Injustice in Perugia: The Fraudulent Conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

My deepest sympathies go out to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, as well as their families.

I don’t think I believed they would actually be convicted; I knew it was a possibility, given how shockingly corrupt the prosecution has been, but I was still stunned when I saw the guilty verdict.

The lead prosecutor in Knox’s case is Giuliano Mignini, a paranoid conspiracy theorist who has never displayed any concern for the truth of his allegations. Amanda Knox’s conviction makes for a great story — crazed American sexual deviant rapes and murders her roommate! News at 11! Also she does yoga, the evil little slut!– and that was enough to convince him of her guilt.

This article a few days ago in the New York Times Opinionater sums it up:

In closing arguments, Knox was described as a “Luciferina” and “a dirty-minded she-devil.” Preposterous, made-up sexual motives were ascribed to her. One prosecutor speculated before the jury what Knox may have said to Meredith Kercher before, he claimed, forcing an orgy that resulted in her death:

“You are always behaving like a little saint. Now we will show you. Now we will make you have sex.”

Nobody alleges that Knox said this to Kercher. But prosecutors asked the jury to imagine her saying such a thing.

What century is this? Didn’t Joan of Arc, the Inquisition and our own American Salem witch trials teach civilized nations a thing or two about contrived sexual hysteria with a devil twist?

The fact Amanda Knox is an American has undoubtedly played a role in her prosecution and conviction, as well; the jury was clearly influenced by the national identities involved, and at the reading of the verdict, six of the eight jurors were wearing red, white, and green sashes, the color of Italy’s flag.

The man who killed Meredith Kercher is in jail; Rudy Guede was fairly blatantly guilty from the beginning, with plenty of physical evidence plus his own confession to prove it. There is no coherent theory that can explain how he, Amanda, and Raffaele could have all been involved, even ignoring the fact there is zero believable evidence to show either Amanda or Raffaele alone were involved.

I suppose things could go well for them on appeal, but I don’t hold much hope for that. It’s time for the State Department to bring out the big guns, and do what they can to bring Amanda Knox home.

-Susan

16 thoughts on “Injustice in Perugia: The Fraudulent Conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

  1. Dear Susan, Thank you for this article. Between the lies of the Prosector and the EVIL LYING Sensationalizing Italian & British Media have webbed a net of ignorant brainwashing lies to the Public. Also most Americans do not know this but Juries are not sequestered from the public or Prosecutor (who I understand is in trouble with some other situation in Italy). I researched this trial thoroughly and couldn’t believe that after Rudy Guede was arrested and admitted that he was alone with Meredith and had sex with her. His DNA was inside of Meredith he killed her. He was tried and convicted. Italy has a really dysfunctional judicial system in my opinion. I have heard from several people in the past who had problems in Italy and they were beaten up by the Police and one of them was a Frenchman. Italy must really hate the US to punish this innocent girl for a crime she and her boyfriend did not committ, they are so pathetic that they even punished one of their own who would have had a good future (Raffaele). I hope this Prosecutor is found guility of corruption, lies and admits that he sawayed the jury. This makes me sick I say boycott Italy its a dangerous place. I hope somebody gets President Obama to act on this.After all how would he feel if his daughter or for that fact anyone elses child in America was Wrongfully Convicted when all DNA evidence points to real killer as in this case Rudy Guede (a career criminal and a known lair and drug dealer).

    • To be fair, I don’t want to overstate the case that Knox’s conviction is a result of “Italy hates the U.S.” It’s not that simple; she wouldn’t even necessarily need to be American, quite a few other nationalities would have fit the narrative that the prosecution has cooked up.

      Urban legends — and in a way, that’s exactly what the idea of Knox’s guilt is — always play on some deeper anxiety in the population, and often also rely on a good satisfying dose of schadenfreude at the end. The story of ‘normal seeming foreign woman from a country that is arrogant and thinks it is better than us turns out to be a horrifying, sexually violent she-demon’ does serve to confirm beliefs about how corrupt and violent Americans are at heart.

      And bringing in Raffaele gives the tale another moral: don’t become romantically involved with foreigners, they will corrupt you and turn you into someone like them. Why don’t you just date nice Italian girls instead?

      But I think having President Obama get involved directly would be a really, really bad idea. If the Italy feels that it is being pressured or bullied into bending its own justice system to serve the Americans, they will do everything they can to do exactly the opposite of what is asked. The State Department played it exactly right so far — they did not get involved and further inflame the rhetoric of American intervention overseas.

      Now that she’s been convicted, though, I really hope they’re quietly bringing to bear diplomatic pressure to encourage a successful appeal.

  2. I agree. Put the pressure on Italian industry to twist the arm of the justice system – it’s all political anyway – to overthrow this ludicrous decision. Starting now, boycott all Italian made products, cancel your vacation to Italy until justice prevails!

  3. I watched and followed this trial with great interest…and for the first time the Italian court system has got it right. This person (Amanda Knox)is a lying evil scheaming bitch and she desirves all she gets,it is a shame Italy does not have the death penalty

    • “Evil scheming bitch.” Interesting choice of gendered language there; your belief in her guilt in the absence of any physical evidence wouldn’t at all be influenced by her being a somewhat non-traditional woman who freely admits to having sex with her casual boyfriend, would it? I’d hope not, but that seems to be a common theme going around.

      I cannot think of a single occasion, ever, where an American college student has gotten involved in some kind of nonconsensual violent “sex game” orgy with a roommate that lead to the other’s death. Because the very idea is like those stupid myths about people putting poison in Halloween candy; it makes for an exciting scandal, but it’s never actually happened. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and the prosecution has no proof at all, or at least none that would ever be admitted to an American court.

      Additionally, there is no evidence from Amanda’s past acts, text messages, emails, or other conduct that she is into crazy death sex games. People that nuts don’t start out with the full blown rape-and-murder — they start small, and work their way up. The idea that Amanda Knox would one day wake up and decide, “Hey, you know what? This sort of thing has never occurred to me before, but what I really want to do today is rape and murder my roommate!” just isn’t even remotely plausible.

  4. Pingback: Amanda Knox’s Conviction and What Not To Do About It « The View From LL2

  5. Pingback: Evaluating the Amanda Knox Trial: A Response to Susan « The View From LL2

  6. The evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is overwhelming.

    Amanda Knox’s DNA was found on:

    1. On the double DNA knife and a number of independent forensic experts – Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo and Professor Francesca Torricelli – categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade.

    2. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the ledge of the basin.

    3. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the bidet.

    4. Mixed with Meredith blood on a box of Q Tip cotton swabs.

    5. Mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway.

    6. Mixed with Meredith’s blood on the floor of Filomena’s room, where the break-in was staged.

    7. On Meredith’s bra according to Dr. Stefanoni AND Raffaele Sollecito’s forensic expert, Professor Vinci.

    Amanda Knox’s footprints were found set in Meredith’s blood in two places in the hallway of the new wing of the cottage. One print was exiting her own room, and one print was outside Meredith’s room, facing into the room. These bloody footprints were only revealed under luminol.

    A woman’s bloody shoeprint, which matched Amanda Knox’s foot size, was found on a pillow under Meredith’s body. The bloody shoeprint was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

    Two independent imprint experts categorically excluded the possibility that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat could belong to Rudy Guede. Lorenzo Rinaldi stated:

    “You can see clearly that this bloody footprint on the rug does not belong to Mr. Guede, but you can see that it is compatible with Sollecito.”

    The other imprint expert print expert testified that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

    An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp. Meredith’s bra was removed some time after she had been killed and Rudy Guede had fled the scene.

    The murder dynamic implicates Knox and Sollecito.

    Barbie Nadeau wrote the following:

    “Countless forensic experts, including those who performed the autopsies on Kercher’s body, have testified that more than one person killed her based on the size and location of her injuries and the fact that she didn’t fight back—no hair or skin was found under her fingernails.”

    Judge Paolo Micheli claimed that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito knew precise details about Meredith’s murder that they could have only known if they were present when she was killed.

    Amanda Knox voluntarily admitted that she involved in Meredith’s murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. She stated on at least four separate occasions that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed. She also claimed that Sollecito was at the cottage.

    Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito both gave multiple conflicting alibis and lied repeatedly. Their lies were exposed by telephone and computer records, and by CCTV footage. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have credible alibis for the night of the murder despite three attempt each. At the trial, Sollecito refused to corroborate Knox’s alibi that she was at his apartment.

    Legal expert Stefano Maffei stated the following:

    “There were 19 judges who looked at the evidence over the course of two years, faced with decisions on pre-trial detention, review of such detention, committal to trial, judgment on criminal responsibility. They all agreed, at all times, that the evidence was overwhelming.”

    • I have no illusions that you are willing to even reconsider your beliefs, but for the sake of any readers who see your comment, I want to clarify why it is so inaccurate and misleading:

      (1) Ignoring the fact all the DNA evidence was so shoddily collected it would not be admissible in a U.S. court, the fact Amanda’s DNA was on a knife blade she admitted to making dinner with is not surprising. And plenty of experts have said “categorically” that Kercher’s DNA was not on the blade. Sketch all around.

      (2-7) Finding Amanda’s DNA in her own house cannot be used as proof as anything. Everyone’s DNA is all over their own home — and if someone happens to be killed in their house, finding their DNA at the scene of the crime does not increase the likelihood they were involved with the crime. Finding Knox’s DNA “mixed with” blood is meaningless — if the blood landed on a piece of the house Amanda had touched a week before, it would be “mixed with” it, and by your logic, proving her guilt.

      (8) The shoe print was not ever shown to even be a woman’s shoe print, let alone Amanda’s. The prosecution implied it was the right size to be a woman’s shoe print. Full stop. They didn’t show anything else.

      (9) The Sollecito shoe print issue: Just read this for a pretty fair summary. http://abcnews.go.com/US/International/amanda-knox-testimony-disputes-bloody-footprints/story?id=8613900&page=1 . Basically, you can hire an expert to say whatever you want about it.

      (10) The bra clasp wasn’t collected for 40 days after the murder. My personal belief is that the DNA evidence was staged, but obviously I can’t prove that. Doesn’t matter — given the way the evidence was handled, it is flat out too unreliable to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.

      Long story short — a case based entirely upon crazed slut-shaming and the conflicting testimony of forensics experts is no case at all. Given that the prosecution still doesn’t have a motive and was never able to construct a plausible narrative of the crime, Amanda and Raphael should not have been convicted.

  7. Do you have any evidence to support your claim that the DNA evidence was shoddily collected?

    Dr. Stefanoni’s investigation and the forensic findings were independently reviewed by Dr. Renato Biondo in 2008. He confirmed that all the forensic findings were accurate and reliable. He also praised the work of Dr. Stefanoni and her team.

    Which defence experts categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was not on the blade?

    The presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade of the knife was confirmed by Raffaele Sollecito, who claimed on two separate occasions that he had accidentally pricked Meredith’s hand whilst cooking. Sollecito’s claims, like so many of his claims, are completely untrue. Meredith had never been to his apartment.

    I should point out that Amanda Knox’s blood was co-mingled with Meredith’s blood in three different places in the bathroom:

    “But mixed blood samples were found as well. Specifically, mixed blood of Knox and Kercher was found on the drain of the bidet, on a box of Q-tips sitting on the sink and the sink ledge.” (Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

    Amanda Knox’s blood was also found on the sink faucet. This indicates that Amanda Knox and Meredith were both bleeding on the night of the murder. Knox effectively dated the blood stains in the bathroom to the night of the murder at the trial when she conceded there was no blood in the bathroom the day before.

    Barbie Nadeau noted the significance of the woman’s bloody shoeprint on The Daily Beast website:

    “Worse for Knox, when the judge asked Rinaldi the size of an unidentified bloody shoeprint found on the pillow below Kercher’s body, he responded, “Between 36 and 38.” The judge then asked Rinaldi what size shoe Knox wears. “The Skecher shoe we sequestered belonging to Amanda Knox corresponds with size 37.” (Barbie Nadeau, The Daily Beast).

    The fact that the bra clasp was collected several weeks later is irrelevant. The cottage was sealed the entire time and contamination is impossible because DNA doesn’t fly around the room.

    Dr. Stefanoni believed that Meredith’s bra would be important evidence because it had almost certainly been removed after Meredith had been killed and would therefore have the DNA of her murderers on it. Sure enough, the DNA of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede was found on Meredith’s bra.

    Sollecito left an abundant amount of DNA (over 200 cells) on the clasp, which means that he must have touched the clasp directly and applied considerable pressure.

    Dr. Stefanoni was aware the bra clasp was missing almost immediately. The reason why it took several weeks to collect the clasp is that she had to agree a date with the defence teams to go back to the cottage.

    Defence teams will always claim contamination when there is incriminating DNA evidence. What is the statistical probability of both the double DNA knife AND a small piece of Meredith’s underwear being contaminated?

    I noticed that you didn’t attempt to address Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s multiple conflicting alibis and repeated lies, Amanda Knox’s voluntary confession, or the fact that Knox falsely accused an innocent man of murder.

    I should add that Amanda Knox didn’t recant her false and malicious allegation against Diya Lumumba the whole time he was in prison despite knowing full well that he was completely innocent.

    The prosecution in America, Britain and Italy don’t have to prove motive.

    Incidentally, you’ve misspelt Raffaele Sollecito’s name. It undermines your credibility.

    • It comes down to this, HR:

      Mignini: Known conspiracy theorist with a demonstrated lack of respect for the rule of law. Has previously incarcerated innocent people on bogus sex-crime-killer whacked out theories before. He has been convicted for gross prosecutorial misconduct.

      Knox: No previous history of any violent sexual tendencies or criminal misconduct. Nothing in her or Sollecito’s past to indicate they would ever commit an act like this. And no one has been able to construct a coherent narrative of the events that occurred that night that could implicate involvement of anyone but Guede.

      Guede: No shortage of reliable, standardized, and scientifically taken evidence. He was there, by his own admission. And yet not even he has come up with a believable story implicating Knox and Sollecito.

      Knox’s confession was the result of improper interrogation — false confessions under intense and lengthy questioning are pretty common. Which is, you know, why they are not allowed, and also why her ‘confession’ was not admissible in court. (Speaking of which — why won’t they release her recorded confession? Surely such a thing could only help their PR case?) Lumumba should thank his lucky stars that he had an iron-clad alibi, or else he’d have been convicted too.

      I’m not interested in going through a point by point accounting of the evidence, because lord knows, that’s done enough elsewhere. But this site provides a pretty good description of how bunk the evidence collecting was. Unscientific is pretty much the best summary of it.

      Incidentally, I can’t believe you actually think pettily pointing out someone’s typos improves the credibility of your own arguments.

    • Ugh. Silly me. I can’t believe I fell for a troll. I was trying to assume a good faith participation in the discussion on your part, but it turns out you’ve got a bad habit of running around and copying and pasting the same erroneous claims all over the interwebs.

      Any further posts from you will be deleted.

  8. Ssn, dnt sm t hv md vn n ccrt cmmnt bt th Mrdth Krchr cs nd ths xnphb, rcsm nd slmng r cmng t wth s sbsttt n hrdl b dng n ftr prfssnl crr m ntndng n gd. rg t rll rd p n th cs. vrthing Hrr Rg ss abv s tr nd r snrng rpls smpl mk lk sll. Pt

    [Editor’s note: I’m pretty lenient about what I will allow from commentators, but drive-by insults lacking any substantive content tend to clutter up the page without offering anything in return. In the interest of transparency, I’m going to follow the lead of other blogs and elect to use disemvoweling to handle comments of this nature.]

  9. Dr. P. Stefanoni is the person that the Italian courts will throw under the bus in this case. Dr. Renato Biondo is right there too.

    The defense request to have their scientific evidence examined and admitted will be allowed this time. While the prosecution had theirs allowed in 2008, the judge conveniently ruled that he had seen enough scientific evidence already which denied the inclusion of the defence experts.

    Dr. P. Stefanoni and Dr. Renato Biondo will suffer professional disgrace and embarrassment for their work on this case.

    The fact that Knox and Sollecito were charged with first degree murder, which requires intent and premeditation will favor the defense. No malice or premeditation was shown in the initial trial, as evidenced by the Motivation. They are innocent of first degree murder. This will open the door for other prosecution problems.

    The lack of premeditation makes it seem silly to carry a butcher knife to someone’s house. It’s not the type of thing one carries about casually.

    Testimony by the Innocence Project will be well received as reliable and impartial.

    Amanda’s mother also refers to information first introduced in summation, which will be excluded on appeal. She did not elaborate on the information.

    The Sollecito’s and their “politically connected” lawyers/legislators seem to have a good handle on applying “local pressure” to this case and the finishing touches (change of venue, selection of the Judges) will be handled by the State Department, well behind the scenes.

    I can see Trump’s jet now…in Rome…with the Knox family boarding…and home to Seattle by Christmas.

  10. By the way, when was it proven that a female murderer is more likely to cover a corpse with a duvet than a male murder is. I would like to see the research, especially the control group in this empathy study.

    If the prosecution wants to make this point as part of their deliberations and decision making process, Knox should be able to see the research.

    It’s just this kind of supposition and assumption that makes Mignini’s case amateurish and sophomoric as well as invalid. It’s what Italians call psychological science but what Amanda Knox more correctly continues to calls “Pure Fantasy”.

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