Today during his closing argument, prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola vouched for the credibility of known heroin addict Antonio Curatolo, who claimed during the criminal trial that he saw Knox and Sollecito near the crime scene the night of the murder.
Curatolo’s testimony unraveled during the appeal when Curatolo’s story grew more implausible as he claimed buses were running and students were congregating on a night when the buses were not running due to the disco being closed. During his closing argument, Costagliola apparently minimized the effect of heroin use on a person’s perceptions and credibility, which led Perugia Shock blogger to sarcastically write:
Heroin doesn’t give hallucinations … your perceptions won’t change. You can work the same if you take heroin. You can follow a class without any problem. You can work at the assembly line. You can manage your clients’ money. You can operate on your patients. You can sit on the directors’ board. You can sit in court to testify, or to judge people. It doesn’t give you hallucinations. So, why do people take it if it doesn’t give them not even a bit of hallucination?
In the U.S. the testimony of known drug addicts is so troubling that courts often will issue an “addict instruction” to the jurors cautioning them to be careful in considering the testimony of an addict. The instruction usually goes like this:
The testimony of a drug addict must be examined and weighed by the jury with greater care than the testimony of a witness who does not abuse drugs. An addict may have a constant need for drugs, and for money to buy drugs, and may also have a greater fear of imprisonment because his or her source of drugs may be cut off.
I noticed the prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola also asked the jurors: “As you make your decision, I wish that you jurors feel a little bit like the parents of Meredith Kercher…”. For what it is worth, in the U.S. these sort of put-yourself-in-the-victim’s-shoes type of arguments are considered prosecutorial misconduct, and are banned in courts.
Not to be out done by Costagliola, Mignini himself made some pretty outlandish statements today, comparing the Amanda Knox defense claims to Nazi propaganda. Mignini argued that the defense committed: “…slander, slander, slander in the hope that it some of it will stick. It’s worthy of the noted propaganda minister of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.”
Who was impressed by all this nonsense? Pretty much just Barbie Nadeau, who headlined her article as follows: “Knox Appeal Hits a Snag – Since her appeal began, Amanda Knox has appeared to be sailing toward an acquittal—but the prosecution’s powerful closing argument today could alter her fate once again.” Is she kidding? Apparently in the mind of Barbie Nadeau, the jurors said to themselves: “Hmmmm…. maybe we shouldn’t acquit. Mignini DID have a pretty good point about our war-time allies the Nazis.”
Lastly, Mignini made reference Rudy Guede and argued: “Don’t let the poor black guy be the only one to pay the price for this murder.” The best response to this was by EdLancey in the comment section of Nadeau’s article. He wrote: “Have you ever heard a more disgusting comment, the poor girl’s room was covered in his [Guede's] bloody footprints and semen, and this lunatic tries to play the race card.”