The murder of Meredith Kercher has been publicized around the world. The Italian and British media have been closely following the story since 2007, keeping the public anxiously awaiting for justice to be served.
The American media is now jumping on board and letting the American people know what is happening to one of their own, halfway across the world. Is Amanda Knox guilty of murder? Did she put a knife to her flatmates throat and end her life? Or is a serious injustice being done to an American citizen, a young woman who simply wanted to expand her horizons and spend a year studying in Italy? Here we examine the Amanda Knox Appeal..
The Timeline..There was a great deal of evidence that led to Knox’s conviction on December 4, 2009. The main things that convinced the jury that she was guilty were the bloody footprints found under Kercher’s body, Knox’s dishonest and changing stories, and her DNA found on the murder weapon and around the flat. However, Knox maintains her innocence. Her lawyers began the appeals process in April of 2010. She was then granted a trial de novo, which began December 11.
A week later, the court agreed to review the DNA evidence that was used to convict Knox. As of February 9th, forensic experts were given 90 days to review important evidence. They must be finished their research by May 9th, and their conclusion must be presented to the court by the 21st.
The new DNA findings will be presented in front of a new jury, and just as importantly, in front of a new judge. The judge assigned to the trial is known both for his fairness and his open-mindedness, which Knox and her team find encouraging. Whether this will make a difference in Knox’s conviction is yet to be seen.
Does Amanda Have a Case?The most important evidence against Amanda Knox was her changing story, her bloody footprint, and the DNA found on what is said to be the murder weapon. However, there are problems with all of this evidence.
Knox first accused a local bar owner, named Patrick Lumumba, of killing Meredith. Lumumba was later exonerated and Knox was made out to look like a malicious liar. Yes, accusing an innocent man of murder is malicious. However, in the same position, its likely that many terrified young women would also lie to save themselves.
The way the police questioned Knox may have also caused her to so frequently change stories. Knox claimed that she had been mistreated by police, questioned for almost 53 consecutive hours, and was hit when she couldn’t remember the answer to a question. The police deny this and have also charged her with slander. Yet, it is impossible to know exactly went on during questioning.
Another important thing to consider is that the DNA evidence used in the trial may have been contaminated. There was a delay of 49 days from when police arrived on the murder scene to when DNA samples were collected. Prosecutors argue that if DNA evidence had been disturbed during this period it would have worked out in Knox’s favor, but no one can be sure until the evidence is reexamined.
Even the bloody footprint, found under Meredith Kercher’s body, is up for debate. The footprint was automatically linked to Knox, but was never verified to be hers. The footprint did belong to a woman, but could have been anyone’s, since investigators were unable to match it to any of Knox’s shoes. This leaves many people questioning the validity of much of the evidence.
Possible Outcomes of the Amanda Knox AppealStatistically speaking, in the Italian court system, around half of all appealed convictions result in a different sentence. Many defendants are given entirely different convictions, while others receive reduced sentences.
Rudy Guede, who was also convicted of the murder and sexual assault of Meredith Kercher, was able to appeal and reduce his sentence. His first trial resulted in a 30-year sentence, but after he appealed the conviction, he was given a much lesser sentence of 16 years.
If Amanda Knox’s appeal goes similarly, she may be looking at a sentence of around 13 years for her part in the crime. Unfortunately, if she is again found guilty, she may be looking at an even harsher punishment. Prosecutors are pushing the judge to lengthen her sentence to a life term.
Amanda Knox has been quoted as saying, “I want justice for Meredith, but this injustice to me is unacceptable. I am also asking for justice.” Knox’s family, friends, and others who believe in her innocence are positive that the trial de novo will bring her the justice she deserves. For the rest of the world, we will just have to wait and see what the Amanda Knox appeal will bring.
» Next article: Ghadaffi's Female Nurse.
« Previous article: The Amanda Knox Biography