An underground, medieval courtroom in Perugia, Italy has been the setting for the appeals trial of 24-year-old Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend 27-year-old Raffaele Sollecito that began in December 2010 and has lasted for 9 months before a panel of two judges and six jurors. A decision in that proceeding is now expected as early as Monday, October 3, 2011, according to reports published on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 by ABC News, the International Business Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and other global news sources.
Ms. Knox, originally from Seattle, WA was found guilty of sexual assault and murder on December 4, 2009 and sentenced to 26 years in prison for the brutal stabbing death of her British roommate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, that occurred on November 1, 2007. Sollecito was given a 25 year prison sentence, and another suspect, Rudy Guede, originally from the Ivory Coast, was also convicted on October 28, 2008 of the sexual assault and murder of Kercher. That conviction was upheld on appeal, and he is now serving a reduced sentence of 16 years.
Seattle based attorney Anne Bremner, who also represents the family of Rebecca Zahau in a separate case that involves a death under suspicious circumstances that took place in Coronado, CA on July 13, 2011, did legal research on the Knox case for the Friends of Amanda Knox, and told us in a previous telephone interview that there is a high likelihood that her murder conviction will be overturned.
According to Ms. Bremner, “The conviction of Amanda Knox was a gross miscarriage of justice based on prejudice, innuendo, superstitions, character assassination, and disregard of the evidence. Under the criminal justice system in the United States, and for that matter, in most other countries of the world, no jury would ever have found her guilty.”
Attorney Bremner and many others have called the case, which has drawn worldwide media attention, including a segment that will air on Friday, September 30, 2011 on ABC news magazine 20/20 reported by Elizabeth Vargas, a miscarriage of justice.
Ms. Knox, who originally appeared confident, almost naive as to the seriousness of the charges against her, and certain that she would be found innocent during her original trial, now comes across as looking like a deer caught in a car’s headlights, appearing wary, frightened, confused, and as a close friend Madison Paxton described her, terrified, as seen in the attached slide show and video clip which accompany this report.
The prosecution claims that this is all an act.
According to Carlo Pacelli, an attorney who represents Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, a bar owner where Knox once worked, and whom she once accused of killing Meredith Kercher, Knox has a “talent for lying” and is an “experienced actress.” He went on to characterize her as a “demonic, satanic, diabolical she-devil, a spell-casting witch, a virtuoso of deceit.”
That was the same tactic used by chief prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, assisted by Manuela Comodi, who characterized the crime as being part of a Satanic ritual and orgy.
Mr. Mignini, who himself had come under attack for judicial misconduct in a Milan courtroom involving a separate case, called Ms. Knox “a sex-crazed, drug-fueled diabolical she devil and femme fatale.”
Such attacks were allegedly supported by forensic evidence showing DNA tracings belonging to both Ms. Knox and her boyfriend on the victim’s bra clasp, and Ms. Kercher’s blood found on a knife in Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment kitchen. During the appeal, those findings were determined to be inconclusive, possibly tainted by what is known as DNA transfer during the forensic examinations.
An eye witness who identified that both Knox and Sollecito was seen fleeing the apartment early that morning was discredited during the appeals trial as a heroin addict who couldn’t remember dates or details.
Perhaps to counter the vitriolic attacks, the attorney for former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito has compared Knox to the fictional cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, wholesome underneath a distorted image, as shown in the attached ITN News video clip.
Ms. Knox has now been in prison for 4 years, one-sixth of her life. The prosecutor would like that to be extended, and has pleaded with the appears court to change her original 26 year sentence to life behind bars.
With so much at state, the tipping point may be decided by Amanda Knox herself when she addresses the court either on Friday or Saturday, September 30 or October 1. Knox will be the last person to speak before the six jurors and two judges retire to decide whether to overturn her murder conviction and set her free, or increase her 26 year prison sentence to life in prison.
Under Italian law, if Knox loses her appeal, she will be allowed one more opportunity, but those proceedings could take many additional years, and add yet further twists and turns to an already convoluted legal process.
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