Saturday, December 5, 2009

Amanda Knox found guilty

I decided some time ago, not to write about the Amanda Knox case again until there was a verdict. (I first covered the murder of Meredith Kercher when it originally happened, here and here.) I still get plenty of hits on her old MySpace photo (left), virtually every time she is mentioned on TV. Yesterday, while awaiting the verdict, lots of hits on the photo.


Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- An Italian jury has found American student Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty in the stabbing death of British exchange student Meredith Kercher.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years.

Both were convicted on all charges except theft and together must pay 5 million euros ($7.4 million) to the victim's family. In addition, Knox must pay 40,000 euros ($60,000) to a man whom she falsely accused of the killing.

Knox, wearing a lime jacket, her hair in a single braid, began to sob -- her sniffles and sobs punctuating the otherwise silent courtroom -- as the judge read the verdict quietly, without expression.

Few of the eight jurors looked at her. Six of the jurors were wearing red, white and green sashes -- the colors of Italy's flag.

Sollecito's stepmother cried out her stepson's name twice as he and Knox were led from the court.

Curt Knox, Amanda Knox's father, walked the four blocks from the courtroom to his hotel staring stonily ahead, holding his two tearful daughters by the hand.

He said nothing as they strode through the streets of the medieval town except "Move," when journalists got in his way.

"We are extremely disappointed in the verdict rendered today against our daughter," Knox's family said in a statement.

"While we always knew this was a possibility, we find it difficult to accept this verdict when we know that she is innocent, and that the prosecution has failed to explain why there is no evidence of Amanda in the room where Meredith was so horribly and tragically murdered.

"It appears clear to us that the attacks on Amanda's character in much of the media and by the prosecution had a significant impact on the judges and jurors and apparently overshadowed the lack of evidence in the prosecution's case against her."

Knox and Sollecito will appeal the verdicts, attorneys said.

After the verdict, Knox's lawyer, Carlo Della Vedova said his client was upset, but strong.

He would not speculate on the reason for the verdict.

"We have to see the motivation," he said, referring to legal paperwork the judge must file within 90 days to explain the jury's reasoning.

Her family was disappointed, but not surprised, by the verdict, Knox's aunt Janet Huff told

"It was terrible, it was gut-wrenching just to hear them say it," said Huff, speaking from her Seattle, Washington, home.

"And to see the people outside the courtroom applauding -- that just made me sick that people can be that callous and cold."

Knox and Sollecito were charged with murder and sexual violence in the November 2007 stabbing death of Meredith Kercher. Knox and Kercher, both studying abroad, were roommates. A third suspect was found guilty in a separate trial.

Prosecutors argued Seattle, Washington, native Amanda Knox was a resentful American so angry with her British roommate that she exacted revenge during a twisted sex misadventure at their home two years ago.

They said Knox directed Sollecito and another man infatuated with her, Rudy Guede, to hold Kercher down as Knox played with a knife before slashing Kercher's throat.

Defense lawyers argued that Guede, who was convicted in a separate fast-track trial and is currently appealing his conviction, was the sole killer. On Thursday, Knox took the stand for a third time in the Perugia courtroom, telling jurors that she is not a "killer" who stabbed her former roommate.

"They say that I am calm. I am not calm," Knox said in Italian. "I fear to lose myself, to have the mask of the killer forced upon me. I fear to be defined as someone I am not."

Prosecutors touted an airtight case.

They argued DNA on Kercher's bra clasp belonged to Sollecito. And the alleged murder weapon, a 6 ½-inch kitchen knife taken from Sollecito's home, had the DNA of Knox on the handle and Kercher on the blade, prosecutors said.

During the trial, the defense sought to cast doubt on the knife evidence, arguing it doesn't match the wounds on Kercher's body.

And they said the bra clasp with Sollecito's DNA on it was left at the crime scene for weeks and is so contaminated that the evidence can't be considered credible.

Knox's family has argued she has been the victim of character assassination.

Members of Kercher's family have declined repeated CNN requests for comment.

Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini accused the defense of "lynching" the Italian police who worked on the case.

Knox and Sollecito have been jailed for more than two years. The trial began in January in Perugia, a university town about 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Rome.
I am really quite surprised. You could NEVER get that verdict here in the USA with the flimsy physical evidence and overall compromise of the crime scene. Not to mention, the tainting of the jury pool.

And of course, there is also the simple, very unjust fact that she has been jailed since she was charged. She has not been able to fully participate in her own defense. English, not Italian, is her first language. No Miranda reading and no Bill of Rights in Italy. I am reminded, again, why it is so crucial.

Mr Daisy and I started talking about the fact that Amanda, who is likely guilty (I have to admit, I don't know, but the initial facts looked pretty bad), could never get a guilty verdict here in the USA, but got one in Italy. What does that mean? Is our justice system TOO one-sided in favor of defendants, as many right-wing politicians and victim-advocates have claimed? I have always been proud of our "innocent until proven guilty" concept--but of course, this obviously means that lots of guilty people have gone free, who should not have.

And the reverse is true, without the presumption of innocence: Innocent people are accused and no substantial evidence is required.

There is no perfect judicial system, but I used to believe the American system was superior. After encountering the entire True Crime/Ann Rule oeuvre, I changed my mind: money talks and bullshit walks. T. Cullen Davis, evil bloodthirsty killer of a 12-year-old child at point-blank range, is a free man... not coincidentally, he is also the richest man ever tried for murder. (No millionaire has ever received the death penalty in this country, and none ever will.) I no longer subscribe to the idea that our judicial system is automatically superior; but is it the best we can expect?

The Knox verdict has me wondering about fairness. Do we bend over backwards to protect defendants?

And what if she is innocent? Her inability to get a fair trial in a sensationalistic media-circus atmosphere is certainly a factor against her.

What do you think?


EKSwitaj said...

Honestly, I think we bend over backwards to protect some defendants and not others. Amanda Knox wouldn't have been found guilty in the US, but if she were a black woman from a poor family? I think she would've been.

petpluto said...

I agree with EKSwitaj's assessment.

However, I continue to believe that the ideals of the American justice system are superior. They aren't perfect by any measure, and guilty people are going to walk, and in some cases more than others.

But I do think it is necessary to bend over backward to protect the accused, because to not do so is to allow the idea that an arrest is a presumption of guilt. I have a limited faith and respect for and in authority figures (though a healthy amount of respect for individuals, even those I don't know, as human beings), and so I like a system that is set up to make those in the positions of authority prove their case more than the individual. It doesn't always work and some in positions of authority are good and wonderful people whose hands are tied by the need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But a system with fewer checks against the inherent power of the State is not one I want to be involved in.

I think the problem with the American system is that we oftentimes fail to meet the ideal of our system; we allow prejudices to permeate which cases go to trial and what penalties we ask for. We allow laws to be built upon those prejudices, so that those we deem somehow less worthy have more stacked against them from the start. But I don't think that is a problem with our judicial system so much as a problem with us and how we use and abuse that system.

Mama Moretti said...

In an old world Catholic country you have a good looking American "sex killer" (read - slut) on trial? I knew she'd automatically be found guilty reguardless of the evidence. Or no evidence.

Michele said...

I'm an italian guy who stumbled on this article, so forgive me for my would-be english.
I just want to say that USA tabloids and TV are either misinformed or malicious (maybe because a USA citizen is involved?)
1)italian justice system says one is considered innocent until proven guilty and one is not proven guilty before 3 different trials (first, appeal, cassazione -dont know how to translate that).
2)the choice of holding Knox in jail for 2 years was because she could flee from Italy and not because of her nationality or else.
3)her former boyfriend Raffaele is italian and he has been convicted to 25 years in jail, and had been held 2 years before as Amanda, so there ain't no anti-americanism (this is really preposterous)
4)the italian justice system is slow and our prime minister Berlusconi isn't trying to solve the problem for sure, but beside that, is one of the most advanced in the world, despite what USA mass-media would lead you to believe.
5)i dont see the italian justice system as unbalanced, defendants and prosecutors has the same chances and rights. Fact is, someone MUST HAVE KILLED the poor girl, and, unless you do believe in ghosts...

Doc Anchovy said...

The case is moving toward an appeal. It ain't over 'til it's over.

JoJo said...

Maybe I'm biased because she's from Seattle so this news has been all consuming since she was arrested 2 years ago. That said, I don't think she is guilty.

For one thing, in all this time, neither she nor Sollecito have ever turned on each other. Ever. He could have cut a deal and sold her down the river. For another, I don't recall hearing that any witnesses testified that she and Meredith didn't like each other or get along. Surely if that were true, Amanda would have been bitching to people about her roommate. I believe that the other guy who is already in jail is the actual killer.

bacci40 said...


if you are italian, then you know that someone was indeed justly convicted of the murder...rudy guede...the real killer

the prosecutor, a man who never shouldve had the job, is currently under indictment and believes in crazy satanic conspiracies, stated that the facts show that 3 people committed the crime...despite no evidence of that.

why did 6 of the 8 jurors show up wearing the colors of the italian flag if this wasnt about anti americanism?

why did the prosecutor paint knox as the ringleader???

your system is corrupt

the dna evidence was a joke, and the alleged murder weapon did not match the wounds or bloody imprints

there was blood everywhere, yet the only prints found were rudy's

amanda underwent 14 hours of interrogation till she broke

need i go on???

shame on italy

sheila said...

I didn't follow this case closely, but from what I have seen, the evidence was tainted. I sorta feel like it was like the OJ case. (only of course her verdict went the other way).

You would think that in most civilized countries, collection of evidence would be mastered by now. There would be no question to guilt or innocence in the Knox case if people just did their jobs right the first time.

Crimes happen every minute. You would think people would know how to do evidence collection. Like that case of the little girl taken from the hotel room as her parents ate dinner - in a foreign country...The evidence in that case was not even collected for like a week.

Crazy. It's 2009 people!

Michele said...


do you really expect me to answer to your childish provocations?
and, since you didnt get it, I wasnt talking about who is guilty or not, I was talking about the lies and misinformation spread by USA tabloids and tv regarding the italian justice system.

white rabbit said...

Daisy, I haven't being following the case and so have no opinions on the verdict (I'm also trained not to jump to conclusiuons without hearing the evidence - in full!)

But ...

Aren't people kept in custody awaiting trial in the States? Or is everyone on bail even if facing a murder charge? I don't think so.

Similarly, not having English as a first language is no bar to being tried. It simply calls for safeguards.

Italy is a signatory to The European Convention on Human Rights - which is a powerful document created in the aftermath of World War II (it is the civil and human rights dimension of the emerging European constitution) and enforceable in both domestic and European Courts. It deals fully and forcefully with the right to a fair trial.

adrien said...

i have read all the articles i can find, and one cannot argue against the fact that despite a cold blodded murder with a convicted murderer, there is simply no substantial evidence linking knox and her boyfriend to the crime. On this basis one has to question the italian judicial system

Dave Dubya said...

I don't know about the facts either. But I have noticed that attractive young white women ("Bambi" and the blonde school teacher come to mind.) seem to attract less harshness in the court of public opinion.

Racism, ageism, sexism and "beauty-ism" all seem pretty real to me.

Come to think of it, most of the world's problems are the result of those good looking popular types running government.

Maybe the answer is plainer looking, real folks, like me, should be in charge. ;-)

bacci40 said...


what childish provocations???

the prosecutor in the case is under indictment for abuse of that a lie?

does not the fact that he is allowed to continue practicing show that the italian system is corrupt?

does not the fact that the prosecutor seemingly bases all his prosecutions on satanic cults roaming the countryside show a corrupt system?

i accept that the american system of justice is flawed...why cant you accept that yours is too

and two innocents were just sent to prison

Michele said...


you said that you have read everything on this case?
good, so you surely know that Amanda Knox has changed her statements SEVERAL TIMES during 2 years in jail, every time withdrawing her previous statement and changing version.
you surely know that Amanda Knox has accused an innocent man (Patrick Lumumba) of killing Meredith for no known reason other than saving her ass.
you surely know that Rudy Guede met Meredith only the day before the killing and he didnt get the key to Meredith house nor her telephone number not even her address; so, someone must have brought him to Meredith house.
ect. ect.
There's just too many open questions Amanda and Sollecito couldnt answer in a plausible way, and the fact that she tryed to change version every time something was wrong or missing, isn't exactly the kind of behavior you will expect from an innocent.
However, one thing is questioning a verdict, other is questioning an entire judicial system.
Saying "your country is corrupt" or "shame on italy" or "italian justice should be questioned" is only a sign of ignorance and arrogance.

SMMO said...

But I have noticed that attractive young white women ("Bambi" and the blonde school teacher come to mind.) seem to attract less harshness in the court of public opinion.

That's a bit of a double edged sword. They're given the benefit of the doubt, but they are also resented.

Re Knox, I am also in Seattle so perhaps biased but the treatment of her by the Italian prosecutors and Italian and British media cannot be termed anything other than misogynist. Her nickname "Foxy Knoxy" referred to her soccer skills, but was naturally given a sexual connotation. The endless reporting on her boyfriends, her vibrator, her underwear, her hygiene - all utterly irrelevant - has me convinced she was convicted of being a bad woman as much as anything else.

As for the inconsistencies in her story, without proper translators who knows what she meant to say? It is absurd and horrifying that they didn't provide one, but as they got their conviction, they put their angel faced American in jail, I guess they win.

adrien said...

Thank you for your reply
and I must appologise for my blanket statement with regards reading everything, that was indeed stupid. However if I may, I would like to address your points, with a view to you hopefully countering them.
Yes I am aware of Amanda having changed her account, my understanding of this is she was in policy custody, where she alleges she was hit by police, and it was their suggestion that Patrick Lumumba was involved with the crime, given it was 5am in the morning and she claims to have been traumatized. This is something I can accept as credible. Police can be very coercive when questioning. She later regreted this and indeed was pleased when he was cleared. Fact is that if she was innocent, then she would have had no idea who committed it, although indeed if guilty then yes it would be convenient to divert attention away from her. However I have fund no evidence of her actually suggesting Lumumba. (
~RE Rudy Guede met met her the day before –yes, however I have also read that the reason Amanda knew of Rudy was because he sometimes visited her downstairs neighbours. This is how he would have known the location of Meredith, regardless of meeting her the day before. (
I accept there are many questions over this case, in particular the DNA evidence. I was surprised that the judge decided not to allow further examination of this, as it would have only caused some degree of delay.
What really concerns me about this case is the account given by Guede, who states he met Meredith at the apartment, they shared intimate liaison, then went to the toilet feeling unwell. He then heard screams, returning to Meredith’s room, he saw an Italian who he did not recognise, and saw Meredith bleeding to death. This is such a ludicrous statement to make, it is completely at odds with the prosecution version of events who claim the whole episode was planned. It is for this reason that I question the verdict, I would be grateful for your view on this particular point.
I did not claim your country was corrupt and cannot understand where you interpret this from. Nor did I conclude your judicial system was questionable. However if having read the evidence and this was in a UK court, I would certainly feel ashamed, as indeed I did on the verdicts of the Birmingham 4 / Guilford 6 etc. The crux of my argument is based on the questions raised between Guedes account (who would not testify at the trial) and that of the prosecution. This I would like to believe in a fair court, would not support the case for conviction beyond all reasonable doubt.

Eric Davidson said...

Too bad for Amanda Knox, her whole situation seems to scream "guilty"

Anonymous said...

Eric Davidson, you've said it the best! Her entire situation "screams guilty".

Point is, I don't see any way around 26 years in Italy. The US govt. has someone working on it from the back end but I think it will be sometime before Amanda is on American soil whether she's in jail or out.

Michele said...


ok, so just say it once and for all: a lot of americans thinks that the girl should be freed not because she is innocent without doubt, but because she's US citizen.
IF you (and a lot of US people) think you can go around the world and do whatever you please and never pay for your actions because US citizen (which means you are not interested in truth or justice but only in saving US asses regardless of what they did) let me just say that YES, I AM ANTI-AMERICAN and YES, I HATE YOU AND HOPE YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU DESERVE.
If you have no respect for my country and other people I dont respect you. Simple as it seems.

Rachel said...

Is justice/fairness a social construction?

Michele said...


no, justice is a human feeling and has nothing to do with law or society.
but even if it was social-dependent,
when you are abroad you implicitly accept the rules and laws of the country you are in, for the length of your stay.
You can't demand to be treated like a special person and involve your government / secret services or whatever -because you are US citizen-!
You must respect other countries,
how would you feel if an italian, charged in USA for murder, demanded to be freed and sent to italy because USA justice is corrupt and USA trials are jokes and because USA judges have an anti-italian attitude?

SMMO said...

Michele nobody is saying Knox deserves special treatment because she is an American. No need to yell. In this case Knox's nationality seems to be working against her, not for her.

In addition to the vibrator/underwear nonsense the Italian police also falsely told Knox she was HIV positive. Nice!

Michele said...


Michele nobody is saying Knox deserves special treatment because she is an American.

no, you're right.
they just say Amanda shouldn't be judged by the corrupt and anti-american Italian judges, they say that she is surely innocent regardless what italian tainted justice says, and so, she must be freed and sent back to USA as soon as possible by any means.
I would say that the words "arrogance" and "disrespect" are more than suitable.
I'm not saying that italian police and italian judicial system are flawless.
Hillary Clinton has already been informed and asked about the whole thing.
I find that use any pressure on italian government would be alarming and unacceptable.

SMMO said...

they just say Amanda shouldn't be judged by the corrupt and anti-american Italian judges, they say that she is surely innocent regardless what italian tainted justice says, and so, she must be freed and sent back to USA as soon as possible by any means.

Some may indeed make such claims. Nobody here has. You're yelling at the wrong blog.

DaisyDeadhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Yes, she deserves a fair trial, not like in Italy, so LETS MOVE HER TO GUANTANAMO and let her have a true US fair treatment.

Guilty said...

I have to agree with Michelle...

How dare Americans question the Italian judicial system. Arrogance is exactly the word..well done my European friend!

She is guilty as charged and I hope she one day has the strenght to tell the truth and put an end to this sordid tale.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Okay, that's it. No more snotty, condescending, and thoroughly superior-sounding European criticism of AMERICA on an AMERICAN blog. There is polite criticism, and there is bashing America just to be cool. Show some MANNERS, please. This IS an American blog. Jesus H. Christ, arrogance, indeed.

I don't go to Italian blogs and insult people, how about you show some DECENCY and MANNERS and do the same?

As I said in my post, which apparently you didn't read, I have always believed she WAS guilty. But now, you have succeeded in convincing me that anti-American sentiment IS what convicted her, since there was NO EVIDENCE.

Good job, you guys! (Hope you don't go into law as a profession, because it is pretty obvious you wouldn't succeed.)

Notice from management: Play nice, show some basic politeness or Ciao for now.

Guilty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DaisyDeadhead said...

Guilty, you don't get to insult me again. Can you read?

As we say here in the USA, don't let the doorknob hit you in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This was pretty heated. At the end of the day nobody knows for sure how merideth died. There is no need to get personal with people. Freedom of speach is a great thing. If you believe and want to voice your opinion then do so but don't attack people when it's not what you want to hear. Silly Silly Silly

Anonymous said...


I've read your posts and I agree that she should pay for her actions if guilty. However, in reading the evidence, I don't believe it is sufficient enough to come to that conclusion. If she did it, she should indeed pay - American or not. I think too many people on this board are trying to make it an Italian vs. American issue and it's not. An Italian who is possibly innocent is also in jail for an equal sentence.

Anonymous said...

Amanda's character is and should be different from what the character of Italian girl would be whom jurors obviously compare to to the proper judgment's detriment.
This is a witch hunt La Italy, an old, utopian, obsolete and outdated method of finding an outlet for people's fears of anything different and unordinary, in this case fear of the character of American person which Italians seem to bluntly stereotype.
The court lacks open mindedness and most importantly professionalism.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Harry Rag said...

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito repeatedly told the police a pack of lies in the days after Meredith's murder.

On 5 November 2007, Knox and Sollecito were confronted with proof that they had lied and were given another opportunity to tell the truth. However, they both chose to tell the police even more lies.

Sollecito's new alibi was shattered by computer forensic evidence and his mobile phone records.

Knox accused an innocent man, Diya Lumumba, of murdering Meredith despite knowing full well that he was completely innocent. She didn't recant her false and malicious allegation against Lumumba the whole time he was in prison.

Knox's account of what happened on 2 November 2007 is contradicted by her mobile phone records.

Rudy Guede's bloody footprints lead straight out of Meredith's room and out of the house. He didn't lock Meredith's door, remove his trainers, go into Filomena's room or the bathroom that Meredith and Knox shared.

Rudy Guede didn't scale the vertical wall outside Filomena's room or gain access through the window. The break-in was clearly staged. This indicates that somebody who lived at the cottage was trying to deflect attention away from themselves and give the impression that a stranger had broken in and killed Meredith.

Guede had no reason to stage the break-in and there was no physical evidence that he went into Filomena's room.

The scientific police found a mixture of Amanda Knox's DNA and Meredith's blood on the floor.

There was no physical evidence that Rudy Guede went into the blood-spattered bathroom. However, the scientific police found proof that Knox and Sollecito tracked Meredith's blood into this bathroom.

Amanda Knox’s DNA was found mingled with Meredith’s blood in three different places in the bathroom: on the ledge of the basin, on the bidet, and on a box of Q Tips cotton swabs.

Sollecito left a visible bloody footprint on the blue bathmat.

Amanda Knox left a bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith's body.

Knox's and Sollecito's bare bloody footprints were revealed by luminol in the hallway. Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s DNA was found mixed together in one of the bloody footprints.

An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito's DNA was found on Meredith's bra clasp. Sollecito must have applied considerable pressure to the clasp in order to have left so much DNA. The hooks on the clasp were damaged which confirms that Sollecito had gripped them tightly.

Amanda Knox's DNA was found on the handle of the double DNA knife and Meredith's DNA was found lodged in a tiny groove on the blade. Sollecito knew that Meredith's DNA was on the blade which is why he twice lied about accidentally pricking her hand whilst cooking.

The defence experts were unable to prove that there had been any contamination. Alberto Intini, head of the Italian police forensic science unit, pointed out that unless contamination has been proved, it does not exist.

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.

Harry Rag said...

Judge Massei's 427- page report will be published in English on Monday 9 August. It will be available for download from PMF and TJMK.

Harry Rag said...

The English translation of Judge Massei's sentencing report can be downloaded from here:

muebles en collado villalba said...

So, I don't actually believe this will work.