On March 26, 2013, Italy’s highest criminal court overturned the acquittal of Amanda Knox in the murder of her British roommate and they have ordered a new trial.
Amanda Marie Knox, now 25, originally convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Umbria, Italy in 2009, is most likely going to spend a little more time in Italy. Ms. Knox already served four years of a 26-year sentence, in which the murder conviction was overturned on October 3, 2011. On March 26, 2013, Knox’s acquittal was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court, sending the case back to the lower court for reconsideration.
Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s boyfriend of not quite a week, at the time of the murder, was also found guilty of the murder but had his conviction overturned by an appeal; this decision was likewise reversed on March 26, 2013.
Both college students, Amanda and Raffaele, are looking at several more years of legal nightmares, beginning with this new trial or re-examination in Florence. The verdict will again be appealed to Cassation, the equivalent of our Supreme Court.
Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann released the two in 2011, he said there was ‘nessuna prova’ (no evidence) against them. Since the standard of proof in Italy is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” one wonders why?
Hellmann reacted to the verdict by reminding the world that courts are obligated to free people when there is no proof. The court decides guilt or innocence. A judge is not a detective and it’s not his job to solve the murder mystery. Hellmann also reminded us that only one person knows what happened that night: Rudy Guede, the small-time crook already convicted of stabbing Meredith Kercher, Amanda’s British roommate.
Ironically, Rudy will be out in May 2014, about the time that the two college students return to court and only seven years after Kercher’s murder.
US Senator Maria Cantwell’s has made a statement on the Amanda Knox Guilty Verdict;
“I am saddened by the verdict and I have serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial. The prosecution did not present enough evidence for an impartial jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Knox was guilty. Italian jurors were not sequestered and were allowed to view highly negative news coverage about Ms. Knox. Other flaws in the Italian justice system on display in this case included the harsh treatment of Ms. Knox following her arrest; negligent handling of evidence by investigators; and pending charges of misconduct against one of the prosecutors stemming from another murder trial.”
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