Amanda Knox, Giuliano Mignini, Rudy Guede Revisited

I haven’t blogged about the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito murder charges since my November 30th post.  At that time, the trial was still pending and I was pretty optimistic about an acquittal.  We know, of course, that the two were convicted shortly thereafter of murder.  In the days following the conviction, the supporters of Amanda Knox explained what the average person can do to help.  Besides making a financial contribution (see site), one supporter explained that an average person can help keep public attention focused on the case by continuing to visit news sites that cover the case.  The logic is that if the media sees that the public is still reading about Amanda Knox’s case, then the media will still cover it.  The fear that Amanda Knox supporters had was that the media would soon lose interest in the case.  Maybe this fear was partially unfounded.  As we know the Amanda Knox case is still big news.  Here is a run down of the latest:

  • * Italian Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini is convicted of abuse of his office for an apparent illegal wiretapping he did on an unrelated murder case.  He is sentenced to a 16 month suspended sentence.  This can only help Amanda’s chances on appeal.  For a prosecutor to be convicted of a crime related the performance of his job duties is extremely rare.  For example, Mike Nifong was only disbarred for railroading the Duke lacrosse players – he was not charged with a crime.
  • * Donald Trump publicly criticizes the prosecutor and questions Amanda Knox’s conviction.  (See video).  (Yeah, not everyone likes Trump, but you can’t beat him in terms of drumming up publicity.)  Trump also wrote how he felt on his blog.  Did you know he blogged?  I had no idea.  Other than his posts about Knox, the blog is a real snoozer.  It mostly consists of a bunch of information on real estate.
  • * Amanda Knox’s family goes on Oprah.  Somehow I missed this.  It was probably the only time in my life that I would want to watch Oprah.  You can see part of the video here.  (You have to watch the 30 second commercial first).
  • * Mario Alessi, the cellmate of Rudy Guede gives a statement that Rudy Guede admitted he acted alone.  Rudy Guede was earlier convicted of killing Meredith Kercher.

So, right now, we just wait for the Italian appeals courts to do their thing on Amanda Knox’s case.  I read somewhere after the conviction that in Italy the Italian appellate courts reverse about 1/3 of Italian convictions.  I would guess that Amanda Knox’s chances are even better than that.  I honestly feel that, as a former prosecutor, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were unjustly convicted.  I often hear Italian officials criticize the American bloggers as speaking out of turn because they did sit through the trial.  I think that the trial should have been broadcast so that it could have been observed by outsiders.  It would be nice to have seen the whole trial, but the unfairness of the trial is clear from just watching from the outside.  You don’t have to watch the whole trial to see that the prosecutor’s claimed motive was preposterous.  You don’t have to observe the trial to see that the media coverage was sensationalistic and that the jurors were not sequestered.  You can tell from the scene photographs that a shoddy job was done on evidence collection.  You can see from reading Amanda Knox’s “confession” that the statement was really no confession at all, and would not have passed muster in any American court.

For earlier posts I wrote about Amanda’s case, see here, here and here.

10 Responses to “Amanda Knox, Giuliano Mignini, Rudy Guede Revisited”

  • horsechestnut:

    I was following this case. And I agree with you that the prosecution’s case was preposterous. I did want to know…what really happened. It seemed so compelling, because of all the young people I have known who have studied abroad.

  • Evergreen:

    I was just looking at the injustice in Perugia site, and found this link to a CBS news story on a development in the story. Turns out the Italian police put Amanda Knox’s photo in their Hall of Shame days after the crime, before she was even charged. It kind of advances the theory that she did not even stand a chance.

    //www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20002467-504083.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

    As this case will drag on, I was thinking what might happen if she gets out on appeal. I mean, do they have a system for review to make sure it don’t happen again?

  • Julius:

    First I want to say, I‘m not a laywer, I‘m not a cop or an investigator. I‘m just a man who is interessdet in crime cases. I know this post comes late, but I hope you will read it and tell me your opinion.
    I‘m not an American or Italian, I‘m Icelandic.

    Sometimes I think people dont follow or are just plain idiots who know nothing about Italy, europe or facts.

    1. There is no jury in Italy. Amanda was convicted for something she should never have had been convicted for.
    2. People should NEVER been sentenced in prison UNLESS they are 100% guilty. In this case Amanda was not 100% guilty because then she would have had a live in prison. This was a sentence for the people in Italy, they where scared/angry and wanted someone to pay! But wait, someone already did, Guede!!
    3. Amanda and Meredith where roommates. Of course her DNA is in the apartment, people have to be plain stupid not to get this and obviously the italian government/judges are.
    4. Amanda and Meredith had also beenn at Sollesito´s home. They could have used the knive there couldnt they? Maybe to cut a cuecumber or a tomato? Who knows!?
    5. No blood was on the knive to match Amanda.
    6. No one saw them at the crimeseen until a guilty men said so one year later after he was convicted. (then later refused)
    7. Guede was the guilty one. All the evidence points to him and he confest and he also said Amanda and Sollesito where NOT with him. All the DNA from Amanda was not a clear swoap. Well of course not becuse it was old, under the blod of the victim! Speaks for it self dosnt it?
    8. Again, NO DIRECT EVIDENCE points to Amanda because her DNA was already in the apartment she LIVED in it befor.
    9. Guiliano Mignini is an arrogant man, who has now been convicted of abusing his office. 16 months in jail he got. And still he got to go on with this case. What kind of a system is there in Italy one could ask?
    10. Mignini has before done something like this, made people talk because HE and ONLY he has desided that thoose are the guilty ones. So he had them in a small room and didnt stopp until he got what he wanted.
    11. Mignini got a help from a crazy lady who speaks to a dead preast and all her info where from this dead preast…… Really?
    12. Public in Italy WANTED someone convicted and Mignini found they victims and delivered.

    People, look at the facts in this case. Look at the rubbish from Mignini and the judges.
    Amanda and Sollesito are victims of the Italian government. Italian government are spoiled, they are taking money from the mafia(sounds 1930‘s but they are) and nobody wants to do or say anything about it.

    Sinceraly,
    Julius

  • Evergreen:

    One issue that always bugged me, is the prosecutor, and his past cases that had him on trial while the trial was going on. Even after his own conviction, he filed more charges, against her, and supposedly the defense lawyers too! In the slander case, Mingini is the prosecutor, the Kercher’s Civil Lawyer is the Lawyer for the plaintifs(the Police officers this time) in the civil case. Looks like the same judge that handled the preliminary hearings in the murder case, will be doing the preliminary hearings for the slander trial, now set for October. Worse, next month preliminary hearings in the charges against her parents for slander Some information from the latest interview KIRO-FM’s Frank Shiers did with the mother, it’s about halfway through the podcast.

    //www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=577&a=18353&p=10&n=Northwest%20Nights

    Julius, on other sites I have seen commentary describing the lay judges as window dressing, and since the 2 judges have more weight than the lay judges/jurors in their opinions. A Change of Venue might have been appropriate in this case, but I doubt they would have got it. Steve, I was wondering if in today’s media coverage of trials, would it even be possible for a Change of Venue to work? I remember the Blackwell case, a man killed his estranged wife, and a few others, in the King County Courthouse on the day of the hearing, the trial was moved to Snohomish County, partly because of the media coverage of the case(I vaguely remember that it was originally suggested using the Seattle Municipal Court, or the Federal Courthouse), but also because of another influence on the jury. Being tried at the scene of the crime, the jury might have wandered later to see for itself. The judge who heard the case was specially appointed, as most King County Judges would not even do the pre-trial hearings. The Snohomish County jurors convicted him though. The media coverage at the time was mainly radio, tv, and print media, NWCN was in it’s infancy, and neither of the two papers were online yet, and the Times was still printing the Night Final.

    Also, I admire the King County Judge that reportedly sent letters to the Italian Authorities on Knox’s behalf. He recently was charged by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, for using the prestige of his office, and then self-reported that violation to the CJC.

    //www.westseattleherald.com/2010/06/08/news/update-judge-michael-heavey-charged-misconduct-letters-supporting-amanda-knox

  • may doveaston:

    I agree that the prosecution case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is preposterous. As Mignini has been convicted of a criminal offence,I don’t think he should be allowed anywhere near this case or any other case for that matter.
    I am eagerly awaiting the Appeal and am hoping for a positive outcome for Amanda and Raffaele.

  • Paul:

    Good, thoughtful stuff as usual. Not surprisingly, one of the unreported problems with this case was the day to day coverage in the press. Many of the journalists who covered the case primarily write about culture, the arts, literature and even food. Not a single on of them, so far as I could tell, knew anything about criminal investigations.

    Amanda’s defense was more powerful even than most people realize. For instance, the lab technician who ran the now infamous LCN DNA analysis on the knife came across about a dozen other samples that were too low for analysis. In each of those other instances she terminated her analysis. But the knife was crucial to the prosecution so she ignored every known protocol in order to force a result. This was a key piece of evidence against Amanda and it was provided by a technician who was not properly trained, did not work in a certified lab, who botched the procedure, and who,in general, violated every protocol known to man. There are a number of other compelling reasons why the knife could not have been the murder weapon but they are too numerous to list here. Finally, the defense’s ability to properly cross examine witnesses was compromised because the police would not release, and the judge did not force them to release, information on their procedures until after the prosecution’s main case. To this date the defense does not have critical information on the DNA testing including the daily logs and the electronic data files.

    This lack of transparency in the Italian system is apparent in other ways. Given the fact that large segments of the press were asleep at the switch, it would be nice to have access to the trial records to see exactly what was said. Unfortunately, records are only minimally open to the public. You can read them in the courthouse but you cannot take notes. They are not available to the public in electronic form at all. The courts in Perugia are a comfy little insiders club and the judges who run it do not want their activities open to public scrutiny.

  • Steve Graham:

    May and Paul, thanks for your comments, and thanks for visiting my blog. yep, i am optimistic about Amanda and Raffaele’s appeal.

  • richard morgan:

    I have been following this case . I have only ever worked on another murder case with more than one accused , they are generally very confusing because there is a lot of conflicting and contradictory evidence.The issue of the prosecutor has ben raised several times and since they are only human too they are ofeten prejudiced . The evidence points overwhelmingly at the guilt of Rudy Guede. The only question is why would Amanda Knox and her boyfriend participate
    in a sex murder with somebody it appears they hardly knew . As for her behaviour while under arrest , put any 20 year old in the same situation ,and in a foreign country and what would you expect . People with no experience of the police feel very threatened in such situations are a liable to say anything . A well known example of this are the “Birmingham 6” and the “Guildford 4” ,unjustly accused and convicted by British courts for terrorist offenses . I undestand that Amanda Knox shared an appartment with Ms Kecher so the DNA evidence is worthless. I think she is innocent

  • pop:

    I think italy needs to make alot of changes to there legal system starting with there out of date costumes they wear .This mignini guy is a joke and needs to be replaced asap .I have second thoughts on EVER traveling there now, that you know the injustice that has tooking place there . How many other cases end up the same way “innocent people being convicted”.

  • Michelle Moore:

    Tell us thoughts about the Mafia it Italy in these recent times. I thought they were a thing of the past but more and more people from Italy, even, are telling that this is not correct. Just curious. Great article, btw….more people need to hear from people like you! 🙂 Thanks, Michelle

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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