Friday, March 05, 2010

Sentencing Report: Washington State Lawyer Bill Edelblute Offers An Opinion

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for Bill Edelblute’s full commentary in The Examiner. Key Excerpts:

Sometimes analysts of legal or criminal matters will say, the simplest explanation is the best.  When the victims’ DNA is on a knife blade, and the suspect’s DNA is on the knife handle, what is the simplest conclusion?  When someone blames an innocent person, the simplest explanation is that they are a liar, are themselves guilty, and can have no conscience of any kind to deprive an innocent person of their liberty.

To those who condemn the Italian criminal court system, show us the written findings that have to back up a verdict rendered in the United States of America.  There are none, once a judge finds evidence sufficient to go to a jury, all you hear after that is “guilty,” “not guilty,” or unable to reach a decision (hung jury.)  The jury does not have to speak to anyone after the verdict if they choose in the U.S. and their exact reasoning can remain forever a mystery.

Issuing the written report, with the detail Knox and Sollecito don’t want to hear, helps remind us that Meredith Kercher was a living, breathing, feeling, thinking person, until they came along.  Instead of just a piece in a board game that Knox supporters play.

The report provides a basis for the facts in the case, instead of cheap shots taken by those with no consequences to pay when they are wrong. 

In a recent Oprah show, Knox’s new American attorney on appeal [Theodore Simon] stated unequivocally that there had been “no interpreter” when defending Amanda’s blatantly false accusation of Patrick Lumumba, her former boss. 

In fact, Knox’s own trial testimony refers to the interpreter that was present,  as she gives her pathetic excuse of why she was going to let Lumumba rot in prison if she could get away with it.  (Give a college student a few bucks, she can eat for a day.  But give her a job, and she will put you in prison for life.) ....

The written “motivations” may dispel some of the media hysteria that would otherwise surround the appellate process. 

The side supporting Knox is largely based on the premise that typical American female college students do not suddenly become transformed into murders upon their arrival in Italy.  And, that the police abused Knox into an admission she was at the scene, poorly handled DNA evidence, and that one of the prosecutors, Mignini, has been found to have committed evidentiary abuses in another case.

But the evidence is that Knox is not exactly clean-cut, that there is considerable physical evidence against her, that she clearly changed stories, and could not identify the policewoman she says was hitting her in what she claimed was a 14 hour interrogation.  Her own explanation for changing stories included not remembering much of the night due to hashish consumption. 

And while each item of evidence viewed in isolation has its weaknesses, it is curious that there are so many different pieces of it that need explaining. 

The DNA on the knife, the DNA in the bloody footprints, the change in stories of both Knox and of Sollecito, the accusation of an innocent person by Knox, Knox’s demeanor as shown on videotape outside the crime scene (extended kissing with her boyfriend), as shown by witnesses at the police station, of showing little emotion, and turning cartwheels, doing the splits, at the station.  Of statements made just a few days later while buying underwear that she would have wild sex with her boyfriend that night. 

Of the argument that a normal college student just doesn’t kill her roommate, there is abundant evidence of actions by Knox that are anything but normal. 

Little Miss West Seattle comforted a fellow roommate worrying about whether Meredith suffered by saying “What do you think? ...  She f ... ing bled to death.” Apart from how she knew the victim bled to death, is that normal empathy for the victim? 

There is just too much here to suggest that the charging and conviction of Amanda Knox was the result of anti-Americanism by an incompetent court system.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/05/10 at 07:06 PM in Trials 2008 & 2009The Massei Report


We are onto the Alessi story (Alessi, a child-murderer with everything to gain, was Guede’s cellmate at Viterbo and said via Sollecito’s defense team that Guede told him he was at the house with someone else) and will post if there’s anything to it.

First reactions in Italy are all cynical. Guede’s own lawyers have already denied the story.  And the Sollecito defense and the family themselves have had a rather sorry history of diversions.

None ever gained traction, the test-climb through Filomena’s window failed, the family has an ongoing investigation against it for releasing the Telenorba video of Meredith, and Sollecito’s sister got fired from the Carabinieri for trying some political persuasion.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/06/10 at 02:16 PM | #


I’m telling you now, you read it here first and it’s an exclusive to the TMK site: but I have it heard it said, and from a reliable source, that Amanda Knox was not in Europe, let alone Perugia, on 1 November 2007.

But don’t tell anyone, ok?

Posted by Chan on 03/06/10 at 04:45 PM | #

Rudy’s pulling a Joran van der Sloot with the Alessi story. It’s a new bid for attention. He’s stirred up by the Oprah Show, the judges report, the appeal. Naturally he wants to milk the celebrity and stay prominent.

Van der Sloot’s father died recently and suddenly Joran flags down the media with a new lie to sell about Natalee falling off a balcony. Joran knows he partly caused his dad’s early demise by dragging him into the angry storm of Natalee Holloway case. So now he’s doing what liars do best, basking in the warmth of others’ confusion to relieve their own.

Rudy’s reward for his tall tale is being center ring in the circus again, sending veiled threats to AK & RS in form of “what I say could sway your appeal, what you gonna do for me? Hey, I’ll try to get RS off the hook completely. He’s the one I care about. AK’s just a drugged up tart.”

Rudy and Joran pull one more con. Joran kills 2 birds with 1 stone by making money off his circus act. Both of them gain power and notoriety, respect in some circles, yank lawyers around.

If the only prestige a man ever obtained was from his cons, they will grow more elaborate.

As for the appeal, perhaps the original bloody bedspread under MK’s body or the tennis shoes worn by AK or the keys will be found in local dump.

New things will emerge. Even Filomena and Laura may have more information about Foxy’s ways in the apartment. Much could be unearthed about Raffaelle, especially his stay at the boarding school.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/06/10 at 05:28 PM | #

Rude is pathetic scum but he is in the catbird seat. No doubt it will become more circus like as the teams for Knox and Sollecito try to triangulate whether to kill him in prison or bribe him with promises of riches for any exculpatory utterances regarding their respective murderers.

Posted by jennifer on 03/06/10 at 08:54 PM | #

“Rude is pathetic scum but he is in the catbird seat. No doubt it will become more circus like as the teams for Knox and Sollecito try to triangulate whether to kill him in prison or bribe him with promises of riches for any exculpatory utterances regarding their respective murderers.”

This is what I can’t understand. It has already been mentioned in the sentencing report that the judges feel that Rudy was the instigator, not Knox or Sollecito. Hard to believe, but if true, then they must be having a field day IMO. Unfortunately, the jury did not agree with Mignini, as he thought that AK was the gang leader.

A question is….  Why would the FOA/defence teams feel the need to bribe or threaten Rudy’s life? Unless of course they know AK and RS are guilty, they are worried and know hes got something to say and need to shut him up, and so their heavy pressure will help do it, hence the threats and/or promises of riches. But hang on…. The defence keep pleading innocence, so that doesn’t make any sense at all..

No disrespect to the judges, AK and RS have been painted to be seen as playing a lesser role as followers in Meredith’s murder. In my mind, to be a follower is just as bad as being an instigator. I am getting the impression from the report that being a follower somehow makes it easy for AK and RS. I bet they are both thinking, “this is good for our appeals”. I do hope this is not the case.

They have already got it easy.

As incredibly, they are swanning around prison living the life of luxury…. The Italians should be praised for giving them that privilege. Baking frigging cakes, working in the prison library, being able to finish their studies and taking part in sports and all the rest of it…. Give me a break.

What more do their defence teams want??

I think punishment should fit the crime. Whether it’s premeditated or spontaneous murder, murder is murder to me.

All three have been convicted of a terrible crime, not stealing candy from a store, but having said that, they all may as well of done that, as by the looks of it stated above, the only punishment they are enduring is living a good life thanks to the Italians..

Posted by perfumedflower on 03/07/10 at 12:14 AM | #

Well said, perfumed flower

Posted by Ann-Marie on 03/07/10 at 09:36 AM | #

Either Alessi is lying or Sollecito’s clan got to Guede.  I’m thinking that it’s a lie.  One of the news items I read this morning said that Guede himself denied it emphatically.  I do find it curious that Sollecito’s camp has been so quiet, and given their history of meddling in the case, perhaps something is going on behind the scenes.

At any rate, the Seattle gang is all over this like a cheap suit, calling it a breakthrough.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/07/10 at 05:15 PM | #

Hopeful, i do see some parallels to Joran with this case but the interview he did was months ago, why it was released now was up to the television station. Terror Jaap (the guy responsible) had been trying to get this show televised for months, but like many of the players in this story, there is a need for the limelight.

Posted by mojo on 03/07/10 at 06:11 PM | #

The sad truth is, in this world you can go into court a Saint and go out a Sinner or vice versa. Very often the truth has nothing to do with the way things pan out.

The longer this goes on the more likely that the Knox side are going to be successful, to one degree or another. All the Knox team are going to do is pick holes in everything that is said and done - that for me is their strategy - and sooner or later they may well find something they can grab onto - and help tear the prosecution apart. That is a fairly simple, tried and trusted approach, and that is what is going on here.

This is going to be a long hard fight - or eventually perhaps the Italians may choose the easy way out, and behind the scenes do some sort of a deal in an attempt to bring this mess quietly to an end. Who knows? I hope not!

Posted by Paddy5000 on 03/07/10 at 06:21 PM | #

Hi Paddy,

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, the FOA and a significant element in the US media still don’t understand that they cannot influence the legal proceedings in Italy. Their efforts have had absolutely no effect.

TJMK poster Commissario Montalbano explains why the judiciary in Perugia will take no notice of any outside pressure in this excellent piece:

Posted by The Machine on 03/07/10 at 07:07 PM | #

Hi Paddy5000.  I’m not seeing that scenario happening either. What you label a mess doesn’t look like a mess in Italy, especially in light of the judges report. They don’t even see a fight.

The FOA wiggle room has just been sharply reduced: the evidence really does stand up as a coherent whole. It looks to be pretty well over except for possible minor adjustment of the sentence.

The appeal hearing probably won’t last more than two days - study Guede’s where the judge was very firm about admitting no new stuff. This won’t be an elaborate whole new trial. And Mignini has zero role from now on.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/07/10 at 08:41 PM | #

Hi Machine and Peter,

Thanks for both of your comments. I hope you are both right. The thought of these people getting away with this and indeed possibly gaining from it financially is truly disgusting to say the very least. Thanks also for all the great work you are doing:+). Keep on doing it:+)

Posted by Paddy5000 on 03/08/10 at 02:35 AM | #

I gave the Alessi issue more thought after my inital posting and there would be no logical reason for Rudy Guede to exculpate the people who left him holding the proverbial bag while cleaning up their own evidence. Of course, that will not stop the Knox/Mellas/FOA camp from trying to make people believe that Alessi was telling the truth.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/08/10 at 03:34 AM | #

Although the “Procuratore Generale della Repubblica presso la Corte d’Assise d’Appello” has jurisdiction over the appeal as the competent prosecutor, he also has the faculty to call the same Prosecutor at the trial of first instance to argue the case in Appeal.

In other words, the Procuratore Generale could call Mignini and Comodi to argue the case in appeal, if he believes that the case is very complicated and the original Procuratore would be better suited to argue in the appeal.

It’s an anomalous procedure, but it is sometime used in some very complex cases.

Posted by Commissario Montalbano on 03/08/10 at 08:23 PM | #

I am still puzzled by Knox’s series of SMS messages to Meredith during those last days. Was she honestly attempting to draw M into some shared activity, innocent or otherwise, or was she trying to determine whether, indeed, the cottage would be utterly devoid of any normal occupant for the weekend? Why wouldn’t M have spent the night at her friend’s flat?
If AK, RS and RG wanted to have a loud, druggy, skanky party,without disturbing neighbor’s in the guy’s buildings, perhaps they did see M as the wet blanket.

I don’t think the lack of premeditation, or “prank” versus Malice makes a damned bit of difference, tho, mainly because of:
Raff’s nutty “pricked her hand while cooking” coverup, his self-
proffessed interest in” extreme sensations”, his limited sexual  
experience (involving a warm hand that was not attatched to his
own body) and his obvious Superiority complex. I’m sorry his
mum didn’t stick around; I think his understanding of women
was severely stunted.
Amanda’s lack of pain over Meredith’s suffering. A total stranger  
should have received a more somber response than she
Rudy’s alleged urges, to sex, or violence, or both, did not go
beyond digital penetration? What kind of rapist uses his finger, 
except perhaps one who is being egged on by an audience
more into humiliating the victim than he is? The guy got sick- 
he had to rush to the toilet. I think he wanted to get the hell out
of that cottage as quickly as possible, because he knew things
had gone way out of control. Not because he was feeling sorry
for Meredith.
These three will not outlive their own mediocrity, behind bars, or freed.

Posted by mimi on 03/09/10 at 07:31 AM | #

commissario montalbano,

I’m hoping that you have answers to my curiosity.

Rudy got 30 years and ‘fast-tracked’ his trial.

K/S got 24 years but did not.

On appeal, rudy got assigned the same verdict as K/S, 24 years; BUT, got a 1/3 discount because he originally fast-tracked his trial.

Now, K/S will appeal. I think it will be reduced from 1st degree to 2nd degree murder and other factors I say they will probably end up with say 18 years or even less, given that Rudy is now seen as the main instigator and he has 16 years!

Does this mean that Rudy will have his sentence reduced to 12?

(18-1/3=6years => 12 years)

how does it work?

Posted by Chan on 03/09/10 at 01:19 PM | #

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