Very Hard Language Of Supreme Court In Rejecting Guede Appeal, Confirming Three Did It

Posted by Peter Quennell


The report of the Supreme Court of Cassation released on Thursday was foreshadowed in content in our post of 17 December:

Rudy Guede’s appeal is rejected on all ten grounds. His appeal grounds were ugly and dishonest and he has no further appeal. He will serve his 16 years, with maybe some time off, for being a savage willing party to the cruel stupid murder of Meredith.

Rudy Guede will go down in infamy for his sex crime against a defenseless victim, for being a party to a taunting torturing knife attack, for claiming Meredith invited him in for consensual sex, and for not calling for help for Meredith and maybe saving her life while it was still possible.

Cassation continues the fine Italian court tradition in this case of taking a firm and unblinking position, and for being utterly oblivious to the vile over-the-top campaign of Curt Knox, Edda Mellas and David Marriott which may now haunt Amanda Knox all of her life.

What really caught the Italian media’s attention and made this the second most widely reported development in the case after the Amanda Knox-Raffaele Sollecito verdict was the icy hard language, the pure contempt for the depraved pack attack, the total rejection of all Guede’s stories, including his oft-repeated and totally unbelievable claim that Meredith invited him in and wanted love-making, and the court’s conclusion once again that the evidence methodically described in the Micheli Report overwhelmingly proves that THREE perpetrators took part in the crime.

The Court of Cassation in this report made clear that Knox and Sollecito are not already formally nominated as the other two perpetrators and it does wait the referral of the outcome of the present appeal in Perugia. But unless the defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello can indeed convince Judge Hellman’s appeal court that Guede attacked Meredith with friends or that some other people entirely carried out the attack, there seems no way out for them. 

The court also indicated that it considered the motive of the attack on Meredith to be frivolous, which is precisely what the prosecution claims in the current Perugia appeal as grounds for rejecting Massei’s mitigating circumstances, and for increasing Knox’s and Sollecito’s prison sentences to life terms. 

This post of a month ago further explains Knox’s and Sollecito’s almost insurmountable problems.

The written report from Cassation on that December 2010 decision on Guede’s final appeal (due soon), plus Judge Micheli’s Sentencing Report for Rudy Guede of January 2009, plus all that associated evidence, now gets automatically ported by law straight into Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeal.

Judge Micheli took a hard line toward Rudy Guede, and he sentenced him to 30 years. He also remanded Knox and Sollecito to trial, and his report explains the basis for that remand.

Judge Micheli’s remorseless and tightly argued report (see summaries below) very comprehensively backed up his decisions. (Later reductions in sentence were automatic and they flowed from the terms of Guede’s short-form trial, and some controversial mitigating circumstances advanced by Massei for Knox and Sollecito.)

The prosecution’s appeal against the Knox and Sollecito sentences argues that the acceptance of mitigating circumstances by the Massei court should be thrown out, and that Knox and Sollecito should be subjected to a longer sentence. Remember that even in the case of Alessi’s wife, who was not even present when he beat the kidnapped baby to death, she received a sentence of 30 years.

So here is how it is stacking up:.

For the prosecution, four courts including the Supreme Court of Cassation have ruled that three people participated in the crime against Meredith, plus all of the evidence from both the Guede and Knox Sollecito trials now comes in, plus the prosecution is appealing for tougher sentences, which seems well justified based on precedents.

And for the defenses? Will they now feel they have no choice but to put Knox or Sollecito or Alessi or Aviello or for that matter Rudy Guede on the stand as a last-ditch manoeuvre?

Hard to see what further they have to lose.


Comments



Hi Peter,

Do you or any of our Italian lawyers know, if mitigating circumstances are rejected for Knox and Sollecito, could that mean that mitigating circumstances are rejected for Guede as well? In other words, could Guede’s sentence be increased if their sentence is increased? Or is his sentence now final and not contingent?

16 years just seems like such a light sentence for such a horrible crime. As you point out, Alessi’s wife received 30 years and she wasn’t even present.

Posted by bedelia on 02/26/11 at 06:40 AM | #

Hi Former Bad Girl. Opinion so far seems to be that Rudy Guede has faced his last court. There are so very few precedents for this though and with Italian public opinion and Supreme Court opinion where it is the Perugia prosecutors might see an angle that we don’t.

With regard to whither now the Knox-Mellases, there are in theory three ways forward for them.

(1) Influence the judiciary. But none of our Italian lawyers think that there is a judicial next-step. They say that the justice system which is regarded as perhaps the finest institution in Italy simply will not bend.

(2) Influence the politicians. This has occasionally worked but PM Berlusconi will tell them that it is a tough route. The Sollecitos face charges for precisely this. The MP Rocco Girlanda is marginal at best, and Sollecito’s lead lawyer Giulia Bongiorno who chairs the parliamentary justice committee will not go out of her way to help just Knox.

(3) Influence the penal system. This often works, but it means the perpetrator responding to any treatment, not being a risk to others, behaving very well, learning some skills, and above all conceding that they erred and have learned from their mistake.

The Knox people have done a terrible job of setting her up for Option (3) but Ghirga and Della Vedova seem to understand - and possibly Chris Mellas and Ted Simon now too.

Knox seems to be under treatment and occasional sedation in Capanne and what seem to us her obvious mental problems may succumb to such treatment. While her sentence may go up her chances of getting out somewhat early would seem strong.

She may eventually have a career of sorts - but it will be nothing like the career that Meredith the much smarter and more focussed high achiever was headed for. Absent Meredith, the world is a poorer place. Hopefully that sinks into Knox’s brain.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/26/11 at 09:15 AM | #

“Absent Meredith, the world is a poorer place. Hopefully that sinks into Knox’s brain.”

I hope Knox’s early release is contingent on it.

And also, taking some responsibility and (at the very least) showing some remorse for her crime.

Such a pointless crime.

R.I.P. Meredith Kercher

Posted by Earthling on 02/26/11 at 11:38 AM | #

From La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno we have this from the court directly:

Meredith was the victim of “the brutal and overbearing force of a group conduct which highlights, in its unhappy protagonists, an orgiastic desire to unleash the most perverted criminal instincts, such as to prompt a profound sense of dismay, repugnance and contempt in any person of average morality,” the Supreme Court said.

Where I would qualify this statement (giving an opinion) is in the use of the words, “orgiastic desire.”  They are not incorrect.  By any definition of the word, Meredith’s murder came about with an orgiastic vehemence.

It might be pointed out, however, that (mere) orgy is a cultural institution at lower levels of society, surviving somewhat in various holidays.

So I prefer to trace the incentive for the orgy, or its precipitating cause, to the pathology of Amanda Knox who (again, it is my belief) conceived the idea of rape at knifepoint while involving the foolish Ivorian & the weakling Sollecito, who was already given to cruel imaginations.

Hence the possibility that Amanda “may eventually have a career of sorts” (quoting Peter) must focus on an act of moral courage on her part—it would require great courage—to give herself over to the task of a complete literary examination, not only of the crime itself, but of all its roots & sources.

Could Amanda find such courage & resolve in herself, in desperate straits, she might well be capable of producing a book of enduring merit. A chance in a thousand.

It is thanks to clues in Peter’s posting that I could find my way to the quote in La Gazetta.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 02/26/11 at 11:51 AM | #

@ Ernest Werner

so you believe that Amanda should write a book about her crime ? O.o

Posted by aethelred23 on 02/26/11 at 05:17 PM | #

Hi, Pete,

thanks for your update and very balanced analysis:

“ the prosecution is appealing for tougher sentences, which seems well justified based on precedents…..”

Bravo!

“(3) Influence the penal system. This often works, but ......and above all conceding that they erred and have learned from their mistake…..”

“She may eventually have a career of sorts ....….”

There is a precedent for this, in New Zealand, in 1954:

Two girls, aged 15 yrs, and 16yrs, respectively bludgeoned to death Honora, the mother of the 16 year old with half a brick enclosed in an old stocking.

“After committing the carefully planned murder, the two girls fled, covered in blood, back to the tea kiosk where the three of them had eaten only minutes before They were met by .... the owners of the tea shop, whom they told in a horrified panic that Honora had fallen and hit her head. The body of Honora was found .....where she had been killed by the girls. Major lacerations were found about Honora’s head, neck, and face, with minor injuries to her fingers. Police soon discovered the murder weapon in the nearby woods. The girls’ story of how Honora was killed by a slip and fall quickly fell apart.”

“The girls were convicted on August 30, 1954, and each of them spent five years in prison. They were released with the condition that they never contact each other again.”

After her release from prison, [the younger of the two girls, now women] traveled to the United States and went on to have a successful career as a historical detective novelist under her new name, Anne Perry. She has been a Mormon since about 1968.She now lives in Scotland.”

There should be hope - but only on the conditions Pete indicated:

Admit to their crime, with no ifs, ands, blanks, or buts; undergo appropriate treatment; and then establish an exemplary in-prison track-record.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 02/26/11 at 05:58 PM | #

Replying to aethelred23:

Have no idea what “O.o” means.

Once sentenced to life in prison, Amanda must face up to her crime & the self out of which it arose or live a lie, as if the mere endeavor could make a lie come true.

A young woman of good ordinary intelligence, she has already displayed a literary interest. Now then: the way to face up to yourself, if you dare, is to think deeply & carefully & to keep notes. Review them next day, follow out your leads & add something more.

But a life-review of this sort, centered in Amanda’s crime, would lead her to an overwhelming self-confrontation having a potency (drawn from her human resources) to shatter the lie.  Would bring about a so-called Conversion.

There is no reason why a person of Amanda’s good (ordinary) intelligence should not make a book of it (a) because that gives her an Aim (b) & because the result would be—always on the premise of its genuineness—valuable.

What other option has Amanda, at this point, except a thorough-going confession?

Posted by Ernest Werner on 02/26/11 at 07:36 PM | #

@Cardiol

I must add a word to Cardiol, whose (several) posts have so often been of exceptional merit, as also here above.

I had been thinking of the case you mention but I had forgotten the pseudonym, Anne Perry.

Somewhere on the internet (you might even provide us the link) an interview with “Anne Perry” may be found in which that woman, now grown to beautiful maturity, has a few things to say about herself.

She much impressed me with her human quality.  She has entirely outgrown her crime into which she was led by her girlfriend.

Thanks for the seriousness of your researches.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 02/26/11 at 08:12 PM | #

If Amanda Knox was to write a book, I wouldn’t read it, let alone buy it. These people shouldn’t benefit financially from their crimes and be able to make a living from it once released.

As to Amanda Knox and her personality, I am absolutely unimpressed with that girl. Unlike Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox is uninspiring at all levels.

Posted by Nell on 02/26/11 at 09:55 PM | #

Hi, Ernest Werner,

here’s the interview:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_oYT9mvChw

It’s stunning.

Amanda Knox should watch it - over and over again.

Thanks for your kind words

Posted by Cardiol MD on 02/26/11 at 10:00 PM | #

Nell-

No matter how much she made out of a book, Amanda would not end up benefiting financially from it. That’s the purpose of the courts providing massive awards to victims’ families.

No one supposes that Amanda actually has millions of euros to pay out, but if she tries to sell her story to the movies, or writes and sells a book, those proceeds will go to the her victim’s family, not to her.

Personally, from what I’ve seen of her writing, I doubt she’s up for it anyway.

Posted by lauowolf on 02/26/11 at 10:36 PM | #

Hi Judy. This condition and treatment has been touched on repeatedly in the past few months and the main source was her own lawyers. This may partly or mostly be a sympathy plea because she seemed pretty robust at the second appeal hearing where she made her long self-pitying statement. However we were told that she was spaced out or trance-like as if she was on a drug at her first appeal hearing.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/26/11 at 10:43 PM | #

Here’s the transcript of Anne Perry’s Interview:

http://minguo.info/usa/node/81

Posted by Cardiol MD on 02/27/11 at 12:34 PM | #

The current thought of Knox writing about her criminal experience smacks more along the lines of OJ’s “If I Did It” (where the original intention was to enrich himself, but after a legal wrangle, the proceeds go to the victim’s family). A distasteful literary flop.

Posted by giustizia on 02/27/11 at 09:52 PM | #

@lauowolf

Of course, I am aware of the fact that the money, the Kercher family has been awarded by the courts, is to prevent criminals to benefit financially from their crimes.

Nonetheless, I am suspicious, given the behaviour of her direct family. They have received donations from fundraisers held to raise money for their daughter’s legal defence and they have been paid for interviews and television appearances. There is no doubt in my mind they MADE money and haven’t incurred in debt like they claim. If I would have to incur in debts to pay for the legal representation of my daughter, I couldn’t afford to fly here and then between two continents, let alone hire a PR firm or pay “experts” like Ted Simon and others to speak out for my daughter. It is obvious. If Amanda Knox is allowed to “write” about her “experiences” than I have no doubt they will find a way to profit from it.

It is a book the world doesn’t need.

Posted by Nell on 02/28/11 at 12:22 AM | #

There are huge difference between the cases of Anne Perry and Amanda Knox, including the period of time at the start of their arrests, trials and convictions.

One reason Anne Perry, in her much older age now, accepts full responsibility for her crime, atones for it, processes it and moves on, is because her initial period of denial was extremely short-lived (i.e. stating with her then co-killer friend that the mother had slipped and killed herself).  Anne Perry’s arrest/trial/conviction was not imbued with chronic lies and denials, nor a massive PR campaign proclaiming her innocence.

In Amanda Knox’s situation, it has been lie, after lie, after lie.  It has been denial, after denial, after denial.  Don’t paint the face of an assassin on me, she says.  Then there is the self-pitying whiny denials at the first appeal. 

Of course, this is all fueled by family and friends who have staked much on her denials, plus hired a huge PR campaign to boot.

No way this woman will ever write a book about accountability; about owning up to the crime she has co-committed.  If she writes a book, it will be about her own skewed perception of innocence.  Not a book I’d ever care to read.

At best, I can see her saying she was involved, and use drugs as an excuse.  She would separate herself from that drugged-up person and not own up to the fact that that person was indeed herself.  But even that would be a huge stretch for Amanda Knox.

I believe that if she ever truly does own up and take full responsibility for her part in this brutal crime, she will do so behind closed doors, with a judge, and not in the media spotlight, nor with her family’s “support”.  This may afford her less time in prison.

What I’d like to see, is an example of a murderer who has chronically lied and denied their involvement in a crime (with or without PR campaigns), then come to the place that Anne Perry has come to in her life.  Full ownership. Full responsibility. And with a mature awareness of the actions that led to the crime.

Amanda Knox does not strike me as a trail blazer nor a pioneer in this regard.

Posted by hikergirl99 on 02/28/11 at 11:35 AM | #

Hi hikergirl99,

We are obviously on the same side.

Amanda Knox does not strike me as a trail blazer nor a pioneer in regard to the example you give, either.

I’m sure that you-too agree that there should be HOPE - but only on the conditions Pete indicated:

Admit to their crime, with no ifs, ands, blanks, or buts; undergo appropriate treatment; and then establish an exemplary in-prison track-record, as Anne Perry seems to have done, and as you-too indicate you would like to see.

We both seem to agree that this is a faint hope indeed.

IMO its Knox’s only chance of atonement, beginning with confession now.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 02/28/11 at 12:53 PM | #

Hi Cardiol,

Where there is life, there is always hope.  That’s the beauty of redemption and growth.

Unfortunately, in this case, this type of hope is less than minuscule IMHO.

There are far too many uphill battles, for AK to ever start on the road to confession, let alone accountability and atonement.  There is her own view of herself as someone that would never harm another person.  There is her own view that she respected and cared for Meredith, and her own view that she is sympathetic to Meredith’s family.  There is AK’s family that have poured in enormous amounts of time, energy and money to affirm her denials and lies. 

To overcome all of these obstacles to arrive at a place of confession, I only see two scenarios:

1)  She will become a trailblazer and will carve a path not yet carved before (that I am aware of anyway).

OR

2)  She will confess in private, away from media, her parents, and any other support systems that fuel her innocence stance.

If she ends up being a trailblazer, detaches from family and friends, and writes an honest book about what she has learned from taking full responsibility for her crime, I would likely read it.

However, more than likely, she will fizzle out after all the appeals are done with . . . . . .

Posted by hikergirl99 on 02/28/11 at 02:09 PM | #

Amen.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 02/28/11 at 03:31 PM | #

I suggested the title for her book a while back:
“So What If I Did It”.
Because it always has and always will be about HER.

Posted by mimi on 03/01/11 at 09:45 PM | #


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