Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Knox Appeal Points Seem Essentially Points That Gained Limited Traction In The Trial

Posted by Peter Quennell

And the fact that the prosecution will get a shot at firming up their case does seem to have caught the defenses off-balance.

US-based Knox family legal advisor Ted Simon has appeared several times on US networks in the last few days, seemingly clean out of new ideas for how to get Amanda Knox off.

No motive? Well, a motive does not have to be confirmed in Italy, but Micheli, Mignini and Massei all suggested credible motives, each involving an escalation of violence, and each probably involving drugs as one component - drugs like enhanced (skunk) cannabis, crystal meth, and cocaine increasingly seem to be triggering psychotic episodes that can lead to murder.

No DNA in the room? Well, most murders take place with no DNA left behind, and if Knox was the one simply holding the large knife and uttering threats, there is no reason why her DNA should have have deposited. Rudy Guede left only a few microscopic traces of DNA, but clearly he too was in the room. And there was plenty of forensic evidence implicating Knox right outside of Meredith’s door.

And as usual, Ted Simon skirts the very problematic rearrangement of the crime scene, and the testimony of various key witnesses, and the very incriminating pattern of phone calls, and the major discordance between all the alibis.

Pity that the US reporters never ever seem to press him on these things.

And in Perugia, it seems that Mr Ghirga and Mr Della Vedova are also only going through the motions - recycling just a few of their points that were already not too convincing at the trial. Andrea Vogt reported on the grounds for their appeal in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The 220-page document filed with the of Court of Appeals in Perugia on Saturday morning is a total appeal of all the points of the sentence, said Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga from Perugia in an interview with the Seattlepi.com.

“It includes the first days of the interrogation, the DNA and the traces detected with luminol. We re-iterate the innocence of Amanda and remain convinced there is not proof of her presence at the scene of the crime,” Ghirga said….

The hotly contested forensic evidence presented in the trial played an important role in the jury’s reasoning but was not the only element that led them to convict. Inconsistent statements, witness testimony, Knox’s placing the blame on an innocent man, which she maintains she did under police pressure, and the staging of the crime scene were also cited as key factors by the jury.

Knox’s legal teams are expected to contest all points, but are also asking for a third-party review of the forensic evidence. Such a request was rejected once already during the 9-month trial, but a different appeals court judge could decide to grant such an independent review. In Knox’s case, lawyers are contesting the kitchen knife that prosecutors said was the murder weapon that had Knox’s DNA on the handle and a trace amount of Kercher’s on the blade.

Knox’s lawyers also contest the luminol-positive traces discovered in the corridor (footprints) and the spot in the roommates room where prosecutors say Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, later staged a break-in to make the scene look like a rape-robbery to throw off investigators. Police biologist Patrizia Stefanoni testified during the trial that these luminol-positive traces had mixed genetic material of Knox and Kercher.


The defense don’t seem to have much of a strategy. Firstly, they were going to focus on the alleged “contradictions” in the judge’s report, then Guede’s baby-killing cellmate was their Last Best Hope (along with a nun and a priest, who have failed to materialise), then they were going to focus on the DNA. Sounds very disorganised to me, and rather desperate.

Posted by Janus on 04/21/10 at 04:12 PM | #

It seems, from what I found here, that the “super new withness” is in fact the baby-killing cellmate: http://www.parmaoggi.it/2010/04/19/omicidio-meredith-alessi-possibile-testimone-nel-processo-dappello/

Does not sound very new or very convincing to me….

Posted by Patou on 04/21/10 at 04:46 PM | #

Knox’s folks lamentied the ‘frying’ of her computer, imagining that it would contain a virtual photoessay of her soulsister relationship with Meredith. As Knox seemed to have such a profound need to communicate ( at logorrhaeic lengths) with all and sundry (as exemplified to perfection by her infamous chatty email “update” to 35 recipients…), was there not a single friend or family member who could have come forward with some email evidencing this alleged bond? Besides the German Aunt, to whom she might not have gone into such detail.

How about news as to the profound impact “Raf” was having on her world? She was spending so much time at his—or was that mainly to avoid having to pick up after herself for the sake of her nagging flatmates. C’mon, Madison, surely you got the blow-by -blow lowdown?

I know it’s hard, nay, impossible for her mother to picture her angel getting stoned stupid, or getting it on with every interested guy she met, but her friends have seen the other Amanda, the one with the rock-throwing, Jew-baiting drinking buds. Isn’t there one among them who recognises how lame her “I was too stoned to remember” excuse might come across to police investigating and judges prosecuting a horrific murder?

As sorry as I am that this entire thing has to drag on, I welcome the appeal. I doubt that the prosecution will get their hoped for increase in sentence, but at the same time, I doubt even more that the defence will achieve anything to their satisfaction. Amanda will have to serve her sentence, and her family will have to find a new way to show their love for her.

Posted by mimi on 04/21/10 at 11:46 PM | #

As this is my first posting, I would like to start with thanking you for your work. Being a professional lawyer, I’m quite unhappy with the distrust which is given to the work of all the professional jurists who agree on the verdict against those who killed Meredith. The huge number of self appointed lay experts who get access to well known media without knowledge about the facts is disturbing.

Ok, back to the more specific point of the strategy of Knox’s defense team: As far as I see, they will try to create confusion. The more they put in the ring, the better it is. Insofar it doesn’t matter much that they are mixing jailbirds, points which had not been convincing anyone during the first trial and silly ideas of “such a nice girl could never have done this”. As you remember, that strategy worked in the infamous OJ Simpson case.

On the other hand, blogs like your one are an effective counterstrategy. If the main facts are not forgotten, the outcome of the appeal should not be in doubt.

One main point for reaching that is getting access to the Italian written documents for English speaking people. Good luck for finishing that work soon!

Posted by Dr. Weissnix on 04/22/10 at 04:29 AM | #

My mind is running somewhat wild at times.

Let’s consider the Sollecitos. Certainly, they cannot have a high opinion of Amanda. Too many boys in her short life (especially for parents who want a “good girl” as their son’s girlfriend), obviously at the origin of the whole event (she was living with Meredith, he did not know her before…)etc…

On another hand, the Knoxes/Mellases keep saying that they “knew” all about him (you bet! She would let them know that she meets a guy, sleeps with him the same day and keeps sleeping at his place for a full week after that while she is there to study!) but certainly they are not thrilled about what transpired about him since the trial (the porn / animalistic videos, the fascination for knives), and the fact he threw her under the bus.

If they keep the same position in appeal (we were together and did not do anything), isn’t because it is less dangerous than spitting the truth?

Raffaele was said to be very confused right after the verdict, and to habe lost track of time and reality. He is fragile. Can we hope he will let it go?

Posted by Patou on 04/30/10 at 06:57 PM | #

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