Monday, March 28, 2011
Knox Supporters Confident & Media Skepticism Swells
A couple of days ago one of my neighbor said to me, “Hey Will, did you hear: Amanda Knox is getting out of jail in May ? I heard it on the news.”
Criminologist, Casey Jordan, also said that “Amanda and Raffaele may walk free in May.”
The 26 March 2011, hearing was definitely a win for the defense, but was it as big of a win as the American media, Knox’s family, and even my neighbor make it seem?
Let’s start by noting that Curatolo had not even come on the radar until the trial started; he was not a part of the six preliminary hearings that led to a decision to try Knox and Sollecito. There was plenty of evidence to send them to trial before Curatolo emerged.
“He [Curatolo] basically blew the whole prosecution's case right then and there,” Knox’s sister, Deanna Knox, told “Early Show” co-anchor Chris Wragge. So now we are getting our legal commentary from Amanda’s little sister? This time in the case is reminiscent of a time in the original trial when Knox’s family and the American media showed the same type of optimism in the case, just before Knox’s conviction.
The fact is that Knox and Sollecito’s appeal appears to be solely based on the knife, the bra clasp, and Antonio Curatolo’s testimony. Nonetheless, neither defense team seems to be contesting any other evidence in the case.
• What about the bloody barefoot print on the bathmat that is compatible with Sollecito and is in Meredith’s blood?
• What about the 5 spots in the house that were mixed with Knox and Kercher’s DNA (3 of the spots were blood spots mixed with the genetic profiles of them both)?
• What about the plethora of lies told by Knox and Sollecito, including that they told the postal police (who arrived at 12:30pm) that they had already called 211 (when they didn’t call 211 until 12:54pm)? And let's not forget that make-believe party that Sollecito claimed he and Knox attended on the night of the murder with that make-believe friend.
• What about the staged break-in?
• What about Mr. Quintavalle, who said that Knox was in his store at 7:45a.m., the morning after the murder—when she claimed that she didn’t wake up until 10:00a.m., that morning?
• What about Knox’s written confession?
• What about the bloody shoe print found on the pillow under Kercher’s body, which experts claimed was compatible with Knox?
• What about the other 2 footprints, revealed only by luminol (1 attributed to Knox and one to Sollecito)?
Frankly, it’s ludicrous to think that Knox would win the appeal solely based on these pieces of evidence; it is like saying that she was convicted based on only these evidentiary items, which Knox supporters would like to have you believe. So if it is ruled during the appeal that the knife is discredited or held unreliable as the murder weapon and Curatola’s testimony is not reliable then there is still sufficient evidence to convict the pair. If the bra clasp, however, is held as unreliable—and this does not mean by the independent experts, necessarily, but by the judges and jury members—then the case looks much better for Knox and Sollecito, particularly Sollecito. Yet, there is still a lot of evidence against them.
It is also important to note that during the original trial one of the judge’s witnesses, forensic expert, Mariano Cingolani, testified that the knife did not match one of the two knife wounds on the right hand side of Kercher’s neck. However, he also cautioned that “no firm conclusion could be drawn without knowing the position of Kercher’s neck during the attack or the elasticity of her tissues.” I point this out because this was a judge's witness (or independent witness) from the original trial--just like the two who will be testifying--and they were still convicted.
Best case scenario, in my opinion, Knox’s sentence will be reduced a couple of years if the knife evidence is held as unreliable—which would still be considered a big win, because I strongly believe that she was involved. This is unlikely, however, as Guede’s sentence was reduced from 30yrs to 16yrs upon appeal. Guede’s sentence was reduced primarily because of Knox and Sollecito’s trial--the Italian Supreme Court ruled that there was more than one person involved in the crime, and they implicated Knox and Sollecito in their ruling; thus, diminishing Guede's role and sentence as a result. Hypothetically speaking, if Knox and Sollecito "walk" then Guede gets only 16yrs for killing Meredith Kercher. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that I am: Knox and Sollecito’s sentences both stand at the end of this appeal. In any event, May 21 (date the experts will give testimony) will be another circus-type event in Italy’s trial of the century.
In other case news, the Sollecito family criminal trial and civil trial for leaking evidence—primarily the crime scene footage showing Kercher’s naked body and close-up shots of her wounds—and for trying to persuade politicians to get key officers off of the case will both start on 29 April 2011. More on this coming soon (also covered extensively in my book).