they demanded that I name a murderer.  During the first trial, I believed my innocence would be obvious. It hadn’t saved me, and I might never again have the chance to approach Patrick and the Kerchers. This time I was determined to help myself.

      • Why are you honinh your statement if you are speaking from the heart?

      • Do you normally include ‘‘academic language’’ when speaking from the heart?

      • You’ll tell the police how you had been confused?  If you were confused 3 years ago, how do you remember now?

      • Which was it?  They demanded you name a killer, or they wanted to know who Patrick was?  It can’t be both.

      • You believed your innocence would be obvious?  Were you watching your trial, or someone else’s?

      [Chapter 32, Page 405]  0ne must necessarily begin with the only truly certain, undisputed, objective fact: on November 2, 2007, a little after one P.M., in the house of Via dells Pergola, Number Seven, in Perugia, the body of the British student Meredith Kercher was discovered.”

      Those were the opening words spoken at my appeal, by the assistant judge, Massimo Zanetti.

      • Yeah, screw that mixed blood, footprints, false alibis, false accusation double DNA knife, and no alibi.

      • Weren’t the closing words ‘‘the truth may be different’‘?  (meaning AK and RS may not be innocent).

      [Chapter 32, Page 406]  Rocco and Corrado had given Laura money to buy me appropriate court clothes. She turned out to be an excellent personal shopper.  My champagne-colored blouse and black pants told the judges and jury that I respected them and the law.

      • Not flirting and smirking would also tell the judges and jury you respect them.

      [Chapter 32, Page 406]  The judge’s opening statement gave us hope that the court wanted a trial grounded in facts, not theories. Will we finally get a fair trial? Will the judges and jury finally listen to what we have to say?

      • Judge Massei didn’t give you a fair trial?

      • Judge Micheli didn’t give you a fair pre-trial hearing?

      • Will the judges and jury listen to what you have to say?  Will you agree to an unrestricted cross examination?

      • Will Sollecito take the stand at all?  (and no, giving speeches doesn’t count).

      [Chapter 32, Page 406]  I stood to deliver my declaration, the one I’d worked on for weeks. Speaking in Italian, without an interpreter, I sensed my voice quavering, my hands trembling:

      • Yes, the ‘‘spontaneous declaration’’ that you spent weeks preparing ....

      • You could agree to answer questions about Meredith’s death, couldn’t you

      FOR A MORE DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE STATEMENT TO THE APPEALS COURT:

      http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/scientific_statement_analysis_4_amanda_knoxs_statement_to_the_appeal_c/

      [Chapter 32, Page 410]  My declaration left me feeling cleansed and relieved. I didn’t expect to change minds instantly—and I didn’t. Chris, Mom, and Madison told me later that the Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, had left the room at my first mention of Meredith’s family. “She bores me,”  the London Guardian reported him saying. “Her speech lacked substance, was designed to impress the court and was not genuine.”

      • Is he wrong?  You said that you rehearsed for weeks trying to impress.

      [Chapter 32, Page 410]  Maresca cared more about seeing me convicted than finding justice for Meredith. He always spoke of me as if I were a monster who must pay for Meredith’s death with my life.

      • So, someone who cashes in on the brutal killing of a ‘‘friend’’ is just quirky?

      • If you are guilty, then convicting you does mean justice for Meredith.

      [Chapter 32, Page 411]  Since court hearings were held only on Saturdays, an excruciatingly slow week would have to pass before we’d know Judge Hellmann’s mind. While we waited, Italy’s highest court signed the final paperwork on Rudy Guede’s verdict, approving his reduced sixteen-year sentence in the belief that he had not acted alone. Could that news influence Judge Hellmann’s decision? By pursuing our trial, he might seem to be contradicting the Supreme Court and make Italy look foolish.

      • It was slow for the Kerchers too.  One hearing every 2 weeks, it took almost as long as the Massei trial.

      • Guede’s sentence was reduced to 16 years because he chose the ‘‘fast-track option’’ that you referenced.  That means he gets 1/3 less than you for murder.  24 years - 1/3 = 16 years.

      • Hellmann would indeed make the Supreme Court and Italy look foolish, but not for the reasons you are suggesting. [Chapter 32, Page 411]  “I’m convinced the case is complex enough to warrant a review in the name of ‘reasonable doubt,”’ Judge Hellmann told the rapt courtroom. “If it is not possible to check the identity of the DNA, we will check on the reliability of the original tests.”

      • This sounds impressive, but bringing in of independent experts is meant for the ‘‘trial’’ phase, and not for the 1st level appeal.

      • Hellmann would later go on to say that he brought the experts: Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti, since he didn’t understand much about DNA.

      • It would later be revealed that the 2 ‘‘independent’’ experts were not really independent.

      [Chapter 32, Page 411] I hadn’t wanted to admit to my lawyers or to myself how petrified I’d been. Only when the result came back did I realize how much fear I had had pent up. I brushed away tears. We might finally have a real chance to defend ourselves.

      Still, I was wary. The judge in the previous trial had granted our request for data and then sided with the prosecution’s interpretation.

      • You had many chances to defend yourself.  You went before Judge Claudia Matteini, November 8th, 2007.

      • http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_knox_interrogation_hoax_10_/

      • You went before a 3 judge panel chaired by Judge Massimo Ricciarelli, November 30, 2007.

      • You agreed to be questioned (with lawyers present), by Prosecutor Mignini,

      • http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/knox_tied_in_knots_by_her_own_tongue_translation_4/

      • You appealed to Cassation, headed by Judge Torquato Gemeli, in April 2008.

      • http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_knox_interrogation_hoax_16/

      • You attended pre-trial hearings in front of Judge Paolo Micheli in October and November 2008

      • http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_knox_interrogation_hoax_18_micheli/

      • You also had the opportunity to testify at your own trial in 2009.

      • http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/italy_shrugs_why_the_defendants_testimony_seems_to_have_been_a_real_fl/

        http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/this_testimony_does_not_seem_to_have_gained_much_traction_here_in_ital/

      • You seem unhappy that the expert opinion didn’t go your way?  Sollecito says the same thing in ‘‘Honor Bound’‘.

      • From page 107 [page 107] ‘’... Papà was spinning like a dervish to clear my name, but not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped. One consultant whom he asked to monitor the Polizia Scientifica demanded eight thousand euros up front, only to prove reluctant to make overt criticisms of the police’s work, the very thing for which he’d been hired. A forensic expert who also seemed a little too close to the police charged four thousand euros for his retainer with the boast, “I’m expensive, but I’m good.” He wasn’t. A computer expert recommended by Luca Maori didn’t know anything about Macs, only PC’s.”

      • [Chapter 32, Page 411]  After that, we were back to waiting again. The independent experts, Dr. Carla Vecchiotti and Dr. Stefano Conti, forensic medicine professors at Rome’s university, La Sapienza, were sworn in, and Judge Hellmann charged them with figuring out whether a new analysis of the DNA on the knife and bra clasp was possible. If not, he wanted to know if the original results of the prosecution’s forensic expert were reliable: Were the interpretations of the genetic profiles correct? Had there been risk of contamination? The experts were given three months from the day the prosecution turned over the evidence.
        • Vecchiotti and Conti would claim that there is too little DNA to do additional testing.  However, when the Carabinieri got the knife back, they ‘WERE’ able to do an additional test.

        • Therein lies part of the problem.  It is not enough to say ‘‘there might have been contamination’‘.  You have to at least show ‘‘how’’ it was likely to have happened.

        [Chapter 32, Page 411]  During the first trial, Prosecutor Mignini had called the witness Antonio Curatolo, a homeless man referred to as “the stepping-stone leading us up to the murder.” Curatolo had testified that he’d seen Raffaele and me arguing on the basketball court in Piazza Grimana. It was key evidence in our conviction, because it contradicted our alibi that we’d never left Raffaele’s apartment. But it had been left unclear which night Curatolo, was describing—Halloween or November 1?

        [Chapter 32, Page 413]  Under the judges’ questioning, Curatolo, talked about his personal history: “I was an anarchist, then I read the Bible and became a Christian anarchist,” he said.  He confirmed that he was now in prison, adding, “I haven’t quite understood why yet.” Asked if he’d used heroin in 2007, he answered, “I have always used drugs. I want to clarify that heroin is not a hallucinogen.”

        • This is a made up passage to smear Curatolo as being disconnected from reality, and hence unreliable.

        • Hellmann would go on to discredit the witness without any real basis, and would be criticized for it

        [Chapter 32, Page 414]  “Curatolo didn’t know what he was talking about, poor guy. If my life didn’t depend on his being wrong, I’d just feel bad for him,” I reported.

        “The broadcasts here are saying that he’s a confused drug addict!” someone cried.

        It was ironic that I learned from my family in Seattle what the journalists in the courtroom were thinking. “The media are really figuring it out this time,” my family reassured me. “It’s going to be okay.”

        The media, yes. But what about the judges and jury? I wondered. Curatolo hadn’t been convincing in the first trial, either, but his testimony had contributed to our conviction.

        • The media is really figuring it out this time?  God job, Dave Marriott.

        • Those broadcasts?  Were they in the courtroom, or just reporting a PR line?

        • Worried about the judge and jury?  Don’t worry, it was already decided.

        [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.

        • So, you are accusing the analyst Stefanoni of committing a contempt of court (dodging court orders)?

        • You are accusing her of withholding documents and sabotaging your right to a fair trial?

        • Pretty serious claims to make.

        • Interestingly though, these ‘‘experts’’ only chose to test 2 pieces of DNA (Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp, and the DNA on the big knife).  What about the other DNA evidence that had been introduced?  Did Judge Hellmann even know about them?

        [Chapter 32, Page 415]  Before the court withdrew to decide whether to approve the delay, I made a statement. “I’ve spent more than three and a half years in prison as an innocent person,” I told the court. “It’s both frustrating and mentally exhausting. I don’t want to remain in prison, unjustly, for the rest of my life. I recall the beginning of this whole thing, when I was free. I think of how young I was then, how I didn’t understand anything. But nothing is more important than finding the truth after so many prejudices and mistakes. I ask the court to grant the extra time, so that the experts may complete a thorough analysis. Thank you.”

        • For someone supposedly wrongfully imprisoned (in part) to junk DNA, you seem really calm about this.

        • Silly question, why did you lawyers never attend the DNA testing in 2008, when they had the chances to?

        [Chapter 32, Page 416]  When Luciano came to Capanne for our weekly Wednesday meeting, he told me that a special award had been given to officers in the Squadra Mobile for its work on Meredith’s murder investigation.  The citation read: “To recognize elevated professional capabilities, investigative acumen, and an uncommon operative determination. They conducted a complex investigation that concluded in the arrest of the authors of the murder of the British student that had taken place in the historic center of Perugia.”

        Four of the sixteen police officers receiving the Police Holiday award were named in the police’s slander charge against me.

        They included Vice Superintendent Marco Chiacchiera, whose “investigative instinct” led him to randomly select Raffaele’s kitchen knife from the drawer as the murder weapon; Substitute Commissioner and Homicide Chief Monica Napoleons; and Chief Inspector Rita Ficarra.

        The news infuriated me. I knew it was just another face-saving ploy. How could they commend the officer who had hit me during my interrogation and those who had done so much wrong?

        But I wasn’t surprised. It was completely in line with the prosecution’s tactics to discredit my supporters and me. Mignini had charged my parents with slander for an interview they gave to a British newspaper in which they told the story of my being slapped during the interrogation. He was the one who had charged me with slandering the police.

        • You accuse (again) Chiacchiera of randomly selecting a knife and then calling it evidence

        • You accuse a dark haired woman (who you now name as Ficarra), as assaulting you

        • You accuse PM Mignini of an illegal interrogation, and of pursuing this case for his own career.

        • You accuse PM Mignini of trying to ‘‘discredit you’’ for filing a complaint about false claims your parents made

        • You accuse the citations as being ‘‘politically motivated’‘.

        • Oh right, you falsely accuse Patrick of raping and murdering Meredith.

        • Amanda, has it yet sunk in that making false accusations is not a good idea?

        [Chapter 32, Page 417]  British journalist Bob Graham interviewed Mignini for an article in The Sun that came out on Police Holiday. Mignini confided in Graham that he chose the parts of my interrogation that suited his purposes. He also said that my interpreter at the questura that night was “more investigator than translator.” When Graham asked the prosecutor why there was no evidence of me in Meredith’s bedroom, Mignini told him, “Amanda might theoretically have instigated the murder while even staying in the other room.”

        • Which parts of your ‘‘interrogation’’ did ‘‘Mayor’’ Mignini choose if he asked no questions?

        • You accuse Anna Donnino of being a police plant, and not actually trying to be an interpreter.

        • No evidence of you in Meredith’s bedroom?  There is plenty just outside.

        • And what about your shoeprint and the DNA of your ‘‘alibi witness’‘?

        • To play devil’s advocate, you did write statements that you were in the kitchen, trying not to hear Meredith’s screams.

        [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 ...

        “In this context, on November 9, 2009, Guede told me that in the following days, and in particular on November 18, 2009, he had his appeal and he was reflecting over whether to ... tell the truth about Meredith Kercher’s murder. In particular, he asked me what the consequences could be to his position if he gave statements that reconstructed a different truth about what happened the night of the murder.

        • Yes, jailhouse snitches are always reliable witnesses.

        [Chapter 32, Page 418]  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.

        • This is quite the revelation.  I thought Guede broke in to rob the place, and Meredith interrupted him.

        • Interestingly, this ‘‘other man’‘, is never identified.

        • Despite Guede leaving ‘‘vast amount of himself’’ at the crime scene, this unnamed accomplice apparently left none.

        • So ... if the intent ‘‘was’’ to have a 3-some, perhaps the burglary really was staged, and the police were correct.

        [Chapter 32, Page 418]  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 ...

        “The second part of his secret came out while we were in our respective cells ... at a certain point he and his friend changed positions, in the sense that his friend attempted to have oral sex with Meredith while Guede was behind. He specified in particular that his friend was in front of Meredith, who was on her knees, while Guede was behind Meredith, with his knee on her back. Kercher tried to wriggle out ...

        “Kercher tried to get away, and at this point Guede’s friend took a knife with an ivory-colored handle out of his pocket. While Kercher tried to get away, turning around, she was wounded by the blade. At this point, seeing as she began to bleed, Guede, finding his hands covered in blood, let her go. While Guede tried to staunch the wound with clothes, his friend reprimanded him, saying,

        ‘Let’s finish her. If not, this whore will have us rot in prison: At this point, his friend killed her, stabbing her various times while Guede gathered clothes to staunch the wounds. Then, realizing that she wasn’t breathing anymore, he left.”

        • Still wondering: why this other man left no traces in the murder room.  After all, Knox reminds us again and again and again that that is impossible.

        • Alessi seems to have a stunning memory.  He can recall precise details of a story he only heard.

        • However, he is a little vague: did Meredith greet them at the door, or does she just expect strange men in her home?

        • Alessi also remembers that Guede went to the bathroom.  Of course, it happens to be when ‘‘quirky’’ Knox refused to flush the toilet.

        • Also, is this a tacit admission that a ‘‘lone-wolf’’ attacker was just not possible?

        [Chapter 32, Page 419]  Listening to Alessi testify, I felt frozen in my chair, my limbs numb. Alessi was a calm, direct, convincing speaker. Is this possibly what happened the night of November 1 ? Is this the horror that Meredith experienced? For three and a half years, I’d tried to imagine Meredith’s murder and had to push it out of my mind. When the prosecutor had put Raffaele and me into the scene, it hadn’t bothered me nearly this much. We weren’t there, so Meredith’s murder couldn’t possibly have unfolded the way Mignini described. His story was so far-fetched, and it was so painful to hear myself described in bloodthirsty terms, that I couldn’t help but focus on the verbal attack on me rather than the physical attack on Meredith.

        • It is farfetched.  Why was there no trace of this ‘‘other man’‘?  You keep saying it is impossible to murder without leaving traces.

        • If you weren’t there, how could you know exactly how it could or couldn’t unfold?

        • What verbal attack?  The courts treated you fairly.  As for the media, thank Curt for that.

        • Why were you trying imagine Merediith’s murder if you were trying to put it out of your mind?

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  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?

        • Yeah, not that prosecutors were pushing a ‘‘multiple attacker’’ theory since November 2007.

        • It forced you to focus on the torture?  Why exactly?

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  My lawyers once told me that investigators had found unidentified DNA at the crime scene, but I’d never dwelled on it. The prosecution had never presented it. Wouldn’t there have been signs of another person in the room and on Meredith’s body? I didn’t know. This is what I was sure of: Guede was there, Guede lied about us, Guede tried to escape his responsibility for the crime.  Guede would have to confess.

        • Well, your DNA is in your bathroom.  Oh, right, that only proves you lived there.

        • This ‘‘unidentified’’ DNA: was it blood, or something else?

        • Humour me, is an unflushed toilet part of the ‘‘crime scene’’ if it is not in the ‘‘murder room’‘?

        • Signs of another person?  Like DNA on the victim’s bra?  Oh, right Sollecito was at his home with you.

        • Signs of another person?  Such as lack of defensive wounds?

        • (1) Guede was there; (2) Guede lied about us; (3) Guede tried to escape responsibility.  Okay, let’s try this:

        • (1) You were there, your statements say you were, your blood mixed with Meredith’s.

        • (2) You lied about your alibi, according to Sollecito

        • (3) You tried to escape responsibility by framing Patrick.

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  I desperately hoped he’d be honest when he took the witness stand. With the Supreme Court’s seal on his conviction, his sentence couldn’t be extended no matter how he incriminated himself. Since he truly had nothing to lose, I thought he might admit his crimes—and the fact that Raffaele and I weren’t there that night.

        • Actually, you desperately hoped he’d be silent.

        • Forget Guede, why don’t you simply testify (without restrictions), about what you were doing that night?

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  In the meantime, I was agitated. I had no reason to expect that Guede would admit what had happened—anyone who can kill is already lacking a conscience. Even if Guede acknowledged Raffaele’s and my innocence, it still wouldn’t be enough on its own to free us—his statements were compromised since he’d lied before and wasn’t impartial. But it would be a huge step in the right direction—and an even bigger comfort to me.

        • Anyone who can kill lacks a conscience?  Amanda, I think we are making progress.

        • His statements were compromised?  Great, there isn’t any other evidence I assume.

        • It would be a comfort—that your frame job worked?!

        [Chapter 32, Page 423]  Twenty-four hours before the court-appointed experts were to present their findings on the DNA, only two words were going through my mind. What if? What if their review somehow - impossibly - confirmed Meredith’s DNA on the knife blade? What if they found that the bra clasp couldn’t have been contaminated?

        • What if they did confirm it?  What good is bleach then?

        • The bra clasp being contaminated how exactly?

        • Again, there are many other pieces of DNA evidence to tie you to the murder.  Why cherry-pick these two?

        [Chapter 32, Page 423] Or what if the experts risked telling the truth and sided with the defense?  I knew the prosecution’s DNA testing was flawed. But so little had gone right in this case, why would this go right?

        Science was on our side. The knife blade had tested negative for blood, and there was a high likelihood that the bra clasp had been contaminated while it sat on the floor for six weeks. But I had no faith in facts anymore. They hadn’t saved me before. It was terrifying to hope—and impossible not to.

        • This is a court.  People are not ‘‘punished’’ for telling the truth.

        • You knew the prosecutor’s DNA testing was flawed?  How much research have you done on the topic?

        • The bra clasp, in a sealed crime scene, was contaminated .... how?

        [Chapter 32, Page 423]  I had to hear the words myself. I went to the TV, madly changing channels until I found the news. “Svoltaa Giudiziaria” - “Judicial Turning Point” - the headline read, behind an announcer who was talking about my case. The crawl at the bottom read: “DNA damning Knox and Sollecito deemed unreliable by court-appointed experts. New hope arises for the defendants.”

        • Once again, why only test those 2 pieces of DNA evidence?  Do you not contest them?  Or not want Hellmann to consider them?

        • Why not get independent experts for the trial?  That is how things are normally done.
          Posted on 11/28/15 at 04:45 PM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas teamOther legal processesKnox diffamazioneKnox book hoaxes
          Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (18)

          Thursday, November 26, 2015

          Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her Invented Claims #10

          Posted by Chimera



          More implacable nastiness in Star Wars.  Click for Comments.

          1. Overview Of This Series

          My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

          Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

          Two more quick posts after this one and the series will be done here. Then we will repost the final version on a new Knox Liewatch page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The nine posts before this one can all be read here.

          Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.

          2. Dissection Of Pages 394 to 403

          [Chapter 31, Page 394] The questions and choices I made during the first trial ate at me. What if Id spoken up more, clarified more when other witnesses took the stand, pleaded my innocence more forcefully Would it have made a difference? I’d waited for the jury and the world to realize that there was no evidence against me. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

          • What if you’d spoken up more?

          • You did speak up that you ‘‘vaguely remembered’’ Patrick murdering Meredith.  It got you 3 years for calunnia.

          • You did speak up in June 2009 that you were hit by police.  You have another calunnia trial pending.

          • You got you parents to speak up that you were being mistreated.  It got calunnia complaints against them.

          • You frequently spoke up that you were mistreated.  Your own lawyers told you publicly to shut up.

          • ’‘Not speaking up enough’’ is not the problem.  The opposite in fact.

          • You waited for the jury to realize their was no evidence?  So, what were Mignini/Comodi presenting to the court?

          • You were waiting?  Well, when the defence files an appeal, the prosecution won’t be presenting ‘‘any’’ evidence.  Hmm…..

          • You won’t make the same mistake twice?  You keep making the same mistakes.

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  Though I trusted my lawyers completely, this time I wanted to be involved in every decision. I owed it to myself. I couldn’t survive another guilty verdict if my team and I overlooked a single speck of favorable evidence.

          • You trust them completely, but now want to start micromanaging? 

          • If you overlook a ‘‘single speck’’ of favourable evidence?  Are you reduced to looking for ‘‘specks’‘?

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  Once I started thinking about what might be possible, nothing seemed out of reach. Should I write to the new judge? The U.S. secretary of state? Why not the president?

          • You later tried that with Judge Nencini, while skipping your Florence appeal.  Didn’t go over well.

          • The Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton at the time)?  Sure, she doesn’t have any pressing foreign matters to deal with.

          • The President (Barack Obama)?  Sure, running the free world is just a part time gig.

          • Why might U.S. oficials be reluctant to get involved in ongoing murder trials?  Don’t know.

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  Rather than write, I read. The 407-page report from Judge Massei explained why we’d been convicted and how Raffaele, Guede, and I had murdered Meredith.  The supposed motive was as far-fetched as a soap opera plot. “Amanda and Raffaele suddenly found themselves without any commitments; they met Rudy Guede by chance and found themselves together with him at the house on the Via dells Pergola where ... Meredith was alone,”

          • You and Raffaele suddenly found yourselves without any commitments?  Well you did get that text not to come to work.

          • Sollecito doesn’t have a job, so he likely didn’t have any commitments either.

          • You met Guede by chance?  You do seem to know him.

          • Guede ended up at the house with you?  You mean he didn’t break in leaving your blood mixed with Meredith’s?

          • Meredith was alone?  Okay, that is actually true.

          [Chapter 31, Page 395] The judges and jury hypothesized that Raffaele and I were fooling around, and that Guede started raping Meredith because we turned him on. Instead of helping Meredith, we inexplicably and spontaneously joined Guede, because it was “an exciting stimulant that, although unexpected, had to be tried,” he wrote. “[The criminal acts were carried out on the force of pure chance. A motive, therefore, of an erotic, sexually violent nature which, arising from the choice of evil made by Rudy, found active collaboration from Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.”  The report rejected the prosecution’s claim that Meredith and I had had a contentious relationship.  The judge wrote “the crime that was carried out ... without any animosity or feelings of rancor against the victim. . .”

          • You have said you want the Kerchers to read your book, but you put information such as this in?

          • Judge Massei didn’t contradict the claim of a strained relationship.

          • Meredith took your job at Le Chic .... and no hard feelings?

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  They allowed that there was no evidence of contact between Guede and me—no e-mails, phone calls, or eyewitnesses. They discounted the testimony of Hekuran Kokomani, the witness from the pretrial and the trial who said he threw olives at me and who “identified” me by the nonexistent gap between my teeth. And they conceded that Raffaele and I were not likely killers.  Rather we were “two young people, strongly interested in each other, with intellectual and cultural curiosity, he on the eve of his graduation and she full of interests . . .”

          • No evidence of contact between you and Guede?  You admit that he visited the men downstairs.

          • No contact?  You say that their was laughter when Guede was asking if you were available.

          • No contact?  You admit to taking his order at Le Chic.

          • No contact?  You admit to contact in THIS VERY BOOK.

          • Casual sex, drugs and alcohol are ‘‘cultural events’‘?  Wow, the travel brochure leaves all this out.

          • If drugs and sex are ‘‘cultural’‘, that might explain things with Federico Martini.

          • You were interested in hooking up with Harry Potter.  Is that ‘‘cultural’‘?

          • ’‘Strongly interested’‘?  You knew each other for a week.

          [Chapter 31, Page 396]  Another factor, the judge wrote, was that Raffaele and I read comic books and watched movies “in which sexuality is accompanied by violence and by situations of fear . . .”  He brought up the disputed theory that Raffaele’s kitchen knife was the murder weapon, in addition to a new theory that I’d carried the knife in my “very capacious bag.” Why would I? “It’s probable, considering Raffaele’s interest in knives, that Amanda was advised and convinced by her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, to carry a knife with her ... during the night along streets that could have seemed not very safe to pass through at night by a girl.”

          • Yes, you were convicted on the basis of Manga porn and Amelie..

          • The theory is disputed because your own lawyers dispute it.  Self fulfilling prophecy?

          • Raffaele is guilty because he collects knives .... not the bloody footprint, DNA on Meredith’s bra, or false alibis.

          • Perugia is not safe?  Right, it’s a deathtrap that hadn’t seen a murder in 20 years.

          [Chapter 31, Page 397]  The lining of my bag wasn’t cut. The police found no blood in my bag. How can I prove what Ididn’t do?

          • The knife could also have been wrapped in something else.

          • The knife could still have been transported ‘‘to’’ the scene without blood.

          • Well, you can prove where you actually were when Meredith was killed.  That might help.

          [Chapter 31, Page 397]  The prosecution had based their case on misinterpreted and tainted forensic evidence and had relied heavily on speculation. But Judge Massei’s faith was blind. Patrizia Stefanoni would not “offer false interpretations and readings,” he wrote.

          • This all sounds impressive, but do you care to elaborate as to what evidence was misinterpreted or tainted?

          • Do you care to elaborate on what this ‘‘heavy reliance on speculation’’ is?

          • As for tainted evidence, why did your lawyers refuse to attend the testing?

          [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.

          • The appeal wouldn’t be a redo if the first trial?  So Hellmann releasing you was not double jeopardy.

          • Since you seem to understand the 3-level trial process, why lie and say it was over?

          • Getting 2 automatic appeals would suprise and unsettle most Americans?  Surprise them at least.

          • Yes, appeals court (in the Common Law courts too), can increase sentences for frivilous appeals.

          • To quote Alan Dershowitz, being released by an appeals court is not double jeopardy.

          • With this paragraph, Knox throws out her claim of being ‘‘retried’’ again.

          [Chapter 31, Page 397]  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.

          • So you get an automatic appeal that allows the case to be reopened?

          • And this appeal allows for additional witnesses and evidence to be called?  Not restricted as a Common Law appeal?

          • Many defendants in the U.S. would be envious of such a legal avenue.

          [Chapter 31, Page 398]  In our appeal request, we asked the court to appoint independent 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.

          • You did ask for experts.  However, criminal procedure only allows for it to be done at the lower trial level.

          • If this stain wasn’t analysed, then how exactly do you know it’s semen?

          • You appealed your convicted, and the prosecution ‘‘cross-appealed’‘, asking for a sentence increase.  Makes sense.

          [Chapter 31, Page 398]  I read and reread the Massei report, looking for discrepancies and flawed reasoning. I’m not a lawyer, but I had an insider’s perspective on the case, three years in prison, and eleven months in court. In one of Guede’s depositions, he claimed I’d come home the night of the murder, rung the doorbell, and that Meredith had let me in. Obviously he didn’t know it was our household habit to knock, not buzz. It was a little catch, but it was something my former Via dells Pergola housemates, Laura and Filomena, could confirm.

          • You are reading a 400 page legal document in Italian?  Guess we can drop all pretence you are limited in the language.

          • Looking for discrepencies?  How about all your different stories and alibis?  And Sollecito’s?

          • Looking for flawed reasoning?  Plenty of it.  Oh, you mean the prosecution’s flawed reasoning?

          • You had an insider’s perspective on the case?  You mean a front row seat with a lead role?

          • So, if someone buzzes the doorbell, you would not answer?

          [Chapter 31, Page 398]  For example, Madison wrote, “Witnesses: the prosecution knowingly used unreliable witnesses.

          “Interrogation: the police were under enormous pressure to solve the murder quickly.
          “There’s a pattern of the police/prosecution ignoring indications of your innocence. This must be pointed out. You were called guilty a month before forensic results, you were still considered guilty even though what you said in your interrogation wasn’t true, obviously false witnesses were used against you.

          • So, Madison Paxton accuses the prosecution of suborning perjury?  Nice to drop her in it, Knox.

          • Police have a pattern of ignoring signs you are innocent?  What signs did they miss?

          • You were called guilty before forensic results?  What about those statements where you say you were there?

          • Knox claims to be a witness to someone committing the crime.  Why would anyone think she was there?

          • False witnesses were used against you?  Patrick could make that claim.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  I knew that the most critical point was to be able to say why I’d named Patrick during my interrogation.

          • Once again, you were not interrogated.  Raffaele was called to the police station, and you came along.

          • Since you insisted on being there, Rita Ficarra asked if you would help make a list of potential contacts

          • Sollecito revoked your alibi, and you named Patrick, thinking it would get you off the hook.  It backfired.

          • That about covers it.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  The prosecution and civil parties argued that I was a manipulative, lying criminal mastermind. My word meant nothing. The court would always presume I was a liar. If, in their mind, I was a liar, it was an easy leap to murderer.

          I had been done in by my own words. I’d told the judges and jury things like “I didn’t mean to do harm” and “You don’t know what it’s like to be manipulated, to think that you were wrong, to have so much doubt and pressure on you that you try to come up with answers other than those in your memory.”

          • To go out on a limb here: if you are a manipulative liar, your word probably means nothing.

          • To prove the point, you are manipulating words to make it seem like people assume you are a killer.

          • You were done in by your own words.  For once, ‘‘best truthing’’ didn’t work.

          • You false accuse Patrick of rape and murder, but you didn’t mean any harm?

          • The only pressure was having to come up with a new alibi on the spot.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  Thankfully Madison had researched the science on false confessions. She found Saul Kassin, a psychologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. A specialist in wrongful convictions, he took the mystery out of what had happened to me.

          • Blaming an innocent person is not ‘‘falsely confessing’‘.  It is ‘‘falsely accusing’‘.

          • Saul doesn’t seem to be a very good psychologist if he can’t distinguish between ‘‘confessions’’ and ‘‘accusations’‘.

          • Saul also doesn’t seem to grasp any of the hard facts in the case, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

          • A specialist in wrongful convictions?  From the Susan Smith School of Criminal Justice?

          • What about Saul’s realization that ‘‘false confessions’’ generally happen to weak-willed people?  Something you are not.

          • Saul Kassin must be connected to Saul Goodman (scummy lawyer in Breaking Bad).  Mystery solved.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  Before my interrogation, I believed, like many people, that if someone were falsely accused, they wouldn’t, couldn’t, be swayed from the truth while under interrogation. I never would have believed that I could be pressured into confessing to something I hadn’t done. For three years I berated myself for not having been stronger. I’m an honest person.

          • You were not interrogated.  You were asked for a list of contacts, when Sollecito withdrew his alibi for you.

          • You were swayed by the loss of your alibi witness.

          • You didn’t ‘‘confess’‘. You ‘‘accused’’ Patrick of raping and murdering Meredith while you were in the kitchen cowering.

          • Of course, to false accuse, you have to claim to be present, and to be a witness.

          • For not being stronger?  Like not having a ‘‘better’’ backup alibi?

          • You are an honest person?  I just threw up in my mouth.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  During that interrogation, I had nothing to hide, and a stake in the truth-1 desperately wanted the police to solve Meredith’s murder. But now I know that innocent people often confess. The records kept of people convicted of a crime and later exonerated by DNA evidence show that the DNA of 25 percent of them didn’t match the DNA left at the scene. The DNA testing showed that one in four innocent people ended up confessing as I did.

          • Once more, you were not interrogated.

          • You wanted to solve Meredith’s murder?  Makes sense, you left Guede’s traces intact.

          • DNA testing shows that 1 in 4 innocents falsely accuse others of crimes?

          [Chapter 31, Page 400]  According to Kassin, there are different types of false confessions. The most common is “compliant,” which usually happens when the suspect is threatened with punishment or isolation. The encounter becomes so stressful, so unbearable, that suspects who know they’re innocent eventually give in just to make the uncomfortably harsh questioning stop. “You’ll get thirty years in prison if you don’t tell us,” says one interrogator. “I want to help you, but I can’t unless you help us,” says another.

          This was exactly the good cop/bad cop routine the police had used on me.

          • So which were you, the ‘‘compliant’’ false accusation, or the ‘‘internalized’’ false accusation?

          • Not having an alibi from Raffy was that stressful, unbearable, you just had to make it stop?

          • Patrick will be relieved to hear it was just those ‘‘Jedi mind tricks’‘.

          • Who were the good cop(s) and who were the bad cop(s)?

          [Chapter 31, Page 400]  Besides being compliant, I also showed signs of having made an “internalized” false confession.  Sitting in that airless interrogation room in the questura, surrounded by people shouting at me during forty- three hours of questioning over five days, I got to the point, in the middle of the night, where I was no longer sure what the truth was. I started believing the story the police were telling me. They took me into a state where I was so fatigued and stressed that I started to wonder if I had witnessed Meredith’s murder and just didn’t remember it. I began questioning my own memory.

          • You showed signs of?  I think the term is ‘‘malingering’‘.

          • 43 hours?  You told Judge Nencini is was over 50 hours.

          • You also said (in this book), everyone from the house was detained, and that you spent most of your time sitting around with Meredith’s British friends.

          • You went to class on Monday, and skipped Meredith’s memorial to go strum a ukulele.

          • You also went underwear shopping with Raffaele, and had some ‘‘fun’’ with him.

          • You were also with Federico Martini (a.k.a. Cristiano) and got more drugs in return for sex.

          • When were these 43+ hours?  You seemed to have a lot of free time.

          • Does an ‘‘internalized false accusation’’ make someone really bad at time and math?

          [Chapter 31, Page 400]  Kassin says that once suspects begin to distrust their own memory, they have almost no cognitive choice but to consider, possibly accept, and even mentally elaborate upon the interrogator’s narrative of what happened. That’s how beliefs are changed and false memories are formed.  That’s what had happened to me.

          • This sounds impressive, but the questions stopped at this point.  There was no narrative to elaborate on.

          • Beliefs are changed?  As in the police don’t believe you now, but maybe if you come up with something .....

          • False memories?  Like you cowering in the kitchen with your hands on your ears, WHILE SOMEONE ELSE killed Meredith?

          • That’s what happened to you?  Is that your ‘‘best truth’‘?

          [Chapter 31, Page 401]  Three years after my “confession,” I’d blocked out some of my interrogation. But the brain has ways of bringing up suppressed memories. My brain chooses flashbacks - sharp, painful flashes of memory that flicker, interrupting my conscious thoughts. My adrenaline responds as if it’s happening in that moment. I remember the shouting, the figures of looming police officers, their hands touching me, the feeling of panic and of being surrounded, the incoherent images my mind made up to try to explain what could have happened to Meredith and to legitimize why the police were pressuring me.

          • Did you also ‘‘block out’’ what happened to Meredith?

          • There was no shouting except from you, when you faked having a fit?

          • You ‘‘remember’‘?  This from the woman who writes about things her mind made up….?!

          • How were they pressuring you when they stopped asking questions?

          [Chapter 31, Page 401]  In my case they’d put several interrogators in a room with me. For hours they yelled, screamed, kept me on edge. When they exhausted themselves, a fresh team replaced them. But I wasn’t even allowed to leave to use the bathroom.

          • There were teams of interrogators waiting for you?  Why exactly?

          • You showed up unexpected that night, and Rita Ficarra told you to go home.

          • You weren’t allowed to use the bathroom?  Your own lawyers have publicly said you were not mistreated.

          [Chapter 31, Page 402] It had been the middle of the night. I’d already been questioned for hours at a time, days in a row. They tried to get me to contradict myself by homing in on what I’d done hour by hour, to confuse me, to cause me to lose track and get something wrong. They said I had no alibi. They lied, saying that Raffaele had told them I’d asked him to lie to the police. They wouldn’t let me call my mom. They wouldn’t let me leave the interrogation room. They were yelling at me in a language I didn’t understand. They hit me and suggested that I had trauma- induced amnesia. They encouraged me to imagine what could have happened, encouraged me to “remember” the truth because they said I had to know the truth. They threatened to imprison me for thirty years and restrict me from seeing my family. At the time, I couldn’t think of it as anything but terrifying and overwhelming.

          • How was this elaborate trap in place if it was night time, and you showed up unannounced? 

          • All they were asking was a list of potential men who might have visited the home.

          • That part was truthful.  Sollecito did say you asked him to lie, which left you without an alibi.

          • Why does a 20 year old need to call her mom, when being asked questions about a murder?  Never mind.

          • Actually, you were free to leave at that point.

          • You didn’t understand the language?  What was your interpreter, Anna Donnino there for?

          • If you didn’t understand the language, how did you know they thought you had trauma-induced amnesia?

          • Police are looking for a killer, and they ask you to ‘‘imagine’’ things?  Right.

          • Yeah, getting busted for murder can be pretty overwhelming.  No argument here.

          [Chapter 31, Page 402]  Number one, I would have written to the Kerchers. I wanted to tell them how much I liked their daughter. How lovingly she spoke of her family. Tell them that her death was a heartbreak to so many.

          • Well, you could help them by not publishing embarrassing details.

          • Please don’t tell them you like their daughter.  And please don’t ask to see the grave.

          • Her death was a heartbreak to so many.  Oh, right, I was one of them.

          [Chapter 31, Page 402]  Number two, I’d have written Patrick an apology. Naming him was unforgivable, and he didn’t deserve it, but I wanted to say that it wasn’t about him. I was pushed so hard that I’d have named anyone. I was sorry.

          • Yes, naming him was unforgivable.

          • No, it wasn’t about him, it was about saving your own ass.

          • You pushed yourself to come up with something once Sollecito said you went out—alone.

          • You did name anyone: Patrick, Rudy, Juve, Shaky, Spiros, Federico Martini ....

          • You were sorry that it didn’t work out?

          [Chapter 31, Page 403 ]  Dear Patrick,

          The explanation you’ve heard a number of times about my interrogation is true and I’m sure you understand well since you were arrested the same night without being told why.  Ifee1guilo and sorry for my part in it.

          • He was arrested ONLY because of you, but shit happens, right?
          Posted on 11/26/15 at 07:35 PM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamKnox book hoaxes
          Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (10)

          Wednesday, November 25, 2015

          Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her Invented Claims #9

          Posted by Chimera



          Implacable nastiness in Star Wars. Anakin is about to kill his wife here. Click for Comments.

          1. Overview Of This Series

          My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

          Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

          Four more quick posts and the series will be done here. Then we will post everything on a new Knox Lies page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The eight posts before this one can all be read here.

          Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.

          2. Dissection Of Pages 355 to 394

          [Chapter 28, Page 355]  “I’d like to show the court a visual prop we’ve constructed to demonstrate our theory of the murder,” Comodi said. This introduced the most surreal moment of my nightmarish trial: a 3-D computer-generated animation with avatars representing me, Raffaele, Rudy Guede, and Meredith.  Carlo and Luciano were apoplectic. They shouted their objections, insisting that the film was unnecessary and inflammatory. Judge Massei allowed it. I didn’t watch it, but my lawyers said the avatar of me was dressed in a striped shirt like one I often wore to court. Raffaele, Guede, and I were depicted sneering.  Meredith’s avatar had an expression of horror and pain. The cartoon used real crime scene photos to show the blood splatters in Meredith’s room.

          • Trying to use a video simulation to explain a crime?  Happens regularly in U.S. courts.

          • So, should Meredith be sneering, and Knox, Sollecito, Guede have horrified expressions?

          [Chapter 28, Page 356]  I kept my head down, my eyes on the table. My stomach was churning. The courtroom was suddenly hot. I was boiling with anger and near tears. How are they allowed to make up what happened? I tried to block out Comodi’s voice as she narrated the imagined event.

          • Angry, why?  For having the brutality of it finally shown?

          • Was she supposed to narrate you in the kitchen covering your ears while Lumumba kills Meredith?

          • Was she supposed to narrate the one where Guede uses his 6 arms and spider-strength to overpower Meredith?

          [Chapter 28, Page 356] The cartoon couldn’t be entered as evidence, so no one outside the courtroom saw it. But the prosecution had achieved their goal. They’d planted an image in the minds of the judges and jury.  When the lights came up, Comodi closed with a straightforward request: Give Amanda and Raffaele life imprisonment.

          • Nobody outside the courtroom saw the cartoon since it “couldn’t” be entered as evidence?  In fact it was purely a choice of the prosecution and judge to stop it leaking to the media.

          • The points of clearing the court are to protect the dignity of the victim, and to prevent word of it from inflaming the public via the media.

          • The point is not to ‘‘plant an image’‘.  It is to provide the best interpretation of what happened.

          • Finally a truthful statement.  Yes, they did ask for life in prison.

          [Chapter 28, Page 357]  Then he [Pacelli] descended on me as if I were a witch on trial in the Middle Ages. “So who is Amanda Knox? In my opinion, within her resides a double soul—the angelic and compassionate, gentle and naive one, of Saint Maria Goretti, and the satanic, diabolic Luciferina, who was brought to engage in extreme, borderline acts and to adopt dissolute behavior. This last was the Amanda of November 1, 2007 ... It must be spelled out clearly: Amanda was a girl who was clean on the outside because she was dirty within, spirit and soul.. .”

          • Pacelli didn’t descend on you as if it were the middle ages.  He descended on you for having committed heinous acts.

          • Extreme, borderline acts?  I guess sexual assault and murder, then framing someone are ‘‘mainstream’’ ....

          [Chapter 28, Page 357]  How can any girl defend herself against a guy armed with a knife? “It’s a very long list of lesions: to the face, neck, hands, forearms, thighs. Try to understand the terror, the fear, the pain this girl suffered in the last seconds of her life in the face of the multiple aggression, an aggression brought about by more than one person.” Maresca didn’t mention that the prosecution’s own coroner—the only person who’d analyzed Meredith’s body—had said it was impossible to determine whether one or more people attacked Meredith.

          • How can any woman defend herself against a guy armed with a knife?  Many have before.

          • This is disingenuous.  The coroner is NEVER able to make the determination of multiple attackers based solely on injuries.  They can make reasonable assumptions and say things are likely, but few things are 100% certain.

          • That said, that many injuries with so few defensive marks leads to two possibilities: (1) The victim had been restrained; or (2) Multiple attackers were present.

          [Chapter 28, Page 358]  Maresca, like Mignini, criticized any media that had questioned his work. But what most enraged me was the false contrast he set up between the Kerchers and my family. “You’ll remember Meredith’s family for their absolute composure. They taught the world the elegance of silence. We’ve never heard them on the television ... in the newspapers. They’ve never given an interview. There’s an abysmal difference between them and what has been defined as the Knox Clan and the Sollecito Clan, which give interviews on national television and in magazines every day.” Thank God for my “clan,” I thought. They’re the only ones on my side.

          • Meredith: likeable, ambitious, driven student.

          • Knox: crass, lazy, does drugs and brings home strange men.

          • Kercher family: kept a low profile during the trial.

          • Knox family: parents hired a PR firm to rail about how Knox was being railroaded by a corrupt prosecutor, and ancient judicial system

          [Chapter 28, Page 358]  Meredith’s family is grieving, but my family knows that Pm not the cause of the Kerchers’ grief. Just as Meredith’s family came to Perugia to seek justice for their daughter, mine have come to seek justice for me. Both families are good. Both families are doing the best they can, the best way they know how..

          • Meredith’s family is grieving?  So that’s what grief looks like?  Good to know.

          • Well, your mother knew you were the cause of PATRICK’S grief, and did nothing about it.

          • If your family were here to seek justice, they would have let things play out.

          • The way they know how?  Oh, Judge Hellmann .....

          [Chapter 28, Page 358]  “Raffaele and Rudy Guede never met, went out together, or saw each other,” Maori said. “The two young men belonged to completely different worlds and cultures. Raffaele comes from a big and healthy family. Rudy rejected his family. Raffaele has always been a model student. Rudy was never interested in school or work. Raffaele is timid and reserved. Rudy is uninhibited, arrogant, extroverted.” “Accomplices who don’t know each other . Bongiorno said, drawing out the words to emphasize the paradox that they couldn’t have been accomplices if they didn’t even know each other! Raffaele, she told the court, was “Mr. Nobody"—put in by the prosecution as an afterthought.  “There was no evidence of him at the scene.” The prosecution had contradicted themselves. “He’s there, but he’s not. He has a knife, but he doesn’t. He’s passive, he’s active.”

          • Vanessa losing her job while interfering with the case is ‘‘healthy’‘?

          • Since we are talking about ‘‘work ethic’‘, Sollecito is the only one of the 3 who never held a job.

          • Rudy is uninhibited, arrogant, extroverted?  Umm…. so is Knox.

          • People with different personalities can still know each other.  Sollecito knew Knox.

          • And despite the claim Sollecito didn’t know Guede, they both knew Knox.

          • Sollecito wasn’t put there as an afterthought.  He was Knox’s alibi witness, until he said she made him lie.

          [Chapter 28, Page 359] In defending Raffaele, she also defended me. “If the court doesn’t mind, and Amanda doesn’t mind, the innocence of my client depends on Amanda Knox,” she said. “A lot of people think that she doesn’t make sense. But Amanda just sees things her way. She reacts differently. She’s not a classic Italian woman. She has a naive perspective of life, or did when the events occurred. But just because she acted differently from other people doesn’t mean she killed someone….

          • Sollecito’s innocence depends on Knox?  Wasn’t his ‘‘official’’ position that she went out?

          • She reacts differently?  Yeah, shit happens.

          • Her reactions don’t mean it, but false alibis, false accusations, turning off phones, mixed blood, etc ... do mean it.

          [Chapter 28, Page 359]  “Amanda looked at the world with the eyes of Am6lie” she said, referring to the quirky waif in the movie that Raffaele and I watched the night of Meredith’s murder.  Amelie and I had traits in common, Bongiorno said. “The extravagant, bizarre personality, full of imagination. If there’s a personality who does cartwheels and who confesses something she imagined, it’s her. I believe that what happened is easy to guess. Amanda, being a little bizarre and naive, when she went into the questura, was truly trying to help the police and she was told, ‘Amanda, imagine. Help us, Amanda. Amanda, reconstruct it. Amanda, find the solution. Amanda, try.’ She tried to do so, she tried to help, because she wanted to help the police, because Amanda is precisely the Am6lie of Seattle.”

          • Knox looks at the world with the eyes of Amelie?  Are you arguing innocence or insanity?

          • Knox didn’t ‘‘confess’’ to anything.  She falsely ‘‘accused’’ Patrick of something.

          • Knox didn’t ‘‘imagine’’ anything, except a possible way out after Sollecito pulled his alibi.

          • She didn’t go to the Questura to ‘‘help the police’‘.  She claimed she went because she was scared to be alone, and told to go home.

          • Knox wasn’t told to ‘‘imagine’’ how anything went.  She started writing a list of possible males who visited.

          • Sorry to pick up an old topic, but Knox is remembering all this as it was said?  Or did she get the trial transcripts?

          [Chapter 28, Page 360]  “At lunch hour on November 2, 2007, a body was discovered,” Luciano began. “It was a disturbing fact that captured the hearts of everyone. Naturally there were those who investigated. Naturally there were testimonies. Naturally there was the initial investigative activity. Immediately, immediately, especially Amanda, but also Raffaele, were suspected, investigated, and heard for four days following the discovery of the body. There was demand for haste. There was demand for efficiency. There was demand.

          • Knox has frequently claimed she was ‘‘interrogated’’ for days, but this is the first time, I am hearing about it happening to Sollecito.

          • ’‘ALL’’ of the residents of the house were detained, as Knox admits earlier in the book.  She was not targeted.

          • There was no ‘‘demand for haste’‘.  On November 5, 2007, the police asked him to come in to clear up his alibi.  Knox was not invited, and when she did show up, was asked to leave.

          • Again, how does Knox remember this summation, more than 3 years before she would write her book?

          [Chapter 28, Page 360]  “Such demand and such haste led to the wrongful arrest of Patrick Lumumba—a grave mistake.”  Carlo picked up the thread. “There is a responsible party for this and it’s not Amanda Knox. Lumumba’s arrest was not executed by Amanda Knox. She gave information, false information. Now we know. But you couldn’t give credit to what Amanda said in that way, in that moment and in that way. A general principle for operating under such circumstances is maximum caution. In that awkward situation there was instead the maximum haste.”  Having heard what they wanted to hear and without checking further, the investigators and Prosecutor Mignini arrested Patrick—bringing him in “like a sack of potatoes,” Luciano said.

          • Knox admitted in her June 2009 testimony that she was the one to bring Patrick’s name up.

          • She did this because Sollecito revoked his alibi, and she was suddenly desperate for a new one.

          • Caution?  Knox claimed to be a witness to the rape and murder.

          • Lumumba’s arrest WAS executed by Knox.  Judge Massei (2009), Judge Hellmann (2011), and Cassation (2013) all said it was.

          • They did check the facts.  Patrick was released once they investigated.

          • You guys are taking pot shots at the cops in your summation?  Somehow I doubt it.

          [Chapter 28, Page 361]  Maria Del Grosso criticized Mignini for the fiction he’d invented. “What must be judged today is whether this girl committed murder by brutal means. To sustain this accusation you need very strong elements, and what element does the prosecution bring us? The flushing of the toilet. Amanda was an adulterer. l hope that not even Prosecutor Mignini believes in the improbable, unrealistic, imaginary contrast of the two figures of Amanda and Meredith.”

          • The prosecution brought hard evidence to the trial.  What did you bring?

          • [I haven’t seen the trial transcript on this. Defence lawyers spin and distort things, but this may actually have been said.]

          [Chapter 28, Page 362]  Then Raffaele and I made our final pleas. Raffaele talked about how he would never hurt anyone.  That he had no reason to. That he wouldn’t have done something just because I’d told him to.  I’d spent hours sitting on my bed making notes about what I wanted to say, but as soon as I stood up, every word emptied from my brain. I had to go with what came to me, on the few notes I had prepared.

          • Yes, Sollecito, gave speeches about how he had no reason to hurt her, but refused to actually testify.

          • Likewise at the Nencini appeal, Sollecito gave speeches, but wouldn’t answer questions.

          • You have to make notes?  I guess it just doesn’t come naturally.

          [Chapter 28, Page 362]  “People have asked me this question: how are you able to remain calm? First of all, I’m not calm.  I’m scared to lose myself. I’m scared to be defined as what I am not and by acts that don’t belong to me. I’m afraid to have the mask of a murderer forced on my skin.

          • You were VERY calm after Meredith’s murder

          • Scared to lose yourself?  You mean, yet your cold-blooded side slip out?  Okay, probably true here.

          • Scared to be defined as something?  This is a murder trial.

          • Mask of a murderer?  Sweetheart, it’s not a mask.

          [Chapter 28, Page 362]  “I feel more connected to you, more vulnerable before you, but also trusting and sure in my conscience. For this I thank you ... I thank the prosecution because they are trying to do their job, even if they don’t understand, even if they are not able to understand, because they are trying to bring justice to an act that tore a person from this world. So I thank them for what they do ... It is up to you now. So I thank you.”  My words were so inadequate. But at least I remembered to thank the court again. Now I had to put my faith in what my lawyers and our experts and I had said month after month. I had to believe that it was good enough.

          • While I’m at it, I’d like to thank the director, the producer, and the supporting cast.

          • One more time people.  I don’t yet have the feel of this character.

          • Dammit guys!  We are shooting this film just great.

          • Your words are inadequate?  You should have hired Linda Kuhlman to ‘‘ghostwrite’’ your speech.  No, it would still suck.

          [Chapter 28, Page 364]  My head pounded as I shot from excitement to terror and back again—and again. My brain bounced between Please, please, please and Finally, finally, finally—THE END.

          • Yes, sequels are lame.  Like the sequel (or paperback) of this book.

          [Chapter 28, Page 364]  After dinner Tanya turned on the TV. Every channel was talking about my case: The big day! The world is hanging on, waiting to see what the decision will be in the “Italian trial of the century.”  Raffaele and Amanda have been charged with six counts. Meredith’s family will be there to hear the verdict. Amanda’s family is waiting in the hotel. The Americans believe there’s no case, but the prosecution insists that Meredith’s DNA is on the murder weapon and Raffaele’s DNA is on Meredith’s bra clasp. The prosecution has condemned the American media for taking an incorrect view of the case.

          • Well, the whole world wasn’t watching until Dad hired a PR firm.

          • Americans believe there is no case.  Probably due to a biased media that doesn’t bother to check their facts

          • Meredith’s DNA on the knife and Raffaele’s DNA on the bra clasp were only just 2 pieces of evidence, yet you try to portray it as about the only evidence.

          • Actually the prosecution condemned the US media notion that he was framing 2 ‘‘kids’’ for his career.

          [Chapter 29, Page 370]  My life cleaved in two. Before the verdict, I’d been a wrongly accused college student about to walk free. I was about to start my life over after two years. Now everything I’d thought I’d been promised had been ripped away. I was a convicted murderer.

          • Well, before the conviction Marriott portrayed you as the ‘‘wrongly accused’’ college student.

          • You were only taking the one course, so is that really a college student?  Not a full time load.

          • Everything you had been promised?  What kind of deal did you make?

          [Chapter 29, Page 370]  Carlo stopped us just before we started down the stairs. He was breathless. “I’m so sorry! We’re going to win! We’re going to win. Amanda, we’re going to save you. Be strong.”

          • You’ve got the business judge directory?

          [Chapter 30, Page 377]  “Can you possibly put me on the list for a two-person cell instead of the five-person cell?” I asked, sniffling. “That would mean a lot to me.” It was all I had. Begging for a better cell. It had come to this. This was my new life. I was in a position to ask. Twenty-six-year sentences were uncommon in Italy, especially at Capanne, which usually housed petty criminals and drug dealers serving sentences of a few months to a few years. After twenty-five months, not only had I earned seniority—I’d been there longer than almost everyone else—but I had a reputation as a model prisoner.

          [Chapter 30, Page 384]  As Lupa said, my lawyers would obviously appeal my conviction. But I couldn’t count on the Court of Appeals to free me. My case, tried daily in the media, was too big and too notorious. It was awful to hear that strangers believed I had killed my friend. 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.

          • Cases are tried by the courts, not the media.

          • It was awful to hear stranger thinking you killed your friend?  Why so obsessed with what people think?

          • Your friend?  Meredith I assume?

          • Didn’t make sense?  Did you read this quote from pages 273/274 of this book?  Fast track trial ... ?

          • “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.”

          [Chapter 30, Page 384]  But when the emotionless guard pushed the paper across the desk, I saw, to my astonishment, and outrage, that it was a new indictment—for slander. For telling the truth about what had happened to me during my interrogation on November 5-6, 2007.  In June 2009, I testified that Rita Ficarra had hit me on the head to make me name Patrick.  I also testified that the police interpreter hadn’t translated my claims of innocence and that she’d suggested that I didn’t remember assisting Patrick Lumumba when he sexually assaulted Meredith.

          • Actually, it was a ‘‘long haired woman’’ you testified against.  Ficarra wasn’t named until this book came out.

          • You ‘‘didn’t remember assisting’‘?  Well, after days of lying, you admitted you were present.

          [Chapter 30, Page 385]  According to Prosecutor Mignini, truth was slander.  All told, the prosecution claimed that I’d slandered twelve police officers—everyone who was in the interrogation room with me that night—when I said they’d forced me to agree that Meredith had been raped and pushed me into saying Patrick’s name.  It was my word against theirs, because that day the police apparently hadn’t seen fit to flip the switch of the recording device that had been secretly bugging me every day in the same office of the questura leading up to the interrogation.

          [Chapter 30, Page 385] Mignini and his co-prosecutor, Manuela Comodi, had signed the document. The judge’s signature was also familiar: Claudia Matteini, the same woman who’d rejected me for house arrest two years earlier because she said I’d flee Italy.  I hadn’t expected this maneuver by the police and prosecution, but it now made sense. They couldn’t admit that one of their own had hit me or that the interpreter hadn’t done her job. Above all, they couldn’t admit that they’d manipulated me into a false admission of guilt. They had their reputations to uphold and their jobs to keep.

          • Judge Matteini was right.  You refused to attend the 2013 Cassation appeal, your own 2013/2014 Florence appeal, your own 2015 Cassation appeal, and are skipping the September 2015 calunnia trial.

          • So, the interpreter is refusing to translate properly .... to help frame you?

          • A police officer (whom you only now identify as Ficarra), assaults you, and everyone covers it up?

          • So, police and prosecutors are framing you to retains their jobs and reputations?

          [Chapter 30, Page 385]  I’d calculated that I could be released in twenty-one years for good behavior. Now this looked unlikely. If I were called to testify in the slander trial, I’d have to restate the truth: I had been pressured and hit. They’d say I was lying. If the judges and jury believed the police, that would wipe out my good behavior and add three years to my jail time.  Could Mignini, Comodi, and the whole questura keep going after me again and again? Would I be persecuted forever?

          • So which is it?  You will (a) Tell the truth; or (b) Restate that you had been hit?

          • Yes, ‘‘aggravated calunnia’’ has a tendency to add years to jail sentences.

          • Mignini, Comodi and the Questura are not ‘‘going after you again and again’‘.  They are obligated to report such complaints.

          • Not ‘‘persecuted’’ forever, but if you keep this pattern up, you may be ‘‘prosecuted’’ forever.

          [Chapter 30, Page 386] The indictment was a dark reminder of how completely vulnerable I was. Not only had the prosecution successfully had me convicted for something I hadn’t done, but also legally, my word meant nothing. I was trapped.

          • Yes, the word of someone convicted of making false accusations generally means nothing.  Quite true.

          [Chapter 30, Page 387] As I did for Mina’s mom, Gregora, I helped prisoners write letters, legal documents, grocery lists, and explain an ailment to the doctor. The Nigerian women treated me as an honored guest, setting me up at a table and offering tea and cake as they dictated to me. This was my way of being part of the prison community on my own terms, of trying to find a good balance between helping others and protecting myself. No matter how much I was hurting, I didn’t think it was right to ignore the fact that I could help other inmates with my ability to read and write in both Italian and English.  At bedtime each night, I made a schedule for the next day, organized task by task, hour by hour. If I didn’t cross off each item, I felt I’d let myself down. I wrote as much as I could—journals, stories, poems. I could spend hours crafting a single letter to my family.

          • The writing part is true.

          • The touching details about helping other inmates is not.  Knox kept to herself almost exclusively.

          [Chapter 30, Page 387]  The ways other prisoners had tried to kill themselves were well known—and I imagined myself trying them all.  There was poisoning, usually with bleach. Swallowing enough and holding it in long enough was painfully difficult. Usually the vomiting would attract the attention of the guards too soon, and then they’d pump your stomach. It seemed an agonizing way to go if success wasn’t guaranteed.  There was swallowing shards of glass from a compact mirror or a broken plastic pen, hitting your head against the wall until you beat yourself to death, and hanging yourself.  But the most common and fail-safe method of suicide in prison was suffocation by a garbage bag—two prisoners on the men’s side did this successfully while I was there. You could even buy the bags off the grocery list. You’d pull the bag over your head, stick an open gas canister meant for the camping stove inside, and tie the bag off around your neck. The gas would make you pass out almost instantaneously, and if someone didn’t untie the bag immediately, that was it.  Less effective but, I thought, more dignified was bleeding yourself to death. I imagined it would be possible to get away with enough time in the shower. The running water would deter cellmates from invading your privacy, and the steam would fog up the guard’s viewing window. I imagined cutting both my wrists and sinking into oblivion in a calm, quiet, hot mist.  I wondered which straw would need to break for me actually to do any of these. What would my family and friends think? How would the guards find my body?  I imagined myself as a corpse. It made me feel sick, not relieved, but it was a fantasy I had many times—terrible, desperate recurring thoughts that I never shared with a soul.

          • Not sure why Knox is telling us this.  Is it for shock value? Is she reveling in it?

          [Chapter 30, Page 387]  I thought about how much I wanted to get married and have kids. If I get released on good behavior when I’m forty-three, I can still adopt.

          • Yes, adoption agencies won’t have an issue with a 43 year old woman who spent nearly her entire adult in jail for rape and murder now adopting a child.

          [Chapter 30, Page 388] My mom couldn’t accept my sadness. She wrote, and talked to me, many times about how scared she was for me. “You’re changing, Amanda,” she said. “You’re not sunny anymore. I hope when you get out you can go back to being the happy person you were.  “Mom,” I wrote back, “good things don’t always work out for good people. Sometimes shit happens for no reason, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

          • You’re not sunny anymore?  Well, after Massei didn’t buy it, I’d be pessimistic too.

          • Shit happens for no reason?  Sorry, Meredith.

          [Chapter 30, Page 388]  I desperately didn’t want to be forgotten. But more than worrying about the logistics of such a life, I was terrified that we were coming to a point where we wouldn’t understand one another. They still had the right to choose what to do with their lives; they had freedom. I didn’t. I was at the mercy of my wardens. I worried that my new prison identity wouldn’t make sense to them, and my mom was evidence of that. If enough time passed, we’d be speaking two different languages—and it would have nothing and everything to do with their English and my Italian.

          • The first statement seems truthful, you really are desperate to not be forgotten.

          • But if you wanted to lessen the burden, you could have just come clean, and gotten a much lighter sentence.

          [Chapter 31, Page 393] Sitting beside me in the visitors’ room at Capanne, my friend Madison reached over and brushed my cheek. I flinched. “Baby, don’t worry. It’s just an eyelash,” she said.  My skittishness horrified me. “I guess I’m just not used to people touching me anymore!’

          • Too easy.  I won’t even try with this one.

          [Chapter 31, Page 394]  After I was convicted, my family, my lawyers, my friends, other prisoners—even, bizarrely, prison officials—tried to console me by telling me that I’d surely have my sentence reduced, if not overturned, on appeal. Rocco and Corrado assured me that in Italy about half the cases win on appeal.

          • Not true at all.  Very few cases are overturned on appeal.

          • You’d surely have your sentence reduced?  Are you working on those fake tears?

          [Chapter 31, Page 394]  But I’d been burned so often I was terrified. Why would the Court of Appeals make a different decision from the previous court? Or from the pretrial judge? Both had accepted the prosecution’s version. With my case, the Italian judicial system was also on trial. My story was well known, and the world was watching. It’d be difficult for the judicial authorities to back down now.

          • Good question.  Why would they make a different decision?

          • So, Mignini/Comodi’s case that you were involved in Meredith’s death was just a ‘‘version’‘?  Was it their version of the truth?

          • The judicial system is always on trial.  Judgements have to be able to withstand public and legal scrutiny.

          • You won’t get a fair appeal because their is media attention?

          [Chapter 31, Page 394] One thing had changed: me. I was different. In the year since my conviction I’d decided that being a victim wouldn’t help me. In prison there were a lot of women who blamed others for their bad circumstances. They lived lethargic, angry lives. I refused to be that person. I pulled myself out of the dark place into which I’d tumbled. I promised myself I’d live in a way that I could respect. I would love myself. And I would live as fully as I could in confinement.

          • Are you kidding?  Being a ‘‘victim’’ got you all this fame, I mean notoriety.

          • There are a lot of women who blame others for their circumstances?  Others like Mignini, Ficarra, Guede….

          • They lived lethargic, angry lives?  Your book is dripping with rage.

          • You refused to be that person?  How exactly?

          • Live in a way you can respect?  You seem to have pretty low standards.
          Posted on 11/25/15 at 01:00 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas teamKnox book hoaxesNasty-prison hoax
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          Tuesday, November 17, 2015

          A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #5

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

          I conclude my critique of the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

          The four previous posts can be read here and here and here and here. A full translation of the Marasca-Bruno Report can be read or downloaded here.

          The Critique Part 5

          So, let’s do a brief recap now

          1. The Report starts with sensationalized general slurs on the competence and motives of the investigators and judges.

          2.  Marasca and Bruno misunderstand the relevance of motive. Nencini was not in error. It is not relevant, or of less relevance, if the evidentiary framework of guilt is by itself sufficient to establish guilt. In such circumstances the normal formula is to attribute futile and trivial motives that require no further definition. Conversely motive does acquire importance, an element in itself, if that framework is insufficient.

          3. Their section on TOD produces nothing that is relevant.

          4.  Having failed to establish a convincing connection between “the primacy” of rules of evidence and a guarantee of the repeatability of DNA analysis, such that the latter is required by the former, or at least can be tolerated by it for some specific reason, they assert that the latter must prevail anyway. It requires numerous inconsistencies, a failure to follow the ground rules of evidence, and the illogicality of failing to follow their own argument, such as it is, to assert that Meredith’s DNA on the blade of the knife, and Sollecito’s DNA in a mixed sample from the bra clasp, have no probative or circumstantial value simply because they were not capable of repetition. That is simply a dogmatic assertion and one, as we shall see, that has no connection with the permitted grounds for appeal.

          5.  As if the foregoing was not enough, and perhaps conscious of it, they bring up the matter of contamination again. Which would not be relevant if the foregoing were true. The contamination argument has long been shown to have no mileage in it. The cardboard box (from the police station) is a stupid reference and that there was pre-existing dirt on a latex glove mere speculation, without context.

          6. The section on luminol hits and removal of blood traces is characterized by many misrepresentations and a chronic misunderstanding of the evidence and the inferences that can be drawn from it.

          7.  On the simulated break-in, which they accept, they declare that they are then stymied in the necessary inference by the feeblest of anomalies.

          8.  Now up to this point we have encountered few, if any, mistakes, inconsistencies and contradictions, of any significance, other than those that Marasca-Bruno are making, or making up, themselves. 


          ———————————————————————


          Remember this?  -

          “that fact finding is a task pertaining exclusively to the fact-finding judge, and not up to the Court of Legitimacy. The Supreme Court has to limit itself to whether the fact-finding judge’s reasoning is compatible with common sense and within the limits of an acceptable latitude (law cited) as well as compliant with the limits of evidence.”

          In fact appeals to the Supreme Court can only be made under the precise circumstances provided for by the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

          These are governed by Article 606. Of the provisions in this Article, only section 1, para (e) is applicable, as follows -

          “(e)  defect, contradictoriness or manifest illogicality of the judgement reasoning, when the error results from the text of the provisioning appealed, or from other documents in the proceedings specifically noted in the reasons of encumberment.”

          Therefore, although fact finding is the preserve of the lower courts, the Supreme Court can enter into the merits of the judgement appealed against on this ground.

          The question arises as to what constitutes a fact to which para (e) would not relate.

          There are probably not many, for most facts determined would require an element of reasoning. For instance, to hold that a particular witness was reliable, or otherwise, would require explanation, that is, reasoning, and so on.

          To be clear, “defect“, “contradictoriness” and “illogicality” all relate to the judgement reasoning.

          For instance, a failure to take into account contradictory evidence in the judgement reasoning must obviously be included as a defect.

          Another defect would, of course, be misapplication or misinterpretation of the law in the judgement reasoning, an error to which the 5th Chambers have already shown themselves prone.

          I am not quite sure how “contradictoriness” in the judgement reasoning is to be construed, but I suspect that there would be contradictoriness in asserting something contrary to the weight of the evidence, or indeed in the absence of any evidence in support. Another case might be in making a point which is then undermined elsewhere in the reasoning

          In any event a clear restriction on the Supreme Court entering into the merits of the judgement appealed against, apart from the foregoing, would appear to be that in the case of illogicality, that it has to be manifest.

          However, no particular instance of manifest illogicality is likely, on it’s own, to invalidate a verdict, unless it amounts to a serious defect from which the reasoning, as a whole, on the verdict, cannot recover.

          Effectively, there have to be numerous manifest illogicalities in the reasoning of the judgement appealed against, for this to happen. Under those circumstances one might actually describe the judgement as “perverse” at one end of the scale, and “unsafe“ at the other. Setting aside a conviction for such reasons I would understand.  Usually, at least in the UK, an unsafe conviction would result in a re-trial if the prosecution requested it.

          However even the Supreme Court has to motivate it’s decision making process, free from such defects. Clearly that has not been the case.

          The banal peppering of the Report with references to “manifest illogicality” and “intrinsically contradictory”, and so on, may impress the undiscerning reader, but the repetition and context are, frankly, “manifestly” unconvincing to the discerning reader.

          What we find, on analyzing the 5th Chambers’ motivation, is that when it enters into the merit, it does not do so in a balanced way, and without logical inconsistency on it’s own part, but simply by making dogmatic assertions on the merit. That is hardly extending an acceptable latitude to the fact-finding judge nor is it explaining why his reasoning is incompatible with common sense.

          In particular, I do not see how one can make the assertion that the DNA on the knife and the bra clasp has no probative or circumstantial relevance, because the tests were not repeated, when this can scarcely be described as a product of the application of section 1 (e) of Article 606.


          ————————————————————————


          Furthermore, one also has to consider the effect of Article 628. The 2nd paragraph states that -

          “In any event a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand….”

          At the very least this should have served as a warning to the 5th Chambers.

          The Chieffi ruling annulling Hellmann was not intended as a foray into the merit but it was a criticism of the procedural defects and reasoning methodology of the Hellmann court, which errors we can see repeated in the Marasca-Bruno Report.

          The most obvious and most frequent error is the use of dogmatic assertion, the starkest example of the deployment of self-contained circular reasoning it is possible to have. Indeed, it does not warrant the description “reasoning”.

          Another important error was the “atomizing” or “parceling out” of the circumstantial evidence in an attempt to exclude items prior to assessing it in an overall evaluation. This error underwrites the 5th Chambers’ approach to the case, manifestly in it’s use of dogmatic assertion to achieve the aim of eliminating or reducing the evidence.

          Abstract hypothesizing on contamination is another.

          The reprise of Hellmann’s reasoning as to the reliability of the witness Curatolo is another, and most objectionable, one.

          Interestingly, the “validity” of the DNA testing was not an aspect raised by Galati and consequently not touched upon by Chieffi. The only conclusion has to be that the State (subsequently confirmed by Nencini) deemed the reliability of the results as perfectly safe.


          ————————————————————————————


          Article 530, Section 2 and Conclusions


          I now turn to the matter of the sufficiency of the evidence.

          There is no formula as such.

          The evidence is sufficient if the bar of culpable beyond a reasonable doubt is met, insufficient if it is not.

          The starting point is clearly the evidence itself, and then the inferences that are drawn logically from it.

          As to the evidence and inferences, we are assisted by the fact, under the Italian system, that all verdicts, whether at trial or appeal stage, are required to be motivated in writing. 

          The final motivation, prior to the 5th Chambers, is, of course, the Nencini report. It seemed to me that Nencini, despite a few flaws, did an excellent job in unifying the evidence in a global way, as is required of what is essentially circumstantial evidence, fully in accordance with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court on the matter, and with all the arrows pointing in the same direction and substantially corroborating each other. It left no reasonable doubt, in my humble submission, that the Florence court’s affirmation of the guilty verdicts was correct.

          Now, we have already discussed the grounds on which an appeal can be made to the Supreme Court. The sufficiency of the evidence is not one of the stated grounds.That is a matter for the fact-finding judges of the lower courts. The 5th Chambers therefore knowingly exceeded their remit.

          We also find, having gone through the Marasca-Bruno criticism of the Nencini Report, in some detail, that many, if not most, of these criticisms lack substance and lack logical consistency in their own right.

          The overall effect has been to produce an improper, if not fraudulent, weighting (for want of a better word) on the matter of sufficiency, which should not have even been considered anyway.

          In addition the result of the Report has been to produce an interesting scenario based on the following conclusions.

          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.

          As to Knox having blood on her hands (literally rather than metaphorically) there are inconsistencies to be derived from this because, according to the Report, this would have been as a result of contact with blood outside Meredith’s room. Why? Where is that blood? Such blood could, of course, have been there prior to it being removed. However, to affirm that would be to prejudice a number of assertions they have already made. More likely is that Knox had been in Meredith’s room, during or after the event and without, we would have to observe with some interest, leaving any trace of herself there. That would also be the logical explanation for her lamp being on the floor there.

          Guede was not charged with, and hence was neither acquitted nor convicted of, the offence of staging, but in any event Marasca-Bruno did not attempt to attribute the staging to him. This leaves either Knox, an unknown person, or Sollecito. As to an unknown person it is manifestly difficult to see how he would be “a qualified person” for the purpose of the inference that only someone with an interest in removing suspicion from himself would do this. Knox and Sollecito qualify whether there is an anomaly or not.

          As to who Guede’s unknown accomplices may have been, Marasca and Bruno are silent. This is not surprising as there was no forensic trace of them. There were, in fairness, unidentified genetic profiles, male and female, obtained from cigarette stubs taken from the ashtray in the lounge/kitchen, but as with the mixed genetic profile of Knox and Sollecito on one of these, they cannot be dated and therefore cannot be placed within the time frame for the murder. For all we know they could belong to Romanelli and her boyfriend Marco Zaroli, both of whom were at the cottage earlier on the day of the 1st Nov, with Knox and Sollecito.

          More pertinently, however, is this scenario regarding Knox.  It is not one that her defence team, even in their wildest dreams, would have considered advancing on her behalf. She had, throughout the proceedings, maintained that she was not there, whether or not in a non-participatory role.

          That is not surprising. The scenario we have is that Knox and perhaps Sollecito were at the cottage with Guede, and at least one other, and that Guede and this other saw fit to commit a horrendous murder in their presence, without encouragement nor opposition from either of them it would seem, but certainly in the knowledge that such action, even if it met with cowed submission from them in the first instance, would meet with the utmost reprobation, and then they leave, trusting to Knox and Sollecito not spilling the beans. That really is stretching credulity well beyond the bounds of breaking point. Even more so if there was no unknown accomplice.

          Furthermore, and if that is nevertheless so, then Knox has had more than enough chances to put the record straight, particularly since her return to Seattle. She still has the opportunity to do so.

          What we have, therefore, is a fact that neither the defence nor the prosecution has ever advanced in the entire history of the proceedings, and not one that any previous judge has drawn.

          Now it may be something that can be justified by a fact-finding judge, on remand, and in the light of the Marasca-Bruno Report.  Not.  But it is surely beyond the remit of the 5th Chambers to hold that as a fact and without even permitting prosecution and defence submissions on it. That runs counter to the principle of natural justice, a violation inherent in the final appeal and in the decision not to permit a remand to a 1st instance court of appeal.

          It would have been interesting to have seen the defence submissions.


          ————————————————————-


          I said at the beginning that the Marasca-Bruno Report was a desperate attempt to bring home an incomprehensible verdict. It has been described elsewhere (by a reputable american reporter who had been present throughout the proceedings) as superficial and intellectually dishonest. It is not only that, it is a charade that sullies the good name of Italian justice.

          A question to arise is what truly motivated the verdict? It seems to me that the only “glaring investigative omission” in the case, is this. However that is a murky world of connections and undue influence about which we can only speculate at this stage.

          Had it been incompetence and had the five Supreme Court judges held up their hands and simply admitted that they had made a mistake, I might have had some sympathy for them. Instead they have persisted with a charade which is essentially corrupt.

          By “corrupt” I mean that they have knowingly acted in bad faith. They cannot otherwise have been such simpletons. It is also abundantly obvious why they did not dare risk remanding the case to another appeal court.

          As for Knox and Sollecito, sadly for them, they are anything but exonerated.

          Posted on 11/17/15 at 05:59 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Friday, November 13, 2015

          A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #4

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

          I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

          The three previous posts can be read here and here and here. A full translation of the Marasca-Bruno Report can be read or downloaded here.

          The Critique Part 4

          The Simulated Break In

          This is all too briefly treated by Marasca-Bruno (whom by now I am beginning to think of as Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy) and by way of a sidetrack really.

          They in fact affirm the circumstances of simulation without actually having the gumpf to explicitly say so.

          They are more concerned to turn their attention to the inference that only a “qualified” person would have an interest in a simulation so as to remove suspicion from him/herself.

          Marasca-Bruno are not interested in Guede.

          They acknowledge that Knox and Sollecito are “qualified” persons…………

          “Yet this element is also substantially equivocal, especially in the light of the fact that, when the postal police arrived it was….Sollecito - whose trial position is inextricably bound to Knox’s - who pointed out the anomaly to the police officers, that nothing had been stolen from Romanelli’s room.”

          And that’s it? The smoking gun, the bull in the appellants’ china shop, brushed aside - because of an anomaly? Pathetic.

          It was staged but sadly not staged to perfection, by way of something actually being stolen. A stager, knowing this, would not countenance revealing this information to the police, although it may have been an inadvertent slip due to Sollecito being an idiot.

          An inadvertent slip aside, he would have no reason to mention that nothing had been stolen, unless he was as aware as others were that the staging had it’s flaws in other respects as well, in which case he could have thought that his comment had the appearance (Marasca and Bruno fall for it) of innocence.

          And how did he know that nothing had been stolen - which only subsequently turned out to be true when Filomena checked the contents of her room-  unless he was involved in the staging?

          Even if one accepts the anomaly and extremely dubious reasoning above, it only applies to Sollecito. There is nothing equivocal about the logical inference applying to Knox. That is so despite the illogical connection in asserting that their trial positions are inextricably linked.

          Is Knox a ventriloquist and Sollecito her dummy?

          Curatolo & Quintavalle

          “Nevertheless, the presence of intrinsic contradiction and poor reliability of witnesses [ ed: ie the above named] do not allow unreserved credit to be attributed to (their) respective versions, to the extent of proving with reasonable certainty the failure, and therefore the falsity, of the accused’s alibi, who insisted she stayed in her boyfriend’s home from late afternoon on the 1st November until the following morning.”

          Here Marasca-Bruno effectively reprise the reasoning of Hellmann.

          Curatolo was a tramp, a drug addict and pusher, and a prosecution witness stooge. The same evening he had seen Knox and Sollecito together in Piazza Grimana (1st Nov) he had seen revellers wearing Halloween masks, and the special buses to take them to discos and nightclubs, referenced by the witness, were not running that night.

          Marasca -Bruno overlook the improbability that Curatolo could have seen the two together on Halloween, given that it was established as a trial fact that on that evening Sollecito was attending a friend’s anniversary dinner outside Perugia, and Knox was meeting up with her friend Spiros.

          Perugia is a student town. There are numerous discos and nightclubs catering to this market. The defence did produce nightclub owners testifying to their clubs not being open the day after Halloween, and shuttle bus operators testifying that they were not running special buses to them, though these witnesses did not exclude the possibility that other nightclubs had some, or that other buses could have been hired for a private party.

          There were indeed still a good few discos and nightclubs open (these can be listed if required), with a normal bus service for Perugia as well. Guede, himself, was seen dancing at the Domus hours after the murder.

          [ Halloween is a relatively new festivity in Italy. All Saints Day (Nov 1st) and All Souls Day (Nov 2nd ) are holidays in Italy.]

          “This contradicts the balanced assessment - but always in a context of uncertainty and ambiguity - of the witness referring (regarding the context of when he saw the two accused together) to the day before he saw (in the afternoon) unusual movements of police and Carabinieri and, in particular, men wearing white overalls and headgear (they looked almost like aliens) enter the house on via della Pergola.”

          As regards Quintavalle, Marasca-Bruno are brief and equally dismissive. This is all they have to say -

          “Quintavalle - apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic - offered no contribution to certainty, not even as to the product bought by the young woman he noted on the morning after the murder, when his shop opened. The fact he recognized Knox is worthless as her image had appeared in every newspaper and television news broadcast.”

          There was no evidence that the young woman had bought, or had tried to buy, a product.

          No, his identification testimony was not worthless on that account. If it was worthless for that reason then a lot of ID witness testimony would go by the board in today’s world of rapid 24 by 7 news coverage.

          Quintavalle was able to describe the clothes that the young woman was wearing, which description, blue jeans, grey jacket and scarf, was a match for the articles of clothing that the crime scene investigators had photographed scattered on the top of Knox’s bed at the cottage and which had immediately became material evidence along with everything else.

          Since Knox was wearing different clothes, including a long white skirt, when she and Sollecito were photographed outside of the cottage by the press, it is difficult to gauge how Quintavalle might have been influenced in his description.

          Raffaele Sollecito At House

          “In Sollecito’s case too the evidentiary frame work which emerges from the judgement under appeal is marked by inherent and irreducible contradiction…………………However, the strong suspicion remains that he was present in the house on via della Pergola on the night of the murder, albeit it has not been possible to determine when. On the other hand, if Knox’s presence in the home was certain, it would hardly be credible that he was not with her.”

          And More On Other Matters

          Marasca-Bruno return to the question of the knife again despite the fact that they have excluded it as having any “probative value or circumstantial relevance”.

          This is an inconsistent element in their own reasoning, such as their reasoning is.

          They remind us that no trace of blood was found on it, and assert that it was a questionable choice to go for a DNA test rather than establish the nature of the biological trace.

          “An extremely questionable option, given that the finding of blood traces, coming from Kercher, would have given the trial an element of strong evidentiary value, showing for certain that the weapon had been used to commit the murder.”

          One begins to wonder whether they are mentally fatigued at this point. But no, that can’t be it. They have had over 130 days to write 34 pages of reasons, and that wouldn‘t be particularly taxing, provided that there had been reasons for the verdict in the first place, and that they had remembered them.

          They are waffling, padding and turning to risible argument. Particularly given that they should know exactly why Dr Stefanoni had only one sensible option available to her. They had even referred to this in the preceding paragraph.

          Even if it had been blood in sample 36b then, without establishing whose blood it was, the knowledge that it was blood would be totally useless as a piece of evidence, as the blood could have come from anywhere, at anytime.

          “What is certain is that no traces of blood were found on the knife. Lack of which cannot be traced to meticulous cleaning. As noted by the defence, the knife showed traces of starch, a sign of ordinary domestic use and of cleaning that was anything but meticulous. Not only this, but starch is famous as a substance with a high absorbance rate, thus it is highly likely that, in the event of a stabbing, it would have retained blood traces.”

          As we come towards the end of their reasoning the dogmatic assertions start to pop up thick and fast out of nowhere.

          Why can lack of blood traces not be connected to meticulous cleaning? Isn’t that, by definition, what meticulous cleaning does?  Was there any expert evidence to the contrary? How can Maresca and Bruno be so sure that their version of common sense is shared universally?

          Yes, starch does absorb liquids. However, how do they know that the starch was there on the knife at the time of the murder? It is not improbable that having cleaned the knife it was used again for ordinary domestic use. The starch could also have got there as a consequence of the investigators handling it with latex gloves, which contain traces of starch, and this was pointed out at the Hellmann appeal.

          “Finally, the footprints found at the murder scene can in no way be traced to the appellant.”

          Another dogmatic assertion. They are, I should point out talking about Sollecito at this point, not Knox.

          The bloody footprint on the bathmat and a luminol enhanced footprint in the corridor were useful for negative comparison purposes and both were attributed by the prosecution experts to Raffaele Sollecito because of points of comparison with his foot and because neither had similar points of comparison with Knox and Guede.

          Their evidence was disputed by a defence expert witness.

          Massei and Nencini agreed with the prosecution experts, Hellmann did not.

          However, remember the bit about fact-finding being for the fact-finding judge and not the Court of Legitimacy?

          Not only do Marasca-Bruno break the rules at to their remit but they do not even give reasons for their assertion.

          “The computers of Amanda Knox and Kercher, which might have been useful to the investigation were, incredibly, burned by the careless actions of the investigators.”

          Another unjustified and dogmatic assertion. 

          Four computers were found to have sustained damage - probably an electrical burn-out - but it is not in evidence that they were damaged by the investigators.

          Indeed, I do not recall any trial evidence that they were working before they were recovered by the investigators. Certainly Sollecito’s Asus was not. That had been damaged for months. Filomena’s computer was found to have been already damaged when it was switched on in her presence at the police station.

          It may be the case that Knox, somewhere in her testimony, asserted that her computer was in working order when she last used it, or something like that. But then she would say that, wouldn’t she?

          Of all the computers that had problems, the data was ultimately recovered from all but Knox’s Toshiba.

          And realistically, what potential information relevant to the investigation did Marasca-Bruno think could be found? Photos of Knox together with Meredith? If there were such photographs, had they been deleted from the camera?

          Knox communicated with her family at home by means of an internet café because it had skype available.

          E-mail communication is recoverable whether or not the user’s computer is broken.

          Marasca-Bruno also opine that in respect of their alibis, what we are talking about is a failed alibi rather than a false alibi. Is this a necessary and relevant distinction?

          They both maintained, for trial purposes, that they had been together at Sollecito’s flat from about 9 pm onwards on the 1st November, that both had slept and that Knox had been the first to rise at about 10.30 am the next morning. Of course, Sollecito had contradicted this in his statement to the police. He said that Knox had gone out and not returned until 1 am. However this was not admissible as trial evidence.

          In relation to the crucial period of time in which TOD is ascertained to have occurred there is no independent corroboration of their alibi. In that sense it is a failed alibi.

          However the reliability of their alibi can certainly be assessed from the trial evidence. Sollecito’s phone was switched on at 6.03 am and earlier heavy music had been played on his computer for half an hour at 5.30 am, on the 2nd November. That manifestly contradicts the alibi. In short the pair were lying when they said that they had slept and that neither had risen until 10.30 am.  Accordingly, it is a reasonable inference that their alibi is not to be trusted.

          There is, in addition, the evidence of Curatolo and Quintavalle.

          What In Part Marasca-Bruno Left Out

          Finally Marasca and Bruno declare that -

          “The panorama of the declared evidence is complete.”

          Except that this is not true.

          They have not for example mentioned the following, which are certainly part of the declared evidence, and which certainly have to be taken into account if we are to consider the sufficiency of the evidence -

          1. The presence of Knox’s table lamp on the floor in Meredith’s room.

          2.  The police photograph of Knox’s throat and the statement of Laura Mezetti that what is seen in the photograph, as she had noticed at the Police Station, is a scratch.

          3.  Knox’s dried and congealed blood on the tap in the small bathroom next to Meredith’s room.

          4.  Knox’s e-mail to the world with it’s implausible aspects and which exposes crucial contradictions in the respective accounts of the appellants.

          5.  The phone records which expose a suspicious pattern of behaviour on their part and which show that the cell phones of both the appellants had been switched off, or rendered inoperative, between 8.42 pm on the 1st November and 6.03 am on the 2nd November.

          6. The luminol enhanced mixed DNA trace for Knox and Meredith on the floor in Filomena’s room, certainly requiring an explanation.

          ***

          Please click here for the next post.

          Posted on 11/13/15 at 02:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Tuesday, November 10, 2015

          A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #3

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

          I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

          My first post can be read here and the second read here.  A full translation of the Report can be read here.

          Traces in the Murder Room, the Small Bathroom and the Corridor

          A selection of quotes from the Report -

          “Total absence of biological traces attributable with certainty to the two defendants in the murder room.”

          “An insurmountable monolithic barrier on the path taken by the fact finding judge.”

          Selective cleaning - “an hypothesis that is patently illogical”

          “Selective cleaning not capable of escaping detection by luminol is, for sure, impossible”

          It follows, of course, that if the knife and bra clasp have no probative or circumstantial value (effectively rendered inadmissible as far as the incriminating traces on them are concerned) then there are no biological traces attributable to Knox and Sollecito in Meredith’s room. However it is an exaggeration to present this as an insurmountable monolithic barrier to the fact finding path.

          Marasca-Bruno misrepresent and trivialise what was undoubtedly a manipulation of the crime scene (i.e the cottage) by the removal of traces of blood, and in this limited sense “selective”, by insisting on using the word “selective” across the board, and in the main to refer to removal of DNA, in both a derogatory and confusing manner and to sidestep the real issue.

          The removal of traces of blood, whether selective or not, is not capable of escaping detection by luminol, as they appear to explicitly acknowledge.

          Therefore the comment that “selective cleaning” is an hypothesis that is patently illogical is patently deceitful and unworthy of their station as Supreme Court judges.

          Having just done a bit of misrepresenting themselves Mascara-Bruno then claim to have unearthed “an obvious misrepresentation of evidence” - presumably by judges previously involved in the case. They say that the SAL had excluded (because of the TMB test) that the luminol enhanced traces were of an haematic nature.

          This, of course, is a manifest misrepresentation. TMB is a specific presumptive test for blood. However, that the TMB testing was negative (no result) does not exclude that the traces were haematic in nature, even if the presumption must be that they were not.

          They then criticise Nencini -

          “Not only that, but it is patently illogical, in this context, the reasoning of the fact finding judge, who reckons being able to overcome the defensive objection that the luminescent bluish reaction generated by luminol can be produced by substances different from blood (for instance leftovers of cleaning detergents, fruit juice and many others), by arguing that the reasoning, while theoretically correct, has however to be contextualised, meaning that if the fluorescence occurs at a place where a murder occurred, the reaction cannot but be connected with haematic traces.

          The weakness of the argument is such, already at first sight, that it does not require any confutation, since to reason in that way one should also surmise that the house on via della Pergola was never the object of cleanings nor was a lived in location.

          This observation hence allows us to categorically exclude that those traces were made of blood and wilfully removed in that circumstance.”

          Oh dear. What is this Court of Legitimacy doing?  Cherry picking, misrepresenting the evidence, entering into a discussion of the merits in line with desperate defence submissions, and drawing conclusions on that basis, that’s what.

          I have refrained so far from bringing under discussion glaring omissions of evidence for the reason that I am responding to argument.

          However it’s time for the gloves to come off because the above is simply unacceptable.

          Reading through this report one gets the impression that Marasca-Bruno think it is sufficient that they are only responding to the Nencini Report and that it is sufficient to pick holes here and there, as if they were marking a student‘s exam paper, and with the defence submissions as a model answer. That is manifestly inappropriate, even for a Court of Legitimacy.

          So here are other reasons to support Nencini‘s contextualising.

          1.  If the luminol fluorescence was due to non-haematic substances such as bleach, fruit juice etc ( due to the fact that the cottage was lived in) then it is remarkable indeed, since the investigators could not see what they were looking for, and therefore where to spray, and therefore sprayed everywhere in the corridor and elsewhere (but not in Meredith’s room, it seems), that fluorescent patches did not appear in smears all over the place but instead were limited to and grouped in specific places, and in a specific way, that is, in the shape of footprints.

          2.  There were 4 obvious bare footprints located by the luminol and 3 of these were of a shape and size attributable to a woman - compatible with Knox in fact. One was in Knox’s bedroom, the other two in the corridor, that is, between Knox‘s room and Meredith‘s room. The two in the corridor contained Meredith’s DNA.  It is not possible to obtain DNA from bleach or fruit juice etc.

          3. The 4th was compatible with Sollecito and the bloody print on the bathmat in the small bathroom.

          4. The luminol hits took place on the 18th December whereas the murder occurred on the 1st Nov. The hypochlorite in bleach responsible for luminol emitting light evaporates naturally after just a few days and therefore bleach as a source for the fluorescence can be excluded.

          5.  If the fluorescence was due to the peradoxise in fruit juice or other vegetable matter then there should at least be some rational explanation as to why Knox had such substances on the sole of her foot, and why does the peradoxise not show up where she had not stepped in it? What would be the source for these substances and how would they have got there? No explanation has ever been advanced.

          6.  As already mentioned the TMB tests on the luminol hits do not categorically exclude blood. Indeed TMB applied after luminol is less likely to bring up a positive result because the chemical reaction for both applications is the same, and luminol is far more sensitive than TMB. That was made clear by, amongst others, Dr Gino who was in fact an expert witness for the defence.

          All in all, given the considerable quantity of blood in Meredith’s room, and the fact that it had certainly been tracked outside of her room, visually obvious in the small bathroom, Nencini’s “contextualizing” is not at all illogical. It is plain common sense.

          Indeed relevant observations here - before I leave the topic - are that there were no visible connecting bloody footprints between Meredith’s room and the bloody footprint on the bathmat in the small bathroom, and whilst there was blood on the inside handle of her door, there was none on the outside handle, although the door was closed and locked.

          When discussing the relative merit of presumptions arising from the luminol and TMB tests, context and the trial evidence are everything. If Marasca-Bruno are relying on some other source of information, then they should - if they are acting in good faith - have disclosed this.

          I will leave the last word on this to Nencini, who opined that the defence attempts to argue that the luminol hits were the consequence of a non-haematic source were “from an objective point of view a remarkable exercise in dialectical sophistry rather than trial evidence on which any judge might base reasoning that would be beyond criticism.”

          The Selective Search for Other Logical Inconsistencies

          “Another big logical inconsistency” is the explanation for why Meredith’s cell phones were removed; if to prevent them ringing, then the goal could have been achieved by switching them off or removing the battery.

          OK, point taken, but if that goal could have been achieved simply by switching them off or removing the battery, then why take them with them? The answer, if the perpetrators were thinking straight, would be that in switching them off or removing the battery, the perpetrator could have left his fingerprints on them.  So they would have had to take them anyway. So why bother with the manipulation? A logical inconsistency?

          Marasca-Bruno return to the Prosecution’s argument on motive at the Nencini appeal. We can recall that Crini had suggested that there could possibly have been an argument between Meredith and Knox over Guede’s use of the large bathroom. M-B say that the reason for a quarrel could certainly not have been this, as such an incident is not referred to in Guede’s evidence.

          Marasca-Bruno argue that the hypothesis of the theft of the money and credit cards that Meredith would have blamed Knox for is illogical and contradictory, given that Knox (and Sollecito) were acquitted of the charge.

          OK, but Nencini was not seeking to re-convict them. The hypothesis was based on trial facts and has a high degree of probability even if it did not reach the bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Meredith’s credit cards and rent money were never recovered.  He was simply looking for a plausible reason for a quarrel - on the basis of what Meredith would have thought – whether or not Knox was the responsible party. Nothing illogical or contradictory in that.

          Marasca-Bruno maintain that it is arbitrary to argue, just because Knox and Sollecito were at Sollecito’s flat viewing a movie, taking light drugs and having sex, that they were later at the cottage for a reason which included a sexual motive and destabilized by drugs.

          Marasca-Bruno maintain that there was another investigative omission in the failure to analyze the content of the cigarette stubs (presumably for drugs?) or to ascertain the biological nature of the trace, but just to go for a DNA test, on the basis that such tests would render the sample unusable.

          OK, but I am not sure that was the basis for not conducting the further tests. Establishing whether or not Knox and Sollecito had smoked a reefer, or a cigarette whilst under the influence of drugs, at the cottage, at some time, is really not that important. The biological nature of the trace was obviously saliva whether or not it contained drugs.

          “And all this was done with the brilliant result of delivering to the trial a totally irrelevant piece of information”  ……[given that the cottage was where Knox lived and where Sollecito “hung out”.]

          Irrelevant as it turned out, I agree. It seems a bit harsh to criticise the DNA test though. I am sure that M-B would have been ecstatic if the mixed trace had turned out to be Guede and an unknown, rather than Knox and Sollecito. And wasn’t the trace postulated as a source for contamination of the bra clasp?

          A Few General Remarks

          Get a load of this -

          “It is, surely, undeniable the interpretative effort displayed by the fact finding judge in order to remedy the unbridgeable investigative gaps and the significant shortfalls of evidence with shrewd speculations and suggestive logical arguments, even if merely assertive and apodictic.”

          As we are discovering, “shrewd speculations and suggestive logical arguments, even if merely assertive and apodictic” is exactly what Marasca-Bruno are up to.

          What investigative gaps and significant shortfalls of evidence are they talking about? Have we come across any yet? Anyway I will come to discuss this and other matters raised by the Report when I discuss the sufficiency of the evidence at the end of this critique.

          Marasca-Bruno then assert (to paraphrase) that fact finding is a task pertaining exclusively to the fact-finding judge, and not up to the Court of Legitimacy. The Supreme Court has to limit itself to whether the fact-finding judge’s reasoning is compatible with common sense and within the limits of an acceptable latitude (law cited) as well as compliant with the limits of evidence.

          That’s right. Remember that.

          “Faced with missing, insufficient or contradictory evidence, the judge should simply accept it and issue a verdict of acquittal, according to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, even if he is really convinced of the guilt of the defendant.”

          Note the surprising inclusion of “missing” evidence, although M-B have merely been speculating wistfully about that and, for obvious reasons, it is not referenced in the wording of Article 530.

          Marasca-Bruno then spend far more words than is necessary on Nencini’s mistake of referring to Sollecito’s DNA being found on the knife blade.

          There is then a bit of sense but a lot of pompous waffle about the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard.

          “It is certainly useful to remember that, taking for granted that the murder occurred in via della Pergola, the alleged presence at the house of the defendants cannot, in itself, be considered as proof of guilt”

          This is the precursor for what comes a bit later.

          Marasca-Bruno note that there is a difference between “passive behaviour” and “positive participation”.

          “It is indisputedly impossible that traces attributable to the appellants would not have been found at the crime scene [ed: by which they mean “the murder room”] had they taken part in Kercher’s murder.”

          This is not a remark but a dogmatic assertion which is patently unconvincing. Had Knox and Sollecito been -

            (a) egging Guede on to a sexual assault
            (b) exhorting him to finish her off
            (c) whether with his own knife or one that was handed to him,

          then it is improbable in the aforesaid scenarios under (a),(b) and (c) that they would have left traces, but in the event of any one of the aforesaid (a),(b), and (c) they would be participating positively in the commission of the crime, and hence as guilty as Guede.

          So, the assertion is not just dogmatic but manifestly illogical.

          The Presence of Amanda Knox

          “With this premise, with regards to Amanda Knox’s position, it can now be observed that her presence in the house at the scene of the crime is considered an established fact from the trial, in accord with her own admissions…………….on this point the reliability of the judge a quo is certainly to be subscribed to.”

          Developing this affirmation, Marasca-Bruno hold that she was there at the time of the murder but in a different room.

          “Another element regarding her (presence) is represented by traces of mixed DNA, her’s and the victim’s, in the small bathroom; an eloquent confirmation that she had come into contact with the latter’s blood, while the biological traces belonging to her are a result of epithelial rubbing.”

          Also:

          “Nevertheless, even if attribution is certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal as a demonstration of posthumous contact with the blood in circumstances where she would be attempting to remove the most blatant traces of what had happened, perhaps to help someone or deflect suspicion from herself, and thus entailing her certain direct involvement in the murder…….her contact with the victim’s blood would have occurred after the crime and in another part of the house.”

          I will comment on this later.

          As regards the false accusation against Patrick Lumumba - 

          “It is not understood what pushed the young American to make this serious accusation. The hypothesis that she did so to escape the psychological pressure of the investigators appears extremely fragile……………….nevertheless the calumny in question also represents circumstantial evidence against her in so much as it could be considered as an initiative to cover for Guede, against whom she would have had an interest to protect herself due to retaliatory accusations against her. All is underpinned by the fact that Lumumba, like Guede, is black, hence the reliable reference to the former, in case the other was seen by someone, coming into or going out of the flat”

          Yes, indeed, but despite a clear run in to the try line M-B still manage to drop the ball. Nencini had no doubt that it was not just an initiative to cover for Guede, but also an opportunity to deflect the investigators from ascertaining her active participation in the murder. Lumumba, after all, would not be able to provide the investigators with any information on that score, or indeed about any others that might have been involved. M-B fail to mention that.

          ***

          Please click here for the next post.

          Posted on 11/10/15 at 06:21 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Saturday, November 07, 2015

          A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #2

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

          I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

          My first post can be read here. A full translation of the Report can be read here.

          Time of Death

          “Another judicial error is the finding that the establishment of Kercher’s exact time of death was irrelevant, in the belief that the approximate timing offered by the expert investigators was sufficient, for all that this may have been correct at the trial stage…………….time of death is an unavoidable factual pre-requisite for the verification of the defendants‘ alibis.”

          Once again, this is to entirely misrepresent Nencini.  He did not say that the TOD was irrelevant, and as for an exact TOD this would be impossible, even if the temperature of the body had been taken by the pathologist as soon as he arrived at the scene of the crime, which I am sure any intelligent and informed observer would understand. That would have narrowed the time frame very probably, but it was not a “judicial error”.

          We could go on and delve into the evidence, particularly the expert and other evidence which became available over time and which conditioned Nencini’s observations, but Marasca-Bruno do not, instead resorting to a banal statement that does not take account of any of the foregoing.

          “Deplorable carelessness in the preliminary investigative phase……[ ed: not taking body temperature, yes, but other forensic considerations had to apply as well]…....a banal arithmetic mean between a possible earliest time and a possible latest time (from around 6.50 pm on the 1st Nov to 4.50 am of the following day), thus fixing the time at about 11 -11.30pm”

          At the time of the Massei trial the pathologist, Dr Lalli had concluded that death may have occurred between 8 pm on the 1st Nov and 4.00 am the next day. This was based on calculating temperature decrease in the cadaver, taking the Henssge nomogram into account, rigor mortis, hypostatic marks etc. The Henssge nomogram also allows one to calculate back a specific number of hours from the time of first measurement and this permitted an intermediate valuation of about 11 pm. It was not simply an arithmetic mean.

          But in any event, the decision not to take the body temperature but rather preserve the scene for forensics for about 11 hours had no detrimental impact upon the defendants’ alibis. It is accepted that Meredith was certainly alive at 9 pm on the 1st Nov and there is nothing to corroborate an alibi for the accused from 9.15 pm onwards on the 1st Nov until 5. 30 am the following day.  Body temperature taken, and rigor mortis observed, earlier, would not have been able to narrow TOD down to a period of 15 minutes ( 9 to 9.15 pm), and hence prior to the last temporal reference point for a credible alibi, the interaction on Sollecito’s computer, or anything like that.

          On The Scientific Evidence

          Marasca-Bruno observe that there is a debate to be had here as to -

          “The legal value attributable to scientific evidence, with particular reference to the genetic investigations, acquired in violation of the rules established by international protocols.”

          The terms of the debate therefore define it‘s conclusion.

          There are, they say, two theories which have to be balanced -

          (1) “that which puts an increasing amount of weight on the contribution of science, even if not validated by the scientific community,” 

          and

          (2)  “that which insists on the primacy of law and postulates that, in deference to the rules of criminal procedure, only those scientific experiments validated according to commonly accepted methodological canons may be allowed to enter.”

          No cigars for guessing which self- formulated option they prefer. It is, of course, (2), but still they have already both begged and loaded the question with their insistence on “validation“ (which in this context means repeating the scientific test to obtain the same result) according to “international protocols”

          Then, to disguise that selection, we have this -

          “The court concedes that this delicate problem…..must find a solution in the general rules that inform our legal system….and not….in an abstract insistence on the primacy of science over law or vice versa…………………. Scientific proof cannot, in fact, aspire to an unconditional credit of self-referential trustworthiness in the trial setting, by the very fact that a criminal trial renounces all notion of legal proof.”

          Marasca-Bruno would not be so stupid as to insist that science has primacy over law in a trial setting.  Would they? The law, having primacy, must find the means to accommodate the maxims of science, but within the general rules that inform the legal system.

          They continue -

          “The reference co-ordinates will have to be those attaching to the principle of cross examination and to the judge’s control over the process of formation of evidence, which must respect preordained guarantees, the observance of which must strictly govern the judgement of the relevant results’ reliability.”

          Interesting. “Cross-examination”? Perhaps they are reminded of the decisive inadmissibility of the previously discussed section of Guede’s letter. Can the DNA traces on the knife and the bra clasp fall into the same category? Can “validity according to international protocols” be a preordained guarantee, in the same manner as the rights of an accused not to be incriminated by a witness who refuses cross-examination is guaranteed by Article 526 of the ICCP?

          If so, then some compelling reason will have to be advanced - abiding by the rules of evidence that inform the legal system. They cannot refer to an Article on the point in the ICCP. There is none, and if there were, and if it stated that the repeatability of a scientific test was a guarantee for the test to be reliable and/or admissible, then sample 36b from the knife would not even have made it into the trial. And this is not the fault of the ICCP. There is no other body of law in the world that I am aware of that embodies any such guarantee, even for Low Copy DNA. And the reason for that, in part, is that there is no internationally recognized protocol, and precisely because there is no agreement in the scientific community as to this as yet.

          Marasca-Bruno tend to treat “reliability” and “admissibility” as interchangeable concepts, and indeed, given the manner in which they consider these concepts, in the context of the topic under discussion, there is some logic to this, for surely if a piece of evidence is pre-ordained as unreliable then it must be inadmissible as well.

          There then follows a lot more pompous waffle that need not detain us, other than to comment that none of this advances, and indeed does not even consider, any compelling reason for regarding repeatability as a pre-ordained guarantee from the point of view of admissible, or reliable, evidence.

          Indeed, the ICCP does specifically take into account non-repeatable tests for we can find in Article 360 that provided the conditions therein are complied with then the results of non-repeatable technical tests are admissible.

          Why the insistence on repeatability despite Article 360?

          Does the testimony of an eye witness to a crime have to be corroborated by a video of the incident, or other eye witness testimony, before his testimony can be considered reliable and admissible?

          Why is the result of a scientific test, conducted in accordance with a method which has already been repeatedly used in the scientific community to establish the validity of the method, be treated any differently?

          The eye witness, of course, does not have a video of the incident by which to check his memory, whereas a biological trace may well be sufficient to allow for repeated tests. However in such cases, if there is no repeat, the result is not automatically ruled unreliable or invalid. It is for the defence to request a repeat and if they do not, then it does not happen.

          There would, of course, be a capacity for repeat, which Low Copy Number might not have, but if repeats do not occur when the capacity exists, then this is because the result is unambiguous, as the results were, for the judge a quo, in the case of Meredith’s profile on the knife and Sollecito’s profile on the bra clasp.

          However, Marasca-Bruno move on to declare that they do not share Nencini’s lack of hesitation in attributing evidentiary value to the knife and bra clasp results.

          They quote the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, in genetic investigations, about it’s degree of reliability -

          “full value of proof, and not merely as an element of circumstantial evidence according to Article 192.…”

          adding that

          “in cases where the genetic investigation doesn’t provide absolutely certain findings, circumstantial value can be attributed to it’s results (section 2,n. 8434 of 05/02/2013, etc……)……which mean that where identity is established, the findings of the genetic investigation assume significant evidence, while in the case of mere compatibility with a specific genetic profile, they only have circumstantial importance.”

          It is at this point that I had to pause and consider the very real possibility that Marasca-Bruno may have the combined denseness of two planks of wood nailed together. 

          The compatibility of trace B on the knife with the genetic profile of Meredith Kercher is such that it is full proof of the “identity” of the trace, certainly established, and that by any scientific protocol. That was acknowledged by all the trial experts and even, though with some reluctance, by Vecchiotti.

          Even if not full proof of ID it certainly has significant circumstantial relevance, according to the above and pursuant to Article 190 (which is mentioned later).

          With that uncomfortable thought perhaps lurking in the back of their minds, they seek to obfuscate matters -

          “As a general rule it is possible to adhere to these conclusions, on the condition, though, that the activity of collecting samples, storage and analysis of the exhibits has respected the regulations approved by the protocols of the profession.”

          They then, rather bizarrely, go on to aver that that the correct methods, to preserve authenticity, were stated by the Supreme Court…..“even if only on the subject of information technology evidence” 

          Eh ?!

          They refer to Article 192, section 2 -

          “The existence of a fact cannot be deduced from pieces of circumstantial evidence unless they are serious, precise and consistent.”

          They opine -

          “Taking into account such considerations [ed: “such considerations” need not concern us - they were just preceding waffle] one really cannot see how the results of the genetic analysis - that were performed in violation of recommendations for the protocols regarding the collection and storage - can be endowed with the characteristics of seriousness and preciseness.”

          John McEnroe and “You cannot be serious!“ springs to mind.

          They are also confusing the information obtained from the electropherogram with sample collection methods.

          It is, of course, important to maintain clarity of thought by keeping the issue of the value of the evidence [ed: it’s seriousness, precision and consistency] apart from the issue of contamination. As Nencini and others were able to do. Marasca-Bruno are running these issues together.

          “It is absolutely certain that these methods were not complied with [cites the C-V Report] -

          (a) The knife collected and then preserved in a cardboard box, of the sort used to package Xmas gadgets, agendas ……….

          (b) The bra clasp [collected 46 days after] …………..the photographic documentation demonstrating that at the time of collection, the clasp was passed from hand to hand…. In addition wearing dirty latex gloves.”

          Shall I comment? Oh, alright. What is the relevance of the cardboard box unless it was a conduit for contamination?  That was not even hypothetically plausible.

          Yes, as we all know the bra clasp was recovered after 46 days. But where are these collection protocols that are internationally recognized and are a pre-ordained guarantee recognized by law?

          As for dirty gloves the only evidence of this that I have seen is a photograph of the bra clasp being held in one gloved hand whilst the glove on another hand, patently belonging to the same operative, shows spots of some substance on it, which spots are most probably, in the circumstances, blood derived from the clasp the operative is holding.

          Where is the common sense of the 5th Chambers?

          What exactly was wrong with the in-depth common sense analysis of Massei and Nencini?

          And so we swing back to the conclusion that was their premise.

          “In essence, it is nothing less than a procedure of validation or falsification typical of the scientific method, of which we have talked before. And it is significant, in this regard, that the experts Berti-Berni, officials of the R.I.S Roma, carried out two amplifications of the trace (ed: 36I) retrieved from the knife blade.

          In the absence of verification by repetition of the investigative data, it is questionable what could be the relevant value to the proceedings, even if detached from the scientific theoretical debate, of the relevance of outcomes carried out on such scarce or complex samples in situations not allowing repetition.”

          Let us recall what actually happened with sample 36I. In 2013 this sample, which had not been analyzed by the Independent Experts, was analyzed by Berti-Berni. The sample was Low Copy Number and the quantum of DNA present was significantly less than was present with sample 36B. However they were able to carry out the test with a repeat because since 2007 there had been further technical advances in the equipment.

          The repeat confirmed the evidential value of the first test (Knox) despite the low level of DNA. Low Copy Number, as an inherent problem per se, and as evidence of contamination per se, as argued in the case of 36B (Meredith), was shown not to be an issue. That was what was truly significant about the test, and it underscores that the result of the test on 36B had significant evidential value.

          The knife and the bra clasp -

          “….cannot take on either probative or circumstantial relevance precisely because, according to the aforementioned laws of science, they necessitated validation and falsification.”

          The primacy of the rules of evidence has just been jettisoned with this dogmatic assertion, which is not even derived from the logic of the argument they have presented in support. Indeed much of the argument (or rather, the waffle) is merely this dogmatic assertion in numerous different guises and tediously extended formulations of itself.

          Not only that but Guede was also convicted on the basis of DNA tests that were not repeated!

          One wonders what criminal judges in Italy will make of this, and of the fact that judges from the 5th Chambers, who deal primarily in matters other than criminal law, have presumed to lay down law to them in this field.

          The reality is that despite this nothing will change as to the rules of evidence and how forensic evidence is evaluated in the criminal courts. The system, understandably, will not countenance that. That will leave this case, as it pertains to Knox and Sollecito, as an exception, a bizarre anomaly in the judicial record.

          Perhaps, in the future it will not present a practical problem, given that developments in technology are able to detect even smaller amounts of DNA, thus allowing for repeats.

          ***

          Please click here for the next post.

          Posted on 11/07/15 at 05:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Thursday, November 05, 2015

          A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #1

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

          I will be critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

          This is the 54 page report released by the Fifth Chambers of the Italian Supreme Court late in September. For a full translation of the Report which can be referred to or downloaded please click here.

          Key Decisions Of The Court

          These are the eight main decisions I found In The Report -

            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)

          I am going to examine the 34 pages in which Marasca-Bruno present their rationale for the above. These pages also include reasons for the dismissal of various appeal submissions, which are of no interest to this critique.

          Central to the acquittals is of course the claim that that the evidence was insufficient and/or contradictory and I shall look closely at how the Report sets out to demonstrate this.

          We shall discover that a number of these co-called contradictions are not plausibly inherent in the trial evidence or in previous reports but are in fact the result of illogical reasoning, dogmatic assertion, indeed simply plucked from the air, by the 5th Chambers itself.

          My Own Overall Reaction To The Report

          My overall reaction to the Report is that it is quite unlike any other reasoning I have seen produced by a court of law. 

          It smacks of a desperate attempt to bring home an incomprehensible verdict.

          The language and the dogmatic assertions, unsupported by any evidence, are quite startling.

          The competence of the investigators, the forensic service and the judges who have adjudicated previously in the case, is called into question, frequently in a preposterous way. 

          I suspect that the Report was written with a view to the media being able to lift headlines from it, and many such potential headlines are to be found loaded towards the front of the Report. The busy tabloid editors dream.

          Indeed the Report (when it actually has anything to say) is akin to opinion based journalism; inadequately researched and ill-considered.

          There is a substantial amount of ponderous, self indulgent, and obfuscatory “scholastic” waffle in the Report. It forms a turgid barrier (like thick treacle) for the reader and, of course, the Courts’ affirmation that Knox was present when the murder was committed is only to be found deep into the Report.

          Remove this waffle and padding however and the illogical and self -defeating nature of the reasoning stands out.

          It is odd that some of the lengthy legal citations appear to conflict with the point that the Court is trying to make.

          The Report challenges, if not overturns, some settled and well understood legal concepts in criminal law and natural justice and violates aspects of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure. This must be of some concern to the Italian judiciary in general.

          If ever there was a Supreme Court judgement that needed to be referred by the Italian President to the Council of Magistrates for review, this is it.

          My Critique Of The Decisions Part #1

          On The Nencini Appeal

          So, let’s start. We begin with Marasca-Bruno setting the stage for their play (which as it progresses, bears a marked resemblance to Hamlet).

          The Report claims that the Nencini appeal was -

          “conditioned by the prospect of the factual profile unexpectedly included in the sentence of annulment ( i.e annulling Hellmann); such that the stringent and analytical evaluation of the Supreme Court might unavoidably force one towards affirming the guilt of the two accused. Misguided by this basic misunderstanding, the same judge is drawn into logical inconsistencies and obvious errors of judgement that are here reported.”

          The Report refers to “the troubled and intrinsically contradictory path” of the history of the trial, by which, of course, they mean the acquittals at the Hellmann appeal.

          “An objectively wavering process, whose oscillations, however, are also the result of clamorous failures, or investigative “amnesia” and culpable omissions of investigative activity. Had they been carried out these would, in all probability, have led to a picture, if not of certainty, to at least of tranquil reliability, pointing to either the guilt or innocence of today’s accused. Such a scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes in itself, already, a first and eloquent signal of an investigation that was never capable of reaching a conclusion that was beyond any reasonable doubt.”

          There are many carefully crafted layers of deception, supposition and “begging the question” in the above two quotes.

          The first is that there was a factual profile (without stating what this was) emerging from the sentence of annulment.

          That would not be true since all that the Supreme Court 1st Chambers did was annul Hellmann’s verdicts having accepted the prosecution’s grounds of appeal, one of which, incidentally, was that Hellmann was riddled with examples of “begging the question“, a trait which Marasca and Bruno are by no means averse to themselves.

          That left the judicial process with the factual profile that emerged from the Massei trial, modified, if at all, by trial evidence from Hellmann.

          Marasca-Bruno also quite arbitrarily assert that Nencini was “conditioned” and “misguided” by the terms of the annulment.

          Whatever errors Nencini may have made in his Report (and there were a few) I can only find one (see later) that could have been potentially significant, an error in law, that is certainly censurable, but it is highly subjective and offensive to assert that these were conditioned by and a consequence of the annulment, or imply that they had an impact on the verdict. That assertion is simply begging the question and is clearly an affront to the appeal judge.

          It is, of course, perfectly true that the Hellmann annulment came with a request from the 1st Chambers of the Supreme Court for the Florence appeal court to consider, (to paraphrase), “within it’s broadest discretion, the possibility of determining the subjective positions of Guede’s co-conspirators within a range of hypothetical situations, from premeditated intent to kill to an unwanted sex game that got out of control“.

          To be clear, being asked to consider someone’s subjective position is not just an invitation to consider motive but more broadly an invitation to consider that person’s understanding of the nature and consequences of his interaction, or non-interaction, with a situation.

          As it happened Nencini demonstrated latitude and independence in considering an entirely different and just as likely, if not more so, hypothesis. The hypothesis was not an affirmation of guilt, let alone proof, but was an element in the picture, and was certainly not forced upon the court by the terms of the annulment.

          Marasca-Bruno may not have cared much for Nencini’s hypothesis (see later) but they can hardly, to be consistent, deplore the motivation given that they come up with (be it on little evidence) a subjective and puzzling scenario of their own for Knox (see the end of this critique) that leaves a lot of questions begging.

          Equally begging the question is that the Hellmann acquittals were the consequence of an investigation that was never capable of reaching a conclusion that was beyond reasonable doubt. Marasca-Bruno also seem to accept, they certainly imply, that even an annulled verdict is evidence of reasonable doubt. Again there is no logical connection for that given that the verdict - they accept this - was correctly annulled..

          All these assertions require to be demonstrated. Are they?

          On The Claimed Media Impact

          Next the Report claims that the media impacted on the conduct of the investigation and the judicial proceedings. There was “an unusual media clamour” of an international nature that -

          “led to a sudden acceleration of the investigation, in the frantic search for one or more guilty people to placate international opinion, and certainly did not help lead to the truth……………………media attention led to “prejudicial reflexes”, “procedural deviations”, generating “illicit noise” in the provision of information. This is not so much from the late discovery of witnesses, as of the raiding of the trial by the impromptu propulsion of detainees with proven criminal records, who are certainly not people averse to moments of pathological lying…”

          The media, take note. But it is the investigators that are once again being called to account here.

          Marasca-Bruno do not identify the point at which the aforesaid sudden acceleration is supposed to occur but I would hazard a guess that it was when the investigators discovered the body of a girl who had been brutally murdered. The only propulsion required would be the perfectly natural need to identify and detain the perpetrators, and not what the media was saying about the case.

          Marasca-Bruno do not produce one convincing iota of evidence that the investigators were unduly influenced by the media attention rather than the evidence they were obtaining.

          There is, of course, more than a nod to the defence PR myth of a Rush to Judgement about the above. However it is overlooked that there was a period of 7 months between the arrest of Knox and Sollecito and the prosecution notifying all concerned that they were ready to press charges.

          Marasca-Bruno are, of course, perfectly right about Alessi and Aviello but omit to mention their names and that these were witnesses called by the defence. The media had nothing to do with that, but rather the evidence of multiple attackers.

          Thus ends the setting of the stage for a play within a play.

          We should now be aware that there is something rotten in the State of Denmark, with which a theatrical Marasca-Bruno, the personifications of Hamlet, are about to grapple. Nencini becomes Claudius who, as revealed by a supernatural apparition, had murdered Hamlet’s father (Hellmann).

          On Multiple Attackers

          We now come to a clear and unequivocal endorsement of multiple attackers. Well done.

          And then, and here I somewhat reluctantly have to agree, Marasca-Bruno identify an error in law in the Nencini Report.

          Nencini referred to Guede’s appearance at the Hellmann appeal when Guede was questioned as to the letter he wrote in response to the allegation concerning him made by Alessi. In this letter, read out to the court, Guede wrote “I hope that sooner or later the judges realize my complete lack of involvement in what was a horrible murder of Meredith a lovely wonderful young woman, by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.”

          Guede had not specifically said as much before and when cross-examined on the matter he declined to answer, referring the court to his previous statements. Nencini’s error was to treat the letter and those previous statements, in as much as they contained accusations placing Knox and Sollecito at the cottage at the time of the murder, as admissible circumstantial evidence.

          That, however, is expressly excluded by the rule that states that incriminatory statements made by a witness of another are inadmissible unless the witness submits to cross-examination on them.

          It should, however, be remembered that Guede did not give evidence at the Massei trial (nor were his previous statements admitted) and so it cannot be said that the error was that significant in the context of the evidence as a whole.

          On The Trial Process

          Having set the stage and dealt with points of law Marasca-Bruno now turn to the “merit of the trial process” which, of course they have already, and without merit, managed to sully.

          Particularly this involves looking at the “Motivational structure of the ruling under appeal”.

          “Discrepancies, inconsistencies and errors in judgement do not escape notice.”

          They then proceed to set these out.

          1. The Issue Of Motive

          “Erroneous, in the first place, is the assertion regarding the substantive irrelevance of ascertaining the motive for the murderous act. This cannot be accepted in the light of the unquestioned doctrine of this regulating court, relating to the relevance of motive as the glue that links the various elements of which proof is made, especially in circumstantial cases such as the one at hand”

          Well, Nencini did not maintain that motive was irrelevant, or even substantially irrelevant, per se. What he did say was this -

          “Regarding motive, first it is necessary to quote the teaching of the Court of Legitimacy on whose opinion the precise indication of a motive for the crime of murder loses relevance when the attribution of responsibility to a defendant derives from a precise and concordant evidentiary framework (see Supreme Court, section 1 Criminal Sentence No. 11807, 12th February 2009).”

          Marasca-Bruno ignore the above but quote another bit of law which, to paraphrase it,  because it becomes complicated in translation, states that motive, whilst capable of constituting an element, has to be congruent with and capable of pointing all the elements of the evidence in a single direction, in a clear, precise and convergent manner, failing which any motive so postulated attains an air of ambiguity unable to fulfill it’s purpose.

          Marasca-Bruno continue -

          “…..which as we shall see shortly, (such purpose) cannot be maintained in the case at hand, in the face of a body of evidence which is ambiguous and intrinsically contradictory.”

          If my paraphrasing is correct, then this does not contradict Nencini. Indeed the quotes, taken together, are complimentary and encapsulate what just about every criminal lawyer understands to be correct about the relevance of a motive in criminal proceedings. Nencini is not erroneous. Motive is not central. It is an element which may be useful. Futile and trivial motives are difficult to pin down to a specific cause. There are, indeed, glues other than motive, which fulfill the same purpose, such as the behaviour, lies, inconsistencies and contradictions referable to the words and actions of the accused themselves.

          Finally, on motive, Marasca-Bruno make another point.

          Guede had a sexual motive but this cannot be extended to others. To demonstrate the point they present the following argument, but here, again, I encounter a difficulty with the translation into English, and so I paraphrase:

          “If it would be manifestly illogical (ed: as it would be) to hypothesize the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti in the murder, and in complicity with a complete stranger, then it is equally illogical not to extend the same argument to Sollecito who had never met Guede.”

          According to M-B, Nencini’s failure to advance this argument is a judicial error.

          However I can quite understand why he did not advance it.

          Firstly, the argument is based on Guede’s sexual motive and the implied premise that gender and sexual assault are related, which does render the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti unlikely but does not help Sollecito.

          Secondly, the lack of a link to Guede, in either case but particularly in Sollecito’s case, has nothing to do with whether or not the hypothesized perpetrator would in fact possess such a motive. Thirdly there is a link anyway, Knox,

          The argument might conceivably operate on another plane, leaving aside sexual motive. Would anyone commit murder with a stranger?  Well it happens in fact, particularly if there is a party who can link the strangers together.

          The reason, of course, why one cannot hypothesize the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti in the murder is that they both had proven alibis, whereas Sollecito did not, and that would seem to be the more pertinent fact.

          It is a suggestive argument but one that is flawed. In any event it is not significant and Marasca-Bruno are not averse from making significant judicial errors themselves, as we shall see.

          ***

          Please click here for the next post.

          Posted on 11/05/15 at 05:39 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Wednesday, November 04, 2015

          TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #7 Of 7: Attempt At Why Court Blinked At Guilt

          Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



          Cassation mural by Cesare Maccari 19th century, on the theme of justice

          Overview Of The Post and the Series

          This represents pages 41 to 46 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli posted the final few quite damning pages several weeks ago.

          The four part series by the lawyer James Raper that follows next concentrates on the analysis and conclusions in the second half. We have already carried a four part analysis by Catnip.

          We also posted these charges against defense lawyer Maori which also explain at length how the Fifth Chambers (which handles no murder cases normally) among numerous errors of its own broke two laws.

          Apart from questions as to why it wandered from its narrow mandate, that court should not have one-upped the First Chambers findings in 2013 or the Nencini findings in 2015 without referring the case back down to him.

          Those charges are now lodged with the Florence court, and the archaic “political-track” route to their questionable seats on the Supreme Court of Judge Marasca and Judge Bruno as opposed to career-track has already been sealed off by the Council of Magistrates.

          Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

          Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final.

          Attempt to Explain Why The Court Blinked At Guilt

          8. Now, in fluid succession, the points of clear logical disparity in the appealed motivation should be positioned.

          8.1 A process element of incontrovertible value – as will be explained further – is represented by the asserted absence, in the room of the homicide or on the victim’s body, of biological traces attributable with certainty to the two defendant, when, in contrast, there copious traces have been detected firmly referable to Guede.

          This was an insurmountable roadblock on the road taken by the trial judge to arrive at an affirmation of guilt of the current appellants, who were already absolved of the homicide by the Hellmann Appeal Court.

          To overcome the inconvenience of such negative element - unequivocally favorable to the current appellants – it has been sustained, in vain, that, after the theft simulation the perpetrators of the crime carried out a “selective” cleaning of the environment, in order to remove only the traces referable to them, while still leaving those attributable to others.

          The assumption is manifestly illogical. To appreciate, in full, the amount of disparity it is not necessary to carry out an expert investigation ad hoc, even if requested by the defense. Such a cleanup would be impossible according to common-sense rules of ordinary experience, an activity of targeted cleaning capable of avoiding luminol examinations which are in commonplace use by investigators (also used to highlight different traces, not just hematic ones).

          After all, the same assumption of an asserted precision in the cleaning is shown to be wrong in point of fact, considering that “in the little bathroom” hematic traces on the bathmat, on the bidet, on the faucet, on the cotton buds box, and on the light switch were found. And also, in a case of guilt of the current appellants, certainly they would have had enough time for an accurate cleaning, in the sense that there wouldn’t be any reasons for hurry that would have animated any other perpetrator of the crime who would probably be worried about the possible arrival of other persons. In fact, Knox, was well aware of the absence of Romanelli and Mezzetti from the house and she knew that they would have not returned home that night, therefore there would have been all the necessary time for an accurate cleaning of the house.

          With reference to the asserted hematic traces in the other environments, especially in the corridor, there’s also an obvious misrepresentation of the proof. In fact, the progress-of-works reports of the Scientific Police had excluded, consequent to the use of a particular chemical reagent, that, in the examined environments, the traces highlighted by the luminol were of hematic nature. Those -of-works certificates, despite being regularly compiled and registered in evidence, were not considered.

          Also manifestly illogical, in this regard, is the argument of the trial judge who (at f.186) assumes that he could overrule the defense objection in relation to circumstances in which the luminescent bluish reaction caused by the luminol is also produced in the presence of substances different from blood (for example, detergent residues, fruit juices and others), on the assumption that that, even if theoretically exact, would have to be “contextualized” in the sense that if the fluorescence manifests itself in an environment involving a homicide, the luminol reaction can only be attributed to hematic traces.

          The weakness of this, even at first sight, doesn’t require any notation, and it would furthermore require the assumptions that the house in via della Pergola was never subject to cleaning or that it was not ever lived in.

          This analysis permits us therefore to exclude, categorically, that hematic traces were removed on that particular occasion.

          There’s another clear logical disparity regarding the explanations given by the trial about the theft of the cellphones of Kercher,  which the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators, while moving away from via della Pergola, got rid of, after the homicide, tossing them into a plot next to the road which in the dark could appear like open country (while was a private garden instead).

          Far from plausible further more is the judge’s justification that the cellphones would have been taken to avoid their eventual ringing leading to discovery of the corpse of the young English woman before the hypothetic time, without considering that such an outcome could have more easily been achieved by shutting the telephones off or removing the batteries.

          It is also clearly illogical – and also little respectful of the trial’s body of facts – to reconstruct the motivation of the homicide on the basis of supposed disagreements between Kercher and Knox, enhanced by the irritation of the young English woman toward her housemate for having allowed Guede in the house, who had thereupon made an irregular use of the bathroom (f. 312). The explanation offered by the Ivorian in one of his declarations during the proceeding against him (and usable, according to what stated before, only in the parts which don’t involve responsibilities of third parties) is, instead, a different one. The young man in fact was in the bathroom, when he heard Kercher arguing with another person, who he perceived had a female voice, so that the motivation for the arguing could have not be constituted by his use of the bathroom.

          Also illogical and contradictory is the judge’s statement that, attempting to provide a cause for that disagreement (which was moreover denied in other declarations) doesn’t hesitate to retrieve the hypothesis of the money and credit card theft which Kercher was said to have attributed to Knox, despite the fact that, in a definitive finding, Knox, and Sollecito too, would be absolved because “there is no hard fact” on the crime of thievery in relation to the aforementioned goods (f.316).

          It is also arbitrary in the absence of any accepted confirmation to transfer to the house at via della Pergola the situations that Knox, in one of her declarations, had described and contextualized in a different timeframe and circumstance, which was in via Garibaldi n. 130, in Sollecito’s house: viewing of a movie, light consuming of drugs, sexual intercourse, and nocturnal rest lasting until the late morning of the 2nd of November, in a period before, during and after the homicide. This was introduced as a dynamic of the murder, the possible destabilizing effect of drugs.

          This also was done in the absence of any verification, and also because – among the multiple omissions or disputable investigative strategies – the police teams, even after collecting a cigarette butt from the ashtray in the living room containing biological traces of a mixed genetic profile (Knox and Sollecito), didn’t carry out any analysis on the nature of the cigarette’s substance because that investigation would have resulted in an impossibility to verify the genetic profile, making the sample “unusable”. And all of this with the brilliant [sic] result of submitting to the trial an absolutely irrelevant data, considered that it is certain that Sollecito frequented the house in via della Pergola, because he was sentimentally bound to the American girl; while in contrast the verification of the nature of the cigarette sample might have offered investigative leads of particular interest.

          What is underlined above is emblematic of the whole body of the appealed findings related to the reconstruction of the relevant event, reported in par.10 with the title: conclusive evaluations.

          It is undeniably a faulty interpretation attempt of the judge in order to compensate for some investigative lacks and obvious proof shortfalls with acute speculative activity and suggestive logical argumentations, being merely assertive and dogmatic.

          Now it is unquestionable that the factual reconstruction is an exclusive task of the trial judge and it is not the responsibility of the Court of Cassation to establish if the proposed assessment is actually the best possible reconstruction of the facts, nor to approve his justifications, requiring this court only to address verification if such justification is compatible - according to the basic jurisprudence formula – “with common sense and with the limits of a plausible appreciation of opinion” (among others, Section 5, n. 1004 of 30 November 1999, dep. 2000, Moro G, Rv. 215745), and also according to the probative requirements in the light of the text of article 606 lett. e) of the code of criminal procedure; it is also true that the chosen reconstructive version, even if in compliance with the standards of ordinary logic, has to adhere to the reality of the body of facts and be presented as the result of a process of critical evaluation of the points of proof acquired. Therefore the use of logic and intuition cannot compensate for shortfalls in proofs or investigative inefficiency. In the face of a missing, insufficient or contradictory proof, the judge must limit himself to accepting that and deliver an acquittal sentence, according to article 530, chapter 2, of the code of criminal procedure, even if driven by an authentic moral conviction of the guilt of the accused.

          Also, there is no shortage of errors in the motivation text of the examined sentence. Accordingly the assumption is totally erroneous in f. 321, according to which in the almost imperceptible grooves of the knife which was considered the weapon of the crime (item 36) DNA samples were attributable to Sollecito and also Kercher. The assumption is, in fact, in conflict with the lengthy exposition in the part concerning the aforementioned item (ff. 208 ss), where the outcomes of the genetic investigations which had attributed trace A to Amanda Knox, trace B to Kercher, a finally, trace I – the examination of which was unjustifiably passed over in the Conte-Vecchiotti survey – attributed after a new test to Knox. As will be stated further, given the attribution of the traces A and I to the current appellant, the reference of the trace B to Kercher cannot have – for the reasons stated above – any possibility of certainty being a low copy number sample meaning a scarce-quantity sample which could allow only one amplification (f.124). It doesn’t appear anywhere that the knife carried biological traces related to the genetic profile of Sollecito.

          9. The noted errors in judgment and the logical inconsistencies conflict fundamentally with the appealed sentence which therefore deserves to be annulled.

          The aforementioned invalidating reasons mount up in the absence of a possible framework of proof that could really be accepted as able to support a verdict of guilt beyond reasonable doubt as required by article 533 of the code of criminal procedure, in the recent text of article 5 of law n. 46 of 2006.

          Regarding the discussion of the range of meaning of that rule and its possible reflection on the evaluation of the evidence, this Court of Cassation has more than once had occasion to restate that “the normative prevision of the judgmental rule of beyond reasonable doubt which is based on the constitutional principle of presumed innocence, has not led to a different and more restrictive criteria of evaluation of the proof, but has coded the jurisprudential principle according to which the declaration of the sentence has to be based on certainty with regard to the accused ( Section 2, n. 7035 of 09 November 2012, dep. 2013, De Bartolomei, Rv. 254025; Section 2, n. 16357 of 2 April 2008, Crisiglione¸ Rv. 239795).

          It is not in essence an innovative or “revolutionary” principle, but the mere formal recognition of a judgment rule already existing in the judiciary experience of our Country and therefore already in firm force regarding the conditions for a sentence, given the preexistent rule of article 530, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure, according to which, in case of insufficiency or contradiction of the evidence, the accused has to be acquitted. (Section 1, n. 30402 of 28/062006, Volpon, Rv.234374).

          On the basis of such premises the principle was enhanced according to which “the judgmental rule contained in the formula for beyond any reasonable doubt requires the pronouncing of a guilty sentence only when the acquired proofs excludes all but the remotest eventualities, even if supposable in theory and considered possible in the nature of things, but it is obvious that in this concrete case, the investigation results lacked any verification during the trial, unless outside the natural order of things and normal human rationality” (Section 2, n. 2548 of 19/12/2014, dep. 2015, Segura, Rv. 262280); together with the enunciation that alternative reconstructions of the crime have to be based on reliable probative elements, because the doubt which inspires them cannot be founded on merely conjectural hypothesis, even if plausible, but has to be characterized by rationality (cfr Section 4, n. 22257 of the 25/03/2014, Guernelli, Rv. 259204; Section 1, n. 17921 of the 03/03/2010, Giampà, Rv. 247449; Section 1, n. 23813 of 08/05/2009, Manikam, Rv. 243801).

          9.1 The intrinsically contradictory quality of the body of proof, the objective uncertainty of which is emphasized by the highlighted irregular progression of the proceeding, doesn’t allow us to consider it as having passed the standard of no reasonable doubt, the consecration of which is a milestone in juridical civilization which has to be protected for always as an expression of fundamental constitutional values clustered around the central role of the person in the legal system, whose protection is effected at trial by the principle of presumption of innocence until there is definitive verification, according to article 27, chapter 2, of the Constitution.

          9.2. The terms of objective contradictions in the proof here can be illustrated for each appellant, in a synoptic examination of the elements favorable to the hypothesis of guilt and the elements to the contrary in the text of the appeal and the defense declarations.

          9.3. It is useful to the side by side examination of these profiles to consider that, given the committing of the homicide in via della Pergola, the supposed presence in the house of the current appellants cannot, in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt. In the evaluative approach to the problematic compendium of proof offered by the appellate judge, we cannot ignore the juridical categories of “non-punishable connivance” and “participation of persons in the crime committed by others” and the distinction between them as accepted by indisputables decision of the Court of Cassation.

          In this regard, it is well understood that the distinction resides “in the fact that the first postulates that the agent maintain a merely passive behavior, of no contribution to the effecting of the crime, while the second requires a positive participatory contribution - moral or material – to the other’s criminal conduct in ways that aid or strengthen the criminal purpose of the appellant” (Section 4, n. 1055 of 12/12/2013, dep. 2014, Benocci, Rv. 258186; Section 6, n. 44633 of 31/102013, Dioum, Rv. 257810; Section 5, n. 2895 of 22/03/2013, dep. 2014, Grosu, Rv. 258953). Equally certain is the effect of this specific distinction in the subjectivity consideration, since in the actual participation by persons in the crime the subjective element can be identified in the conscious representations and will of the participant in cooperating with other subjects in the common realization of the criminal conduct (Section 1, n 40248 of 26/09/2012, Mazzotta, Rv. 254735).

          9.4 Now, a fact of assured relevance in favor of the current appellants, in the sense of excluding their material participation to the homicide, even assuming the hypothesis of their presence in the house of via della Pergola, lies in the absolute absence of biological traces referable to them (apart from the hook of which we will discuss later) in the room of the homicide or on the victim’s body, where in contrast multiple traces attributable to Guede were found.

          It is incontrovertibly impossible that that in the crime scene (constituted by a room of little dimensions: ml 2,91x3,36, as indicated by the blueprint reproduced at f. 76) no traces would be retrieved referable to the current appellants had they participated in the murder of Kercher.

          No trace assignable to them has been, in particular, observed on the sweatshirt worn by the victim at the moment of the aggression and nor on the underlying shirt, as it should have been in case of participation in the homicide (instead, on the sleeve of the aforementioned sweater traces of Guede were retrieved: ff. 179-180).

          The aforementioned negative circumstance works as a counterbalance to the data, already highlighted, on the absolute impracticality of the hypothesis of a posthumous selective cleaning capable of removing specific biological traces while leaving others.

          Posted on 11/04/15 at 05:41 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRudy GuedeRS anti AK, RGThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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          Sunday, November 01, 2015

          1 November 2015: Marking Eight Years That Her Presence And Promise Have Moved People

          Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



          Meredith at lower left with sister and parents; she showed quite exceptional potential

          Meredith as commemorate by Stephany:

          For us, this has only ever been about Meredith. She had been in Perugia for eight weeks and I had moved away from home only three weeks previously. We had stayed in touch updating each other with the exciting new things we were doing.

          I had just got home from a training course when Mum called me, her voice trembling, relaying news that a 21-year-old English girl had been found under a mattress in Italy.

          Trying to calm Mum down I began calling Mez on her mobile. I ended up leaving a voice message explaining what had happened, telling her to be safe and to call me as soon as she could.

          I finished, as always, saying “I love you”. I even emailed her the news page so she knew what I was talking about… Little did I know I was already too late.

          Dad’s was the next voice I heard. Through tears he told me the name he had been given by a newspaper was Meredith. I cannot remember what I thought – it was a mixture of disbelief and sheer pain. I did not know what to think or do and then my body just sunk.

          When I arrived at Mum’s the pain in my chest was unbearable as I was told the few details of what had happened – the broken window, her door locked on the inside.

          Thoughts and scenarios were racing through my head faster than I could comprehend and I collapsed into my parents’ arms, filled with the fear Meredith must have endured that night.

          We stayed up all night watching the news, waiting for any concrete information. The Halloween photo of Meredith was the first to appear and I spun round to Mum and said ‘That’s not Mez! That’s not Mez, Mum!’

          I was adamant it was not my little sister, but Mum stroked my hair and painfully submitted that it was.

          I cried all night until I could barely see or breathe, everything just felt so empty. From the moment we received the call I knew we had to go and look after Mez.

          We were told she was in a room with flowers either side of her and Mum said we had to go as soon as possible because she did not want to leave Meredith on her own. I cannot begin to imagine how my parents must have felt, I just know how numb I was and how Mum’s strength pulled us together.

          We began our journey to identify her and bring her home. Arriving in Italy was surreal, everything happened so quickly. I still remember looking at Meredith lying there so still, no breath to be taken, a crisp white sheet pulled up to and over her neck.

          She seemed peaceful, yet she bore a look of determination, of courage marred by defeat. It was a look that let us know how hard she had fought to be with us – and for that I am eternally grateful.

          From that moment we knew we had to fight for her, too, not only for justice for her, but every day for ourselves, for her.

          Others have given us the strength to continue since November 1, 2007 and we’d like to thank everyone around the world who has supported us and given us hope.

          This is testament to a truly special sister, daughter and friend. She really did touch so many lives with her selfless compassion and loyalty, and continues to do so now.

          Nothing was ever too much trouble for her. Mez never knew how effortlessly beautiful she was or how much of an impact she had on people. This was a quality of hers, which enabled her to make others laugh, help others when they needed someone, and become someone to aspire to.

          She held such an incredible presence that the void she has left us with is noticeable every day. Marking the fourth anniversary of our loss, we now live without reason. No motive was found.

          It is difficult to find any reason to want to hurt her and it terrifies me to think she may have left us that night not knowing either.

          We still hope justice will prevail and, in the darkest times, the support given to Meredith and us as a family reminds us of why we are still here.

          We are working with friends and colleagues to start a Trust Fund in Meredith’s name to help with the case and eventually support anyone else who may tragically find themselves in our position, so that her fight may continue and help others.

          On November 1 at 9pm I will light a candle for my sister, may she rest in peace.

          Posted on 11/01/15 at 06:34 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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          Saturday, October 31, 2015

          The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #4 Their Findings - Ambivalent In Spades

          Posted by catnip



          Sollecito & Bongiorno: reported as very un-thrilled at the findings RS was at crime scene and lied

          Overview

          This is my dissection of Part 9, the final 10 pages of the report.

          My previous dissections of the Fifth Chambers explanation can be read here and here and here.

          Dissections

          Each sentence in the paraphrased gist of the repoirt below corresponds to one paragraph in the text.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Errors in law and logical inconsistencies mean that the impugned judgment merits being cassated [quashed]. The evidential picture does not reach the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s not an innovative or “revolutionary” principle and is already present in Italian law, implicitly in Article 530 para 2. Remote possibilities are not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’(Segura case, 2014) and mere conjecture, even though plausible, cannot found alternative reconstructions (Gurenelli case, 2014, etc) (9).


          COMMENT: Citing from cases is a good technique, even to including their names, à la common law systems. Not reaching the BARD standard is the crux of the matter.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The contradictory evidence as illustrated by the up-and-down nature of the proceedings through the courts does not reach the BARD standard (9.1)


          COMMENT: This is disingenuous. The Perugia Court of Appeal judgment was annulled (except for the calunnia), so calling it into play again as one of the, presumably, “up” side of the ‘swings-and-roundabouts’ of the case as if it were a valid judgment is misleading.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: An overview of the for-and-against positions can be given (9.2)


          COMMENT: Given the appearance of a balanced handling of the matter is a good technique. The assumption that there are for-and-against positions is not clarified or explained, though, merely asserted.

          That is, a reading of the evidence as ‘not guilty’, to stand and be opposed to and contrasted with a reading of the evidence as ‘guilty’, involves a circularity of reasoning: it is the ultimate contradiction for the same evidence to support both positions simultaneously.

          The result of a ‘not guilty’ conclusion is that the evidence leads there, and away from a conclusion of ‘guilty’. A for-and-against view begins with the conclusion, in order to prove the conclusion: circularity.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Presence does not equate with guilt. Passive participation is different to active participation (Benocci case, 2013 etc). The subjective element can be found in voluntary participation and cooperation (Mazzotta case, 2012) (9.3)


          COMMENT: Absence of evidence does not equate with innocence (meaning evidence of absence). Quoting from cases is good: it gives the impression something legal is going.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Even given their presence, FOR the accused is the absence of their traces in the room or on the body (excluding the bra-clasp, of which more later), and likewise FOR the accused is the presence of Rudy’s evidence. The room is so small that is impossible not to leave any traces if they were murderers. Nothing of theirs was found on the victim’s top or the piece of clothing underneath, whereas Rudy’s trace was found on a sleeve of the top. This makes a clean-up impossible. (9.4)


          COMMENT: Declarations of certainty about the consequences of the size of the room are not evidence, no matter how close such declarations seem to be in going ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. Given an erroneous starting point, impeccable reasoning can be applied, and a conclusion reached.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Amanda’s self-described presence is credible in that she described, for the first time, a possible sexual motive for the murder, and the piercing scream. In her calunnia she puts herself on the scene which no-one else (other than those others present, obviously) would have known. According to the calunnia, the scream and the murder is due to Patrick Lumumba. AGAINST: the mixed traces (dilute blood, skin cells) in the small bathroom.

          Suspicion is not decisive. The trace is not equivocal – there could have been posthumous contact with the blood.  There was no trace in the murder zone or on the body. The reason why she accused is incomprehensible – the psychological pressure theory is weak (fragile). She couldn’t think it would stand up, since she knew well that Patrick had no relationship with Meredith, or that Patrick wouldn’t have a cast-iron alibi. Maybe to cover for Rudy (both men being black), perhaps hypothesising that Rudy had been seen.

          The staged burglary scene, for the prosecution, pointed to somebody who knew the victim, but this is ambiguous because it was Raffaele who pointed out to the police that nothing had been carried off. Lies revealed by SMS and Curatolo and Quintavalle are suspicious, but they are scarcely credible witnesses. The enigmatic drug-dealer Curatolo, coming late to the case and no stranger to cases with a strong media presence, is contradicted by the lack of buses, and the masks and joking around of Halloween, apparently counterbalanced by seeing the accused the day before forensic spacemen arrived. Quintavalle, another tardy witness, has nothing specific to add, not even what purchases were made, and identifying in Amanda in the courtroom has no relevance since her image had appeared on all the newspapers and TV news.

          The “A” and “I” traces on the knife are neutral, given she lived with Raffaele, and (as said) there were no traces of Ms Kercher on the knife, contrasting with the prosecution hypothesis that it was the murder weapon. It was an arguable choice to test the trace for DNA rather than for what substance it was. Attributing the trace to Amanda is not unequivocal, and is indifferent, since she lived with Raffaele. Even attributing trace “B” to Meredith is not decisive (not being blood), since, with students, it’s plausible that convivial gatherings and other events would require the transport of a knife for domestic use. Starch implies ordinary use; lack of blood cannot lead to a cleaning action since starch is well-known to be absorbent and would have absorbed blood if it had been there.

          It’s implausible that Amanda would carry the kitchen knife for protection in her big bag, rather than carry a small flick knife like knife-collector and knife-fan Raffaele certainly had in his possession. Attributing the print in the homicide location to her is, finally, anything but certain. (9.4.1)


          COMMENT:  ‘All over the place like a dog’s breakfast’. Where to begin? The strong suspicion, reinforced with every statement made, is that Bruno is one sandwich short of a picnic. The main cause is due to taking the defence claims in their appeal papers as if they were the factual basis of a new trial. Which makes Bruno two sandwiches short of a picnic. For a Cassation judge, the picnic hamper and its contents is a serious matter. This whole section, and the following one, are destined to become a classic example.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: For Raffaele, the picture is likewise. The bra-clasp, the only trace of his, has no certainty, since there is no 2nd amplification, there is no probative value. There is a strong suspicion he was there on the night, but when is not possible to determine. Given Amanda was present, it’s scarcely believable he wouldn’t be with her. Amanda had versions of the “something strange” story and other versions of being present, it’s strange she wouldn’t have called her boyfriend, presumably being ignorant of Italian emergency procedures and having her boyfriend close by. No call, there was no phone record, implies he was with her.

          But presence at the scene is not certain proof. Defence arguments are insufficient to remove doubt. Even if Raffaele watched everything, it does not rule out his presence – he could have been at the house, it’s a short distance away, ten or so minutes. Amanda’s claims to have been at Raffaele’s house, countered by Curatalo’s and Quintavalle’s testimony, raises strong suspicion against Raffaele. But their strongly approximative and ambiguous statements cannot, reasonably, lead to certainty, notwithstanding the appeal court’s problematic subjective view on the matter. Suspicions rise from the substantive failure of the alibi about the computers, although it’s not a case of speaking about failed alibis, but rather alibis that didn’t make it. No certainty either about Raffaele’s prints, with their “probable identity”, rather than certainty. (9.4.2)


          COMMENT: Reasonable minds can (and often do) come to different conclusions on the same facts. But: Highly trained professional lawyers applied the incorrect methodology?! If Bruno thinks Florence did that, then what’s to stop anyone thinking that Bruno has done the same thing? Curatolo is an enigmatic drug-dealer (and again the media get a look-in), but the enigmatic drug-taking Raffaele isn’t, even with his knife-fetish?

          Luckily, enigmas, according to common experience, are not generally the convivial party-going kind, whereof large kitchen knives for domestic use are easily transported. Bruno, and the Bruno Cafe-and-Bar Specials, are ripe for satire (which may be the underlying ulterior intention, subconsciously-speaking: to make a mark, or a stain or a trace, no matter how indeterminate, or, keyword, indecisive.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Since the main charge is unsupported, the subsidiary charges also fall. (9.4.3)


          COMMENT: True, as a principle.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Contradictory probative elements must compel an acquittal. One last question remains to be resolved. Remand of the case to another court is logically linked to the objective possibility of further tests. The response is definitely negative. The traces are so small they cannot guarantee reliability. Amanda’s and Meredith’s computer were burned by the investigators, probably through the wrong electric current causing irreversible damage. The declaratory evidence is exhaustive. Rudy refused and cannot be compelled to testify.

          Defence technical requests cannot guarantee clarity, not only because of the amount of time, but the problematic testing (possibility of selective clean-up); obvious irrelevance (tests on Raffaele’s computer), given the possibility, no matter what the interaction, of going over to Meredith’s house; or clearly superfluous, given the completeness of the examination undertaken (for example, the autopsy and subsequent medico-legal tests). Remand of the case would be useless. Annulment of the conviction under charge (A)  [=aggravated murder] implies a redetermination of the sentence imposed, which will be set as the same one handed down by the Court of Appeal of Perugia, adequate and just.

          And so all other defence submissions petitions requests are to be considered denied, while any lines of argumentation, including those not examined, are inadmissible as being, clearly, related to the mertis. (10)


          COMMENT: Repeating of the same wallpaper pattern starting to occur. Which means, there is nothing more to say. Literally.

          Cassation (Bruno) – gist: It only remains to dispose the case (11):

          Charge (B): extinction of the charge by prescription
          The impugned judgment, excluding aggravated calunnia, annulled without remand on charges (A), (D)and (E) on the grounds on not having committed the deed
          Re-determine the sentence inflicted on Amanda for the crime of calunnia to three years of imprisonment.
          So decided 27/03/2015
          Signed
          (Bruno, Recorder) (Marasca, President)


          COMMENT: Only Bruno initialled each page; Marasca limited himself to signing at the end.

          Observations

          What have we learned on the first read-through of (the legal part of) the Cassation decision?

          • That the court is not slave to science, yet Bruno pronounces about repeatability and its scientific significance (which he mistakes for the significance of falsifiability). He makes repeatability a judicial truth. I expect Bruno will be surprised to “learn” that there are sciences where repeatability is not an option, yet they are still science.

          • That the court is not slave to the expert, yet when the defence claim that international standards have been breached in the collection of evidence, that is accepted as judicial truth.

          • That a person is not slave to their DNA: the presence of DNA (Raffaele’s on the cigarette butt) is proof of nothing since he was a visitor to the cottage, and the absence of DNA (in the room) is proof of everything since it “shows” (with certainty) that they weren’t there as murderers.

          • That the court is adept at applying common experience and associated physics, yet Bruno does not hesitate to declare what is and isn’t physically possible (in a small room, say; or with starch grains).

          • That the court applies logic and common sense and everyday knowledge, yet, in continuously describing the crime as senseless, incomprehensible, and indeed not of the everyday, Bruno looks for sense and rationality, and the not finding of it doesn’t alert him to the possibility that it isn’t there.

          • That the copy-paste function on junior judge’s computers should be switched off in cases of non compus mentus, or that at the least that copyright payments should be made to defence clerks for usage of the material, to offset their costs.

          Others here will pick up the baton on this. I look forward to seeing them run.

          Posted on 10/31/15 at 04:36 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesCatnip critique
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          Friday, October 30, 2015

          TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless

          Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



          Luca Giordano (Fa Pesto), Love and Vice Disarm Justice, 17th century

          Overview Of The Post and the Series

          This represents pages 37 to 41 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli already posted the final few pages so one more post of 5 pages will see the completion.

          Following this 6th post will be a final brief analysis by Catnip, and following the 7th and final post will be a major analysis of the entire report by lawyer James Raper from legal and evidence standpoints.

          Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

          Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final.

          Why DNA Evidence Is All Rejected

          7.1. With these general and abstract considerations, we now examine from a new particular perspective specific details of a broadly problematic case.

          In this specific case, in fact, it is not a question of verifying the nature and admissibility of a scientific method that is not really new, as in the Franzoni sentence formerly mentioned, , on the admissibility of the “Blood Pattern Analysis” or B.P.A. (a procedure already accepted in the United States and Germany, combining scientific laws of different universally recognized disciplines) because the objects of examination are the outcomes of the one science, genetics, of well-known reliability and increasing use and utility in judicial investigations.

          Furthermore, this Court on multiple occasions has already recognized the procedural value of genetic investigation into DNA, given the statistically great number of confirmative recurrences, making the possibility of an error infinitesimally small (Section 2, n. 8434 of 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of 30 June 2004, Rv.231182).

          Here it is more a matter of verifying what kind of procedural value can be assigned in a trial to the results of a genetic investigation carried out in a context of verifying very small samples with very little respect for the rules included in international protocols by which, normally, such scientific research is inspired.

          Implicitly referring to the jurisprudential interpretation of legitimacy, the judge has not hesitated to attribute to the aforementioned outcomes evidential relevance (f. 217).

          The attribution cannot be shared.

          Important to note that the case law of this Supreme Court, cited above, has acknowledged of genetic investigations – specifically their degree of reliability – full evidential value, and not a mere evidential element, according to article 192, chapter 2, of the code of criminal procedure; adding that, in cases where the genetic investigation doesn’t have absolutely certain outcomes, it can be attributed lesser evidential value (Section 2, n. 8434 of the 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of the 30 June 2004, Rv.231182). This means that, in the situation of placing suspects in terms of firm identity, the outcomes of the genetic investigation can have conclusive relevance, while in case of mere compatibility with a determined genetic profile, the outcomes have a mere circumstantial relevance.

          This enunciation of principle needs a further clarification.

          Generally, it is possible to accept the respective conclusions, provided the sampling activity, conservation and analysis of the sample were respectful of the requirements stated in the relevant protocols. This is true also in the less firm hypothesis, in which the outcomes of the analysis don’t arrive at a firm identity result, but merely a compatibility one.

          The principle of necessary methodological correctness in the phases of collection, conservation and analysis of examined data to preserve their maximum integrity and validity has been stated by this Court in Section F, n. 44851 of 6 September 2012, Franchini, although that was in the area of IT evidence, on the basis that those principles have been included in the code of criminal procedure with the modification of the second chapter of article 244 of the code of criminal procedure and the new particular requirement of article 254 bis of the same code, introduced into law on 19 September 2008, n. 48.

          Justifying reasoning resides, for this Court, in the same notion of evidence offered by the standard code of procedure, which in article 192 chapter 2 states that “the existence of a fact cannot be deduced from evidence, unless they are serious, precise and concordant”, so that a procedural element, to be elevated to firm evidence, has to present the characteristics of seriousness, precision and concordance, according to a configuration borrowed from the civil law (article 2729, first chapter, civil code).

          This is all summarized in the so called “certainty” requirement of circumstantial, even if such a requisite is not expressly enunciated in article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, chapter 2. It’s about, in fact,  a further connotation considered non-failable in consolidated case law and intrinsically connected to the requirements for systematic evidential proof, through which, using a procedure of formal logic, a demonstration of the proof matter – a previously unknown fact - is achieved flowing from a confirmed fact and, therefore, considered true. It is well understood, in fact, that such a procedure would be, in short, fallacious and unreliable, in cases where it moves from non-precise to serious factual premises and therefore to certain. Given, obviously, the fact that the certainty, discussed here, is not to be understood in absolute terms, in an ontological sense; the certainty of the evidential data is, in fact, always a category of a procedural nature, falling within that species of certainty which takes form during the evidential procedure. (cfr. the Franzoni sentence).

          In the light of such considerations it’s not clear how the data of the genetic analysis – carried out in violation of the prescriptions of the international protocols related to sampling and collection – could be considered endowed with the features of seriousness and precision.

          And in fact, rules for crystallizing of the results from valid samples, strengthened through repeated experimentations and methodical statistical verifications of experimental data, promote the standards of reliability in the results of the analysis both in hypothesis and identity and simple compatibility with a particular genetic profile. Otherwise, no relevance could be attributed to the acquired data, not even of minor evidence (cfr. Section 2, n. 2476 of 27 November 2014, dep.2015, Santangelo, Rv. 261866, on the necessity of a correct conservation of the vessels containing the genetic imprints, for the purpose of “repeatability” of the technical verifications capable of duplicating the genetic profile; repeatability also is dependent on the quantity of the trace and the quality of the DNA present on the biological samples collected; id. n. 2476/14 cit. Rv. 261867).

          In this case, it is certain that these methodological rules have not being fully observed (cfr, among others, ff. 206-207 and the outcomes of the Conte-Vecchiotti survey, acquired by the Court of Appeal of Perugia).

          Just consider, in this regard, the modalities of retrieval, sampling and conservation of the two items of major investigative interest in the present judgment: the kitchen knife (item n. 36) and the brassiere hook of the victim (item n. 165/B), regarding to which, during the process, the conduct of the investigators was qualified as lacking in professionalism (f. 207).

          The big knife or kitchen knife, retrieved in Sollecito’s house and considered as the weapon of the crime, had been kept in a common cardboard box, very similar to the ones used to pack Christmas gadgets, like the diaries normally given to local authorities by credit institutes.

          More singular – and unsettling – is the fate of the brassiere hook.

          Observed during the first inspection of the scientific police, the item had been ignored and left there, on the floor, for some time (46 days), until, during a new search, it was finally picked up and collected. It is sure that, during the period of time between the inspection in which it was observed and when it was collected, there had been other accesses by the investigators, who turned the room upside down in a search for elements of evidence useful to the investigation. The hook was maybe stepped on or moved (enough to be retrieved on the floor in a different place from where it was firstly noticed). And also, the photographic documentation produced by Sollecito’s defense demonstrates that, during the sampling, the hook was passed hand in hand between the operators who, furthermore, wore dirty latex gloves.

          Questioned on the reasons for the absence of a prompt sampling, the official of the scientific police, doc. Patrizia Stefanoni, declared that, initially, the collection of the hook was not focused on because the team had already collected all the clothes of the victim. Therefore, no importance was attributed to that little detail, even if, in common perception, that fastening is the part of major investigative interest, being manually operable and, therefore, a potential carrier of biological traces useful for the investigation.

          Also, the traces observed on the two items, which the analysis of has produced outcomes that will be discussed further, were very small (Low Copy Number; with reference to the hook cfr. ff. 222 and 248), so little that it didn’t allow a repetition of the amplification¸ that is the procedure aimed to “highlight the genetic traces of interest in the sample” (f. 238) and attribute the biological trace to a determined genetic profile. On the basis of the protocols of the matter, the repetition of the analysis (“at least for two times” testimony of Major CC Dr Andrea Berti, an expert nominated by the Appeal Court, f. 228; “three times” according to Professor Adriano Tagliabracci, technical adviser for Sollecito’s defense, f.126) is absolutely necessary for a reliable analysis result, in order to marginalize the risk of “false positive” within the statistical limits of insignificant relevance. 

          In essence, it is nothing less than a procedure of validation or falsification typical of the scientific method, of which we have talked before. And it’s significant, in this regard, that the experts Berti-Berni, officials of the R.I.S. of Roma, carried out two amplifications of the trace retrieved from the knife blade (f. 229).

          In absence of verification for repetition of the investigation data, it is questionable what could be the relevant value to the proceedings, even if detached from the scientific theoretical debate on the relevance of the outcomes of investigations carried out on such scarce or complex samples in situations not allowing repetition.

          The Court is sure that the scientific truth, regardless of elaboration, cannot automatically be introduced in to the process to transform itself into procedural truth. As stated before, scientific proof requires a mandatory postulate, verification, so that the relevant outcome can take on relevance and be elevated to the rank of “certainty”; since otherwise it remains unreliable. But, independent of the scientific evaluation, an unverified datum, precisely because it is lacking in the necessary requirements of precision and seriousness, cannot be granted in the process any evidentiary relevance.

          Certainly, in such a context, is not a zero, to be considered non-existant. In fact, it is still process data, which, although lacking in autonomous demonstrative relevance, is nevertheless susceptible to appreciation, at least as a mere confirmation, within a set of elements already equipped with such inclusive indicative value.

          Therefore hidden here is the judicial error in which the trial judge committed in assigning evidential value to the outcome of the genetic investigation unsusceptible to amplification and resulting from an unorthodox procedure of collection and sampling.

          7.2 In order to clarify any possible misunderstanding in this regard, it is worth considering that if it is impossible to attribute significant demonstrative relevance, in the court process, to outcomes of genetic investigations not repeated and made unsusceptible to repetition, because of scarceness or complexity of the sample,  it is not possible to compensate by way of claiming the efficacy and usability of the “unrepeatable” technical verifications, in case of, as in this circumstance, observance of the defensive guarantees accorded in article 360 of the code of criminal procedure. In fact, the technical investigations to which the procedural rule mentioned are those that – for crystal-clear positive formulation – are related to “persons, things or places the status of which is subject to modification”, in other words situations of any type or category which, according to their nature, are variable, therefore it is necessary to crystallize their status unequivocally even before the preliminary investigation phase, to avoid irreversible modifications with an outcome that under standard procedures is destined to be utilized during the court hearings. This is allowed because the verification to be carried out, especially in cases of impossibility of repetition because of modification of the item to be examined, is still capable of highlighting already-accepted realities or entities equipped with demonstrative value. In this case, despite the observance of the rules expressed in article 360 of the standard code of procedure, the acquired data – not repeated and not susceptible to repetition for any reason – cannot assume either probative or evidential relevance, precisely because, according to the aforementioned laws of science, it requires validation or falsification. So, in one instance the empiric data, when immediately “photographed”, acquires demonstrative significance; while in another instance it’s lacking such a feature, precisely because its indicative relevance is indissolubly bound to its repetition or repeatability.

          Posted on 10/30/15 at 05:56 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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          Wednesday, October 28, 2015

          TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts

          Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



          Painting by Paride Pascucci of Siena on the theme of justice

          Overview Of The Post and the Series

          This represents pages 32 to 37 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli already posted the final few pages so two posts of 5 pages will see the completion.

          Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

          Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

          On Further Appeal Grounds

          6. The examination of the motivational structure of the appealed sentenced, the object of multiple claims by the defenses, can now be proceeded with.

          Even from a very first reading, we can identify contradictions, incongruencies and errors in rulings which deeply permeate the whole argumentative structure.

          6.1 Firstly, the judges’ statement is erroneous that the motive for homicide does not have to be determined with precision

          The assumption is not acceptable in relation to the indisputable principle of this regulatory Court (from Section 1, n. 10841 of the 24 September 1992, Scupola, Rv. 192865) regarding the relevance of the motive as bond between multiple elements that the proof has constituted, during evidential procedures like the one examined here.

          Furthermore, the value in this as one of the strengthening elements of the evidence is, obviously, contingent on verification of the reliability coefficient of the evidences, by way of clarity, precision and concordance, with analytic and resulting appreciation of these, individually considered and subsequently placed in a global and unitary perspective (Section 1, n. 17548 of 20 April 2012, Sorrentino, Rv. 252889 in the wake of Section U, n. 45276, Andreotti, Rv. 226094 according to which the “cause”, representing a confirming element of the involvement in the crime of the subject intent on the physical elimination of the victim as it converges in its specificity and exclusivity in an unequivocal direction, nevertheless, but still preserving a margin of ambiguity, in the meantime can work as a catalytic and strengthening element of the evidential value of the positive elements of proof of responsibility, from which can be logically deduced, on the basis of known and reliable experience rules, the existence of an uncertain fact (that is the possibility of attributing the crime to the instigator), when, after analytic examination of each one of them and in the framework of a global evaluation, the evidences in relation to the interpretation supplied by the motive reveal themselves as clear, precise and convergent in their univocal significance).

          This, as will be stated below, cannot be confirmed in this case, because of an evidential compendium which is equivocal and intrinsically contradictory.

          Specifically, none of the possible motives in the scenarios of the appealed sentence have been firmed up in this case.

          The sexual motivation attributed to Guede during the separate procedure against him is not wholesale extensible to the supposed other attackers; for as has been stated before the hypothesis of a group erotic game has not been demonstrated; it is not possible to presume for each contestant a shared or combined motive assuming a sharing in the attack. Such an extension would have to postulate the existence of trusting interpersonal relationships between the contestants, which within the particular and sudden character of the criminal pact would lend verisimilitude to such a move.

          Now, though the sentimental relationship between Sollecito and Knox was fact, and though the girl had occasion to know Guede to some extent, there is no proof that Sollecito would have known or hung out with the Ivorian. On this point it is contradictory and clearly illogical to assume (see f. 91) the unreasonable hypothesis of participation in such a brutal crime with an unfamiliar person by the housemates Filomena Romanelli and Laura Mezzetti (who certainly didn’t know Guede), but not extend this argument to Sollecito, who also seems to have never known the Ivorian.

          6.2. Another error of judgment resides in the supposed irrelevance of the verification of the exact hour of Kercher’s death, considering sufficient the approximation offered by the examinations, even if assumed as correct during the trial pohase.

          With regards to this, Sollecito’s defense has reasons to appeal, since they signaled the necessity of a concrete verification specifically in the evidential proceedings, every consequential implication. Furthermore, the exact determination of the time of Kercher’s death is an inescapable factual prerequisite for the verification of the alibi offered by the defendant in course of the investigation aiming to verify the possibility of his claimed presence in the house at via della Pergola at the time of the homicide. And for this reason an expert verification was requested.

          So, specifically on this point, it is fair to note a despicable carelessness during the preliminary investigation phase. It is sufficient to consider, in this regard, that the investigations carried out by the CID had proposed a threadbare arithmetic mean between a possible initial time and a possible final time of death (from approximately 6:50 PM on 1st November to 4:50 AM on the next day) setting the hour of death approximately at 11-11:30 PM.

          The examinations of the gastrointestinal tract of the victim, who, in the late evening, had consumed a a meal with her English friends, has allowed – once again only with approximation, adjusted during the trial hearings – to much further circumscribe the temporal range.

          The Appeal Court further reduced the temporal range, placing it in the hours between 9 PM of the 1st of November (time of Kercher’s farewell to her friend) and 12:10:31 AM of the next day, on the basis of the recording (resulting from the acquired phone records) of a signal of one of the cellular phones of Kercher intercepted in a telephonic cell covering the area of via Sperandio, where the cellular phones had been abandoned by the perpetrators of the homicide.

          But this observation also suffers from approximation, because at the last indicated time, Meredith Kercher was already dead, even if only for a little time, precisely because the signal was registered in the area where the telephones had been abandoned, after being stolen, shortly after the homicide, within the house in via della Pergola, some hundreds of meters from the place of their retrieval.

          The contestant’s defense has offered, in this regard, a more reliable analysis, backed up by incontrovertible facts.

          From the examination of the telephonic traffic has emerged that, after the departure from her English friend’s house at 9 PM, the young woman had, in vain, tried to call her parents in England, like she used to do every day, while a last contact was registered at 10:13 PM, so that the temporal range has been further reduced to approximately 9:30/10:13 PM.

          7.  The second critical observation, relative to the appealed judgment, introduces the central matter of the judgment value attributable to the results of the scientific examinations, with particular reference to the genetic investigations, acquired in violation of the rules dictated by international protocols.

          The specific question falls within the doctrinal debate on the relation between scientific proof and criminal procedure, in search for an equilibrium between the orientation – which is amenable to certain foreign schools of interpretation – which tends to recognize ever more weight to the science contribution, even if not validated by the scientific community; and the orientation which claims the supremacy of the laws and postulates that, according to the rules of criminal proceeding, only scientific results tested according to methodological standards which are routinely accepted could be considered as relevant here.

          The present cultural debate, even if respecting the principle of free conviction of the judge, also tries to critically revisit the notion, by now obsolete and of dubious credibility, of the judge as a super-expert. In fact, the archaic rule of thumb reflects a cultural model that is not current anymore and instead is anachronistic, at least in the measure of what is supposed to be handled by the judge’s real capacity to manage the scientific knowledge flow that the parties would enter into the proceedings, where, instead, a more realistic configuration wants him completely unaware of that contribution of the knowhow,  the result of scientific knowledge that doesn’t belong to him and cannot – and has not to – belong to him. And this is truer in relation to genetic science, in which complex methods postulate a specific knowledge in the fields of forensic genetics, chemistry, and molecular biology, which are part of a knowledge patrimony very distant from the prevalently humanistic and juridical education of the magistrate.

          But the consequence of the inescapable acknowledgment of such a state of legitimate ignorance of the judge, and therefore of his incapacity of managing “autonomously” the scientific evidence, cannot be his uncritical acceptance, which would be equivalent – maybe for a misunderstood sense of free convincement and maybe also of a misunderstood concept of “expert of experts” – to a substantial renouncement of his role, through totally uncritical acceptance of the expert contribution to which is delegated the resolution of the judgment and therefore the responsibility for the decision.

          But also, in a situation of a one-sided scientific contribution coming from just one of the procedural parties, and thus standardly disposed of by the same judge, this can be welcomed as a paraphrasing in a more or less rational way of the technical argumentations presented to support the procedure, a problem dramatically arises when in a situation of conflicting scientific contributions, the same judge is called upon to settle upon a choice, and, in this case, the paraphrase is more complex, requiring a pertinent and valid motivation to explain the reasons for which an alternative scientific prospection would not be shareable. (cfr. Section 6, n. 5749 of 09 January 2014, Homm, Rv. 258630, according to which the judge who considers to adhere to the conclusions of the expert, in discordance with the ones presented by the defense adviser, even if not obliged to provide, as a reason, an autonomous demonstration of the scientific exactitude of the firstly cited, and the erroneousness, on the contrary, of the others, “he is however called to” demonstrate the fact that the expert conclusions have been valued “in terms of reliability and completeness”, and that the advisers’ argumentations have not been ignored).

          The court considers that this delicate problem, with regard to the present judgment, requires a solution within the general rules which compose our procedural system, and not from elsewhere in an abstract claim of a supremacy of the science over the law or vice versa. The scientific evidence cannot, in fact, aspire to an unconditional endorsement of reliability during the trial proceeding because the criminal procedure rejects every idea of legal proof. Also, known to everyone is that there doesn’t exist a single science, a bringer of absolute truth and immutability throughout time, rather various sciences and pseudo-sciences, both the official ones and the ones not validated by the scientific community because they reflect research methods not universally recognized.

          And therefore the solution to this problem must result from the consideration of principles and rules which regulate the acquisition and the formation of the evidence in the criminal procedure and, then, of criteria which support the relative evaluation.

          The citation points must be ones relating to the adversarial principle and the judge’s control over the path of formation of the proof, which has to respect predetermined guarantees, the observance of which must be a rigorous parameter of the judging and reliability of the relevant outcomes.

          So, a result of a scientific proof can be considered reliable only when examined by the judge, at least with reference to the subjective reliability of those who advance it, and the scientific method employed, and a more or less acceptable error margin, and the objective value and reliability of the obtained result.

          Therefore, observing a method of critical approach not different, conceptually, from the one required for the appreciation of ordinary evidence, aiming to elevate as much as possible the degree of reliability of the legal truth, or alternatively, reduce to reasonable margins the inescapable gap between procedural truth and substantial truth.

          Moreover, in procedures of inductive-inferential logic, which allow one to trace back from the known fact to the unknown one to be proved, the judge, in his full freedom of convincement, can use any element which would work as a bridge or bond between the two considered facts and allow one to trace back from the known one to the unknown one, according to parameters of reasonability and common sense.

          The connection can, therefore, be of the most varied nature: the so called “experience rule”, legitimated by common knowledge or by direct observation of the reality of a phenomenon, which registers the repetitiveness of specific events in constant, identical, determined, conditions; a scientific law, of universal value or more narrowly statistical; a law based on logic, which presides and orients the mental paths of human rationality and anything else useful to the purpose.

          The evidential reasoning which allows passing from the element of proof to the result of proof it is an element of the exclusive competence of the judge of merit, who has obviously to supply a concrete motivation and who, with regards to evidential proof, is required to apply a duplicable confirming scrutiny: a first verification concerning the so called “external justification” by way of which the same judge has to test the validity of the experience rule, or scientific-logic law, or any other rule observed; and a further verification related to the so called “internal justification” through which must be demonstrated, concretely, the validity of the result obtained through the application of the “bridge-rule” (Section 1, n. 31456 of 21 May 2008. Franzoni, Rv. 240764).

           

          Posted on 10/28/15 at 06:25 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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          Saturday, October 24, 2015

          Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her Invented Claims #8

          Posted by Chimera



          Implacable nastiness - in NYC’s Central Park. Click here to go directly to Comments.

          1. Overview Of This Series

          My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

          Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. In the first seven posts there are 350, many with several lies bundled together, and in this post I identify another 60 making the total 410 so far with more pending.

          None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either. All it really does is to muddy the waters, which may be the real desired benefit.

          This series is previewed and it’s explained why the “Revenge of the Knox” motif in this post here. The seven posts before this one can all be read here.

          Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.

          2. Dissection Of Pages 313 to 354

          [Chapter 26, Page 313]  After I was accused of murder, people read new meaning into everything about me. A hickey on my neck became a scratch from Meredith in her last, desperate moments. An awkward encounter about a dirty toilet became a murder motive. Male friends I brought home became mysterious lovers of questionable character. Rudy Guede’s aside to the guys downstairs about my being cute became proof that he would do anything to earn my attention and approval.

          • Okay, what did Sollecito use to give you that hickey?  His mouth?  Fingernails?  Knife?

          • Disingeuous, the toilet was just one thing in many of you being messy?

          • So who were these ‘’ male friends’’ if they weren’t lovers?  What were you doing?  Do you even know their names?

          • Guede thought you were cute.  Did you know this ‘‘before’’ Meredith’s murder?

          [Chapter 26, Page 314]  It wasn’t necessary for any of these people to be right. It was enough for them to raise doubts, to make it seem that I was lying. They had to be only marginally convincing.  The thought that these witnesses might wow the jury and judges terrified me.

          • So Judge Massei writes up a 400 page report, and Judge Nencini a 350 page report of ‘‘marginally convincing’‘?

          • Wtnesses are not supposed to ‘‘wow’’ a jury and judge.  They are supposed to present what they saw or heard.

          • Why would it terrify you?  Do they know things you wish they didn’t?

          [Chapter 26, Page 314]  But when he saw my picture in the paper a few days later, his memory was precise. “I recognized her as the same girl,” he said. When asked if the girl was in the courtroom, Quintavalle pointed at me. “It’s her,” he said. “I’m sure of it.” I’d gone to the little store once to pick up milk and cereal. Once. I’d never been in the back, where the cleaning products are apparently shelved.

          • So, you are accusing police of ‘‘coaching’’ a witness?

          • He spoke up and said it was you?  Was he speaking Italian?  Sorry to keep beating this dead horse.

          • You have such a poor memory about the time of Meredith’s murder, yet you are absolutely certain you only went there once—for cereal?  And you are absolutely certain that you only went to ‘‘certain parts’’ of the store?

          [Chapter 26, Page 314] He [Quintavalle] hadn’t wanted to get involved in the murder case and had come forward only at the urging of a journalist friend in August 2008. I relaxed a little. The jury would see what was true and what wasn’t. The media purposely did not. “A New Hole Appears in Amanda Knox’s Alibi” and “Witness Contradicts Amanda Knox’s Account.” News stories like this infuriated my family and friends. But strangers, no doubt, would think, There goes Amanda, lying again.

          • That is not true at all, it was not a journalist friend that urged him to get involved?

          • Stories like this infuriated family and friends?  How?  Do any of them speak Italian?  Although present in court, could your family understand what was said?

          • Strangers would think you were lying?  Your own lawyers thought you were lying about being hit by police.

          • If people might think you are lying, was that the reason to hire a PR firm?  To set things straight?

          [Chapter 26, Page 315]  Nara Capezzali was a widow in her late sixties who lived in an apartment building behind the parking lot across the street from our villa. She testified that she heard a scream between 11 and 11:30 P.M. “It made my skin crawl, to be honest,” she said.She was certain of the time because she took a nightly diuretic and always woke up around 11 P.M. to use the bathroom.

          • Interesting that you try to discredit her, but you and Guede (2 co-accused) had both confirmed Meredith screaming.

          [Chapter 26, Page 315]  Before falling back asleep, she said she heard footsteps running up the metal stairs by the parking lot. “At almost the same moment,” she heard the crunching of feet on gravel and leaves coming from the direction of our driveway. Never mind that our driveway wasn’t gravel; it was mostly dirt. Meredith’s room was on the back of our house, as far as possible from Capezzali’s. The defense doubted that anyone could have heard these noises across a busy road and behind closed windows with double panes. But the prosecution clung to Capezzali’s account, which was a linchpin used to approximate Meredith’s time of death.

          • Yes, because after hearing a ‘‘skin-crawling’’ scream, most people would just head off to bed.

          • You say Meredith’s room was ‘‘at the back, as far as possible from Capezzali’s’‘.  Yet, you also say that she was ‘‘across the road’‘, so your qualifier doesn’t do much to discredit her.

          • Really?  The road was busy at 11PM on a holiday?  Interesting.

          • Of course the ‘‘defense doubted’‘.  It is their job to doubt things.

          • The scream was ‘‘the linchpin’‘?  I guess hearing screams that ‘‘make your skin crawl’’ are common there.

          [Chapter 26, Page 316]  One of the few points on which the prosecution and defense agreed was that the police had made an inexcusable blunder shortly after the body was found. They prevented the coroner from taking Meredith’s temperature for hours, squandering the best chance to gauge her time of death. The second option—analyzing the contents of Meredith’s stomach—was far less reliable. The third—Capezzali’s memory—wasn’t reliable at all.

          • Body temperature can give a rough estimate of T.O.D., based on the ‘‘1 degree an hour’’ guideline.  But far from exact, regardless of what C.S.I. says.

          • Stomach contents, and analysing digestion, can give an estimate on how long since a person last ate until death.  A guideline, once again.

          • No medical examiner with any integrity, would ever give an exact T.O.D., but rather a range, or an estimate.  Scientists are not supposed to make claims they do not know for certain.

          • Capezzali’s memory is not reliable?  So, she frequently hears screams that make her skin crawl and forgot the date?  Or she could not have heard a scream from across the street that you and Guede both confirm happened? 

          • And, did Capezzali testify to ‘‘things her mind made up?’’  Wait, you make those types of claims.

          [Chapter 26, Page 316]  There were many bad days during my trial. The worst was the afternoon when evidence was presented to establish the time of Meredith’s death. Since the judge had ruled that to protect Meredith’s privacy the press and public couldn’t see her autopsy photos, he cleared the courtroom of everyone who wasn’t directly involved in the trial. Pictures of Meredith’s dissected stomach were projected onto a screen like the kind used for home movies. I knew that if I looked, I’d have the same reaction as the juror who bolted for the ladies’ room. Even more devastating than the actual image of the stomach was knowing it was my friend’s.

          • Yes, the court was cleared when Meredith’s autopsy photos were shown.  Damn those courts to show the victim and her family a little consideration.

          • Considering that you publish personal details of Meredith’s sex life, I can see why this would bother you?

          • Were these ‘‘bad days’’ as there was less chance for scrutiny, or did you really want Meredith ‘‘put out there’’ like that?

          [Chapter 26, Page 316]  Throughout the display, the prosecution delivered a primer on the human digestive system. We learned it takes about two to four hours to digest a meal. Meredith’s friends had said that they’d started dinner around 6 P.M. Since the food hadn’t yet passed into Meredith’s small intestine, my lawyers said she died between 9 and 9:30 P.M.-10 P.M. at the latest.  Any later and her stomach contents would have shown up in her small intestine. According toMeredith’s friends, she had gotten home at around 9 P.M.

          • ’‘Meredith’s friends’‘?  You really don’t like dropping names, do you?

          • The digestion rates are only estimates, not exact.

          • ’‘Around 6PM’’ is not exact, and could be 6:30, or 6:45 for all we know before she actually ate.  When you order meals, do they actually arrive right away?

          • Meredith had ‘‘partially digested’’ her meal, so your claim is a red herring

          • Of course ‘‘your lawyers’’ say things like that.  Doesn’t mean they are true.

          • Also, do you have an interpreter or are you following the trial in Italian (in real time)?

          [Chapter 26, Page 316]  On the only computer the police hadn’t fried, Raffaele’s laptop, the hard drive showed that we’d finished watching Amelie and clicked Stop—the last “human interaction” th the computer—at 9:15 P.M. The tight timing gave us an alibi that even the prosecution didn’t try to disprove.

          • An alibi how?  Even by your ‘‘version’’ of events, your last ‘‘human interaction’’ on the computer is 9:15PM, and Meredith could have been killed as late at 10:00PM.

          • Your flat is a few minutes away from Sollecito’s.

          • And in Sollecito’s November 5th/6th statement, he says he went out from 9PM to 1AM, and he doesn’t know where.

          • You yourself write statements saying you were at your home, covering your ears to drown out Meredith’s screams.

          [Chapter 26, Page 317]  What made their theory even weaker was Capezzali herself. She testified that the morning after she heard the scream, some kids ran by while she was cleaning her apartment and told her a girl in the villa had been killed. Then, at around 11 A.M., when she went out to buy bread, she saw posters with Meredith’s face at the newsstand.

          • The problem: Meredith’s body wasn’t discovered until after 1 P.M. on November 2. When Mignini asked Capezzali if she might have heard the scream on Halloween and not on November 1, she snapped, “I don’t remember these things, these hours, these things. I don’t remember them anymore.”

          • I was sure there was no way the jury would put their faith in someone who said she didn’t remember.

          • Knox is trying to smear Capezzali as unreliable, and Mignini as coaching her, but misses the point. 

          • Obviously the poster wasn’t up PRIOR to Meredith being discovered, but if Mignini were to lead the witness, it would have made far more sense to ask if Capezzali had seen the poster on November 3rd or 4th, to have the story make sense

          • Juries are not supposed to believe witnesses with memory problems, just defendants?  Okay ....

          [Chapter 26, Page 317]  The basketball court was made to order for the prosecution. The most direct walk from Raffaele’s apartment to my villa was through Piazza Grimana. It was also the place where Rudy Guede was known to play pick-up games and hang out. It was where Id once tried to shoot hoops with the guys from down-stairs and ended up watching from the sidelines. I hadn’t argued with anyone there, and I’d never been back, but what if the jury bought this guy’s story?

          • The most direct walk to your ‘‘boyfriend’s’’ home is through Piazza Grimana where Guede plays?

          • You admit you have been there with the men from downstairs?

          • Oh, wait, you have never crossed paths with Rudy Guede

          [Chapter 26, Page 320]  I dreaded Patrick Lumumba’s testimony for his civil trial. It still gnawed at me that I’d never apologized to him. I was sure the man I’d wrongly named would rail against me. He had told the media that he would never forgive me, he’d lied about firing me, and he had called me “a lion,” “a liar,” and “a racist.” His lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, had called me “Luciferina” and said I had “an angel’s face with a demon’s soul.”

          • He didn’t lie about firing you.  He was going to replace you for being lazy

          • You never apologized to him?  Did you ever try?

          [Chapter 26, Page 320] He was also far more forgiving than I’d expected. I wasn’t the best waitress, but I was a fine person, he said.I can only guess why Patrick had decided to tone down his anti-Amanda commentary. Either he felt he had to be honest under oath or his lawyer had advised him to act meek and likeable—and let the venom be rained down by Pacelli himself. Whatever the reason, Patrick told the court, “We always had a good relationship.”

          • You weren’t acting like a waitress at all?  You were flirting with everyone instead of working.

          • You always had a good relationship?  Was that before or after you had him falsely arrested?

          • He had ‘‘to be honest under oath’‘, so now he suddenly starts saying nice things about you?

          [Chapter 26, Page 321] Then it was my turn. At first my lawyers said letting me testify was a risk. I could be provoked.  They worried the prosecution would push me to unwittingly say something incriminating. I’d fallen for Mignini’s word-twisting when he interrogated me in December of 2007. I’d dissolved into tears at my pretrial.

          • But I was adamant. “I’m the only one who knows what I went through during the interrogation,” I told Luciano and Carlo. “Having you defend me isn’t the same as defending myself. I need to show the court what kind of person I am.”

          • I felt it was crucial that I testify. I wanted to talk about my relationship with Meredith. I needed to explain my behavior in the wake of her murder.

          • Raffaele didn’t testify. That may have been the right choice for him. Most of the media attention had landed on me-Raffaele was seen as someone who had gone along with his evil girlfriend.

          • Yes, your lawyers don’t want you to say anything (else) incriminating?  Good call.

          • ’‘Showing the court what kind of person I am’’ isn’t the reason people should testify.  It is to have your version of events heard.

          • You wanted to talk about your relationship with ‘‘your friend’‘?  You mean, it hadn’t soured, as others testified to?

          • Yes, conflicting alibis, lies, false accusations, etc .... do need to be cleared up

          • Sollecito didn’t testify.  In fact, he would never take the witness stand.

          • Knox however, did not agree to full cross examination.  The questions (agreed in advance), were limited to the ‘‘calunnia’‘.

          [Chapter 26, Page 322]  In testifying, I wanted to make a point: You guys make me sound like I was crazy that I found three droplets of blood in the bathroom sink and didn’t call the police immediately. But I was a twenty-year-old who handled the situation the same way a lot of inexperienced people would have. It’s easy to look back and criticize my response, but when I went home that day I didn’t know there had been a break-in or a murder. To me, it was a regular day. Yes. The door was open. But I’d known since I moved in that the lock was broken. Maybe it was a cause for concern, but I just figured one of my roommates was taking out the trash or had run to the corner store. I was focused on getting ready for our romantic weekend in Gubbio. My thoughts were mundane. I’ll grab a shower. I’ll pack. I’ll get back to Raffaele’s, and we’ll go.

          • It was not ‘‘3 droplets of blood’‘.  The bathroom was soaked in blood.

          • And what about the ‘‘unflushed toilet’’ you wanted everyone to know about?

          • And that broken window (Filomena’s), facing you as you walk towards the house?

          • You were excited for Gubbio, but then just forget all about it?

          • This is all academic though.  The questioning was restricted to the police interrogation (Nov 5th/6th).

          [Chapter 26, Page 323]  I knew Mignini liked to intimidate people. I gave myself a pep talk. He scared and surprised you the first and second times. But three times? I don’t think so!

          As the date got closer, I slept little and talked less. Journalists reported that I was pale and had dark circles under my eyes.

          True. I was wearing my anxiety on my face. The day before I had to testify, a nasty cold sore appeared on my lip. My mantra for myself ran through my mind. You are not afraid. You are not afraid of Mignini. This is your chance.

          When I saw the prosecutor in court, Mignini seemed like a blowhard in a silly robe. I wished I had felt that way when he questioned me before.

          • Yes, Mignini intimidated you by telling you to seek legal advice before answering potentially incriminating questions.

          • The second time?  Is that when you had legal counsel, and the ever elusive Giancarlo Costa was one of your lawyers?

          • Mignini seemed ‘‘like a blowhard in a silly robe’‘?  Good to know you take this seriously?

          [Chapter 26, 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?’‘

          The lawyer looked disgusted with me. I sat as straight as I could in my chair and pushed my shoulders back—my I-will-not-be-bullied stance.

          Within a few minutes I realized that the interpreter hired to translate my English into Italian—the same useless woman I was assigned earlier in the trial—wasn’t saying precisely what I was saying.

          • Pacelli isn’t giving commentary.  He is asking pointed questions.  This is a murder trial.

          • Looking disgusted qualifies as ‘‘bullying’‘?  Okay.

          • Useless?  She was hired by the court to help you.

          • The interpreter isn’t saying precisely what you are saying?  Do you mean her translation isn’t word for word, or she is off of the content?  Or is she not being as evasive as you hoped she would be?

          • And when asked questions in Italian, you answer in English, and have the translator go English-to-Italian in return?  Why do this?  Are you hoping for mis-communications to be made?

          • If you don’t need her, why not just have the questioning completely in Italian?

          • Note: 323-327 is Knox’s account of her testimony.  In reality, she was on the stand June 12th and June 13th.  Notice that she is never questioned about the evidence of the murder.  The scope of the questioning was limited beforehand.

          [Chapter 27, Page 329] Carlo [Dalla Vedova] leaned across the table in the visitors’ room. “Amanda,” he said. “They’re wrong!”  His customary pessimism had vanished. “There was no blood on the knife,” he said. “And there was so little DNA present they didn’t have enough to get valid results. We have everything we need to overturn the case!”

          • This conversation likely never took place, and if so, Dalla Vedova is truly incompetent.  There was plenty of evidence, both forensic and non-forensic to tie Knox and Sollecito to the crimes.  This knife was not a make-or-break.

          [Chapter 27, Page 330]  That had been in September 2008. By then it was July 2009. Ten months had passed. On the day the court recessed for the summer, Judge Massei ordered the prosecution to give us the data. They still held back some information, but within the papers they did give us, our forensic experts found the prosecution had failed to disclose a fact that should have prevented us from ever being charged. There was no way to tie this knife—and therefore, me—to Meredith’s murder. I’d always known that it was impossible for Meredith’s DNA to be on the knife, and I’d long known that the prosecution had leaked assumed evidence to the media. Now I knew that these mistakes weren’t missteps. Stefanoni and her team had made giant, intentionally misleading leaps, to come up with results designed to confirm our guilt.

          • Knox claims the prosecution withheld evidence that would exonerate her.  Serious charge to make.

          • How do you know that it was impossible to have Meredith’s DNA or it?  Did you clean it, or use a different knife?

          • It had Meredith’s DNA on the blade, yours in a groove in the handle, (the double-DNA knife).  Seems pretty conclusive.

          • So, Stefanoni commits misconduct, lies about, and leaks false results?  Did you ever file a complaint?

          [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.”

          • Earlier you quote Dalla Vedova as saying the detectives don’t know what to do, as they haven’t had a murder to investigate in 20 years.  Yet, you refer to your home and town as a ‘‘deathtrap’‘.

          • Dalla Vedova claims they are incompetent, and withhold information to cover up their mistakes?  Did he ever say this publicly?

          [Chapter 27, Page 331]  And for Mignini, appearing to be right superseded everything else. As I found out that summer, the determined prosecutor had a bizarre past, was being tried for abuse of office, and had a history of coming up with peculiar stories to prove his cases. His own case is currently pending on appeal.

          • Update on that: the appeals court (and Cassation), ruled that the charges were baseless and threw them out.

          [Chapter 27, Page 331]  Mignini had a habit of taking revenge on anyone who disagreed with him, including politicians, journalists, and officials. His usual tactic was to tap their telephones and sue or jail them. The most famous instance was the arrest of Italian journalist Mario Spezi, and the interrogation of Spezi’s American associate Douglas Preston, a writer looking into the Narducci case, who subsequently fled Italy.

          In the hour we had each week to discuss my case, my lawyers had never thought there was a reason for us to talk about Mignini’s outlandish history. Carlo and Luciano told me only when it became apparent that, for Mignini, winning his case against Raffaele and me was a Hail Mary to save his career and reputation.


        • “The whole story is insane!” I said. I couldn’t take it in. It struck me that I was being tried by a madman who valued his career more than my freedom or the truth about Meredith’s murder!

          • Mignini is required to file complaints about people who make false accusations.  Otherwise the prosecutor’s office could easily be pushed around.

          • Doug Preston was interrogated by Mignini?  Explains a lot about one of your ‘‘allies’‘.

          • Yes, lucky for Mignini’s career that Meredith happened to come along and get killed.

          • ’‘It struck you that you were being tried by a madman’‘?  Did telling all those lies ever strike you as the reason for being tried?

          [Chapter 27, Page 332]  Giulia Bongiorno made a speech that gave me even more cause for optimism. Keeping the raw data from us until July 30 had violated our rights as defendants. If we’d had it earlier—when we first requested it—it would have altered the trial from the beginning. “The question for the court,” Bongiorno said, “is the DNA evidence decisive or not? If you believe it’s not, then there hasn’t been an injury to the rights of the defense. But if the DNA is decisive, you have to ask yourselves: Did the defense have the possibility to examine the data to be able to counter the conclusions? Did the defense have the diagrams, the electropheragrams, the quantity of DNA, the procedures? You have the answer.

          • So, either the DNA is conclusive or it is not.

          • If it is conclusive, then, it must be contaminated.

          • If it is conclusive, then the defences should have been able to examine it, and to witness

          • Reality: defence lawyers WERE given the chance to be present, but chose not to, so they could later claim contamination.

          [Chapter 27, Page 332]  Our lawyers’ arguments stirred up all my outrage. The prosecution had kept Raffaele and me in jail for twenty-one months for no reason. If the judges and jury were fair, they’d see that the prosecution had tried to thwart us.

          • Yes, the prosecutors are trying to thwart you by having defense lawyers choose to not attend DNA testing.

          [Chapter 27, Page 332]  Adjusting his glasses, Judge Massei droned in his unassuming voice, “There will be no annulment.  We’ll hear both sides discuss the forensic evidence.”  I swallowed hard and closed my eyes, willing my tears back in their ducts.

          • Massei droned?  Way to take pot-shots at the lead judge.

          • Silly Massei.  Wanting to hear both sides before making a decision.

          [Chapter 27, Page 334]  No one was contesting the brutality of Meredith’s death—only how it had happened and who was responsible. Everyone believed that Rudy Guede had been there and that he had killed Meredith. He was already serving a thirty-year sentence for her sexual assault and murder.

          The goal of the prosecution was to prove that I had been there, too.

          • Originally you, Sollecito and Guede were to be tried together.  But Guede asked for a short form trial when you and Sollecito teamed up against him. 

          • For some reason, short-form trials go quicker than full trials.

          [Chapter 27, Page 334]  During the testimony phase, from January to July, witnesses discussed everything from my housekeeping habits to my character and sexual activity. It was intensely personal, and sometimes mortifying.

          • Mortifying?  Really?  Have you read your own book?  You splash around everyone’s secret’s true or false.

          [Chapter 27, Page 334]  Picking up after the summer break, the forensics phase lasted only three and a half weeks, but it was still interminable: hour after hour of examination and cross-examination. Witnesses were called to talk about the knife, the bra clasp, my “bloody” footprints, how my DNA could have mixed with Meredith’s blood in the bathroom, and our alleged cleanup of the villa. Each expert explained how the evidence was found and documented, how results were calculated and interpreted. They were dissecting a crime I hadn’t committed, blaming me using terminology I didn’t know. I felt like an observer at someone else’s trial. The experts would say things like   “Amanda’s DNA was on the knife handle,” and I would think, Who is this Amanda?

          • Huh?  I thought there was no forensic evidence against you.  Okay.

          [Chapter 27, Page 334]  I’d rest my chin in my hand, trying to look contemplative—a skill I’d developed during boring college lectures. But no matter how hard I tried to focus, my attention would wander, my head.  would bob, and the agente standing behind me would awaken me to the nightmare. More than feeling embarrassed, I was terrified that my inattention would be interpreted as my not caring and become another mark against me—even though some of the jurors also habitually dozed off.

          • Wow, you are comparing your murder trial to college lectures

          • Why are you having trouble focusing?  Is it that boring to hear about these things?

          • You are terrified about being seen as not caring?  Your behaviour in court would contribute more to that (All You Need Is Love?)

          • The jurors dozed off regularly?  Can I assume that you put that in your appeal?  No ... ?!

          [Chapter 27, Page 335]  When testimony wasn’t dull, it was disturbing. I couldn’t stand thinking about Meredith in the starkly clinical terms the scientists were using to describe her. Did her bruises indicate sexual violence or restraint? What did the wounds to her hands and neck suggest about the dynamics of the aggression? What did the blood splatter and smears on the floor and armoire prove about her position in relation to her attacker or attackers?

          • Turn that first sentence around.  ‘‘When testimony wasn’t disturbing, it was dull.’‘

          • You can’t think of Meredith in those terms?  In May 2014, you told Chris Cuomo Meredith was a ‘‘corpse’’ and a ‘‘body’‘.

          • Yes, bruises indicating ‘‘restraint’‘.  Kind of suggests there were ‘‘multiple attackers’‘.

          • You seem rather interested in blood spatter and smears. 

          [Chapter 27, Page 335]  The hearings were tedious, gruesome, and enormously upsetting. But we were no longer at the crippling disadvantage we’d been at for two years. Now that the prosecution had been made to show their notes, testing, and some of the raw data, we finally had facts. And the facts supported what I had always known: Raffaele and I had had nothing to do with Meredith’s murder. Meredith had never come into contact with Raffaele’s kitchen knife. I hadn’t walked in her blood.

          • The hearings were upsetting?  To you or to the Kerchers?

          • You know, the defence lawyers could have had the data and seen the testing, but they refused to attend.  Makes it difficult to claim ‘‘contamination’’ if it is done in front of them.

          • So, the evidence and facts were never shared with you?  So what information did Cassation rely on in 2008 to deny house arrest?

          • You say that the facts supported you and Raffaele having nothing to do with the murder.  Which facts in particular?

          • Meredith never came in contact with Raffaele’s knife?  Why did he invent a story about Meredith pricking her hand while cooking?

          • You hadn’t walked in Meredith’s blood?  Were you hopping?  Bathmat shuffling?

          [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.

          • Okay, let’s hear this ‘‘flimsy explanation’’ that you refer to, and we can decide for ourselves.

          • One of the knives had left a distinct imprint on Meredith’s bedsheet.  Police were looking for knives that could possibly match.  Why lie?

          [Chapter 27, Page 336]  Then we heard the prosecution’s hired forensic experts describe the knife as “not incompatible"with Meredith’s wounds.  I wasn’t the only person who was perplexed. The experts debated the meaning of this phrase as intensely as they did the physical evidence being presented. During cross-examination, Carlo demanded, “‘Not incompatible?’ What does that even mean? If the knife was compatible, wouldn’t you have written ‘compatible’? You wouldn’t have bent over backward, twisting words around to create this ambiguous meaning. ‘Not incompatible’? Am I to understand, perhaps, that the confiscated knife is ‘not incompatible’ if only because it’s a pointy knife with a single sharpened edge? Am I to understand that any pointed knife with a single sharpened edge—most knives—would equally qualify as ‘not incompatible’ with Meredith’s wounds? Yes?”

          • Knox is being facetious here, at best.  It is virtually impossible to conclusively tie a specific knife to am injury, especially if the body had undergone any decomposition.  You can however, exclude potential weapons.  What was being testified to was that the smaller knife (Sollecito’s) could not be ruled out

          [Chapter 27, Page 336]  The third and fatal wound was a gash to the throat. The pathologist said Meredith had been stabbed at least three times in the same spot.

          • This is extremely confusing.  The 3rd wound was fatal, meaning that the first 2 would not have been.  So, if Meredith was stabbed at least 3 times in the same spot, would these not be the 3rd, 4th, 5th (and possibly 6th or 7th stab wounds)?

          • Or does Knox mean that Meredith was stabbed 3 times in the exact same place, and that the third time was fatal?

          [Chapter 27, Page 336]  Under Carlo’s questioning, Professor Torre, a serious man in his sixties who favored lime-green glasses, explained that in a moment of homicidal frenzy, it would be highly unlikely for a killer to plunge a knife in only halfway, to 3.149 inches. And the odds would rise to impossible when you considered driving a knife in, to precisely the same depth, measurable to a thousandth of an inch, three times in a row.

          • Why refer to Professor Torre as a ‘‘Serious Man’‘?  Is that praise for him, or insults at other experts?

          • Actually, as a knife goes deeper it does get harder to push in.  More surface area in contact with knife means more resistance.  Would you like to borrow a physics textbook?

          • Seriously?  The killer plunged the knife 3 times the exact same depth in the exact same location?  The killer has that level of control, yet wasn’t able to drive the knife in deeper?

          • Can you refer to where the police/prosecutors claim 3 identical stab wounds?  That information is news to me.

          [Chapter 27, Page 337]  Torre brought in a foam bust and an exact copy of the knife to demonstrate how implausible this feat would be. I thought it was a good idea, but I couldn’t watch anyone stab anything—even a dummy. The notion that anyone thought I could have done that to a person—to my friend—made me not just heartsick but feeling like I might throw up. I squeezed my eyes shut.

          • Again, why are you trying to simulate 3 identical stab wounds?  That was never claimed by the prosecution.

          • Besides, a knife doesn’t have to go it all the way.  It can strike a bone, or the killer could be new to killing.

          [Chapter 27, Page 337]  At the next hearing Manuela Comodi, the co-prosecutor in charge of forensics for the trial, swept into the courtroom triumphantly carrying a flat cardboard box, a little smaller than the ones used for carryout pizza. After opening it, Comodi paraded it in front of the court, as though she were displaying the queen’s jewels. Her pride showed on her face as the jurors and experts stood up, straining in her direction to get a good look at what was inside—the knife that had been confiscated from Raffaele’s apartment was wrapped in a baggie. Only Comodi was allowed to touch it, to pick it up and hold its plastic-shrouded blade up to the light.  Her theatrics were exasperating.

          • Is this a strange attempt at humour?

          • ’‘A box a little smaller than the ones used for carryout pizza’‘?

          • Comodi ‘‘paraded it in front of the court’‘?

          • As if ‘‘she were displaying the Queen’s jewels’‘?

          • ’‘The pride showed on her face’‘?

          • ’‘Only Comodi was allowed to touch it’‘?

          • Comodi’s theatrics?

          [Chapter 27, Page 338]  During the pretrial, Stefanoni testified that she had tested enough DNA from the knife to get an accurate reading. But now, a year later, Dr. Gino had seen the raw data, including the amount of DNA that was tested. If there was any DNA there at all, it was too little to determine using the lab’s sensitive instruments, 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.

          • So, DNA tests are conducted, but now your expert claims (if there is any DNA), it is too little to be tested?

          • So, which international standards were not met?  This sounds impressive, but please be more exact.

          • If there is little DNA, the protocol is to run MORE tests?  Makes sense

          • You claim contamination is the lab.  Any precise information on the exact route of contamination?

          • Dalla Vedova/Ghirga and Maori/Bongiorno could have been present during previous testing, but then, how would they explain ‘‘errors’’ going on under their noses?

          [Chapter 27, Page 339]  What I couldn’t understand was why this infinitesimal, unconfirmed sample found on a random knife that didn’t correspond with Meredith’s wounds or the bloodstain on the bedsheet—the murderer’s signature— held any sway. 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.

          • Well, bleaching a bloody knife tends to destroy most of the DNA.

          • And a knife doesn’t have to ‘‘go in all the way’’ to be the murder weapon.

          • Yes, why bother with this small DNA amount, when there were 5 large mixed blood samples of you and Meredith.  Oh wait, you lived in that house for a month.

          • And of course, the police found Guede’s DNA in Filomena’s room (the break in point)?  No, just yours mixed with Meredith’s.

          • Correct, Rudy’s crap was found in the toilet, the toilet that anyone else in the world would have flushed immediately.

          [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, to be sure a stain contains blood. Had the Polizia Scientifica done this follow-up test? Under cross-examination during the pretrial, Stefanoni was emphatic. “No,” she responded.

          • Okay, even if it were another substance, why is it in the shape of your feet and Sollecito’s feet?  What was on the floor that you were tracking from Meredith’s room?

          • If it was a cleaning agent, or rust, why weren’t other people’s footprints found in it?

          • Why is this ‘‘other substance’’ limited to 2 of your footprints, and 2 of Sollecito’s?

          • If Guede left, as his shoeprints indicate, why did he leave a bare bloody print on the bathmat?

          • Also, how did Guede leave the footprint on the mat, but none in the hall?  Can ‘‘Spider-Man’’ fly?

          [Chapter 27, Page 340]  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.

          • With a good ‘‘scrubbing’‘, the TMB tests would have been irrelevant anyway.

          • Yes, but they were your footprints, and Sollecito’s, and there were no one else’s that reacted.  So, you 2 had stepped in something, very recently.

          [Chapter 27, Page 340]  November 2. Of course my DNA would be mingled with Meredith’s in the common hallway between our bedrooms—we’d lived in the same house and walked on the same floor tiles for six weeks.

          The prosecution had no evidence against us, and worse yet, they’d withheld information likely to prove our innocence.

          More infuriating was that Stefanoni continued to argue the prosecution’s inaccurate points during cross-examination.

          • So, the forensic evidence is irrelevant because you and your lawyers say it is?  Let’s get you out right away then.

          • Things like repeated false alibis, making false accusation, and repeatedly lying are not evidence against you?  Most think it is.

          • Yes, it is frustrating that prosecution witnesses do not automatically agree with half-truths from the defence.

          [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.  Furthermore, one of Raffaele’s defense experts pointed out that the genetic profile was incomplete, and could have matched hundreds of people in Perugia’s small population.

          • Merely being in a room doesn’t result in an abundance of DNA

          • It doesn’t mean everything was tested for DNA.  If an area was dusted for fingerprints, DNA testing would not be possible on that spot

          • The result was 17 of 17 loci, which was very conclusive

          • Interesting argument.  There is none of Raffaele’s DNA.  If there was, it was due to contamination.  And even if so, it could have been anyone’s.

          • And contaminated from what?  If DNA was trekked in, it would have been everywhere.  From your own words, this was the only place.

          [Chapter 27, Page 342]  One morning, Manuela Comodi, the co-prosecutor, told the court that to show her dedication to the case, she had brought in her own bra.  She was carrying a white cotton underwire bra, the closest match in her drawer to what Meredith had been wearing, although, she said, chuckling, it was larger than Meredith’s. Comodi hung the bra on a hanger to mimic a person wearing it. Using her index finger, she showed the mesmerized court how Raffaele could have hooked his finger to pull the back strap of Meredith’s bra (somehow leaving DNA on the clasp but not the cloth) and then sliced off the fastener section with a knife.

          • Prosecutors trying to explain how DNA is present?  Go figure.

          • Well, to cut someone’s clothing off, holding it at some point seems reasonable.

          [Chapter 27, Page 343]  Another day, the prosecution said that finding my DNA in the bathroom was proof I’d been involved in the murder. They didn’t consider that I had lived in the villa and used that bathroom every day for weeks. Even rookie forensic scientists know that roommates leave DNA in bathrooms, but the prosecution insisted it was incriminating evidence. They claimed that the only way my DNA could have been collected with the samples of Meredith’s blood was if I’d been washing her blood off my hands.

          • While DNA in your own bathroom is very common, mixed blood is not.  You omit that detail.

          • You also leave out that you had said before that the blood was not there the day earlier.

          [Chapter 27, Page 343]  The prosecution said they were certain the murder had been a group attack. Why, then, was none of my DNA or Raffaele’s DNA in Meredith’s bedroom? Their answer: because Raffaele and I had scrubbed the crime scene clean of our DNA, leaving only Guede’s.  That theory gave me super powers. DNA is not something you can cherry-pick; it’s invisible. Even if I could somehow magically see DNA, there is no way I could tell one person’s DNA from another’s just by looking—no one can.

          • You’re right, you can’t always see DNA.  That is how your blood was left (mixed with Meredith’s) in 5 places

          • And footprints, even if invisible to the naked eye, can be raised—via luminol

          • DNA is just one type of evidence to consider.  The real world is not a C.S.I. episode.

          [Chapter 27, Page 344]  The prosecution contended that, as representatives of the state, they were the impartial party and maintained that their conclusions were legitimate. Our experts, they said, couldn’t be trusted because they were being paid to defend us. And our critiques, objections, and conclusions were just smoke screens created to confuse the judges and jury.

          • Your experts are just trying to throw up smoke screens.  Screaming ‘‘contamination’‘, and ‘‘too small to test’’ without some basis is just creating noise.

          [Chapter 27, Page 344]  It distressed me that Meredith’s family thought I was guilty, but I always had huge empathy for them.

          • It distressed you enough to write this nasty book?  To include details of Meredith’s sex life?

          • The woman you only knew for a month must have suffered, since she had her fucking throat cut?  Well, shit happens, but you need to move on with your life.

          [Chapter 27, Page 345]  But I was still so blinded by hope, and my faith in my own innocence, that I actually read this news as positive. I could be accused, but they couldn’t possibly convict me of something I hadn’t done. There was only one honest outcome. I couldn’t imagine that the jurors would side with the police without question. They couldn’t ignore everything that our defense had put forth. “They must think we don’t need the review because there’s already enough reasonable doubt,” I said to Luciano.

          • They didn’t convict you for something you didn’t do.  They convicted you for murdering Meredith and framing Patrick—things you actually did.

          • Again, you need some basis to make these claims.  Merely objecting without offering something isn’t helpful.

          [Chapter 27, Page 347]  In the weeks leading up to the closing arguments, I put our chances of winning at 95 percent.  Carlo gave us fifty-fifty. “Judge Massei challenges the defense a lot more than he does the prosecution,” he said. “And the judges and jury nod whenever the prosecution or the Kerchers’ lawyer talks, but look bored when it’s our turn.” Still, I held tight to optimism. Not without reason. Journalists told Mom and Dad they weren’t convinced by the prosecution’s arguments. Even the Italian media, uniformly negative since the beginning, seemed to be turning around. A show I saw on the second anniversary of Meredith’s death replayed Rudy Guede’s first recorded conversation, in which he said that I wasn’t at the villa. If the press can see the truth, surely the judge and jury can, too.

          • You put your chances at 95%?  Any reason, or just a number you made up?

          • The Italian media was with you?  Maybe the misinformed American media.

          • Yes, Guede’s conversations are so reliable.  Did they play the ones where he accused you and Sollecito of the murder?

          [Chapter 27, Page 347]  A public opinion poll on TV said that more than 60 percent of Italians thought I was guilty. The people who only watched television reports most likely sided with the prosecution. That realization spawned a deep-down fear that I’d be convicted, my innocence be damned. Prisoners gossiped about my case all the time, behind my back and to me. “Come on, Amanda. You can tell me.”

          • This is confusing.  You said that the media was now with you a few pages back, yet you claim that people who only watch television reports most likely sided with the prosecution

          • The media is with you, but they report negative things?

          • And if the people watching at home think your’re guilty, (which is about 60%), does that mean the other 40% of Italy attended the trial?


          [Chapter 28, Page 350]  One day I got up the courage to ask Chris, who was in Perugia leading up to the closing argumentsand verdict, “What would a conviction mean?” So afraid to acknowledge that uncharted, dark place, I could only whisper. “There would be an appeal, and if you didn’t get acquitted, then the Supreme Court would exonerate you. At the most, Amanda, it would take five years,” Chris explained. “Five years?!” That was way more than I wanted to know. Chris jumped in to reassure me. “If that happened, Amanda, we’d find a way to save you! But don’t worry! It’s not going to happen! And if for some utterly bizarre reason it goes the wrong way, I’m moving to Italy.”

          • Well, finally some truth.  Convicted defendants get an automatic appeal, then a Cassation (Supreme Court) hearing.  2 automatic appeals.

          • A huge cry from the ‘‘put on trial again and again’’ that we keep hearing about.

          [Chapter 28, Page 351]  Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini gave his closing argument first. Alternating between a calm, almost quiet recitation of the “facts” and the fiery rants of a preacher at a tent revival, Mignini summarized Raffaele’s and my part in the savagery that took Meredith’s life. He started with the idea that Filomena’s window was too high to be a credible entry point into the villa and ended with our tossing Meredith’s stolen British and Italian cell phones over the garden wall.  Raffaele and I had accused “this poor Rudy,” as Mignini called him, of “being the only one” to attack Meredith. “He has his own grave responsibility, but the responsibility is not only his own,”  Mignini intoned.

          • Wow, you call his closing the ‘‘rants of a preacher at a tent revival’‘.

          • Not only was Filomena’s room too high, there was nothing to grab onto, and it was the most visible point of entry.  Lousy place to break into.

          • Tossing the phones was seen as a way to divert attention, though it ultimately backfired.

          • Knox and Sollecito did try to pin it all on Guede as the ‘‘lone wolf’‘.

          [Chapter 28, Page 351]  I couldn’t believe what the prosecutor was saying. He, who was championing himself as the bearer of truth for Meredith’s family, was calling the murderer “Poor Rudy”? Evidence of Rudy’s crimes was everywhere, and his history of theft matched the burglary. Poor Rudy? Guede had stolen! He had killed Meredith! He had left a handprint in Meredith’s blood! He had fled! He had lied! Poor Rudy?

          • Interesting how you knew about Guede’s prior break in.  It’s almost as if you knew him.

          • And what of Guede’s ‘‘staged burglary’’ on his roommates as an April Fool’s Day prank?  Oh, that was you.

          • Yes, we know he left the handprint.  You were careful not to remove it.

          • Guede fled to Germany.  According to your November 4, 2007 email, you wanted to flee Italy, but weren’t allowed to.

          • Guede has lied.  However, he never claimed to be in the kitchen with his hands over his ears, vaguely remembering Patrick killing Meredith.

          [Chapter 28, Page 351]  “By now it was an unstoppable game of violence and sex. The aggressors initially threatened her and demanded her submission to the hard-core sex game. It’s easy to imagine Amanda, angry at the British girl for her increasing criticism of Amanda’s sexual easiness, reproaching Mez for her reserve. Let’s try to imagine—she insulted her. Perhaps she said, ‘You were a little saint. Now we’ll show you. Now you have no choice but to have sex.”’  He’s perverse! How did he come up with such a twisted scenario? He’s portraying me as a psychopath! Is Mignini allowed to put words in my mouth, thoughts in my head? I would never force anyone to have sex. I would never threaten or ridicule anyone.

          • You say you want Meredith’s family to read your book, and you include this?

          • How perverse to stage a burglary as a joke, or to throw rocks at cars.

          • You wouldn’t force anyone to have sex, you just write rape stories (like Baby Brother)

          • You are ridiculing just about everyone in this book.

          [Chapter 28, Page 354] Then he recalled from earlier in the trial, when Judge Massei questioned me about my interrogation. “Your Honor asked, ‘But a suggestion in what sense? Did they tell you, ‘Say that it was Lumumba?’ Because a suggestion is just that ... And Amanda said, ‘No. They didn’t tell me that it was him.’ And so what suggestion is it? “Amanda said, ‘But they told me, Ah, but we know that you were with him, that you met with him.’ The police were doing their job ... they were trying to make this person talk ... These are the pressures, then. Completely normal and necessary investigative activity. There were no suggestions because a suggestion is: Say it was Lumumba.” Mignini knew how my interrogation had gone. The police were yelling that I knew who the murderer was, that I had to remember, that I’d gone out to meet Patrick that night. They made me believe I had trauma-induced amnesia. They threatened me if I didn’t name the murderer—even though I said I didn’t know who the murderer was! How is that not suggestion? How is that not coercion?

          • Where to begin with this?

          • There were no pressures.  You went the police station uninvited when Sollecito was called in.

          • You were told to go home but refused.  You agreed to draw up a list of potential contacts.

          • The only pressure came when Sollecito pulled your alibi

          • You were not yelled at.

          • You were not threatened.

          • You were not hit either.  Oh, you forgot to include that.

          • It is not coercion because none of the above happened.

          [Chapter 28, Page 354]  Mignini’s rant lasted one day, from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.

          • Show the ‘‘Mayor’’ some respect, you stupid liar…

          [Chapter 28, Page 354]  “I’d like to show the court a visual prop we’ve constructed to demonstrate our theory of the murder,” Comodi said. This introduced the most surreal moment of my nightmarish trial: a 3-D computer-generated animation with avatars representing me, Raffaele, Rudy Guede, and Meredith.  Carlo and Luciano were apoplectic. They shouted their objections, insisting that the film was unnecessary and inflammatory. Judge Massei allowed it. I didn’t watch it, but my lawyers said the avatar of me was dressed in a striped shirt like one I often wore to court. Raffaele, Guede, and I were depicted sneering.  Meredith’s avatar had an expression of horror and pain. The cartoon used real crime scene photos to show the blood splatters in Meredith’s room.

          • Trying to use a video simulation to explain a crime?  Happens regularly in U.S. courts.

          • So, should Meredith be sneering, and Knox, Sollecito, Guede have horrified expressions?

          • Posted on 10/24/15 at 04:30 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
            Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas teamKnox book hoaxesNasty-prison hoax
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            Saturday, October 17, 2015

            The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #3 Their Profound Evidence Muddle

            Posted by catnip



            Back of house, showing route in of 2 different burglars in 2009


            My previous dissections of the Fifth Chambers explanation can be read here and here.

            The next two sections (7 and 8) of the Bruno judgment span ten pages. Each sentence in the paraphrased gist below corresponds to one paragraph in the text.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: As to the forensic evidence, it was collected in violation of international standards. Science is receiving too much weight in the legal sphere, the scientific method does not equate to procedural rules. The judge is no longer the ‘expert of experts’, and genetics is light years from the sphere of the judge.

            There is no confidence over science, in the sense that it is no longer to be trusted uncritically. Science is a choice, it must be reasoned. Legal rules are not trumped by science, the court does not automatically accept science, and there are many sciences. Evidentiary rules must be followed. Legal testing of evidence is done by cross-examination.

            The court accepts evidence according to various factors, and this reduces the distance between ‘procedural truth’ and substantive truth. Inference is any method which bridges two facts in question, allowing the unknown fact to become known, according to reasonableness and good sense. This bridging can be common experience and direct observation through repeatability, scientific laws of universal application, and logic. Trial judges go from item of evidence to result, giving reasons, with external checks (the validity of experience or scientific law) and internal checks (consistency). (7)

            COMMENT: Most of this section is bland platitude (not that there’s anything wrong with that).The ‘violation of international standards’ is accepted as a given, and the emphasis on repeatability (as diagnostic of the scientific method) is preparation of the ground for rejecting any tests that weren’t or couldn’t be repeated. Rudy’s forensic evidence is never referred to, as if it has been sealed off in a cardboard box somewhere.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: In the current case, there is no new scientific method to examine (like blood pattern analysis) but genetics. DNA is reliable. It is evaluated against international protocols, and their breach. The court below did not hesitate to consider the test results to be indicative evidence. This cannot be accepted by this court. Indicative evidence is not proof, genetic results which are not absolutely certain can be indicative. Identification is probative, compatibility can be indicative.

            Collection, conservation and analysis of evidence must follow rules.  Criminal Procedure Code Articles 244 para 2, 254 bis. And Article 192 para 2: ‘weight, precision, consistency’, which translates as certainty; certainty cannot be assumed. It cannot be seen how genetic analysis – in breach of collection and preservation protocols – can be weighty and precise in an evidential sense.

            There are standards, and there must be repeatability. “In the case at hand, it is certain that those methodological rules have not been absolutely observed (cf, amongst others, folios 206-207 and the results of the Conte-Vecchiotti [sic] tests, deposited with the Perugia Court of Appeal).”

            It is enough to consider, in that respect, the knife and bra-clasp; there was a lapse in professional standards (f. 207). The coltellaccio [great big knife] was put in a cardboard box of the gift-organiser kind.

            More worrying are the journeyings of the bra-clasp. 46 days, there were other accesses of the crime scene, it was stepped on or at least moved, and the video shows multiple handlings of it with dirty gloves. “Questioned on the reasons for the defective and hasty collection, Dr Stefanoni will say in testimony that, initially, it was not considered necessary to collect the bra-clasp because … [dots in original] the victim’s intimate garment as a whole had been collected.

            Nothing of importance was attributed to that small particular, notwithstanding that, in the common perception, it is exactly that closure apparatus that would be of major investigative interest, being manually operated and, therefore, a potential carrier of biological traces useful for the investigation.”

            The bra-clasp test is not repeatable (Law [sic] Copy Number), which repeatability is to avoid false positives. The validation/falsification method wasn’t applied; and, significantly, even the RIS of Rome did two amplifications of trace I on the knife-blade. Ask what value such a result is. Scientific truth is not transferable to procedural truth; science is not legal certainty; without precision and weight, it cannot be evidence in court.

            An item of evidence can be considered. The court below erred in attributing probative value to genetic results incapable of amplification or which were the fruit of improper recovery and collection procedures. (7.1)

            COMMENT: The term indiziario, which cross-maps to ‘item of circumstantial evidence’, I have rendered as ‘indicative’, to bring out how Bruno demotes it. The theme is transferability: transferability of methods, procedures, of truths is not possible; but transferability of DNA is.

            The appeal court’s error was to give non-zero weight to zero-weight evidence. Evidence gains zero-weight by not being certain. Certainty is achieved by repeatability, or by following international standards. The three dots (…) are for dramatic anti-climactic effect: meaning Stefanoni is a nincompoop, in other words. Note the spelling of Conti, with an “e”.

            And the Voyages of a Bra-Clasp idea is Bongiorno’s and too irresistible to leave out (as with much else).

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Article 360 of the Code only governs sources of evidence that are mutable; the laws of science involve falsification; probative value is linked to repeatability (7.2)

            COMMENT: Interesting jurisprudence. It’s almost as if Bruno is living on another planet. The trope/canard about repeatability in science is an interesting psychological crutch. The accumulation of bizarro-concepts is starting to mount. Individual sentences in the text make sense (sort of), but stringing them together in a too-much-something-in-the-coffee way is starting to ring alarm bells.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The judgment below was obviously illogical (8).

            COMMENT: A leitmotiv.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The missing traces of the accused on the victim have valency. This is a monolithic roadblock on the path taken by the court below in reaching an affirmation of guilt for the current appellants, “already acquitted of the homicide by the Perugia Court of Appeal”. The “selective clean-up” argument is useless and manifestly illogical: it didn’t clean-up the Luminol traces (Luminol is useful for revealing traces of material different to blood).

            The clean-up hypothesis is also disproved by the traces in the small bathroom, and since Amanda knew that the other two were outside Perugia and wouldn’t be coming back that evening, there would have been plenty of time to do a proper clean-up.

            As for the corridor traces, the SAL cards [work logs] ruled out, on the basis of the use of a particular chemical reagent, that the traces revealed by Luminol were blood – and there is nothing of this in the judgment. Not only that, it is manifestly illogical for the lower court to overrule the defence objection that the bluish Luminol reaction can be produced by substances that are not blood (for example, detergent residues, fruit juice and so on) and that the fluorescent reaction cannot be anything other than blood.

            The fragility of the argument is such that, no question, the house at Via della Pergola had never been cleaned. Therefore, it can be categorically ruled out that blood was removed.

            Another glaring logical hole is the theft of the phones. The posited reason that it was to prevent the ringtones of the phone being heard could have been accomplished by switching them off or removing the battery. Disrespectful to the proceedings and clearly illogical is the notion of ill-feeling, including the English woman blaming her flatmate for letting Rudy in to use the toilet; Rudy’s “truth” (and admissible insofar as it does not involve third parties) is that he was in the bathroom when he heard Mr Kercher have an altercation with another, female-voiced, person, so that the reason for the altercation cannot have been his use of the toilet.

            It is illogical to posit that, in order to support the ill-feeling scenario, the stolen money and credit cards be used, when Amanda and Raffaele were cleared of that charge (f. 316).

            It is arbitrary to translate to Via della Pergola a situation Amanda described in a different location, Raffaele’s house: watching a film, taking light drugs, having sex and a good long sleep until late morning the following day; there is no evidence of the influence of drugs, and finding a mixed DNA trace (Amanda and Raffaele) on a cigarette butt instead of doing a DNA-destroying drug test that might have offered useful insights was absolutely irrelevant, given that Raffaele was a visitor to the cottage because of his girlfriend.

            The preceding picture is emblematic of the complex architecture of the impugned judgment relating to the substantive reconstruction, starting at paragraph 10, with the title “Conclusive Evaluations”. It is certainly undeniable that the court below required interpretative effort and speculation to fill the large evidentiary holes in the investigation.

            Now, it is undoubted that it is the court of merit’s task to reconstruct what happened, not Cassation’s; common sense must be used; it can be logical but must stick to (legal) reality and be based on admitted evidence. Logic and intuition cannot be a substitute for lacking evidence and investigative inefficiencies. In the face of lacking, insufficient or contradictory evidence, the court must acquit under Article 530 paragraph 2, even if morally convinced of the culpability of the accused.

            Further, there are holes in the court’s reasoning, for example in saying that Raffaele’s and Meredith’s DNA was found on the knife (f. 321) when elsewhere in the judgment (ff 208) Amanda is trace A, Meredith is trace B, and finally, trace I (unjustifiably ignored in the Conte-Vecchiotti [sic] report) is also Amanda’s. Trace B cannot carry any certainty, being unrepeatable, but nowhere on the knife is there any biological trace attributable to Raffaele (8.1)

            COMMENT: Missing evidence is evidence of being missing. Something proves the opposite. What’s the Perugia Court of Appeal (=Hellmann) got to do with anything? The ‘clean-up’ refutation has the hallmarks of Bongiorno technique: to the prosecution suggestion that there might have been a party, her response was, “Where are the balloons, the corks and the champagne glasses?”

            Obviously, “clean-up” has a specific meaning to Bruno. Switching a phone off or removing the battery needs fingers and will likely leave traces behind; better a sock and sling-throw into the dark. It’s common sense.

            Can Bruno really be so obtuse: the bra-clasp is super-important exactly because it requires fingers, but the phones aren’t (in the hypothetical user’s mind). Drug-testing the cigarette butt is a good idea. Until you think about it: if Raffaele was at the cottage before, after, during, but not at the murder, how can a cigarette butt (with or without ice or cocaine on it) be tied to anything, time-wise?

            Applying Bruno’s logic about the typo about Raffaele’s DNA being on the knife, then Bruno’s reference to Conte-Vecchiotti is also a “gaping hole”, because there’s no such people, and refers to a nothing; it’s Conti-Vecchiotti. Same with the nonsense phrase ‘Law Copy Number’ – what’s that? An obvious absurdity.

            Therefore Bruno’s judgment is as void as its voids are. That’s logic. Obviously, if someone is stoned in Garibaldi Street, they can’t be stoned at a place two minutes’ walk away. That’s also ‘logic’.

            Overall impression so far…

            “Suddenly a strange madness took hold of him, a yearning to look once more off the end of the world. It would be his last chance, he thought; …”

            —  George R R Martin, A Game of Thrones, [HarperCollins, 1996], p 176. ISBN 9780002246576

            There was an episode of Doctor Who last year, where one character was explaining the scientific beliefs of another, and the Doctor asked, ‘Why does he think that? Is he an idiot?’

            Good question.

            I can’t quite help thinking the choice is between whether Bruno is an idiot, or whether he is merely writing a satire for a student magazine and pretending to be an idiot. Perhaps, in my ignorance, I have not read enough yet, or I have misunderstood what I have read.

            There is some logical analysis going on, - and the example of there being no clean-up because if it was Amanda, she would have known she would have had all night, and therefore would have done a proper job of it (!), so because she didn’t, there wasn’t (!!), is a good one – but joining two or more sentences into a coherent thought, and things start to disappear into the mists.

            Another leitmotiv: The translation into “certainty” of what characteristics items of evidence must have to be admissible (in common law terms), erases the concept of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ from the picture.

            Since he’s had multiple months to ‘get it right’, and these gaps remain, it looks as if Bruno’s condition is not a temporary one.

            Posted on 10/17/15 at 03:20 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
            Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesCatnip critique
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            Tuesday, October 13, 2015

            TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #4 Of 7: Continuing Dismissal Of Various Claims

            Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



            Another Italian masterpiece on justice (in this case brutal justice, by Caravaggio)

            Overview Of The Post and the Series

            Only two more posts after this one (we promise!).

            Machiavelli already posted what constitutes Part #7 and also the first few paras of this one.

            Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

            Again this seems like a lot of furious backpedaling away from the imperial, magisterial announcement by Judge Marasca back in late March.

            Our further critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts. Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

            On Further Appeal Grounds

            4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(…) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.

            Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

            Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone.

            Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

            And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which – the one inflicted on the left side of her neck – caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone – this also linkable to the blade action – with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

            Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

            On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen – because of its abnormal disproportion – not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

            Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

            4.3.2.  With regard to the second matter, relative to the option of akkowing – as article 238 bis of the code of criminal procedure allows – declarations “against others” made by Guede in the context of his own procedures in absence of other defendants (with reference to declarations, not always coherent and consistent, during the preliminary investigations and noted in his sentencing reports, somehow involving Knox in the homicide, but never explicitly Sollecito, while continuing to plead innocence, despite the presence in the crime scene and on the victim’s body of multiple biological traces attributed to him), the ruling can only be negative. Such a mode of allowance would result in an evasion of the guarantees dictated by article 526 chapter 1- bis, of the code of criminal procedure, according to which “the defendant’s guilt cannot be proved on the basis of declarations produced by anyone who, in free will, had always voluntarily avoided the examination by the accused or his defense team”. And furthermore, it seems a clear violation of article 111, chapter four. of the Constitution, which dictates identical an prescription in order to harmonize judicial processes according to article 6 letter d) of the European Convention for Human Rights (Section F. n. 35729 of the 1st August 2013, Agrama, Rv 256576).

            In this regard, it appears useful to refer to the principle of “non-substitutability”, accepted by the United Divisions of this Supreme Court under the category “legality of the proof”, meaning that, when the code establishes an evidentary prohibition or an expressed non-usability, it is forbidden to resort to other procedural instruments, typical or atypical, with the purpose of   surreptitiously avoid such obstacle (Section U, n. 36747 of the 28 May 2003, Torcasio, Rv. 225467; cfr,, also, Section U, n. 28997 of the 19 April 2012, Pasqua, Rv. 252893).

            And also during this trial, Guede – asked to speak as contextual witness, following the accusative declarations of the convicted offender Mario Alessi (sentenced for the horrible homicide of a child) – after denying the accusations of the aforementioned, confirmed the content of a letter sent by him to his attorneys which was then, surprisingly, shared with a television news service, in which he accused the current contestants - has then, substantively, avoided cross-examination by the defendants. And in fact, after recognizing the authenticity of the missive, where he denied what was stated by Alessi, regarding some asserted confidences related to the innocence of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, he didn’t wanted to be cross-examined by the accused’s defense, claiming his presence (as contextual witness) was limited to the content of Alessi’s declarations, which was with regard to him. So, the non-usability of what he declared – in the part concerning the letter that related to the current contestants – that is not useable in a different procedural context because it was produced absent the prescribed guarantees.

            Furthermore, facing such unmoving and non-cooperative behavior, the appeal judge [Hellmann] did automatically insist on cross-examination of the Ivorian, despite the final irrevocability of the sentence against him, and failed to resolve the incompatibility of speaking in the present proceeding, according to article 197 of the code of criminal procedure.

            And in fact, according to article 197 bis chapter 4 of the same standard code of procedure, he could have not been obliged to depose on the facts for which he had received a sentence, having always denied, during the proceeding against him, his responsibility and, not being able, in any way, to depose on facts involving his responsibility regarding the crime for which he was accused.

            4.4 Finally, continuing on the preliminaries, the matter of standards must be faced, as claimed by the defense, regarding the denial of the claim for renewed court hearings during the appellate trial, on the request of carrying out new external investigations as requested.

            The appeal exception was founded upon the observance of the presumed obligatory nature of the request of evidential integration of article 627, chapter 2, second part, according to which “[….] if a sentence in appeal has been annulled and the parties request it, the judge can order a reviewing of the court hearings by obtaining proofs relevant to the decision”

            Clearly, the letter of this norm is far from the discipline of the regular powers of the appellate judge regarding this matter under article 603 of the code of criminal procedure “non-decidability of the state of proceedings”,  in the hypothesis above in part 1, that the defense request referred to evidences already collected or new; referring to the criteria of article 495, chapter 1, on the hypothesis of new evidences found after the first instance ruling; there is “absolute necessity” of its integration with supplementary investigations, in case of review ex officio, beyond the special subject matter (originally in application and now canceled, according to article 11 law 28 April 2014, n. 67) of the requested review in favor of a defendant absent from the trial in the first instance.

            The Supreme Court here states that the particular formulation of the aforementioned rule does not require the appellate judge, in the hypothesis of annulment of the first instance ruling, to be obliged to renew the court hearings just because the parties request it. A different interpretation would not have a rational basis and, instead, would introduce a dystonic element in the discipline of the institution.

            In fact, the first part of the second chapter of article 627 of the code of criminal procedure highlights that the appellate judge decides with the same powers of the judge whose ruling has been annulled, except only for limitations originating in the law.

            For a harmonic reconstruction that follows the code’s architecture it is imperative, then, to consider that the specific observance of the trial ruling renewed during the appeal judgment should not create an exception to the general requirement dictated in article 603 of the code of criminal procedure.

            Furthermore it is clear that the reference, in chapter 2 of article 627 of the code of criminal procedure, to the assumption of “relevant” evidence for the decision constitutes a mere repetition, given that the trial judgment is, necessarily, central to the evaluation by the appeal judge charged with the requirement of evidentiary integration and the same appreciation of absolute necessity inspiring the appeal. And in fact, in case of renewing of the trial hearings on appeal no evidence that is not “relevant” to the decision may enter the proceeding; and the same thing applies, more generally, to the whole evidential section of the criminal proceeding, according to the fundamental principle stated in article 190 of the standard code of procedure, according to which the judge has to approve the evidence requested by the parties, excluding, beyond the instances prohibited by the law, any “manifestly irrelevant or unnecessary” evidence.
            In this sense, with this clarification, it is worth, therefore, restating the orientation expressed, regarding this matter, by this Supreme Court on similar occasions

            (Section 5, n. 52208 of 30 September 2014, Marino, Rv. 262116, according to which “the appellate judge, charged with the proceeding following the annulment declared by the Court of Cassation, is not obliged to reopen the court hearings every time the parties demand this, because his powers are identical to the ones of the judge whose sentence was annulled, and he has to accept assumption of the suggested new evidence only if it is necessary for the new decision” according to article 603 of the code of criminal procedure, and article 627, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure; Section 1, n. 28225 of 09 May 2014, Dell’Utri, Rv. 260939; Section 4, n. 20422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv, 232020; Section 1, n. 16786 of 24 March 2004, De Falco, Rv. 227924)

            Also, without question, the use of the powers conferred upon the appellate judge regarding new investigation, has as always to be concretely motivated and the relative motivation is, of course, again contestable by the Supreme Court.

            In this specific case, the appeal judge [Nencini] has given a concrete reason for denying further evidentiary incorporation, considering it irrelevant for his decision purpose.

            Furthermore the motivations for the denial of appeal implicitly emerged from the judge’s motivational construct, which declared complete the evidentiary compendium.

            Furthermore, there is no reason to assumne, even within the specific appellate judgment, that the general principle of neutral expertise separated from the viewponts of the parties and remitted to the discretional power of the judge, was not observed because “it doe not come within the category of decisive proof and the consequent ruling of denial is not arguable according to article 606, chapter 1, let. d), of the code of criminal procedure, because it represents the result of a factual judgment which, if supported by adequate motivation, cannot be reversed by Cassation” (Section 6, n. 43526 of 3 October 2012, Ritorto, Rv. 253707).

            5. Now having resolved, in the sections above, the defense’s prejudicial claims,  and the preliminary standard ones, the “merit” of the judgment can now be considered, in relation to the substance of the appealed matters

            Firstly, it has to be assumed that, according to the loss of rights claimed under point b), relative to the charge of illegal carrying of the knife, this is now beyond the statute of limitations.

            This has to be accepted, even in absence of more favorable reasons for acquittal on the merit, referring to article 129, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure, and also the declarations of guilt in the trial sentence and the second appeal court.

            Moreover, according to the undisputed decision of this Court of Cassation “the acquittal formula on the merit prevails on the statute of limitations in appeal cases where, with a mere analysis, the absolute absence of the proof of guilty against the defendant that is in fact positive proof of innocence can be observed, though not in the case of mere contradiction or insufficiency of the evidence which requires a pondered judgment between opposing conclusions, n.10284 of 22 January 2014, Culicchia, Rv. 259445).

            Posted on 10/13/15 at 09:01 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
            Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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            Friday, October 09, 2015

            The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #2 The Strange Two Unrelated Tracks Approach

            Posted by catnip



            The Bruno demon in the cage…

            Initial impressions of the legal reasoning

            A closer reading, or later pages, may reveal a change in opinion might be required. If so, those changes in the post will be noted. Based on experience, the likelihood is that, how a thing starts, is how it will tend to continue. Changing horses in mid-stream, though theoretically possible, is not an everyday occurrence.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: A European Court of Human Rights decision in Amanda’s favour won’t affect the calunnia conviction, since the accusations were repeated to the Prosecutor (such interviews are institutionally immune to psychological pressure), and she confirmed them again when writing in her note, signed by her, in a moment when she was alone with herself and her conscience. (2.2)

            COMMENT: To the defence allegation that it was police pressure that caused Amanda to falsely claim that Patrick was the murderer, the obvious and common sense response that the claim was repeated in situations where no pressure was possible, deflates the allegation.

            However, note Bruno’s implicit assumption, that Amanda was behaving rationally, that is, not affected by drugs, impaired mental states, or delusional or incorrect beliefs, is not raised, let alone examined and a factual finding made. (Not that it is in the Court of Cassation’s general remit to make findings of fact, but that is another matter.

            And Bruno specifically addresses that point later, so he is not unaware of it.)  This way of treating assumptions forms a characteristic pattern, and has implications later. Note that while the murder charges were dismissed, the calunnia conviction was confirmed. This would not be a matter that any PR push for Raffaele would need to be concerned about, as we indeed find.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The request is refused to have the Grand Chamber consider the probative value of evidence collected in breach of international forensic standards; witness statements made under a strong media spotlight; and the admissibility of accusatory statements made in the judgment of another court and received into evidence. (2.3)

            COMMENT: Bruno can handle the forensics methodology question, Alessi’s bag-of-hot-air statements, and the legal implications of the explicit accusations made in the judgment reasons confirming Rudy’s conviction.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The appeal court did not follow Cassation’s ruling on the principles of law involved, namely that the court is not to rely on the original (annulled) reasoning, the court must not trespass into the merits of the case, the court retains the original scope of enquiry, all the facts must be looked at, and the action to take depends upon the type of annulment because there can be errors of law, and errors of logic. (3)

            COMMENT: The Florence Court of Appeal did not follow the instructions set down for it by Cassation. This aspect of the rules of law and procedure will take some detail to examine fully, but suffice to say here that Bruno’s own methodology is not automatically immune from the same defects he is accusing Florence of having, merely because it is him saying so. How well does Bruno himself follow the rules?, in other words. Verbal gymnastics and semantic yoga poses are presaged.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: There were glaring errors. (3.1)

            COMMENT: This becomes his leitmotiv, and he actually uses that word when talking of others.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: There is only one irrefutable certainty in this case: Amanda’s guilt as regards her criminal calumny (calunnia) against Patrick Lumumba; the investigator’s glaring errors and omissions – the intrinsically contradictory complex of evidence is anything but beyond a reasonable doubt (4).

            COMMENT: Amanda’s crime against Patrick remains; the evidence is intricate and, due to errors, incomplete, therefore the standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ has not been met. How it is that the investigator’s actions were in actual error is not established: the implication is that the defence appeal claims are simply being taken on copy-paste trust.

            A fair assessment would entail examining the basis of claims that there was forensic error, hearing any counter-arguments, weighing the significance and importance of any such error if it were found to exist, and deciding if it has a bearing and impact on the legal question to be decided – this is all trial-court matter.

            People being driven by the media spotlight is another leitmotiv of Bruno’s. It’s almost as if he is embodying what he is saying that others have done.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The absurd and incomprehensible death of Meredith Kercher in mysterious circumstances and the international media spotlight forced an increase in the pace of the investigation and a knee-jerk search for someone guilty to display to the international media, and lack of regard for international protocols about possible contamination, led to hurried, incomplete and incorrect investigative activity. The lack of repeatability, breaking one of the most fundamental requirements of the scientific method as established by Galileo, was a flaw. (4.1)

            COMMENT: Here is the first clue that the search for a rational motive is not going to be successful: the murder was senseless. The media spotlight provides the logical underpinning, the motive if you will, of why the police made errors: they needed a quick result, and so therefore cut corners. The ‘international standards’ (which are never named explicitly) provide the yardstick against which these cut corners can be measured.

            (Which leads to a circular-logic paradox scenario: At the scriptwriters’ workshop for Detectives 101: Writer A: “I’ve got them on the scene now, ready to decide what to do. So how do I get them to cut corners? What are the corners, the international standards?” Writer B: “I don’t know. Make ‘em up. Or download something official-looking off the Internet.” Writer A: “What are their guidelines in real life, though? Surely they don’t go about breaching guidelines on every callout. How did they know about putting on gloves, for instance?” Writer B: “.”)

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The media and its associated “noise” (in it computer science sense) induced a mythomane seeking to break the long grey day of an incarceration regime, at least for a day; and Rudy the half-truth teller is key: definite traces of him were found in the room and on the victim. (4.2)

            COMMENT: Alessi, believed to be a full-truth teller, wanted some fresh air for a couple of hours, so a trip to the courtroom was organised. The media’s fault. Rudy, the known half-truth teller, knows more, because actual traces of him were found in what can be referred to as the ‘murder zone’. Notwithstanding that a person’s traces can be found on a victim, and the person is not a murderer. Bruno is also performing some literary yoga poses in this passage.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Rudy’s finalised, definitive, judgment, and his statements, attract questions of admissibility. (4.3)

            COMMENT: This is the crux of the legal use of the inferences available in terms of Bruno’s reasoning. Rudy’s trial and conviction are being treated by Bruno as separate and distinct from the trial of Amanda and Raffaele, rather than logically interlinked: if the forensics against Amanda and Raffaele are flawed, then those against Rudy are not, because his conviction has become definitive. That is an artificial way of looking at it. Inferences can go both ways: if Raffaele’s DNA is the result of contamination, then so could Rudy’s be, for exactly the same reasons; if a person has the victim’s blood on their hands, then that does not make them the (or a) murderer.

            Indeed, Rudy explicitly stated he got blood on him while trying to help Meredith (implicitly, this must be the untrue part of one of Rudy’s half-truths). So then Rudy’s conviction becomes a legal fiction, not a representation of what actually happened, and Rudy’s definitive judgment voids itself into nothingness. Bruno avoids discussing this line of thought, for some reason. He also, conveniently, has somehow forgotten about the phrase “acting in company with” in the Criminal Code, again, for some reason (presumably).

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Rudy’s judgment: The search for a motive for the murder has yielded nothing, in proportion to what has been conjectured: mere disagreement among flatmates, sexual desires (an at least initial consensual act cannot be excluded); and even less for an unknown burglar who graduates from theft, to uncontrollable sexual assault, to gratuitous homicide with such brutal ferocity, unless there was a serial killer in action, which there is no evidence of in the documents that in Perugia, at that time, other homicides of other young women in identical circumstances were being committed. (4.3.1)

            COMMENT: This counts as a straw man within a straw man. The Perugian Serial Killer angle almost qualifies as a laughable joke. And what are the chances of finding a traditional rational motive for an irrational (“senseless and absurd”) act? Close to zero, would be the statistician’s answer. The key word is “gratuitous”. Although, the lone-burglar scenario defence gambit gets a drubbing.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Rudy’s statements—made in the absence of the people whose rights are affected (a denial of rights), not always coherent and constant (a denial of logic), and somehow involving Amanda (but never Raffaele explicitly), while continuing to maintain his innocence notwithstanding his forensic presence at the scene and on the victim – can only be rejected as inadmissible, and in breach of the requirements for a fair trial. In fact, Rudy as a witness violates his right not to testify after finalisation of his sentence or undergo cross-examination. (4.3.2)

            COMMENT: There’s legal yoga posing in this section. The interlinked nature of the trials works both ways: accusations made by the Amanda and Raffaele defence against Rudy in his absence can’t be responded to and cross-examined by him. The bit about ‘not always coherent and constant’ also applies to Amanda and Raffaele. And the bit about Rudy never mentioning Raffaele being on site and present does not sound like it came from Amanda’s defence. On the plus side, Bruno, as editor, did manage to condense the 600-and-more pages of the (Bongiorno) defence appeal down to a couple of dozen paragraphs.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The procedural rules were violated when the defence request to re-open argument was refused. The term “relevant”, as in relevant evidence as mentioned in the Code, is mere linguistic decoration (4.4)

            COMMENT: There might be some merit in the idea that witnesses are recalled and argument re-opened only when it’s relevant, and not otherwise. The assertion of procedural violation remains just that, though, an assertion. In any case, opposing views are not examined. So how did Bruno reach his decision? A set of reasons without the actual reasons being given – is that what we are looking at?

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The charge relating to unlawful transport of a knife has exceeded the time limit set by the statute of limitations. (5)

            COMMENT: The limitations period expiry gambit is a widely-used defence strategy. Lots of people, including very many in the media spotlight, have taken advantage of it and benefitted from it.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The judgment appealed from, the subject of multiple censures by the parties, exhibits mistakes, incongruities and errors of law. (6)

            COMMENT: The prosecution are strangely absent from all of this. Did Bruno only have the transcript of the second day’s hearing, after misplacing the prosecution’s or leaving it at the bus stop? In any case, he does not give any indication that he has read it.

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: In first place, the affirmation that determining the motive is substantively irrelevant is an error. Automatically transferring Rudy’s sexual motive to the others doesn’t hold up; the erotic game scenario finds no corroboration; extending a shared and definite set of interpersonal relationships amongst the co-participants is also a species of transfer.

            The love-story between Amanda and Raffaele is obvious and even if it appears certain that she somehow, somewhen, knew Rudy, there is no evidence that Raffaele knew him or ever visited him. If Laura and Filomena didn’t know Rudy and are ruled out as murderers, not to do the same with Raffaele is illogical and irrational. (6.1)

            COMMENT: The other judges got it wrong about the importance of motive. If motive is essential, then no motive means no crime. And if one person had motive, it doesn’t mean the others must have had the same motive. The love-story appears obvious, but appearing so doesn’t make it so. Calling it a love-story is an interpretation, in any case. How was the conclusion reached and alternative hypotheses rejected? And how does not knowing Rudy socially (beforehand) have a bearing on anything (even motives)? A straw straw-man being invoked?

            Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Holding that the exact time of death was irrelevant was also an error. From the phone records, it emerges that the time of death can be set between 21:30 and 22:13. (6.2)

            COMMENT: The exact time is needed for a fair trial so the accused can supply an alibi. The prosecution method of picking the middle of the estimated time range is ‘mere’ arithmetic, not science (including gastric).  Perhaps Bruno read along the line underneath by mistake on the phone call log printout (if he actually read anything)? Perhaps he just accepted the defence claim at their word? Who can tell?

            Pause here and re-energize, before we continue in another post. Bruno’s pattern seems to be shaping up as:

            Make assertions as if they are conclusions; show no reasoning for them; exhibit a predilection and fondness for posing (of which more, when we get to the detail); and embody what he alleges the prosecution (and Alessi) have done, namely hastening under pressure and influence of the media spotlight and not following international standards, in this case, of legal reasoning and fairness (plus the implicit backhanders to all those who “got it wrong”).

            It’s almost as if this case has provided him with the opportunity of at least a small break from long grey days of unproductive solitude. If so, it’s no wonder his sympathy with Raffaele’s situation of watching mould growing on his cell wall shines through so brightly.

            Posted on 10/09/15 at 02:38 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
            Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesCatnip critique
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            Tuesday, October 06, 2015

            TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope

            Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




            Overview Of The Post and the Series

            The purpose of the series was summarised in Post #1.

            With this post we are about 3/4 of the way through the judgment and here Marasca and Bruno push aside both some of Knox’s and Sollecito’s grounds of appeal and also Judge Nencini’s chosen scope.

            This is done in a manner remarked on by Catnip as curiously pedantic and dogmatic. It is based largely on innuendo and a noticeably weak grasp of the real facts - for example the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello were DEFENSE witnesses and hardly a weakness of the prosecution case.

            The evidence discussed is cherrypicked and the bar for “beyond a reasonable doubt” is set way higher than judges who normally handle murder cases (as the Fifth Chambers and these particular judges do not) would ever espouse. The exhaustive six-step review process prior to the 2009 trial is totally ignored.

            Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

            Our further critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts. Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

            CONSIDERED THAT

            1. Logical and exposition reasons call for an immediate examination of the preliminary matters advanced by the defenses.

            In fact, these are issues of prejudicial relevance, since they are potentially capable of influencing the subsequent developments of decisions which, even if devoid of substantial definitiveness, could nevertheless have a decisive effect, at least in relation to the remand back to the lower court and postponement of the present consideration.

            First of all, we will address the issue of constitutional legitimacy of the combined provisions of articles 627 par. 3, and 628 par. 2 of the code of criminal procedure, for supposed violation of the principle of reasonable length of the judicial process in light of article 111 of the Constitution; also the request to delay judgment until the decision of the European Court for Human Rights, subjected to an appeal submitted by the defense of Amanda Knox complaining about coercive treatment to which the aforementioned was supposed to have been exposed by the investigators during the preliminary investigations; also to the multiple requests of Raffaele Sollecito’s defense to refer examinations to the United Sections of this Supreme Court [a panel of all Chambers] about matters of particular relevance to their capability to generate interpretative alternatives in the case law of this Court.

            2. All the requests are clearly unfounded.

            2.1. Unfounded, first of all, is the restated issue of constitutional legitimacy of the laws that rule judgment by the courts after Supreme Court remand. And in fact, the motivating report of the previous [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.], who, with the preliminary court order dated 30 September 2013, has considered the matter as clearly unfounded, is irreproachable. To the arguments brought forward [by the judge] in relation to the first matter – an illustration of how the dynamics of the relationship between a judgment of annulment on legitimacy grounds, and a replacement judgment by the lower judge after remand, are guided by a progressive narrowing of the thema decidendum [matter], which, serves to preclude an extension ad infinitum of the trial process – this can be added: the effect of the progressive delimitation of the res iudicanda is followed by the judiciary as a possible result not only of the rescinding [annulling] judgment, but also of the requirements of article 628, par. 2, of the procedural code, according to which in all cases the sentence of the appellate judge can be challenged only in relation to reasons not concerning points already decided the Court of Cassation, or for failure to abide with the requirements of article 627, chapter 4 , of the code of criminal procedure, according to which “the appellate judgment by the court following Supreme Court remand cannot reopen the issue of nullity, even absolute, or inadmissibility, decided during previous trials or during preliminary investigations.”

            Thus legitimacy jurisprudence is prohibited to extend as far as non-usability, since it is considered as an expression of a general principle of the decree which tends to confer definitive status to the decisions of the Court of Cassation (Section 5, n. 10624 dated on 12 February 2009, Barbara, Rv. 242980; Section 5, n. 36769 dated on 03 September 2006, Caruso, Rv 235015; Section 1, n. 22023 of the 18 April 2006,  Marine, Rv. 235274; and, about preliminary judicial review, Section 6, n. 47564 of the 14 November 2013, Tuccillo, Rv. 257470; contra, Section 3, n. 15828 of the 26 November 2014, Rv. 263343).

            It is thus perfectly acceptable to affirm that the legislative [parliament] has designed a procedural module with a progressive foundation (principle of so-called “progressive ruling”), which can be viewed – in a slice of time – as “concentric circles”.

            Furthermore, the previous court – in the instances described in the appeal document signed by the lawyers Ghirga and Della Vedova – had already had the opportunity to take care of this matter, declaring it inadmissible on the basis of argumentations that the current defensive explanations doesn’t seem capable of rebutting, since they do not proffer arguments that could possibly promote a different deciding conclusion.

            It cannot be ignored that the criminal trial is, constitutionally, aimed at the acknowledgement of the material truth by means of a cognitive progression, excluding possible errors in procedendo or in iudicando, medio tempore occurring, to reach its final purpose, in terms of approximation as close as possible to that objective, [20] rendering back to the community a result commonly intended as “judicial truth”, that means truth found procedurally (rectius, the one which has been possible to verify by means of the ordinary gnostic and inferential instruments at disposal of the judge). All of this, within the ineluctible contexts of the procedural formalities, which represent, obviously, the maximum expression of juridical civility and the prestigious spirit of a centuries old process of advancement of procedural knowledge typical of the Italian juridical culture.

            And when one deals with, as in this case, matters of particular evidence in absence of direct proof, or of reliable technical-scientific contribution, or of pertinent and usable declarative contributions – the judicial truth, detached from factual reality, ends up being a mere fictio iuris, considering the limits and the ordinary subjectivity of the instruments of human knowledge, commonly depending on a reconstructive and re-elaborative process a posteriori.

            So, it is precisely in this circumstances that the respect of standards is most necessary, representing an unswerving parameter – objective and privileged – for the verification of correctness and adequacy of the cognitive process of the judge during the pragmatic approach to the material truth.

            And the Judge of the legitimacy is, in fact, called to attend to the aforementioned verification with cognitive powers only ab extrinseco, meaning that they are limited to a mere external check of the formal correctness, congruency and logical coherence of the set of explanations justifying that cognitive progression, without any possibility to observe the real demonstrative importance of the evidential elements used in it.

            And furthermore, such pursue of finalization will have to comply with the constitutional principle under article 111 of the Constitution about reasonable length of a trial process intended to develop through phases and predetermined sequenced articulations.

            The pursue of that ultimate purpose (seeking of the material truth) – particularly in trials of particular delicacy like the one examined here, of such difficulty in carrying out of procedural activities, and technical investigations of particular complexity – has therefore to be related to the necessity of a judicial reply of a length as short as possible, for the obvious necessity of respect for the value of the subjects involved and of the ineluctible claim for justice both of the victims and the community.

            2.2. The request of Amanda Knox’s defense aimed at the postponing of the present trial to wait for the decision of the European Court of Justice [sic] has no merit, due to the definitive status of the guilty verdict for the crime of calunnia, now protected as a partial final status, against a denouncement of arbitrary and coercive treatments allegedly carried out by the investigators against the accused to the point of coercing her will and damaging her moral freedom in violation of article 188 of penal procedure code. [21]

            And also, a possible decision of the European Court in favor of Ms. Knox, in the sense of a desired recognition of non-orthodox treatment of her by investigators, could not in any way affect the final verdict, not even in the event of a possible review of the verdict, considering the slanderous accusations that the accused produced against Lumumba consequent to the asserted coercions, and confirmed by her before the Public Prosecutor during the subsequent session, in a context which, institutionally, is immune from anomalous psychological pressures; and also confirmed in her memoriale, at a moment when the same accuser was alone with herself and her conscience in conditions of objective peacefulness, sheltered from environmental influence; and were even restated, after some time, during the validation of the arrest of Lumumba, before the investigating judge in charge.

            2.3. Finally, denied also is the request from Sollecito’s defense seeking to obtain referral to the United Sections of this Court of matters related to the evidential value of scientific results acquired in violation of international protocols which contain specific prescriptions meant to assure the genuineness of the sampling and the analysis; also related to the standards of evaluation of expert testimony during the trial process under strong media exposure; also related to the usability of accusative declarations reported in the verdict that had been acquired according to article 238–bis of the procedure code.

            These are, clearly, matters of particular weight, of some agreed relevance for purposes of defining the present judgment, but of dubious capacity to generate potential jurisprudential contrasts. Anyway, interpretative tangles are checked out here which this Court could not ignore, with the pertinent conclusion having binding effectiveness within the purpose of defining the present proceeding.

            3. Having thus stated, the main topic of the present proceeding can now be approached, the leitmotiv of the claims of the contestants, revolving around a prejudicial claim of inobservance, on the part of the [Florence] appeal judge, of the dictum of the [2013] annulment ruling by this Court and the principle of law established within it.

            The investigation requested to this Court is only apparently simple, considered that the ratio decidendi of the annulment ruling is founded on the finding of a manifest illogicality of the rationale supporting the appealed judgement; a finding which consists – and specifies itself – in the observation of a violation of the principles of completeness and of non-contradiction.

            It is an established jurisprudential rule that, in presence of such reasoning for an annulment, derived from a deficit in the reasoning, the new appeal judge [giudice di rinvio] is tasked with the comprehension of the whole body of evidence, which he is expected to revisit [22] in full freedom of conviction, without any bound, being only supposed to produce, as a result, a reasoning deprived of those flaws of manifest illogicality or manifest contradiction which caused the annulment of the first appeal verdict. In the case law of this Court of Cassation there is, in fact, the recurrent statement “following an annulment for incorrect reasoning, the new appeal judge is prohibited from basing the new decision on the same arguments considered illogic or inconsistent by the Court of Cassation, but he is however free to reach, on the basis of different argumentations from the ones claimed in the Supreme Court therefore integrating and completing the ones already issued, the same judicial result of the annulled ruling. This because it is an exclusive task of the courts of merit to reconstruct the resulting facts from the trial findings, and to assess the signification and value of the relative sources of evidence”. (among others, Sect 4, n. 30422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv. 232019; Section 4, n. 48352 of 29 April 2009, Savoretti, Rv 245775).

            A problem – suggested with appreciable discretion within the new reasons [of appeal] in favor of Knox – appears when, as in this case, the Court of Cassation has entered in the merits, going beyond the institutional limits assigned to it, such as when for example it offers a range of causal alternatives for the murder and assigns to the judge the task of picking, within that predetermined numerous clausus, the one most appropriate to the case at bar. There’s no doubt, in the opinion of this panel, that in such peculiar event the new appellate court cannot consider itself either bound or influenced, because of the aforementioned clear problem of this institutional kind, that, for what was stated before, exists between cognizance of legitimacy and cognizance of the fact, the latter being the exclusive prerogative of the judge of merit. In this regard the Supreme Court has already given its contribution, stating that the new appellate judge cannot be influenced “by evaluations possibly over-stated by the Court of Cassation in its argumentations, since the spheres within which the respective evaluation are carried out are different, and it is not the task of the Court of Cassation to put its conviction before the judge of merits in regards to those matters. After all, in those cases where the Supreme Court possibly focus its attention over some specific aspects from which the lack or the contradiction of reasoning emerges, this doesn’t mean that the new appellate judge would be tasked with a new judgment only on the specified points, because the judge retains the same powers which originally belonged to him as a judge of merits in relation to the identification and evaluation of the trial data, regarding the point of the verdict affected by annulment” (Section 4 n.30422/2005 cit.). In the same sense it was stated that “… possible factual elements and assessments contained in the annulment ruling are not binding for the new appellate judge, but are considered exclusively as a reference point in order to position the complained-about error or errors, [23] and therefore not as data imposed for the decision requested of him; moreover, there’s no doubt that, after the ruling of annulment for incorrect reasoning through the indication of specific points of deficiency or contradiction, the powers of the new appellate judge cannot be restrained to the examination of the single specified points, as if they were isolated from the rest of the evidential material, but he must also carry out other acts of evidence-finding on which results his decision has to be based, providing the reason for this within the judgment report” (Section 4, n. 44644 of 18 October 2011, defendant F., Rv. 251660; Section 5, n. 41085 of 3 July 2009, defendant L., Rv. 245389; Section 1, n. 1397 of 10 December 1997 dep. 1998, Pace, Rv. 209692).

            All of this is the background to a reiterated doctrine of this Court of Cassation, consolidated to the point of constituting a ius receptum, according to which “the powers of the new appeals judge are different depending on if the annulment has been ruled for violation or erroneous application of the criminal code, or for absence of manifested illogicality of reasoning, since, while, in the first hypothesis, the judge is bound to the law principle expressed by the Court, without changing the evaluation of the facts as they were found by the appealed verdict, in the second hypothesis, a new examination of the evidential compendium can be carried out, without repeating the same incorrect reasoning of the annulled order. (among the others, Section 3, n. 7882 of 10 January 2012, Montali, Rv. 252333).

            3.1. As we will see, the appeals judge [Nencini] was influenced on many points by the suppositions of factual aspects emerging within the annulment judgment, as if the convincing and analytic evaluations of the Supreme Court were unavoidably converging in the direction of affirmation of guilt of the two defendants. Being misled by this error, the same judge encounters clear logic inconsistencies and obvious errors in iudicando, which need to be challenged here.

            4. Meanwhile, it can’t be ignored, on a first summary overview, that the history of these proceedings is characterized by a troubled and intrinsically contradictory path, with the only fact of irrefutable certainty being the guilt of Amanda Knox regarding the slanderous accusations against Patrick Lumumba. On the concern of the murder of Kercher, the declaration of guilt of Knox and Sollecito, in first instance, was followed by a ruling of acquittal from the appeal Court of Assizes of Perugia, consequent to an articulated evidential integration [the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ed.]; the annulment by this Supreme Court, First Criminal Section; and finally the judgment, on appeal, of the Court of assizes of Florence, today considered under a new Cassation appeal.

            An objectively wavering process, the oscillations of which are the result of glaring failures or investigative “amnesias” and of culpable omissions in [24] investigating activities, which, had they been carried out, would have, probably, allowed from the start the outline a framework, if not of certainty, at least of reassuring reliability, in direction of either the guilt or the non-involvement of the current appellants. Such scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes a first, eloquent, representation of an evidential set of anything but “beyond reasonable doubt”.

            4.1. Surely, an unusual media fuss about the crime, caused not just by the dramatic modalities of the death of a 22-year old woman, so absurd and incomprehensible in its genesis, but also by the nationality of the persons involved (a USA citizen, Knox, accused of participating in the murder of her housemate who was sharing a foreign study experience with her; an English citizen, Meredith Kercher, killed in mysterious circumstances in the place where she likely used to feel most safe, her home, and additionally the international implications of the case itself, prompted the investigation to suffer from a sudden acceleration, which, in the spasmodic search for one or more culprits to be delivered to international public opinion,  surely didn’t help the search for substantial truth, which, in complex murder cases like the one examined here, has an ineluctible requirement both for accurate timing, and also the completeness and accuracy of the investigation activity. Not only that, but also, when – as in this case – the result of the search is greatly based on the results of scientific examinations, the antiseptic sampling of all the elements useful to the investigation – in an environment provided of the appropriate sterilization, so to shield it from possible contaminations – constitutes, normally, the first cautionary strategy, itself the vital prelude to a correct analysis and “reading” of the retrieved samples. And if the key part of the activity of technical-scientific research consists in specific genetic investigations, whose contribution in the investigative activity emerges as more and more relevant, the reliable parameter of correctness can only be the respect of standards imposed by the international protocols which outline the fundamental rules of procedure of the scientific community, on the basis of statistic and epistemological observation.

            The rigorous respect for such methodological standards provides a reliability, conventionally acceptable, in the assembled results, firstly related to their repeatability – that is the possibility that those findings, and those alone, would be reproduced by an identical investigative procedure 0in identical conditions, according to the fundamental laws of the empiric method and, more generally, of experimental science, that since Galileo has been based on the application of a “scientific method” (typical procedure meant to obtain knowledge of “objective” reality, reliable, verifiable and sharable; by common knowledge this consists, on one hand, in the collection of empiric data in relation to the hypothesis and theories to be confirmed; on the other hand, in the mathematical and rigorous analysis of such data, that is associating – as stated for the first time by aforementioned Galileo – “sensible experiences” with “necessary demonstrations” that is the experimentation with mathematics.

            4.2. As we will see, all of this is basically missing in the current judgment.

            Not only that but, the media attention, besides not helping the search for the truth, has produced further prejudicial feedback in terms of “procedural diseconomy”, generating undue “noise” (in the IT meaning) , not so much from the delay of the availability of witness testimony from certain persons (considering that from this point of view it is anyway just a matter of verifying the reliability of the corresponding declarative contributions), but because of the introduction into the trial of extemporary declarations by certain detained subjects, of solid criminal caliber [defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello], surely intent on self-serving mythomania and judicial attention-seeking behavior capable of assuring them a media stage, including on TV, so breaking at least for one day the grayness of their prison regime. And by the way this was a common instance of claims from “fetchers” of truths collecting within the prison environment unworthy confidences between co-inmates during the routine yard time. Clearly not commendable situations, which, also, had had the outcome of assuring – for the first time during the appeal – the active participation in this case of Rudy Guede (when he was summoned during the first instance judgment, he invoked his right to not respond; p. 3): [he’s] a key element in this case, even if unshakably reticent (and has never confessed), a bringer of half-truths differing from time to time.

            Rudy Guede is the Ivorian citizen who was also himself involved in the Kercher case. Tried separately with a separate judgment, as a co-participant to the murder, he was sentenced, at the end of an abbreviated trial, to the penalty of thirty years imprisonment, reduced on appeal to sixteen years.

            Our mention of him is to make it worth introducing the second, irrefutable, certainty of this trial (after the one concerning the responsibility of Knox for the crime of calunnia), that is the guilt now under irrevocable ruling, of the Ivorian as the author – participating with others – of the murder of the young English woman.

            The finding of guilt of the aforementioned was reached on the basis of genetic traces, definitely attributable to him, collected in the house in via della Pergola, on the victim’s body and inside the room where the murder was committed.

            4.3. The same reference [to Guede] also raises two relevant points of law, highlighted by the defense: one concerning the usability and the value of the aforementioned irrevocable verdict in this proceeding; the other related to the usability of the declarations - in terms less than coherent and constant – produced by Guede within his own trial, which may involve the current appellants in some way.

            Posted on 10/06/15 at 02:36 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
            Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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