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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scientific Statement Analysis: Knox’s Handwritten Note To Police On The Day She Was Arrested

Posted by Peter Hyatt



Above: Amanda Knox telling one of her three previous stories to the police outside the house several days earlier.

These posts analyzing key statements are adapted from posts on Statement Analysis at the invitation of TJMK. They are examples of the application of statement analysis, a powerful investigative technique with a very long history of success.

In Meredith’s case such analysis surfaces very telling patterns in the statements of those convicted and undergoing appeal, and also in the statements of those seeking to gain for themselves from the death of Meredith Kercher. 

This is an analysis of the transcript of Amanda Knox’s handwritten statement to police on the evening of November 6, the day she was arrested.

This is very strange, I know, but really what happened is as confusing to me as it is to everyone else.

The opening line appears deceptive.

Dr. Paul Eckman teaches that testifying to memory failure is almost always deceptive. We don’t know what drugs may have impacted her when this statement was made, but failure to remember is most always deceptive, especially in high stress situations.

note the inclusion of sensitive words, “very” strange, and “really” what happened. She notes that others are confused as she is.

I have been told there is hard evidence saying that I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened. This, I want to confirm, is something that to me, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible.

Passive language “I have been told” rather than who told her what specifically. But far more telling is the following words within her statement: “I was at the place of the murder of my friend when it happened”. This is not something an innocent person generally says, even in the form of a question, nor in a reflection of others’ words. Someone NOT at the crime scene would not frame these words.

Note that she Wants to confirm, which is different than confirming.

She wants to confirm something that to her, if asked a few days ago, would be impossible. Is the something that she wants to confirm something that would be different to someone else (hence the use of “to me”). She is not being asked “a few days ago”, she is being asked in the present. It appears that her perspective on the “something” she wants to confirm is different now than it was a few days ago.

Also note that “would be impossible” is different than “is impossible.” The addition of “would be” changes her claim from something that already happened into a future event.

I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying that I was not with him on the night of Meredith’s murder, but let me tell you this. In my mind there are things I remember and things that are confused. My account of this story goes as follows, despite the evidence stacked against me:

“in my mind” is likely deceptive, as it is only in her mind; and not in reality. It is an attempt to avoid the stress of lying.

When people recount events from memory, they generally don’t call it a “story”, a word which conjures images of a made up tale.

On Thursday November 1 I saw Meredith the last time at my house when she left around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Raffaele was with me at the time. We, Raffaele and I, stayed at my house for a little while longer and around 5 in the evening we left to watch the movie Amelie at his house. After the movie I received a message from Patrik [sic], for whom I work at the pub “Le Chic”. He told me in this message that it wasn’t necessary for me to come into work for the evening because there was no one at my work.

It may be that she and Patrick argued.

Now I remember to have also replied with the message: “See you later. Have a good evening!” and this for me does not mean that I wanted to meet him immediately. In particular because I said: “Good evening!” What happened after I know does not match up with what Raffaele was saying, but this is what I remember.

Weak commitment to the text. If the subject does not own the text, neither can we.

I told Raffaele that I didn’t have to work and that I could remain at home for the evening. After that I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email. Perhaps I read or studied or perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him.

Deceptive use of qualifiers. Again, see Dr. Eckman for this form of deception (memory). Note “perhaps” (qualifier) she made love “to” Raffaele. Sex is a theme in this case, and should be explored by investigators. First she says she may have made love TO Raffaele, then changes it to WITH him in the same sentence. The change in language would need to be explored.

However, I admit that this period of time is rather strange because I am not quite sure. I smoked marijuana with him and I might even have fallen asleep. These things I am not sure about and I know they are important to the case and to help myself, but in reality, I don’t think I did much. One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time.

We can only commit to what the subject commits; here, she took a shower, but wants everything else to be vague; indicating deception.

In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.

“in truth” is used because she now wants to be believed as is the inclusion of minute detail after reporting memory failure. Sometimes liars add extra, minor detail, in the hope of persuading (see Casey Anthony description of “Zanny the Nanny”).

The shower details are also interesting as it is used to pass time and sexuality. Sex is a theme in her statement. Think how you might describe your night; even if you had a romantic shower, would you include it? If you felt that you needed to, would you give details about ears? Sex is in her mind WHILE giving this statement and should alert investigators to any sexual motive in the crime. Making love “to” not “with” her boyfriend may show that Amanda Knox strongly wanted to please him. This may speak to motive and just how far she went.

One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening, although I can’t be sure because I didn’t look at the clock.

Lack of commitment to the events noted

After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand, but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish. After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor. But because he didn’t have a mop I said we could clean it up tomorrow because we (Meredith, Laura, Filomena and I) have a mop at home. I remember it was quite late because we were both very tired (though I can’t say the time).

Always note when someone says that they “can’t” say something; it can indicate that if they did tell the information, it would harm them. Here, she “can’t” tell the time; yet has other details down carefully.

“noticed” is passive. Passive languge indicates a desire to conceal and she is withholding information here.

Note also any inclusion of thought/emotion within an event. When someone is giving a verbal or written statement, it has been shown through careful study that in the recall process, emotions and thoughts are added later; not in the actual event itself.

A statement has 3 general portions:

  • an introduction
  • the event
  • post event action

It is in the 3rd section that emotions and thoughts are most likely to be included in an honest statement.

Note also the “balance” of a statement is where the introduction of an honest statement is about 25% of the statement; the event is 50%, and the post event (like calling 911, etc) is 25%. Any deviation is noted but strong deviation is a solid test for deception. This is covered in other analysis)

The next thing I remember

Temporal lacunae. This indicates withheld information during a critical time period; high sensitivity. The police interview would strongly emphasize here

was waking up

Note verb tense

the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am and I took a plastic bag to take back my dirty cloths to go back to my house. It was then that I arrived home alone that I found the door to my house was wide open and this all began. In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.

Note “very doubtful” qualifier; rather than making a full denial of her confession.

note the order: stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion. Stress is the first thing noted.

Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.

Here, Knox comes close to a confession, even in her denial. Note what she calls the information: “fact”

I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received.

However, it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers. In my mind I saw Patrik in flashes of blurred images. I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at my front door. I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming.

But I’ve said this many times so as to make myself clear: these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or are just dreams my head has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked.

Even within fabrication, each word spoken (or written) is vital and should be examined within the forensics of the investigation.

We have already seen the lack of ownership and now she only reports seeing things in her mind. Yet, in spite of lying, there may be many important elements within her account.

But the truth is,

This introduction tells us that she has lied and now wants to be believed

I am unsure about the truth and here’s why:

1. The police have told me that they have hard evidence that places me at the house, my house, at the time of Meredith’s murder. I don’t know what proof they are talking about, but if this is true, it means I am very confused and my dreams must be real.

2. My boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true.

Knox is acutely aware of the evidence, the crime scene, and that she has been blamed.

I KNOW I told him I didn’t have to work that night. I remember that moment very clearly. I also NEVER asked him to lie for me. This is absolutely a lie. What I don’t understand is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith, but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me.

Several indicators here, including qualifiers, adverbs,and the inclusion of “never” which here is offered (negation) which suggests that she did ask someone to lie for her. Note that she says “he walked into a situation” with “walk” a word indicating tension.

Honestly,

Repeated use of similar statements is from habitual liar (childhood) who wants to be believed

I understand because this is a very scary situation. I also know that the police don’t believe things of me that I know I can explain, such as:

Note “can’t explain”

1. I know the police are confused as to why it took me so long to call someone after I found the door to my house open and blood in the bathroom.

This tells us what Knox has been attempting to do: confuse the police. The police are not “confused”; they recognize the incongruity of Knox’ statements. This is the “muddy the waters” technique employed by the guilty (Jose Baez comes to mind)

The truth is,

Noted

I wasn’t sure what to think, but I definitely didn’t think the worst, that someone was murdered.

Someone; gender free. This is an attempt to, perhaps, even lie to herself about the murder. She knows the gender of the victim.

I thought a lot of things, mainly that perhaps someone got hurt and left quickly to take care of it. I also thought that maybe one of my roommates was having menstral [sic] problems and hadn’t cleaned up. Perhaps I was in shock, but at the time I didn’t know what to think and that’s the truth. That is why I talked to Raffaele about it in the morning, because I was worried and wanted advice.

Lack of commitment noted; lots of qualifiers leaving room for a variety of explanations in order to “confuse”. Liars have a difficult and stressful task of recalling what stories they have told and by adding “perhaps” and “maybe”, they are able to later defend their inconsistency.

First, she lists posible excuses for not calling police, excuses that didnt cause her to be alarmed. Then she goes on to say that “perhaps” she was in “shock”, which means that she would have had knowledge of a traumatic event. In the next sentence, the “shock” turned to “worry” which caused her to seek advice.

2. I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time that Meredith was murdered is incriminating. And I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik, but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.

3. I’m very confused at this time. My head is full of contrasting ideas and I know I can be frustrating to work with for this reason. But I also want to tell the truth as best I can. Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.

[illegible section]

I’m trying, I really am, because I’m scared for myself. I know I didn’t kill Meredith. That’s all I know for sure. In these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer, but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night. The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are:

1. Why did Raffaele lie? (or for you) Did Raffaele lie?

2. Why did I think of Patrik?

3. Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?

4. Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?

3. Who is the REAL murder [sic]? This is particularly important because I don’t feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance.

I have a clearer mind that I’ve had before, but I’m still missing parts, which I know is bad for me. But this is the truth and this is what I’m thinking at this time. Please don’t yell at me because it only makes me more confused, which doesn’t help anyone. I understand how serious this situation is, and as such, I want to give you this information as soon and as clearly as possible.

If there are still parts that don’t make sense, please ask me. I’m doing the best I can, just like you are. Please believe me at least in that, although I understand if you don’t. All I know is that I didn’t kill Meredith, and so I have nothing but lies to be afraid of.

Amanda Knox owns her involvement in Meredith’s death with a word: MY. Someone who was not involved in Meredith’s death would not state “my involvement”, because they would not own it.

The same theme continues. I have highlighted the key words as the explanation is the same. Knox can’t tell the truth, as it would cause her consequences; therefore, she seeks to confuse and leave open all sorts of possible explanations.

She does not report what happens, but attempts to persuade. This is likely how she got herself out of trouble growing up, and is used to getting her way. The wording suggests her form of lying is lifelong, and not specific to this event.

Amanda Knox would not pass a polygraph test. She fails the polygraphy of Statement Analysis and places herself at the scene of the murder and is deceptive throughout her account.

Posted on 12/29/10 at 09:08 AM by Peter HyattClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesStatement analysisThe officially involvedEvidence & witnessesAmanda Knox15 Single alibi hoax
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Her 25th Birthday: It So Matters To Her Family That Meredith Is Cherished And Loved Around The World

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


A few days ago John Kercher wrote this poignant piece for the UK’s Daily Mirror.

He painstakingly re-explains what the Knox conspiracy theorists still don’t seem able to read or comprehend, the precise text of the Massei Report, a report for which the Appeals Court in allowing only the barest of re-examinations has already shown huge respect.

And he again describes for her admirers around the world what a bright lively caring girl Meredith was, and how she is so much missed by her family at this season of joy for most others.

As the third anniversary of the killing of our daughter Meredith passes, there is no relief from the publicity which surrounds it.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in December 2009 of her murder and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively.

Under Italian law, they are entitled to two appeals – the first to the court in Perugia and, if that goes against them, then the Supreme Court in Rome.

It means we are constantly reminded of the awful details of our daughter’s death, when we’d like to concentrate on our happy memories of her.

Although the tragedy is never going to leave us. As her mother Arline once said: “It is a kind of life sentence that has been imposed on our thoughts.”

It has not been easy to cope. As her father, I cannot ever put that tragic night out of my mind. I try to concentrate on Meredith’s humour and smile, which is something we all remember her for.

But whenever I open a paper or switch on the TV there is something about the trial and the appeals. You would like to stop being reminded of the horrific details, but they are always there.

Naturally I can understand that there are constant proclamations of the convicted people’s innocence.

But it means it is almost impossible to only remember Meredith as the caring and loving person that she was.With two movies in the pipeline about the events, it only serves to make the agony worse. We’ve suffered for three years and it seems unreasonable for it to continue. The first appeal of Knox, 23, and 26-year-old Sollecito has begun and is expected to last at least until spring, since the court only tends to sit for one day per week.

As before, there are two judges and a jury of six, of which five are said to be women. Surprisingly many people seem to be unaware of many of the important facts which led to their convictions.

Under Italian law, the presiding judge at the trial, where the accused were convicted, must present a report as to the reasoning behind his and the jury’s decision to convict. Judge Massei wrote a 400-page report. A situation, I believe, you would not find in a UK or US court. It is a revealing document which many people do not seem to have read.

This report, which I have read over and over, details all of the evidence from DNA to witnesses.

The defence lawyers are insisting that DNA evidence on the said murder weapon is of such a low sample it should not be admitted. This was the knife which police found in a drawer in Sollecito’s apartment, which showed traces of DNA of Knox and of Meredith.

However, the head of ­forensics in Rome, Patrizia Stefanoni, who conducted the tests, is one of the most respected in Europe, if not the world.

It is the focus on this knife which has caused confusion. This piece of evidence is all anyone mentions. Judge Massei’s report also states a shoe print found in Meredith’s room was consistent with the size that Amanda would have worn.

Genetic mixtures, or DNA, of Knox and Meredith’s blood were found in the small bathroom in three separate locations – on a tap, a bidet and a box of cotton buds.

In some cases there was evidence that pointed to the fact some of the blood had been washed, in an attempt to clean it away. In the room of one of the Italian room-mates, Filomena Romanelli, where it is said a burglary was “staged”, a sample yielded a mixed genetic profile of Knox and the victim.

Of the samples taken almost in the middle of the corridor and in front of the door to Knox’s room gave the result: victim plus Knox. These samples were discovered after the use of luminol, which reveals bloodied footprints even after attempts to clean them.

Regarding Sollecito’s DNA on fragments of Meredith’s bra, the idea of contamination is refuted, since his DNA was not anywhere else in Meredith’s room.

As for the “burglary”, where Romanelli’s room was found in disarray, the judge determined that if a burglar entered her room from the outside, through the window almost four metres above the ground, he would need two attempts. Firstly, to scale the wall to open the shutters on the window.

He would then have had to return to ground level to collect a stone to throw at the window to break the glass. Then he would have to climb the wall again to reach through the hole to open the latch.

There was no evidence of any footmarks on the wall.

It was therefore decided that the window was broken from the inside, after the room had been ransacked. This was why the broken glass was on top of the clothes on the floor, instead of under them, where it should have been.

Also, drawers to bedside tables had not been opened and boxes where valuables might have been kept had not even been searched.

When Filomena Romanelli returned to the house and surveyed her room and looked everywhere, she declared nothing had been stolen.

However, it is said that when police first arrived at the house, before Romanelli had even arrived, Sollecito told police there had been no theft. But how could he have known?

There is more relating to Knox and Sollecito’s constantly changing alibis and witness statements relating to their whereabouts on that night.

Defence lawyers have persisted with the theory the break-in and killing was conducted by a “lone wolf”, and that the person responsible is Rudy Guede. He was sentenced at a fast-track trial to 30 years, later reduced on appeal to 16 years.

His second appeal to the Supreme Court was yesterday rejected.

Now that his conviction is upheld, he might decide to tell the truth about the night of November 1, 2007. Guede is the only one who has claimed to have been in the house on that fateful night.

This, as I have said, has been going on for three years, but Meredith is still, and always will be, in our hearts and minds.

The difference at Christmas is, for us, that she is not there, seated at the table.

But when we open our Christmas cards, it is certain that there will be a few signed from her. We always do that. We have to believe that she is still with us.

We shall toast her with a smile, and remember her voice and laugh. And, usually, on Christmas Eve we shall go to the cemetery and leave cards and small presents for her, as shall her friends.

Ultimately, however, we would like to know the truth. Meredith was such a loved person by everyone – she was someone who cared about others.

The major question of why did this happen to her is constantly on our minds. You go to the cemetery and see all of the flowers and messages which friends still leave for her, and we know that she is never going to be forgotten.

As someone recently wrote on the internet: “Meredith is cherished and loved around the world.”

Posted on 12/28/10 at 12:01 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memory
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Report #4 On Perugia: Why Amanda Knox Might Have Encountered Guede 20 Or More Times Near Her Home

Posted by SomeAlibi

The road up from the cottage and the intersection to the language school and university is a real deathtrap. It has no sidewalk, the traffic roars along, and at night the street is very dark. 

So typically those coming from the area of the cottage head up the stone steps for s few steps and then they walk across the basketball court and the piazza. Reverse that (as in this video) for people going the other way.

As Rudy Guede was a habitual user of the basketball court, Amanda Knox might have seen him there as many as two dozen or three dozen times. 

Posted on 12/26/10 at 02:44 PM by SomeAlibiClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedEvidence & witnessesThe timelinesRudy Guede15 Single alibi hoax27 Single alibi hoax
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Scientific Statement Analysis: Analysis Of Amanda Knox’s Email To Seattle Of 4 November 2007

Posted by Peter Hyatt





In my post below cross-posted from my own blog I explain what statement analysis is.

This is an analysis of Amanda Knox’s email to family and friends of 4 November 2007 We take no sides, and we attempt to have no preconceived notions. .If you go into the analysis wanting to see something one way or the other, you will.

Let the text speak for itself and use the same techniques here that you would on any statement. No one indicator is used to declare veracity or deception; but when taken on a whole, a picture emerges.

By Amanda Knox

This is an email for everyone, because I would like to get it all out and not have to repeat myself a hundred times like Ive been having to do at the police station. Some of you already know some things, some of you know nothing. What I’m about to say I cant say to journalists or newspapers, and I require that of anyone receiving this information as well. This is my account of how I found my roommate murdered the morning of Friday, November 2nd.

The last time I saw Meredith, 22, English, beautiful, funny, was when I came home from spending the night at a friends house. It was the day after Halloween, Thursday.

Note any inclusion of “shower” or “washing”, “water” etc is an indication of sexual abuse. We look for any repeat mentioning as highly sensitive and important.

I got home and she was still asleep, but after I had taken a shower and was fumbling around the kitchen she emerged from her room with the blood of her costume (vampire) still dripping down her chin.

We talked for a while in the kitchen, how the night went, what our plans were for the day. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Negation: In an open statement, when a subject tells us that “nothing” happened; or “nothing” out of the ordinary, it is a linguistic indicator that something out of the ordinary did take place, and that the subject is withholding information. We expect to be told what happened; or what was said; not what did not happen; or what was not said. This is noted for high sensitivity.

Then she went to take a shower…

Second mention of “shower” indicating high sensitivity. This means that “shower” is very important to the subject.

I began to start eating a little while I waited for my friend (Raffaele, at whose house I stayed over) to arrive at my house.

Note verb tense. When a subject tells us that they “began” something, we cannot say that it was concluded; here she “began” to “start” eating; repetition of an action increased sensitivity. Note also any inclusion of eating, watching TV, drinking coffee in a statement often indicates social activity. This would lead us to question whether or not subject was alone at this time, or was with another person there who is not mentioned.

He came right after I started eating and he made himself some pasta. As we were eating together Meredith came out of the shower and grabbed some laundry or put some laundry in, one or the other and returned into her room after saying hi to Raffale.

.

Note the pace of the account. The pace, or “lines per hour” in which a person writes an account of a day is a highly accurate tool of polygraphy; and can indicate veracity or deception. With pace, we note any skip in time

After lunch…

Temporal lacunae. Sensitive time period in which information has been withheld. 70% likely due to time stress (traffic, work, etc) but 30% is critical information deliberately withheld. Note the jump in time. )

i began to play guitar with raffael and meredith came out of her room and went to the door. she said bye and left for the day. it was the last time i saw her alive.

In domestic homicides; we always look for the inclusion of departure words. When it is important enough for the subject to tell us that the words “good bye” or “see you later” (etc), this is often an indicator that the person is dead, by this time in the giving of the account. It can also, sometimes, indicate the time of death.

After a little while of playing guitar me and Raffale went to his house to watch movies and after to eat dinner and generally spend the evening and night indoors. We didn’t go out.

Negation. The subject has told us what wasn’t done. This is an inidication that the subject did go out.

The next morning…

Temporal lacunae. In an interview, each jump in time is focused upon as being sensitive. We also look for unnecessary words. When an unnecessary or unimportant word is added, Statement Analysis teaches that it is doubly important.

i woke up around 1030 and after grabbing my few things i left raffael’s appartment…

“left” is an indication that the subject has withheld information, when it appears as an unnecessary connecting verb. For instance:

“I has a meeting at 1In order to go to lunch, one would have to “leave”; so “left” is unnecessary and often tells us critical information has been withheld. Crimes of theft are often solved by this one verb. In the above statement, a stolen item was removed from the office and hid in the subject’s vehicle; which is why he mentioned leaving AND he mentioned his car. As he wrote this statement, he was thinking about the theft and where in the car he hid the item, so while writing out the account of his day, it entered into his language.

“left” is 70% time related, but the 30% is critical; therefore, whenever unnecessary use of “left” enters a statement, our interview will focus upon it. 0AM in my office. I left the office in my car to go to Mcdonalds. I came back, ate lunch, and…”

and walked the five minute walk back to my house to once again take a shower and grab a chane of clothes.

The interview is going to focus upon sexual activity. Any word repeated is noted, but when a word is repeated this often and is associated with sexual abuse, the subject of sex, including unwanted sex (abuse) will be explored as possible motive.

i also needed to grab a mop because after dinner raffael had spilled a lot of water on the floor of his kitchen by accident and didnt have a mop to clean it up.

In Statement analysis, we highlight any use of “so” “since” “because” because a subject is supposed to be telling us what happened; not why something happened. If the “why” enters, it is noted as sensitive.

Here, we have both a shower and now the washing of a floor being so sensitive that the subject has a strong need to explain her action. We have the inclusion of “fake blood” as important enough to enter the subject’s internal dictionary, and now we have our 3rd mention of showering (something people do but don’t feel the need to mention) and now a washing of the floor. It is something investigators will focus upon.

So i arrived home and the first abnormal thing i noticed was the door was wide open.

We have another “so”, highlighted, and we have order mentioned (first) which will lead us to ask what the 2nd abnormal thing is to the subject.

Here’s the thing about the door to our house: its broken, in such a way that you have to use the keys to keep it closed. If we don’t have the door locked, it is really easy for the wind to blow the door open, and so, my roommates and I always have the door locked unless we are running really quickly to bring the garbage out or to get something from the neighbors who live below us.

always highlight (blue marker on the sensitivity chart) the use of “so” “since” “because” “therefore” (and even “and hence”) as sensitive, and note that what follows is an explanation of “why”; which may be an attempt to persuade; rather than report.

(Another important piece of information: for those who don’t know, I inhabit a house of two stories, of which my three roommates and I share the second story apartment. There are four Italian guys of our age between 22 and 26 who live below us. We are all quiet good friends and we talk often. Giacomo is especially welcome because he plays guitar with me and Laura, one of my roommates, and is, or was dating Meredith. The other three are Marco, Stefano, and Ricardo.) Anyway, so the door was wide open. Strange, yes, but not so strange that I really thought anything about it.

We have highlighted the door being open as sensitive because of the repetition, but notice now that it is no longer “abnormal” and is now “not so strange”. When someone reports what happened, it should be past tense; first person singular. Any deviation is noted. When someone uses the “why”, it is no longer a report of what happened, but an attempt to explain.

The inclusion of thoughts and emotions in honest accounts comes afterwards in a statement; not during. Note any inclusion as an indicator of deception.

I assumed someone in the house was doing exactly what I just said, taking out the trash or talking really quickly to the neighbors downstairs. So I closed the door behind me but I didn’t lock it, assuming that the person who left the door open…

Note: inclusion of something not done; also, doors locked, opened, closed; often associated with child abuse.

would like to come back in. When I entered I called out if anyone was there, but no one responded and I assumed that if anyone was there, they were still asleep. Laura’s door was open which meant she wasn’t home, and Filomena’s door was also closed. My door was open like always

Attempt to persuade; not report

...and Meredith door was closed, which to me ment she was sleeping. I undressed in my room and took a quick shower in one of the two bathrooms in my house, the one that is right next to Meredith and my bedrooms (situated right next to one another).

Everyone who showers undresses. When it is important enough to enter the subject’s language, it is vital to the account.

it was after i stepped out of the shower and onto the mat that i noticed the blood in the bathroom.

“noticed” soft, passive language.

It was on the mat I was using to dry my feet and there were drops of blood in the sink. At first I thought the blood might have come from my ears which I had pierced extensively not too long ago, but then immediately I know it wasn’t mine because the stains on the mat were too big for just droplets form my ear, and when I touched the blood in the sink it was caked on already.

There was also blood smeared on the faucet. Again, however, I thought it was strange, because my roommates and I are very clean and we wouldn’t leave blood in the bathroom, but I assumed that perhaps Meredith was having menstrual issues and hadn’t cleaned up yet. ew, but nothing to worry about.

inclusion of vaginal area noted, along with the constant repetition of shower; possible sexual motive

I left the bathroom and got dressed in my room. After I got dressed I went to the other bathroom in my house, the one that Filomena and Laura use, and used their hairdryer to obviously dry my hair and it was after I was putting back the dryer that I noticed the shit that was left in the toilet, something that definitely no one in out house would do.

I started feeling a little uncomfortable and so I grabbed the mop from out closet and left the house, closing and locking the door that no one had come back through while I was in the shower, and I returned to Raffale’s place. After we had used the mop to clean up the kitchen I told Raffale about what I had seen in the house over breakfast. The strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the shit left in the toilet.

Note that the blood is “strange”.  Any additional word is noted for sensitivity.

Door open ;and now a reason to clean up is no longer spilled water, but human waste.

Police would likely think that now a clean up of a crime scene is taking place. Cleaning up is strong to the subject.

He suggested I call one of my roommates, so I called Filomena. Filomena had been at a party the night before with her boyfriend Marco. She also told me that Laura wasn’t at home and hadn’t been because she was on business in Rome. Which meant the only one who had spent the night at our house last night was Meredith, and she was as of yet unaccounted for.

Filomena seemed really worried, so I told her I would call Meredith and then call her back. I called both of Meredith’s phones the English one first and last and the Italian one between.
The first time I called the English phone.  it rang and then sounded as of there was disturbance, but no one answered.

I then called the Italian phone and it just kept ringing, no answer. I called her English phone again and this time an English voice told me her phone was out of service.

Raffale and I gathered our things and went back to my house. I unlocked the door and I’m going to tell this really slowly to get everything right so just have patience with me. The living room/kitchen was fine. Looked perfectly normal. I was checking for signs of our things missing, should there have been a burglar in our house the night before. Filomena’s room was closed, but when I opened the door her room and a mess and her window was open and completely broken, but her computer was still sitting on her desk like it always was and this confused me. Convinced that we had been robbed I went to Laura’s room and looked quickly in, but it was spotless, like it hadn’t even been touched. This too, I thought was odd. I then went into the part of the house that Meredith and I share and checked my room for things missing, which there weren’t.

When this is noted as fact, it is a sign of deception. It is only apparent that nothing is missing; not a fact.

Then I knocked on Meredith’s room. At first I thought she was asleep so I knocked gently, but when she didn’t respond I knocked louder and louder until I was really banging on her door and shouting her name. No response. Panicking, I ran out onto our terrace to see if maybe I could see over the ledge into her room from the window, but I couldn’t see in. Bad angle. I then went into the bathroom where I had dried my hair and looked really quickly into the toilet. In my panic I thought I hadn’t seen anything there, which to me meant whoever was in my house had been there when I had been there. As it turns out the police told me later that the toilet was full and that the shit had just fallen to the bottom of the toilet, so I didn’t see it.

I ran outside and down to our neighbors door. The lights were out but I banged on he door anyway. I wanted to ask them if they had heard anything the night before,...

The subject wanted to conduct an investigation.

...but no one was home. I ran back into the house. In the living room Raffale told me he wanted to see if he could break down Meredith’s door. He tried, and cracked the door, but we couldn’t open it.

It was then that we decided to call the cops. There are two types of cops in Italy, Carbanieri (local, dealing with traffic and domestic calls) and the police investigators. He first called his sister for advice and then called the Carbanieri. I then called Filomena who said she would be on her way home immediately.

While we were waiting, two uninformed police investigators came to our house. I showed them what I could and told them what I knew. Gave them phone numbers and explained a bit in broken Italian, and then Filomena arrived with her boyfriend Marco-f and two other friends of hers. All together we checked the house out, talked to the police, and in a bit they all opened Meredith’s door. I was in the kitchen standing aside, having really done my part for the situation. But when they opened Meredith’s door and I heard Filomena scream “a foot! a foot!” in Italian I immediately tried to get to Meredith’s room but Raffale grabbed me and took me out of the house. The police told everyone to get out and not long afterward the Carabinieri arrived and then soon afterward, more police investigators. They took all of our information and asked us the same questions over and over. At the time I had only what I was wearing and my bag, which thankfully had my passport in it and my wallet. No jacket though, and I was freezing. After sticking around at the house for a bit, the police told us to go to the station to give testimony, which I did.

I was in a room for six hours straight after that without seeing anyone else, answering questions in Italian for the first hour and then they brought in an interpreter and he helped my out with the details that I didn’t know the words for.
They asked me of course about the the morning, the last time I saw her, and because I was the closest to her, questions about her habits and her relationships. Afterward, when they were taking my fingerprints, I met two of Meredith’s English friends, two girls she goes out with, including the last one who saw her alive that night she was murdered. They also had their prints taken. After that, this was around 9 pm at night by this time, I was taken into the waiting room where there was various other people who I all knew from various places who all knew Meredith. Her friends from England, my roommates, even the owner of the pub she most frequented.

After a while my neighbors were taken in too, having just arrived home from a week long vacation in their home town, which explained why they weren’t home when I banged on their door. Later than that another guy showed up and was taken in for questioning, a guy I did not like but who both Meredith and I knew from different occasions, a Moroccan guy that I only know by his nickname amongst the girls “shaky”.

Then I sat around in this waiting room without having the chance to leave or eat anything besides vending machine food (which gave me a hell of a stomach ache) until 5:30 am in the morning. During this time I received calls from a lot of different people, family mostly of course, and I also talked with the rest. Especially to find out what exactly was in Meredith’s room when hey opened it. Apparently her body was laying under a sheet, and with her foot sticking out and there was a lot of blood. Whoever had did this had slit her throat.

They told me to be back in at 11am. I went home to Raffale’s place and ate something substantial, and passed out. In the morning Raffale drove me back to the police station but had to leave me when they said they wanted to take me back to the house for questioning. Before I go on, I would like to say that I was strictly told not to speak about this, but I’m speaking with you people who are not involved and who cant do anything bad except talk to journalists, which I hope you wont do. I have to get this off my chest because its pressing down on me and it helps to know that someone besides me knows something, and that I’m not the one who knows the most out of everyone.

At the house they asked me very personal questions about Meredith’s life and also about the personalities of our neighbors.

1) How well did I know them? pretty well, we are friends.
2) Was Meredith sexually active? Yeah, she borrowed a few of my condoms.
3) Does she like anal? wtf? I don’t know.
4) Does she use Vaseline? for her lips?
5) What kind of person is Stefano? Nice guy, has a really pretty girlfriend.
6) Hmmm…very interesting….weìd like to how you something, and tell us if this is out of normal.

They took me into the neighbors house. They had broken the door open to get in, but they told me to ignore that. The rooms were all open. Giacomo and Marco-n’s room was spotless which made since because the guys had thoroughly cleaned the whole house before they left on vacation. Stefano’s room however, well, his bed was stripped of linens, which was odd, and the comforter he used was shoved up at the top of his bed, with blood on it. I obviously told then that the blood was defiantly out of normal and also that he usually has his bed made. They took note of it and ushered me out. When I left the house to go back to the police station they told me to put my jacket over my head and duck down below the window so the reporters wouldn’t try to talk to me.

At the station I just had to repeat the answers that I had given at the house so they could type them up and after a good 5 and a half hour day with the police again Raffale picked me up and took me out for some well-deserved pizza.I was starving.

I then bought some underwear because as it turns out I wont be able to leave Italy for a while as well as enter my house. ...

Note the inclusion of “underwear” as unusual. Another indicator of sexual activity as part of this event.

I only had the clothes I was wearing the day it began, so I bought some underwear and borrowed a pair of pants from Raffale.

Spoke with my remaining roommates that night (last night) and it was a hurricane of emotions and stress but we needed it anyway. What we have been discussing is basically what to do next. We are trying to keep our heads on straight. First things first though, my roommates both work for lawyers, and they are going to try to send a request through on Monday to retrieve important documents of ours that are still in the house. Secondly, we are going to talk to the agency that we used to find our house and obviously request to move out. It kind of sucks that we have to pay the next months rent, but the owner has protection within the contract. After that, I guess I’ll go back to class on Monday, although I’m not sure what I’m going to do about people asking me questions, because I really don’t want to talk again about what happened. Ive been talking an awful lot lately and I’m pretty tired of it. After that, Its like I’m trying to remember what I was doing before all this happened.

From Dr. Paul Eckman: failure to remember is flagged as deceptive in criminal investigations.

I still need to figure out who I need to talk to and what I need to do to continue studying in Perugia, because it is what I want to do.

Anyway, thats the update, feeling okay, hope you all are well, Amanda

Posted on 12/24/10 at 11:12 PM by Peter HyattClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Scientific Statement Analysis: Example Of Someone Telling A Truth Albeit A Very Bizarre One

Posted by Peter Hyatt

[Above: an early video report before Elizabeth Johnson made the statement about killing her baby son]

These posts which are cross-posted here from Statement Analysis at the invitation of TJMK are examples of the application of statement analysis.

This is a powerful investigative technique with a very long history of success. It surfaces some very telling patterns in the statements of those convicted and undergoing appeal here, and also in the statements of those opportunists seeking to gain from the death of Meredith Kercher. 

For starters, let us examine a statement that was later proved by other evidence to be true.

When this story first broke, we at Statement Analysis viewed Elizabeth Johnson’s words and oncluded that Baby Gabriel was dead; even though shortly after law enforcement announced that they have credible evidence that he was still alive.

Yet, Elizabeth Johnson’s statement was to the contrary; though the sample we had to work from was small..

At that time, we only had a portion of what Elizabeth had to say but recognized that her words were not chosen from a vaccum, but for a reason. The latest release has more of the original statement made by the mother to Baby Gabriel’s father.

PHOENIX—For nearly a year, there has been no sign of baby Gabriel. Elizabeth Johnson, the boy’s mother, maintains that she doesn’t know where he is.

But in a phone conversation obtained by CBS 5 News, Johnson said what had only been seen in a text message: That she killed her son.

The source of the recording requested to remain anonymous.

Johnson was on the run in December 2009 in Texas. And in spiteful detail, she explains to the boy’s father, Logan McQueary, what she did to her boy.

“Where are you and where is Gabriel?” asks McQueary.

“Gabriel is in a Dumpster,” Johnson responds.

We first notice the straight language spoken by Johnson; no qualifiers, no threats, no additional words. In fact, the economy of language suggests veracity.

“No, he’s not,” said McQueary.

“You want to talk to girls, that’s the price you pay,” said Johnson.

Note the word “girls” in Johnson’s language as she speaks of her peers and rivals: they are “girls” not “women” and certainly not a “mother”.

At the time of the call, McQueary and Johnson had recently broken up. They shared joint custody of their son, Gabriel.

“I killed him this morning,” claimed Johnson.

First Person singular; past tense. We should believe what Elizabeth Johnson told us, including the time of death. Note the absence of deceptive indicators for those readers who now understand Statement Analysis.

“No, you didn’t,” said McQueary.

McQueary cannot accept this statement. This is typical denial from innocent family members. This is why verb tenses are so important when dealing with a missing child: an innocent parent will not use past tense; but a parent who knows the child is dead (while reported missing) will slip into past tense language:

Susan Smith: “my children needed me”

Casey Anthony: “Caylee loved the park”

Misty Croslin: “I loved her like my own”

McQueary is not involved, in any way, in the disappearance of his son. Like all innocent parents, he cannot accept the death. For some innocent parents, it can be years, if ever, that they can bring themselves to use past tense language.

Note that McQueary’s language is straight forward without qualifiers or sensitivity. He is hit with truth, and he cannot accept it.

Johnson responded with, “I couldn’t do it anymore, I couldn’t do it alone. You made it impossible for me to have my own life. You made it impossible for me to have Gabriel. You were going to take the only thing I had left. You wanted to take from me. You wanted to make me miserable. So find some new girl to make your new baby.”

Here, we see continued ownership with first person singular which is not overdone with sensitivity. This is what a truthful statement looks like. When sensitive repetition does enter, note what it is associated with: not what she did but why she did it. The “why” of what she did is sensitive.

Note also that she blames the baby’s father; typical of guilty killers unable and unwilling to take responsibility. This is motive that is common: if I can’t have him, no one can.

What is sensitive, regarding the killing of the baby is “impossible” and “I couldn’t do it”; note that these are things that could even prove deceptive: she didn’t have to kill the baby; she “could” go on; this is the sensitivity found within the statement: the casting of blame after acknowledging the murder: she killed the baby (truthful/lack of sensitivity) but won’t accept responsibility (deceptive/sensitivity noted).

These words are truthfully spoken. There is no deceptive indicators within the statement regarding the actions she took. We do not come upon sensitivity until it comes to Elizabeth blaming the baby’s father. This means that the actions described are true (first person singular, past tense, no qualifiers, no additional words.

Note again: The economy of words is frighteningly stark.

In the call, McQueary tried to learn exactly where Johnson was so he could lead investigators to her.

She told him she destroyed all of her identification and even called herself a ghost.

McQueary wanted to know his son was OK, but he didn’t want to agitate Johnson anymore than she already was.

“Don’t you care about me? All you care about is Gabriel. And he’s gone now. You know what I’m capable of and you pushed me anyway. You destroyed my life,” said Johnson.

In the statement is found “I’m capable of” after “he’s gone”. There are no indicators of deception to analyze. She also said “all you care about is Gabriel, using his name while he is associated with McQueary. Note “care” is present tense; which, to the father, it is a present tense emotion. There is no imbalance within her words that we note in deceptive statements.

“You know what I am capable of” is her attempt to assert that what she said is true. Note that she does not have to use exaggeration nor hyperbole nor even qualifiers to make her point: She has a quiet confidence that is found in truthful statements. As groteque as it is under the circumstances, truthful statements do, in deed, contain a “quiet confidence” about them. Even as she is attempting to persuade him that she killed Baby Gabriel, she eludes confidence.

There are no indicators of deception.

I wish there were. I wish she was lying and I could highlight the deceptive indicators.

“I haven’t destroyed anything,” said McQueary.

“Yes, you have, Logan. You made me kill my baby boy,” said Johnson.

first person singular, pronoun ownership of the action of the verb. Note that even as she blames him (sensitivity noted above) here there is only slight increase in sensitivity as she calls him her “baby boy”. It is slight.

After she was arrested in Florida, Johnson told investigators she did not kill Gabriel, but rather arranged for him to be adopted by an anonymous family.

McQueary told CBS 5 News that he hopes his son is alive, but the call showed how determined she was to hurt the father of her baby.

“You made me do this,” Johnson tells McQueary.

“this” shows Johnson’s closeness to the murder. It is a single and small word that places Johnson, linguisticly, close to the murder itself. She could have said, “you made me do that” which would have showed some distance, and perhaps, had given readers hope that Gabriel is alive. She did not. .

“You did not hurt Gabriel,” said McQueary.

the father is denying, and uses his son’s name. Note also the minimizing “hurt” rather than killed. Does this mean that McQueary is being deceptive?

In a sense, yes.

If “denial” is untrue, it is, technically, deceptive. By minimizing “kill” to “hurt”, it is likely that Logan McQueary is supressing the growing fear that his son is dead.

It is not “guilty deception” but rather the natural minimization and denial of the innocents, who are unable to accept the death of a child. For the innocent, there is an inability to understand or comprehend how a human could do such a thing. We saw this same reaction, early on, by Jesse Grund, when he realized that Caylee wasn’t missing, but was dead. Since he could not murder a child, he struggled to accept that anyone else, including Casey, could. “That’s not the Casey I knew” he said.

It is a natural, self preserving denial that comes from the projection of an innocent heart and mind.

“Yes, I did. I suffocated him. I suffocated him and he turned blue. I put him in a diaper bag and put him in a trash can,” said Johnson.

This is also true. Notice:

1. first person singular, “I” is used appropriately; one per sentence. Additional use of “I” within a sentence can show anxiety. Here, it is a sign of confidence.

2. past tense verb appropriately used. Present tense language can creep in to those who are fabricating the case.

3. sensory language (she said he “turned blue”). Sensory language can be an indicator of veracity, especially when interviewing children. The recall can be sight, smell, touch, taste, or audible, and it accompanies the memory. This one indication is a strong and powerful point that Baby Gabriel died of suffocation and was likely wrapped in a diaper bag, and thrown into trash.

Note also:

4. no fake placement of emotions in the “perfect” place as deceptive people do, and only one repetition (“suffocated”) indicating sensitivity. When someone is fabricating, they will often include emotions in the “perfect” place: “and as I was putting him in the trash, I thought…”. This is something deceptive people do in order to persuade (see analysis of Tiffany Hartley’s liberal use of emotions/thoughts placed in the part of the statement where emotions would have been voided due to adrenaline)

There is little to analyze because she is telling the truth. The indicators are that she killed the baby in the manner described.  Elizabeth Johnson isn’t expected back in court until Jan. 24 2011. Johnson is accused of kidnapping and custodial interference.

Posted on 12/24/10 at 12:13 PM by Peter HyattClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Report #3 On Perugia: This Is The Walk From Raffaele’s House To The Basketball Court

Posted by SomeAlibi


The El Bizarro Defense: “It’s Unfair To Use The DNA They Didn’t Manage To Scrub Away Against Them”

Posted by Cardiol MD


Remember the twins who appealed for mercy at their trial for murdering their parents? On the grounds that they are now orphans?

There is something of that reminiscent here. The defenses of Knox and Sollecito seem to be trying to exclude evidence that they themselves tried to destroy, essentially on the grounds that their destructive attempts failed to destroy all of it, and left behind only some of it.

Their argument boils down to whether the disputed DNA evidence is more unfairly prejudicial than probative. The faux forensic experts who are arguing in the media that this disputed DNA evidence would not ever be admitted in US or UK courts are in fact totally mistaken.

It is my opinion that because it was the defendants’ deliberate conduct that nearly succeeded in extinguishing all their DNA, any US and UK courts would insist to admit this highly relevant evidence, and let the participants duke out its fairness, in open court, in front of a jury.

That is what the only relevant court in Meredith’s case, the Perugia appeals court, is now doing.

DNA evidence may be “only circumstantial” but that is as with most of the evidence in this case. Meredith was murdered - that’s a fact - but no one saw who did it except the killers.

Judge Hellman designated his selected Expert Reviewers with such alacrity that I think he had already thought it all out.  Judge Hellman is being prudently responsive to the legal and political pressures bearing down on him, and knows the ruling also calls the defendants’ bluff.

As Tom in the post below and others are pointing out, the review is limited to a very partial review of the DNA evidence, and what is not to be reviewed is by far the most significant.

The possibility of more residual blood at the blade/handle junction is thought-provoking. Sollecito’s obsession with knife-ownership suggests that his knife, the murder-weapon, would be top quality, probably with a handle/blade junction, pretty, but vulnerable to seepage into it.

Also, the knife-wielders significantly, even deliberately, stayed away from the well-known neck-blood-vessels, the Jugular Veins, and the Carotid Arteries, on both sides, focusing their neck-stabs on the area of the Larynx, as if they had some medical knowledge of what they were doing - but not enough.

The blood-vessel they did cut - the right superior thyroid artery - is a branch-of-a-branch of the better known blood vessels, but very close to the larynx. They didn’t know, or care, enough to anticipate the lethal consequences of cutting so small an artery in that particular location, so near to the airways.

I agree with others that Judge Hellman may also be innoculating himself by heading off a possible adverse ruling of the Supreme Court in Rome, which must be restricted to Procedural/Legal issues.

The defence lawyers sem to be submitting, probably against their own better judgement and advice, to the FOA camp’s insistence for additional review. I also believe the defendants will bitterly regret this insistence.

Posted on 12/22/10 at 03:31 PM by Cardiol MDClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe defensesEvidence & witnessesDNA and luminolTrials 2008 & 2009Hellmann 2011+
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Appeal’s Outcome: What The Judges Allowed And What They Didn’t Might Be Telling Us A Lot

Posted by TomM



[Above: the Massei court deciding whether to buy the spiderman theory in May 2009; they didn’t]


As a California lawyer familiar with trials and appeals in my state, watching the Meredith Kercher murder trial wind its way through the Italian legal system has been a learning experience.

It is a system with more protections than the one I know first-hand. The case is now in its first appeal phase, and proceeds far differently from the way it would in the US.

If Knox and Sollecito had been convicted in an American court (which an American court would have had no difficulty in doing) less helpful presumptions would be applied to their appeal. 

In Italy they are convicted, and for that reason they are imprisoned and the visitation privileges they had before the jury’s verdict have been reduced. But for purposes of weighing the evidence in the appeal, they are presumed innocent.

In the US, the court of appeal would not presume them innocent or guilty; it would regard them as having been adjudged guilty.

In Italy, they can ask for the court of appeal to hear testimony from new witnesses and seek to introduce additional evidence.

In the US, the appeal would be on the basis of the clerk’s and reporter’s transcripts of the trial. In the US the jury at the original trial would have been instructed that if an item of evidence can be interpreted two ways, one favoring guilt and one favoring innocence, they should accept the interpretation that favors innocence.

But not so on appeal; the court of appeal would interpret all the inferences from the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution.

An American court of appeal would not consider an attack on the credibility of a witness unless the testimony was such that no reasonable person would believe the testimony.

Thus, an attack on the testimony of Curatolo would have no chance of success on appeal. In fact, jury instruction in the US would give the jury blessing to believe him even absent disco buses running that fatal night. From a form jury instruction on how to judge witness credibility:

“Do not automatically reject testimony just because of inconsistencies or conflicts. Consider whether the differences are important or not. People sometimes honestly forget things or make mistakes about what they remember. Also, two people may witness the same event yet see or hear it differently.”

The Italian appeal is described as a “trial de novo”.

In common law jurisprudence, a trial de novo is simply a new trial, and the jury in a new trial would not even be told of the existence of the first trial. It would be done as if the first trial never happened.

Not so in Italy.

The jury and lay judges have full access to the case dossier, the Massei Motivazione, and the briefs of the parties. They decide which parts of the case should receive new evidence, and the parts where none is needed. If that were not the case, they would not know how to respond to the defense requests.

What the jury has not reopened is, to me, more telling than what is.

It is significant that there is no re-visit on the staging of the burglary. This charge is not just one of the things used to prove the murder, it is also a separate charge which does not require that a person also have participated in the murder.

Let’s suspend disbelief a moment. Suppose AK and RS had not been present during the murder, having ducked out briefly to get more drugs, but returned to discover Meredith’s body.

Suppose they thought they would be suspects because they had let Rudy in and feared they would be blamed, so they staged the burglary to divert suspicion from themselves. In this hypothetical situation, they are still guilty of staging a burglary even if they didn’t otherwise participate in the crime.

So, what to make out of the fact that no further evaluation will be made of the staging?

This seems like the easiest of the charges to prove and the most difficult to defend. Staging is a recognized phenomenon in criminal investigations and the defense expert did not fare well under cross-examination. I don’t see how the court would reverse the judgment on this issue given the state of the record.

Defense criticized the way the dna was collected from the bidet, but there will be no review of that evidence - or of any other of the mixed blood/dna evidence - only the knife and the bra clasp.

If the appellate jurors’ inclination were to think there is reasonable doubt on the dna, there is plenty of defense expert testimony to hang that hat on. That only two of the exhibits will be studied shows that they do not question the work of the scientific police as a whole.

I see evidence of a pattern of sorts in these rulings.

From my own experience, I firmly believe that Hellman has not made up his mind on the final outcome. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he thinks the jury will do with the case.

He clearly knows the case, and I think he knows if there are areas in Massei’s reasoning that have vulnerabilities (not necessarily fatal) that could attract attention in the Court of Cassation.

I think he knows whether the prosecution’s case is a house of cards, or if it is a good case with some curable cosmetic flaws.

To me, the rulings look like the judge has reviewed the case, thinks it is fundamentally sound, and believes it will be backed up by unbiased expert opinion - and if it doesn’t,  he will assess what impact that has on the case.

The issue with respect to the scientific police is not that they were biased in the sense of falsifying evidence to wrongfully convict, but that the video of the crime scene investigation showed non-textbook acts, Stefanoni didn’t leave a complete paper trail in testing the knife,  and they failed to collect and correctly bag the bra clasp at the beginning.

All of which left an opening for the defense to claim the dna evidence is suspect. There is a reason why teachers don’t let students grade their own papers, I think that concept is behind Hellman’s decision to seek an unbiased review of these two items.

I don’t see signs of exoneration in these rulings.

If Rudy Guede testifies and gives a believable narrative, it may not matter what the two dna reviews say, and it might also undermine the jurors’ inclination to accept the theory of remorse from the covering with the quilt that persuaded Massei to reduce the sentence. 

An increased sentence is not out of the question.

I really do not understand why the defense and the family are so happy with this review, which is very limited and not complete in any sense - other than, perhaps, the “any port in a storm” phenomenon.

The bra clasp evidence is not going to go away, and there is the risk that increased technical sophistication could result in identifying a complete dna profile of Amada Knox on it. If they disassemble the knife, there could be abundant blood between the handle and the blade.

From my view in the bleachers, there are way more risks to the defense than to the prosecution from Saturday’s rulings.

Posted on 12/21/10 at 08:55 PM by TomMClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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The Limited DNA Reviews - What We Believe Are The Hard Facts On The Double DNA Knife

Posted by ViaDellaPergola

A pre-Massei version of this video was posted on TJMK in March 2010. Essentially nothing has changed in its fact base with Massei. The Machine in his meticulous post below explains what further independent tests were also done.

The wild claims of the conspiracy theorists have morphed back and forth. But the facts remain that Italy has a fine DNA lab system and Dr Stefanoni is internationally respected - and she had no vested interest in a particular outcome.

Sollecito coolly explained that Meredith’s DNA SHOULD be on the blade of the knife because he pricked her while cooking at his place. She had never ever been to his place - in fact, she had only set eyes on him once or twice, very briefly.

But Sollecito still lets that incriminating statement stand. The truth, obviously, is worse. Very much worse.

Posted on 12/21/10 at 09:27 AM by ViaDellaPergolaClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Limited DNA Reviews - Why They Probably Won’t Help Defense And May At A Stroke Be Game Over

Posted by The Machine



[Above: Dr Stefanoni at trial respoding to a question from Sollecito’s defense team]

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and their families were jubilant at Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman’s decision to allow an independent review of some key forensic evidence.

Two experts from Rome’s Sapienza University - Professor Stefano Conti and Professor Carla Vecchiotti - have already been nominated by the appeal court (they will be confirmed in January) to do an independent review of the forensic evidence.

Late saturday and sunday many of the journalists covering Meredith’s case saw Judge Hellmann’s decision as a major victory for the defence teams. Several giddy journalists even reported that somehow Amanda Knox had won her appeal.

However, two very important facts were lost in all the hullaballoo surrounding Judge Hellmann’s decision about this independent review..

First, the original forensic investigation and tests already were carried out by independent experts. Dr. Stefanoni and her team were from Rome, and they worked for another arm of the government. They weren’t hired by the prosecution to blindly confirm their suspicions that Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Diya Lumumba were involved in Meredith’s murder.

And many people seem to be unaware of the fact that it was not Amanda Knox recanting her false accusation, but the DNA testing work of Dr. Stefanoni and her team that led to the release of Diya Lumumba. In this case Dr Stefanoni has high credibility.

Second, a number of experts have ALREADY carried out independent reviews of the DNA and forensic evidence and some of them have testified at court hearings in the course of 2008 and 2009.

In this post, we will take a look at some of the experts involved in the original DNA tests and the subsequent reviews and consider the implications of the new review, including some possible unexpected stings in the tail.

1) The Original Tests

Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni is one of the leading forensic experts in Italy and she was part of the the Disaster Investigations Teams sent to identify victims of the south Asian tsumani in 2004. She had to pass a series of stringent state tests to join the scientific police in Rome. She led the forensic investigation into Meredith’s murder and was responsible for carrying out the DNA tests and interpreting the results.

The Double DNA Knife

Dr. Stefanoni found seven traces of human flesh (human tissue cells) on the large kitchen knife sequestered from Sollecito’s kitchen. There was only enough DNA for one test. However, the results of non-repetitive tests are allowed to be entered as evidence in Italy.

The defence teams are notified of the date and time of all non-repetitive tests to make sure that they can be present to observe that correct procedures are adhered to. If they miss the tests or don’t stay for the full (often long) duration they have not carried out their full mandate to their client (they might even be liable for malpractice) and the defense has no right to claim wrong procedures or lab contamination.

Dr. Stefanoni testified at the trial that the one test she did “reliably” identified the DNA as Meredith’s.

Italian TJMK poster and DNA specialist Nicki explained in May 2009 why the DNA on the blade of the knife was a definite match to Meredith’s DNA:

Two genetic profiles are identical and therefore belong to the same individual if a) they are in the same position, and b) they have identical shape and dimension. In this case, each peak produced in the original samples exactly corresponds to the peaks yielded by the knife sample, position, shape and dimension.

[Below: DNA on the blade of the knife(top chart), Meredith’s DNA(second chart), and the two superimposed]



The Bra Clasp

Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp was identified by two separate DNA tests. Judge Massei rejected defence claims that Sollecito’s DNA was LCN DNA and noted that there was no reason to doubt the reliability of the result:

It has already been said that Dr. Stefanoni had reported that on the [bra] hook (Exhibit 165B) the mixed genetic profile attributable to the victim and to Raffaele Sollecito was found; looking at the electropherogram, the ratio had been estimated in the proportion of 1 to 6 (the victim’s DNA being six times that of Sollecito); the quantity of DNA found could not be considered terribly small because there were several peaks that easily exceeded 1000 RFU, and no [317] repetition of the analysis had been carried out because the peak height of the smaller fraction of DNA was good, such that there was no reason to doubt the reliability of the result.

2) Independent Reviews

Dr. Renato Biondo

There was an independent review of the forensic evidence in 2008.

Dr. Renato Biondo, the head of the DNA unit of the scientific police, reviewed Dr. Stefanoni’s investigation and the forensic findings. He testified at Rudy Guede’s fast track trial in October 2008 and confirmed that all the forensic findings were accurate and reliable.

He also praised the work of Dr. Stefanoni and her team. “We are confirming the reliability of the information collected from the scene of the crime and at the same time, the professionalism and excellence of our work.”

Professor Francesca Torricelli

The Kercher family hired their own DNA expert, Professor Francesca Torricelli, and asked her to examine the DNA evidence.

Professor Torricelli is the Director of a genetic facility at Careggi University Hospital and has been working in genetics since 1976. She testified at Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial last and she also confirmed Dr. Stefanoni’s findings.

She told the court that the significant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp meant that it was unlikely that it was left by contamination. She also agreed with Dr. Stefanoni that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of the double DNA knife.


General Luciano Garofano (image above)

Distinguished DNA expert and former Caribinieri General Luciano Garofano analysed the DNA and forensic evidence for the early 2010 book “Darkness Descending”.

He has more than 32 years of forensics experience and is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. In his section of the book he explains at length why he too thinks that Knox and Sollecito are guilty of Meredith’s murder.

In an interview with The Sun’s Nick Francis, he said that the right people had been convicted:  “I believe the police have prosecuted and convicted the right people, even if they got some of the details wrong.”

He told reporter Andrea Vogt that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn Knox’s and Sollecito’s convictions:  “I do not believe that there is enough evidence to convince an Italian magistrate and jury to overturn this conviction”.

Dr. Anna Barbaro

Rudy Guede’s defense lawyers hired their own forensic expert, Dr. Anna Barbaro, and asked her to examine the DNA evidence.

She didn’t dispute the DNA evidence against Guede, Knox or Sollecito. Guede’s lawyers claim that there was an innocent explanation for his DNA being at the crime scene and that Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA implicated them.

Guede lawyer Walter Biscotti noted that the evidence against Knox was particularly strong.

3) The original prosecution team

Both Prosecutor Mignini and Prosecutor Comodi said after the appeal session on saturday that they are are confident that the independent review of the DNA and forensic evidence will confirm the sentences and verdict.

Mr Mignini

:

I don’t agree with the request and I see it as a waste of time. The judge did not criticise the methods that were used to collect and test the DNA….. The review was granted because the jury needed help to interpret the findings as they are difficult to understand. I don’t see how it is a victory for the defence, as the methods were not criticised in the ruling. The review will confirm the sentence and the verdict will stand.

Ms Comodi

As far as I am concerned this independent review will just confirm the excellent work carried out by the police scientific unit. The judge did not actually explain why he was allowing this review and although I do not agree with it I am sure it will underline the job originally done.

4) Two possible game-overs

Re-examination of the knife

In “Darkness Descending” the former Carabinieri General Garofano wrote that the police should have separated the plastic handle from the knife and checked for blood there.

The defence teams will regret having asked for the independent review if the new experts do this and they find there a testable quantity of Meredith’s blood.

Re-examination of the bra clasp

According to the authors of “Darkness Descending” Dr. Stefanoni found highly suggestive evidence of Amanda Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra. Raffaele Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Torre, also claimed that he had found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra strap.

It seems that another forensic expert Vincenzo Pascali ALSO found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra. The reporter Barbie Nadeau wrote the following:

Vincenzo Pascali, the chief forensic consultant who was set to give expert testimony about the possible contamination of the bra clasp, walked off the case last month, reportedly leaving a €50,000 bill. Back in September, Pascali, who declined to comment for this story, hinted that the clasp also contained Knox’s DNA.

And so in conclusion

One to two years later DNA testing techniques have improved, and also there is the sleeper of what is under the handle of the knife.

The defence teams’ insistence on an independent review could really explode in their faces if the new experts confirm more of Meredith’s DNA on the knife (Knox’s DNA is there very strongly) and that Knox’s DNA is on Meredith’s bra.

Posted on 12/20/10 at 09:48 AM by The MachineClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Meditation On The State Of Play In The Search For Justice For Poor Meredith

Posted by Hopeful


I hope the Rome experts take the knife and bra clasp and find more evidence on them, clear and undeniable even to the prejudiced.  I don’t want to see Meredith’s killers walk, but with the same vehemence I desire no innocent parties to be persecuted. So should all honest people.

Rudy Guede is such a compulsive liar that he would have to be hooked up to a polygraph for me to believe him. Yet I still hope he makes more statements. Perhaps the truth can be separated like gold from the dross.

Something entirely unexpected may be the key to this case. Meredith’s followers around the world will breathe a sigh of relief when the truth is unveiled.

Mr. Kercher’s new thoughts turn towards Meredith’s December 28th birthday and the sad events that took her life in her last November (2007), and now this jangling December 2010 appeal, the ongoing debate about her killers.

The Christmas holiday is an added clash of joy versus sorrow. It’s a holiday that is surely imbued with the fondest memories of Meredith’s early years in her Christian family. It’s a holiday of great pathos and confusion for a lot of people.

It’s hard to balance the sudden shining ideal of every hope and promise in all its spiritual implications with the stampedes in malls, the greedy merchandising, its basis supposedly charity, Santa specials blasting on TV with the manger and Wise Men less in evidence, the spirit renewed by the carols, bells ringing, beauty and decorations everywhere, but the roads bristling with traffic, bad weather.

Then we come to the impossible personalities in the family who must now gather at one table, the minor frustrations of more food to prepare, cards to send, more housework to do, decorations to assemble.

Extra party giving, high expectations. Be stylish, new clothes, harder yet make sure all the children do while providing tons of toys, games and requests. Mix this with lifelong animosities in extended family or friends that one tries to forgive for at least a season, the guilt if one can’t, the sudden calls on one’s private purse to give and give sacrificially while more social events and church events jostle for one’s limited finances and strength. Alcohol is flowing.

Hey, it’s too much. So let’s stop it, less is more.

Love and salvation are the theme while the sad realities and failures of life by contrast battle in one’s mind for prominence. To complain of this state of affairs is to be called a Scrooge.

It can be very unrestful, very disturbing. Many people get sick.  Where is peace? People get blue, even without such tragedy as the Kerchers face.

Think of the long ordeal they’ve endured from November 2, 2007 until today, December 18, 2010 from the first shock with news of Meredith’s murder, then the long wait for her autopsy, the worldwide speculation that swirled around the case, the financial pressure for the Kerchers to travel to Italy and face courtroom trial in Perugia, the media frenzy with the spotlight of world press on their humble and now grieving family. What terrors.

Soon there was the necessary introduction of lawyers. They had to learn legal matters and deal with them in a foreign country and a foreign language. The trial had people’s nerves built up to a fever pitch. The GUILTY verdict came last December, now this December a pivotal appeal and later when the lumbering court case is finally over perhaps years from now there will still be the ongoing anniversary of Meredith’s funeral at every Christmas season.

At a point fairly late in life for Mr. and Mrs. Kercher they’ve had this intense and unexpected nightmare appear. Perhaps in some ways it has unexpectedly infused them with new unity and energy as a family. One day when this is all over we hope to hear that it did. Their stories can be fully told. They have been brave and suffered in silence. Let’s hope they find strength for the journey and learn to take it one day at a time, knowing things do get better with time.

Consolation to the Kerchers:

Meredith is always linked in my thoughts (and I believe others’ thoughts) with sweetness, beauty, and intelligence, with fine and noble sensitivities. She will be remembered always as a person of high honor, a bright light. She is never mixed or soiled in any way with the events that took her life. Those black marks attach only to her murderers, like a gigantic X over their faces and souls, like a gallon of black paint sloshed over their heads. CONDEMNED!!! They are not outside God’s forgiveness, but not outside man’s punishment either.

In every recollection of her, Meredith is not sullied in the least. She rose above it to become more pristine than ever.

The Kerchers might like to know that most people remember their youngest daughter not in her final hours in the midst of a crime scene but as a marvelous human being, dancing through life with a song and a smile, bringing joy and normalcy to others throughout her brief years, a superlative student, a go-getter with vigor and drive, yet always a gentle lady. To sum it up, a dignified human being with astounding qualities.

I’ve quoted this before, but an English poet said it best: “It is not growing like a tree in bulk, doth make man better be, nor standing long an oak 300 year, to fall at last a log dry, bald and sere. A lily of a day is fairer far in May. Although it die and fall that night, it was the plant and flower of light. So in proportion we just beauties see…

“AND IN SMALL MEASURE LIFE MAY PERFECT BE…”

A poem by “oh rare Ben Jonson”, apologies for any misquote of his work This poem applies to Meredith Kercher.

She was that bright lily, perfect in its own way.

Posted on 12/18/10 at 05:10 PM by HopefulClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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First Reports On Scope Of Appeal Sounds Like Maybe A Setback For The Defenses

Posted by Peter Quennell


The first full reports are not out yet. This is a first quick take on the Italian reporting and may be subject to correction.

Some of the Cassation’s hard-line decision for rejecting Rudy Guede ‘s 10 appeal grounds in Rome on thursday will indeed be accepted into this appeal for the judges’ consideration.

The judges are agreeing to the defense request for a review of the testing of the DNA on the bra clasp and the large knife, though of course nobody - nobody - so far has ever proved contamination as the prosecutors today pointed out.

Two Rome experts in DNA have already been nominated.

Apparently none of the other very extensive forensic evidence at the scene of the crime - which is the entire apartment, not merely Meredith’s bedroom - is to be retested. That has always been very tough to explain away.

Apparently only one or two of the previous witnesses whose testimony is described in the Massei report will be heard from again. Possible Guede confidant Alessi will be allowed and maybe Aviello who claimed his missing brother really did it.

And apparently ninety days is added to the allowed duration of this appeal, because the Massei Report took 90 days to produce. The deadline now is next September, although if it lasts through to the spring we will be surprised.

The defense doesn’t seem to have many strong hopes going forward. No more Spiderman attempts on Filomena’s window. They found no room for appeal with regard to the various contradictory alibis, the various peculiar phone calls, and assorted bizarre behaviors.

Remember that even Knox and Sollecito themselves have claimed they were zonked out of their skulls on the night - though magically they seem to have managed a major cleanup and rearrangement of the entire crime scene, minus evidence pointing to Guede.

The astute commenter Piktor posted this on PMF

The expert review would be needed if the scientific results were the only evidence that convicts.

What if the DNA evidence was thrown out. Could you convict without it?

You have the staging, the lies, the false accusation, the police testimony, the defendant’s multiple alibis that don’t mesh, Mrs. Mellas testimony in court exposing Knox’s willful “confusion”, the email and diaries.

You add it up and it all points in one direction. No doubt about the result.

The prosecution narrative makes sense. The defence has no narrative.



UK’s Sky News Carries A Pre-Session Report from Nick Pisa In Perugia This Morning

Posted by Peter Quennell

Courtroom images are from the session last Saturday.

Posted on 12/18/10 at 09:57 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Stinging Guede Final Appeal Rejection Spells Serious New Trouble For Sollecito And Knox

Posted by Peter Quennell


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..

This is clearly not a final court of appeal that is now going to turn on a dime and say when they hear the final appeals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, oh, of course, we got that previous decision wrong, and of course Guede did it alone.

Here is the cool clear report of Andrea Vogt, this time being published in the UK’s First Post. The highlights:

1) On rejecting Guede’s ludicrous tale.

Put simply, no judge or magistrate has believed Guede’s story that he was in the bathroom of the apartment the two girls shared in Perugia, listening to music on his iPod while someone else stabbed Meredith.

According to Guede’s story, when he came out of the bathroom he found Meredith bleeding to death and tried to staunch the flow of blood – hence the discovery of his DNA by investigators.

2) On the huge new risk now for Sollecito and Knox.

Under Italian law, all documentation from Guede’s various hearings can now be introduced into the appeal trial of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, which reconvenes in Perugia tomorrow.

The problem for Knox and Sollecito is that Guede’s trial documents will include the judges’ reasons for convicting Guede and denying his appeals: namely, that they believe all three – Guede, Knox and Sollecito - killed Meredith together.

3) On Kercher family lawyer Maresca possibly demanding Guede testify

“Guede can now be called to testify and we are considering, along with the prosecutors, if we will request that Saturday or not,” said the Kercher family’s attorney Francesco Maresca in Rome.

“We will ask that the high court decision be admitted, as it stabilises the facts and is an important point of reference, with judges confirming the reconstruction of events and the involvement of the other two suspects in this dramatic ordeal in which a young woman lost her life.”

If Guede is called, it is unclear whether he would be considered a reliable witness given that no court has believed his story so far. And the situation is further complicated by conflicting stories about Guede’s take on Knox and Sollecito.

4) On the prospects for requested defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello

Guede is also the subject of a mysterious 10-page letter from prison, written on blue notepaper in the feathery script of convicted child murderer Mario Alessi, and now sitting in a lawyer’s office in Parma.

Alessi claims to have heard the real story of what happened while stuck in a prison cell across from Guede. Three other inmates signed each page of Alessi’s letter bolstering his story - that Guede said repeatedly in his cell and the prison yard that Knox and Sollecito had nothing to do with the crime. (Guede denies the conversations)...

Will the judge overseeing Knox and Sollecito’s appeal in Perugia request it? If he does, it could be entered into evidence alongside further controversial letters, these from a Neapolitan mafia snitch named Luciano Aviello. Aviello claims that his own brother killed Kercher…

Since Knox and Sollecito were convicted and jailed a year ago.. these stories of intrigue have found their way out from behind the prison walls across Italy, from the sex offender ward in Viterbo to the high security penitentiaries in Prato and Turin.

5) And on John Kercher’s recent strong protest against the profiting from Meredith’s death

Meredith Kercher’s bereaved family this month broke a three-year silence to speak out against Knox’s “minor celebrity” status and the high-profile publicity campaign her family and supporters have been waging to claim wrongful conviction.

Posted on 12/17/10 at 08:41 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

As Amanda Knox Via Her Statement Has Now Placed “Will She Testify?” Front And Center…

Posted by Cardiol MD





She sure has created an interesting cliffhanger.

Last Saturday Amanda Knox spoke from her seat beside her defense team and she was not subjected to cross-examination.

If she does choose to mount the stand to back up her claims with some testimony, she will be subject to cross examination, as will Raffaele Sollecito. 

What may the judges and lay judges be allowed to deduce if neither of them mount the stand, or alternatively refuse to answer?

This involves the legal concepts of the Privilege against Self-Incrimination, the Right to Silence, and the Right to Lie.

In the US prosecutors are prohibited from commenting adversely on a defendant’s Exercise of the Right to Silence at trial, on the argument that doing so would violate the privilege against self-incrimination.

But this may be circumvented as demonstrated in the Duke lacrosse-team rape frame-up by the prosecutor.

The DukeLax prosecutor (echoed by many others in Durham and elsewhere) falsely alleged, publicly, a lacrosse-player “wall-of-silence” as persuasive evidence in favor of guilt, even when he knew full-well that the Laxers had transparently cooperated with prosecutorial investigators.

So much for “enshrinement” of the right to silence in the US.

There is no argument that in all three countries, Italy and the US and the UK, criminal defendants have the right to remain silent. This means that they do not have to speak in their own defence, if they choose not to do so.

However, Italy takes the privilege against self-incrimination such a giant step further that a guilty defendant, if given the choice, might be wise to choose trial in Italy, in preference to trial in either the US. or the UK.:

First, there is a significant difference between the use of the word “testify” in Anglo-American common law and its use in Italian law. Iin the former a testifying-defendant is sworn to tell the truth under oath and pain of perjury. Iin the latter, a defendant, when called to the stand, is not even “a witness”, and is not under oath:

According to the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure a defendant can be called to speak, but may refuse to “bear testimony”

Technically, a defendant does not “bear testimony”, or testify; a defendant is not even “a witness” ; in Italian, a witness is interrogato, whereas a defendant is esaminato and may refuse to answer many questions.

A defendant, in Italy, can also lie without fear of legal sanction.

Since a defendant does not take an oath and since a defendant is not technically a witness, if a defendant tells a lie, the defendant is not committing perjury.

A defendant can choose to make spontaneous statements to the Judge; and can tell whatever she/he wishes to tell and can choose not to answer any questions. In the Perugia case too, a defendant can lie without legal sanction.

So, if Amanda Knox speaks at her trial, neither the Judges, the Prosecutors, nor Defendant’s Counsel neccessarily expect her to speak the truth - they may expect her to lie her head off.

Prosecutors will not try to directly expose her lies so much as they will try to expose the contradictions in her various statements.

Amanda Knox’s prepared statement-to-the-court at her trial [as opposed to her testimony] restricted itself to the subject of the false accusations she made against Patrick Lumumba. This unsworn statement could not be submitted to cross-examination. Such unsworn statements are also possible in the other jurisdictions.

In the case of the Meredith;s murder there seems to be an ample supply of evidence showing their guilt, such as the multiple contradictions both between and within their statements.

Furthermore, even if no one, ever, comments adversely on these defendant’s exercise of the right to silence, think of Simon and Garfunkel’s famous “Sounds of Silence”

That song reminds us that finders-of-fact, at least subliminally, can hardly avoid being influenced by accused defendants’ silence.

Posted on 12/16/10 at 10:36 AM by Cardiol MDClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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