Friday, October 02, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless

Posted by Our Main Posters

Luca Giordano (Fa Pesto), Love and Vice Disarm Justice, 17th century

1. Overview Of The Series

Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries
Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six
Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope
Marasca/Bruno Report #4 Of 7: Continuing Dismissal Of Various Claims
Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts
Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless
Marasca/Bruno Report #7 Of 7: Attempt At Why Court Blinked At Guilt

2. Overview Of The Post

This represents pages 37 to 41 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli already posted the final few pages so one more post of 5 pages will see the completion.

Following this 6th post will be a final brief analysis by Catnip, and following the 7th and final post will be a major analysis of the entire report by lawyer James Raper from legal and evidence standpoints.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final.

3. Why DNA Evidence Is All Rejected

7.1. With these general and abstract considerations, we now examine from a new particular perspective specific details of a broadly problematic case.

In this specific case, in fact, it is not a question of verifying the nature and admissibility of a scientific method that is not really new, as in the Franzoni sentence formerly mentioned, , on the admissibility of the “Blood Pattern Analysis” or B.P.A. (a procedure already accepted in the United States and Germany, combining scientific laws of different universally recognized disciplines) because the objects of examination are the outcomes of the one science, genetics, of well-known reliability and increasing use and utility in judicial investigations.

Furthermore, this Court on multiple occasions has already recognized the procedural value of genetic investigation into DNA, given the statistically great number of confirmative recurrences, making the possibility of an error infinitesimally small (Section 2, n. 8434 of 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of 30 June 2004, Rv.231182).

Here it is more a matter of verifying what kind of procedural value can be assigned in a trial to the results of a genetic investigation carried out in a context of verifying very small samples with very little respect for the rules included in international protocols by which, normally, such scientific research is inspired.

Implicitly referring to the jurisprudential interpretation of legitimacy, the judge has not hesitated to attribute to the aforementioned outcomes evidential relevance (f. 217).

The attribution cannot be shared.

Important to note that the case law of this Supreme Court, cited above, has acknowledged of genetic investigations ““ specifically their degree of reliability ““ full evidential value, and not a mere evidential element, according to article 192, chapter 2, of the code of criminal procedure; adding that, in cases where the genetic investigation doesn’t have absolutely certain outcomes, it can be attributed lesser evidential value (Section 2, n. 8434 of the 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of the 30 June 2004, Rv.231182). This means that, in the situation of placing suspects in terms of firm identity, the outcomes of the genetic investigation can have conclusive relevance, while in case of mere compatibility with a determined genetic profile, the outcomes have a mere circumstantial relevance.

This enunciation of principle needs a further clarification.

Generally, it is possible to accept the respective conclusions, provided the sampling activity, conservation and analysis of the sample were respectful of the requirements stated in the relevant protocols. This is true also in the less firm hypothesis, in which the outcomes of the analysis don’t arrive at a firm identity result, but merely a compatibility one.

The principle of necessary methodological correctness in the phases of collection, conservation and analysis of examined data to preserve their maximum integrity and validity has been stated by this Court in Section F, n. 44851 of 6 September 2012, Franchini, although that was in the area of IT evidence, on the basis that those principles have been included in the code of criminal procedure with the modification of the second chapter of article 244 of the code of criminal procedure and the new particular requirement of article 254 bis of the same code, introduced into law on 19 September 2008, n. 48.

Justifying reasoning resides, for this Court, in the same notion of evidence offered by the standard code of procedure, which in article 192 chapter 2 states that “the existence of a fact cannot be deduced from evidence, unless they are serious, precise and concordant”, so that a procedural element, to be elevated to firm evidence, has to present the characteristics of seriousness, precision and concordance, according to a configuration borrowed from the civil law (article 2729, first chapter, civil code).

This is all summarized in the so called “certainty” requirement of circumstantial, even if such a requisite is not expressly enunciated in article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, chapter 2. It’s about, in fact,  a further connotation considered non-failable in consolidated case law and intrinsically connected to the requirements for systematic evidential proof, through which, using a procedure of formal logic, a demonstration of the proof matter ““ a previously unknown fact - is achieved flowing from a confirmed fact and, therefore, considered true. It is well understood, in fact, that such a procedure would be, in short, fallacious and unreliable, in cases where it moves from non-precise to serious factual premises and therefore to certain. Given, obviously, the fact that the certainty, discussed here, is not to be understood in absolute terms, in an ontological sense; the certainty of the evidential data is, in fact, always a category of a procedural nature, falling within that species of certainty which takes form during the evidential procedure. (cfr. the Franzoni sentence).

In the light of such considerations it’s not clear how the data of the genetic analysis ““ carried out in violation of the prescriptions of the international protocols related to sampling and collection ““ could be considered endowed with the features of seriousness and precision.

And in fact, rules for crystallizing of the results from valid samples, strengthened through repeated experimentations and methodical statistical verifications of experimental data, promote the standards of reliability in the results of the analysis both in hypothesis and identity and simple compatibility with a particular genetic profile. Otherwise, no relevance could be attributed to the acquired data, not even of minor evidence (cfr. Section 2, n. 2476 of 27 November 2014, dep.2015, Santangelo, Rv. 261866, on the necessity of a correct conservation of the vessels containing the genetic imprints, for the purpose of “repeatability” of the technical verifications capable of duplicating the genetic profile; repeatability also is dependent on the quantity of the trace and the quality of the DNA present on the biological samples collected; id. n. 2476/14 cit. Rv. 261867).

In this case, it is certain that these methodological rules have not being fully observed (cfr, among others, ff. 206-207 and the outcomes of the Conte-Vecchiotti survey, acquired by the Court of Appeal of Perugia).

Just consider, in this regard, the modalities of retrieval, sampling and conservation of the two items of major investigative interest in the present judgment: the kitchen knife (item n. 36) and the brassiere hook of the victim (item n. 165/B), regarding to which, during the process, the conduct of the investigators was qualified as lacking in professionalism (f. 207).

The big knife or kitchen knife, retrieved in Sollecito’s house and considered as the weapon of the crime, had been kept in a common cardboard box, very similar to the ones used to pack Christmas gadgets, like the diaries normally given to local authorities by credit institutes.

More singular ““ and unsettling ““ is the fate of the brassiere hook.

Observed during the first inspection of the scientific police, the item had been ignored and left there, on the floor, for some time (46 days), until, during a new search, it was finally picked up and collected. It is sure that, during the period of time between the inspection in which it was observed and when it was collected, there had been other accesses by the investigators, who turned the room upside down in a search for elements of evidence useful to the investigation. The hook was maybe stepped on or moved (enough to be retrieved on the floor in a different place from where it was firstly noticed). And also, the photographic documentation produced by Sollecito’s defense demonstrates that, during the sampling, the hook was passed hand in hand between the operators who, furthermore, wore dirty latex gloves.

Questioned on the reasons for the absence of a prompt sampling, the official of the scientific police, doc. Patrizia Stefanoni, declared that, initially, the collection of the hook was not focused on because the team had already collected all the clothes of the victim. Therefore, no importance was attributed to that little detail, even if, in common perception, that fastening is the part of major investigative interest, being manually operable and, therefore, a potential carrier of biological traces useful for the investigation.

Also, the traces observed on the two items, which the analysis of has produced outcomes that will be discussed further, were very small (Low Copy Number; with reference to the hook cfr. ff. 222 and 248), so little that it didn’t allow a repetition of the amplification¸ that is the procedure aimed to “highlight the genetic traces of interest in the sample” (f. 238) and attribute the biological trace to a determined genetic profile. On the basis of the protocols of the matter, the repetition of the analysis (“at least for two times” testimony of Major CC Dr Andrea Berti, an expert nominated by the Appeal Court, f. 228; “three times” according to Professor Adriano Tagliabracci, technical adviser for Sollecito’s defense, f.126) is absolutely necessary for a reliable analysis result, in order to marginalize the risk of “false positive” within the statistical limits of insignificant relevance. 

In essence, it is nothing less than a procedure of validation or falsification typical of the scientific method, of which we have talked before. And it’s significant, in this regard, that the experts Berti-Berni, officials of the R.I.S. of Roma, carried out two amplifications of the trace retrieved from the knife blade (f. 229).

In absence of verification for repetition of the investigation data, it is questionable what could be the relevant value to the proceedings, even if detached from the scientific theoretical debate on the relevance of the outcomes of investigations carried out on such scarce or complex samples in situations not allowing repetition.

The Court is sure that the scientific truth, regardless of elaboration, cannot automatically be introduced in to the process to transform itself into procedural truth. As stated before, scientific proof requires a mandatory postulate, verification, so that the relevant outcome can take on relevance and be elevated to the rank of “certainty”; since otherwise it remains unreliable. But, independent of the scientific evaluation, an unverified datum, precisely because it is lacking in the necessary requirements of precision and seriousness, cannot be granted in the process any evidentiary relevance.

Certainly, in such a context, is not a zero, to be considered non-existant. In fact, it is still process data, which, although lacking in autonomous demonstrative relevance, is nevertheless susceptible to appreciation, at least as a mere confirmation, within a set of elements already equipped with such inclusive indicative value.

Therefore hidden here is the judicial error in which the trial judge committed in assigning evidential value to the outcome of the genetic investigation unsusceptible to amplification and resulting from an unorthodox procedure of collection and sampling.

7.2 In order to clarify any possible misunderstanding in this regard, it is worth considering that if it is impossible to attribute significant demonstrative relevance, in the court process, to outcomes of genetic investigations not repeated and made unsusceptible to repetition, because of scarceness or complexity of the sample,  it is not possible to compensate by way of claiming the efficacy and usability of the “unrepeatable” technical verifications, in case of, as in this circumstance, observance of the defensive guarantees accorded in article 360 of the code of criminal procedure. In fact, the technical investigations to which the procedural rule mentioned are those that ““ for crystal-clear positive formulation ““ are related to “persons, things or places the status of which is subject to modification”, in other words situations of any type or category which, according to their nature, are variable, therefore it is necessary to crystallize their status unequivocally even before the preliminary investigation phase, to avoid irreversible modifications with an outcome that under standard procedures is destined to be utilized during the court hearings. This is allowed because the verification to be carried out, especially in cases of impossibility of repetition because of modification of the item to be examined, is still capable of highlighting already-accepted realities or entities equipped with demonstrative value. In this case, despite the observance of the rules expressed in article 360 of the standard code of procedure, the acquired data ““ not repeated and not susceptible to repetition for any reason ““ cannot assume either probative or evidential relevance, precisely because, according to the aforementioned laws of science, it requires validation or falsification. So, in one instance the empiric data, when immediately “photographed”, acquires demonstrative significance; while in another instance it’s lacking such a feature, precisely because its indicative relevance is indissolubly bound to its repetition or repeatability.


I can’t wait to read this post about why the DNA was found useless, but am just back from a short beach trip still unpacking, washing, with sand still in clothes.

Suddenly two things happen: I ran out to grab a bite at a restaurant and a guy walked in who was the spitting image of Raffaele Sollecito. Boy was he was spiffy. He had on aviator sunglasses, stone washed khaki shorts, the latest black strap men’s sandals, expensive sports clothes, tennis sweater, wristband. He was driving a Toyo 4Runner with his long layered hair in golden brown exactly like Raffaele’s haircut shown when Raf wore the white suit.

I could barely eat for sneaking glances at him. I said to myself, “This is a sign Sollecito is doing well. I wonder what’s on the website I’ve missed.” Then a few hours later I see online at Daily Mail today’s headline:


Former boyfriend of Amanda Knox is awarded 47,000 (euros or $72,000) in public cash to set up ‘social network commemorating the dead’ seven months after being cleared of killing Meredith Kercher.

I could not believe it. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.

The Puglia region has awarded him the big money. Half is a loan and half is a free grant, for him to hire 2 secretaries and 2 interns. The money comes to him over a 3-year period and not all at once.

It comes from a fund for Puglia in southern Italy “for new business initiatives reserved for the unemployed under 35-year-olds”, says the Daily Mail.

They show Raf in his white suit in the old photo of him standing in front of the mural with the birdcage in background.

So this is the company he calls “Memories”, which he will develop with this grant money. He says he dreamed the company up when he was in Terni prison, because he wanted a way to remember his mother. He was feeling sad that he couldn’t go to her grave. He was missing her badly. He says Memories will be an online portal with an app, “a sort of social network to commemorate the dead.”

The article claims Raffaele sees himself in 10 years time as married with children and running a successful business and that he would like for his family to meet Meredith’s family ‘to clear everything up once and for all’. This is TKO to me as in total knockout. Can you believe it?

Now he is playing rugby, says The Mail.

Posted by Hopeful on 10/31/15 at 02:11 AM | #

@Hopeful, couldn’t find it in my internet Daily Mail, but it’s in Corriere della sera 30 Oct. 2015.
My mind is Boggled.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 10/31/15 at 05:31 AM | #

God RS is a total (sick) twerp. He wants to “clear everything up once and for all” (understandably, it can’t be much fun living with the knowledge that you were involved in a murder, knowing you haven’t been exonerated and knowing that people will always think you’re guilty). The only way to clear everything up is to tell the truth and face the music - something his upbringing has failed to teach him.

Unfortunately of course Dad and his freemason “brothers” in the judiciary, no doubt mindful of their masonic oath* have postponed the possibility of him taking on any new learning with regard to the need for honesty.

Thanks for this news Hopeful.


I do solemnly promise, vow, and swear, that I will always and at all times love the Brotherhood heartily and therefore will charitably hide and conceal and cover all the sins, frailties and errors of every Brother to the utmost or my power.”

Posted by Odysseus on 10/31/15 at 10:10 AM | #

Yeah Sollecito deserves all the pushback he gets - and for him it IS getting worse. These macho initiatives of RS’s are fairly old news in Italy and it is important to note that they go back to the months prior to the Marasca/Bruno report coming out. We touched on them in the threads, and Ergon’s place had more.

Sollecito was on a high after the Fifth Chambers pronouncement late in March, but was reported as shaken and sulky after the report came out, which does call him a liar and does place him at the scene and does open the way to civil suits. A comment I made under Chimera’s most recent post:

Judges Marasca and Bruno are clearly not in a comfortable position now, even though there was a huge move on their part between their hastily explained verdict late March and when their full report came out in September - they had moved from 180 degrees away from guilt to about 1 degree away from guilt in less than six months. In the interim in Italy, among other ridicule, this huge shot across their bows came out.

Maori and Bongiorno have had no public comeback against that, and remember, it has sparked an investigation by the Florence court, which was already ticked off,  which in time should have Marasca and Bruno in its sites.

The translations into Italian for postings on our Italiano page of the dissections by Catnip and (starting next week) James Raper showing that even that finding of 1 degree of guilt has feet of sand will conveniently dovetail nicely with that.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/15 at 02:26 PM | #

As Catnip observed in his dissection post #3 this section of the report parrots Bongiorno’s nasty innuendo almost word for word.

There never was a cardboard box, of course, and the delay in collecting the bra clasp was directly the defense lawyers’ doing.

Stefanoni realised the same day Meredith’s clothes were collected that the bra clasp was missing. It took 64 days for defense to make their observers available for her to go and collect it.

Zero possibility of DNA contamination was ever proved - and the First Chambers in 2013 said that was the defense’s role to prove, and the defenses had come up blank.

And (again) why are C&V of the annulled Hellmann appeal being quoted? Did Marasca and Bruno even KNOW about the Carabinieri report, and how C&V were slammed?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/15 at 03:54 PM | #

DNA useless? The Supreme Court has a very weak argument for contamination of the knife. The knife was placed in a clean box. That is the issue, isn’t it, was the box really “clean”, or did it somehow contain Amanda’s DNA that had been inadvertently introduced by an investigator touching or reaching inside the box after he had touched Amanda’s DNA by handling things of hers in the cottage? or Meredith’s DNA from investigating the crime scene and touching Meredith’s blood? Because BOTH those DNAs were found on Sollecito’s knife. Is the Supreme Court saying that both those DNAs were possibly transferred there by touch and cross contamination by third party hands, when Meredith’s was found deep within a groove of the stainless steel or whatever the knife blade is made of, a metal, which had also been visibly washed and scrubbed before the police touched it to pick it up and place it in a box? an egregious abuse of chain of custody? This seems ridiculously doubtful.

If the DNA on the knife was not due to police mishandling of the knife, then the argument they next use is the repeatability of testing it issue. The LCN low copy number. This is a much more technical argument that experts need to decide, but then the Court raises the straw man of international protocols which don’t even exist.

The knife evidence is strong.

Then comes the bra clasp. The theory of contamination here is stronger because of the long lapse of time before collecting the clasp, time in which it should have been safeguarded instead of 46 days in the cottage being possibly stepped on, handled, and later found moved. This implies that someone with Raffaele’s DNA either on a gloved hand or ungloved hand, or by transfer from their shoes where they had possibly stepped in Raf’s DNA elsewhere at his apartment or the cottage, then accidentally (or worse? on purpose) pressed his DNA by secondary transfer into the tiny metal of the bra clasp. This is a huge leap. It most likely did not occur. However, the court may have a bit more reason to suspect the bra clasp DNA than they do the knife. The repeatability of the tests on such a small sample then becomes a separate question. The 17 out of 17 loci found that match Raffaele’s DNA exactly, seems adequate certainty that DNA is his. The question remains, how did it get there? More likely when he was pressing the clasp with his own fingers and cutting off the bra, then he forgot to wipe off his fingerprints from such a small place. He, too, got sloppy. Then he got lucky when the cottage was unsecured and the item left them by forensics team. We recall the breakin and the candles being burnt and other knives laid around in some demonic show of activity that involved the mattress, too that occurred after the crime…maybe Masonic friends hoping to confuse the investigation and throw doubt as in cast suspicion once again onto a break-in, this done by people not who truly wanted to party in an empty building but who knew about the case intimately and were either mocking it or trying to mock the police.

The source of the contamination (had there been contamination, which is by no means proven or realistic) seems it must have come from Raf’s apartment if it came from anywhere. That’s because Raffaele left very little DNA in the cottage, except on a cigarette butt. So police with clean suits and shoe covers and clean rubber gloves on walked in there and began touching things, even without changing gloves, where would they have picked up Raf’s DNA onto their hands or feet to then transfer onto other things such as a bra clasp? He spent little time at the cottage, but he did visit there.

Both reasons to rule out the DNA findings seem patently ridiculous, especially the knife which was not passed around from one person to another in some careless fashion. Stefanoni found Meredith’s DNA on it in careful lab test. Berni and Berti worked on it, too, in Rome.

But the biggest issue is why the Supremes state that Amanda was probably in the cottage at the time of the murder (and if so, then Raffaele with her). Where do they get that assumption if not from the DNA? (and this finding of the Supreme Court should be the shouted headlines, which proves a contradiction in the innocence ruling. How could they be there yet not be a part of the crime, even if specific actions of each cannot be determined? because it proves they lied about their alibi and thus we can assume they lied about their part in the murder, if they were at the murder!!!??? I just don’t understand this conundrum.)

Posted by Hopeful on 10/31/15 at 04:18 PM | #

Again - How come the English DNA experts could identify Richard III’s DNA 400 Years after his life was cut-off?

Should they have been dismissed because more than 45 days had elapsed?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 10/31/15 at 04:50 PM | #


Good point. It’s way past time that antediluvian systems of justice caught up with 21st century science.

It will happen, but possibly not in our lifetimes:  there are too many people jealously guarding their arcane and precious knowledge of legal procedures, etc. These scribes and clerks, poring over their precedents, no doubt mean well (we can hope anyway) - perhaps they don’t want to be rushed into possibly supporting erroneous change (DNA can be contaminated, etc.), yet DNA profiling has been around for some 30+ years, and - with results from a <u>closed crime scenes</u> - there should surely be more faith in it by now.

Posted by Odysseus on 10/31/15 at 05:58 PM | #

Enough. Amanda killed Meredith as sure as OJ killed his wife and her boyfriend. This endless discussion of evidence failures is pointless now. Knox’s 15 minutes are over.

Do something constructive like raise money for a memorial or scholarship for Meredith.

Posted by stevema14420 on 11/01/15 at 01:30 AM | #


Why so angry? This website provides a forum where people who were and remain incredulous at this whole affair can swap ideas and generally get things off their chest. Who knows what may come of it and Peter Quennell has certainly indicated in the past that this site has been instrumental in helping to expose the worst of the FOA types, some of whom had been getting a relatively free ride in the media.

Every little helps and whilst we appear to be at an impasse just now, keeping this case in the public consciousness is crucial in my opinion. There are still many lies that the general public have swallowed that need to be exposed. This is something that a memorial or scholarship would not achieve.

I would respectfully suggest that you don’t bother coming back to read further articles or comments as it seems to cause you angst. I think the vast majority of other posters here find it a valuable and informative resource.

Posted by davidmulhern on 11/01/15 at 01:48 AM | #

Poor Chris. We’d been wondering when he was going to post since he registered way back in 2009.

We’ve been getting emails saying that ONLY NOW have the Knox-Mellas dummies woken up to the dire implications for RS and AK that Machiavelli posted on way back here.

In contrast Sollecito realised right away, when the report came out, or his lawyers beat Ghirga and Dalla Vedova by two months.

Sollecito is reported as being in a big sulk. I guess now Knox and Mellas are too.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/01/15 at 02:10 AM | #
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Or to next entry TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts

Or to previous entry The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #1 The Strange “Dogmatic Assertions” Approach