Author Topic: Acquittal Overturned: Court Upholds Murder Conviction of Amanda Knox, Boyfriend in Retrial  (Read 1013 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/30/amanda-knox-boyfriend-acquittal-overturned-conviction-upheld-in-italian-re-trial/

Acquittal Overturned: Court Upholds Murder Conviction of Amanda Knox, Boyfriend in Retrial
Jan. 30, 2014 4:13pm Elizabeth Kreft

An Italian court upheld the murder convictions of Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, Thursday. The high court overturned the 2011 acquittal.

Knox’s future is still uncertain because there is another level of appeal that can take place, but the Italian court said Thursday — through a translator — that Amanda Knox is “illegally in her own country,” and that they revoked Sollecito’s passport.

Knox and Sollecito have traversed the Italian law enforcement and court system since 2007 after the suspicious death of British student Meredeth Kercher in Perugia.
Knox conviction upheld, acquittal overturned by Italian high court

Amanda Knox’s murder conviction was upheld at her third major trial in Italy. (Credit: Getty Images)

The pair were initially convicted in 2009, and were then acquitted on appeal in 2011. Knox and Sollecito spent four years in custody before the court ruled important evidence regarding blood and DNA had been handled improperly by investigators, reported USA Today:

   
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Italy’s supreme court — called the Court of Cassation — dismissed that ruling based on what it said was key evidence that had been omitted during the appeal. A Florence appeals panel was subsequently designated by Italy’s supreme court to address issues it raised about the acquittal.


Knox, 26, heard the verdict half a world away in Seattle, where she returned after spending several years in jail before being acquitted in 2011 in Kercher’s murder. In an email to this court, Knox wrote that she feared a wrongful conviction.

Knox’s absence did not formally hurt her case since she was freed by a court and defendants in Italy are not required to appear at their trials. However, Presiding Judge Alessandro Nencini reacted sternly to her emailed statement, noting that defendants only have a right to be heard if they appear physically before the panel.

Sollecito, on the other hand, made frequent court appearances and was in court again Thursday, accompanied by his father and other relatives, but left before the final verdict. Sollecito now risks immediate arrest. The situation for Knox remains complicated by her absence; experts have said it is unlikely Italy would seek her extradition until a verdict is finalized, a process that can take a year.

Members of Kercher’s family were present for the verdict declaration.

The first trial court found Knox and Sollecito guilty of murder and sexual assault based on DNA evidence, confused alibis and Knox’s false accusation against a Congolese bar owner, which resulted in a slander verdict that has been upheld on final appeal. A Perugia appeals court dismantled the guilty verdict two years later, criticizing the “building blocks” of the conviction, including DNA evidence now deemed unreliable by new experts, and the lack of motive.
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Offline Atomic Cow

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So in Italy they can simply keep putting someone on trial until they get the result they want.  Italy is one country I would never set foot in.  Remember, these are the people who sent scientists to prison for failing to predict an earthquake.

Thank God the Founding Fathers were smart enough to put the double jeopardy clause in the Constitution.
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Offline EC

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Not really - it's more like your system.

Verdict.
Appeal.
Appeal the Appeal.

Not saying it's not corrupt - because it is as corrupt as hell - but it follows the basic judicial system most countries are used to. We should be, it's the same system.
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Offline DCPatriot

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I'm glad she got a second chance at life.

But she should be looking over her shoulder the rest of it.
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Offline Atomic Cow

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Not really - it's more like your system.

Verdict.
Appeal.
Appeal the Appeal.

Not saying it's not corrupt - because it is as corrupt as hell - but it follows the basic judicial system most countries are used to. We should be, it's the same system.

In the US, we do not appeal the appeal.  If the case is tossed on appeal, then the local DA has to decide to try the case again, or decide not to.  An appellate hearing is not another trial nor can it add to a sentence.  We also have trial by jury, not by a handful of judges, although in some states, a defendant can request a trial by judge if they want, although this is usually done for minor offenses rather than capital crimes.

But above all, double jeopardy prevents someone from being tried for the same crime twice.  We do not keep putting someone on trial for the same crime over, and over, and over, until the prosecution gets a conviction.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 12:30:29 AM by Atomic Cow »
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline EC

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Thank you for the explanation. I do have one question though.

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But above all, double jeopardy prevents someone from being tried for the same crime twice.  We do not keep putting someone on trial for the same crime over, and over, and over, until the prosecution gets a conviction.

How does that square with the DA having to decide to try the case again if it is thrown out on appeal the first time?
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Offline truth_seeker

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Italian law is different from English law (USA too).

Things like presumption of innocence, no double jeopardy, etc. are different.

Perhaps others can expand.

Offline EC

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Italian law is different from English law (USA too).

Things like presumption of innocence, no double jeopardy, etc. are different.

Perhaps others can expand.

It's the same core - Roman law, which expanded to English Common Law, which is the basis of all American Law. Italian law has a few bells, whistles and flourishes in it from the Papal States era, which dug the idea of the State over the individual deeper into the law.

Presumption of innocence in Italy is a fact, though the initial findings of the magistrate assigned to investigate the case will have an effect on how it proceeds.

I think the best way to explain the difference is that there are no civilian police in Italy. They process all crimes through the lens of military law, since the Carabineiri are a branch of the military. The Poliza are purely civilian, and are confined to traffic duty, mostly.
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Offline truth_seeker

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Begging to differ somewhat, the root of Roman law, and the root of English law differ.

English law arose from Germanic roots, both Anglo-Saxons from the continent, Norsemen, and then later the infusion of the French-Normans.

True enough the French brought roman notions, but those "French" were Norsemen too.

The Magna Carta was of British origin, in 1215.

Today British law and American law have much more in common, than either with the variants of Roman law, Italy, France, etc.

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Italian law is based on the Napoleonic Code. It is the French civil code established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs should go to the most qualified.It was drafted rapidly by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on March 1804. The Code, with its stress on clearly written and accessible law, was a major step in replacing the previous patchwork of feudal laws. Historian Robert Holtman regards it as one of the few documents that have influenced the whole world. According to the book "Italian Legal Systems and Napoleonic Code", the reason why it was chosen because of its compatibility with Italian needs.The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system; it was preceded by the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis (Bavaria, 1756), the Allgemeines Landrecht (Prussia, 1794), and the West Galician Code (Galicia, then part of Austria, 1797). It was, however, the first modern legal code to be adopted with a pan-European scope, and it strongly influenced the law of many of the countries formed during and after the Napoleonic Wars. The Napoleonic Code was very influential on developing countries outside of Europe, especially in the Middle East, that were attempting to modernize their country through legal reforms.Napoleon set out to reform the French legal system in accordance with the ideas of the French Revolution, because the old feudal and royal laws seemed confusing and contradictory to the people.

http://books.google.com/books?id=gC2sAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA216&lpg=PA216&dq=italian+law+and+napoleonic+code&source=bl&ots=lOTD1oRGvl&sig=SFkHPFazqA7FRNiZYldiwd4Ly1o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7UvrUqysA8iWyAHuuIDgCQ&ved=0CEIQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=italian%20law%20and%20napoleonic%20code&f=false
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:29:50 AM by SPQR »

Offline olde north church

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So in Italy they can simply keep putting someone on trial until they get the result they want.  Italy is one country I would never set foot in.  Remember, these are the people who sent scientists to prison for failing to predict an earthquake.

Thank God the Founding Fathers were smart enough to put the double jeopardy clause in the Constitution.

I wouldn't feel so relaxed about the double jeopardy thing.  There are many other ways for the law enforcement industry to make your life miserable after an acquittal.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline olde north church

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In the US, we do not appeal the appeal.  If the case is tossed on appeal, then the local DA has to decide to try the case again, or decide not to.  An appellate hearing is not another trial nor can it add to a sentence.  We also have trial by jury, not by a handful of judges, although in some states, a defendant can request a trial by judge if they want, although this is usually done for minor offenses rather than capital crimes.

But above all, double jeopardy prevents someone from being tried for the same crime twice.  We do not keep putting someone on trial for the same crime over, and over, and over, until the prosecution gets a conviction.

You may want to rethink that.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline mountaineer

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Knox’s ex captured near Italian border after new guilty verdict
By Post Wire Report
January 31, 2014 | 5:32am

FLORENCE, Italy — Police have found Amanda Knox’s ex-boyfriend at a hotel near Italy’s border with Slovenia and Austria after he and the American student were convicted for a second time in the death of British student Meredith Kercher.

The cabinet chief of the Udine police station, Giovanni Belmonte, said police showed up at about 1 a.m. Friday at a hotel in Venzone, about 40 kilometers from the border, where Raffaele Sollecito and his current girlfriend were staying. They took him to the Udine police station, took his passport and put a stamp in his Italian identity papers showing that he cannot leave the country. He will be freed later, Belmonte said.

The court in Florence on Thursday upheld the conviction against Knox and Sollecito. It did not immediately order Sollecito’s arrest.

Knox was sentenced to 28¹/₂ years in prison, and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years, by an Italian appeals court, in the latest reversal in the confounding murder case.

Knox, 26, was half a world away in Washington state when the verdict was read in Florence, but had already made clear she wasn’t going anywhere.

“I’m going to fight this to the very end,” she said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC’s “Good Morning America Friday morning.

Knox said she was caught off guard by the decision of the Italian court.

“It hit me like a train. I didn’t expect this to happen. They found me innocent before; how could they?”

“I’m definitely not going back to Italy willingly,” Knox told The Guardian. “They’ll have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don’t deserve to be in. I will fight for my innocence.”

Knox said she thought she was in the clear after being freed from an Italian jail in 2011 after an appeal of her 2009 conviction.

It was the third trial for Knox and Sollecito, whose first two trials in the 2007 slaying of British exchange student Meredith Kercher produced flip-flop verdicts of guilty, then innocent.

After the acquittal in 2011, Knox returned to the U.S., where she evidently hoped to put herself beyond the reach of Italian law. But Italy’s supreme court soon ordered a third trial.

On Thursday, the panel of two judges and six lay jury members deliberated 11½ hours before issuing its decision, stiffening Knox’s original 26-year sentence, apparently to take into account an additional conviction for slander, while confirming Sollecito’s 25-year term.

Italy has not yet said whether it will seek to extradite Knox.
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Offline Charlespg

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Professional Opinion From Veteran FBI Agent Steve Moore

http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/FBI.html

Mussolini banana republic justice
no dammed way in hell this girl should be sent back
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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You may want to rethink that.

Why?  Do you have examples? 

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Professional Opinion From Veteran FBI Agent Steve Moore

http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/FBI.html

Mussolini banana republic justice
no dammed way in hell this girl should be sent back


I agree.

FWIW, I DO think Amanda Knox is guilty, but she was found not guilty in the previous trial.  Let her deal with her own demons.

Offline olde north church

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Why?  Do you have examples?

Off the top of my head, the police involved with Rodney King.  Uncle Sam will jump with fed charges when the locals lose.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Not following your example.  Are you saying those police officers were tried once, found guilty, and then tried again??? 

Offline mountaineer

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I believe the reference is to certain instances in which someone acquitted of a state criminal charge still could face a federal civil rights action.
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Offline Charlespg

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I agree.

FWIW, I DO think Amanda Knox is guilty, but she was found not guilty in the previous trial.  Let her deal with her own demons.
I thought that but I'm not convinced any more ..too many questions about the behavior of Italian   officials in this case
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Offline Oceander

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It's the same core - Roman law, which expanded to English Common Law, which is the basis of all American Law. Italian law has a few bells, whistles and flourishes in it from the Papal States era, which dug the idea of the State over the individual deeper into the law.

Presumption of innocence in Italy is a fact, though the initial findings of the magistrate assigned to investigate the case will have an effect on how it proceeds.

I think the best way to explain the difference is that there are no civilian police in Italy. They process all crimes through the lens of military law, since the Carabineiri are a branch of the military. The Poliza are purely civilian, and are confined to traffic duty, mostly.

Actually, Roman law and English common law are very different creatures.  Yes, by now a lot of countries have blended systems, but a common law system is still quite distinct from a roman law system.  The US has an interesting situation with Puerto Rico because PR's legal system is based on roman law, so US courts have had to get the two to work together harmoniously.

Offline Oceander

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Off the top of my head, the police involved with Rodney King.  Uncle Sam will jump with fed charges when the locals lose.

Federal and state crimes are different crimes - different sovereigns and often, but not always, different elements and different affirmative defenses.  While it's regrettable, and one wishes the Founders had more seriously considered this; however, it does not offend double jeopardy for a person to be tried twice for the same set of actions, once in federal court and once in state court.

Offline Oceander

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I wouldn't feel so relaxed about the double jeopardy thing.  There are many other ways for the law enforcement industry to make your life miserable after an acquittal.

As if they hadn't already made your life thoroughly miserable - and bankrupted you to boot.  If anyone wonders why so many people plead out to lesser charges - even when it's obvious they have a good case - it's very often because, having already spent $10k to $15k just to get to the pretrial step, they realize they can no longer afford to pay for representation - unless, of course, they're willing to, and capable of, getting their families to bankrupt themselves as well.

DAs don't need facts, they don't need proof, and they don't need a good argument to get another notch in their belt, all they need do is wear the accused down financially to the point where accepting a plea to something - especially a misdemeanor in lieu of a felony - is the only way to stop the financial hemorraging.

That is how DAs take their viciousness out on regular people whom they do not like but whose cases aren't sexy enough politically to be worth the bother of actually trying to prepare for a trial - gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, answering that dreaded omnibus motion from the defense, replete with discovery demands, having to play hide-and-seek with their Rosario materials, etc, etc, etc.  Why waste your time doing all that when you know that if you beg off a few pretrial hearings - judges will never (99.99% never) punish or discipline, or even castigate, a DA who constantly misses pretrial hearings, states that "The People" are not ready for trial after having assured the judge and the accused that they were ready at the last hearing - you can force most accused people - anyone without serious financial resources, or a really sexy case that gets a lot of pro bono defense - to the point of penury, where they simply can no longer afford to resist the vast, coercive power of the State.

Offline EC

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Actually, Roman law and English common law are very different creatures.  Yes, by now a lot of countries have blended systems, but a common law system is still quite distinct from a roman law system.  The US has an interesting situation with Puerto Rico because PR's legal system is based on roman law, so US courts have had to get the two to work together harmoniously.

One of the reasons I love this place  :laugh:

Someone can ALWAYS explain things!

I was always taught that English common law was based on the Roman, though with a healthy (and heavy) mix in of Saxon and Danelaw, then more Roman law after the Normans arrived.
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Offline olde north church

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Not following your example.  Are you saying those police officers were tried once, found guilty, and then tried again???

The officers were acquitted the first time.  Then the feds came in and they were convicted.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.


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