January 29, 2014 by AK
The appeals court in Florence is scheduled to return a verdict tomorrow, that is Thursday, in the retrial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. I believe Knox and Sollecito are innocent in a strong sense of the word: in all likelihood, they did not commit the crime. However I am not holding my breath for acquittal: the deceptive and nonsensical ruling by Italy’s supreme court – presumably the guiding authority for the judge in this appeal – is a blueprint for a wrongful conviction.
The ruling is dishonest because it does not engage in a discussion with the appellate judge or the defense but either ignores or distorts their opinions and arguments. Its lack of sense jumps out at the reader when the judges attempt to criticize findings by experienced academics in the intricate field of forensic DNA identification. Their logic truly shines in their apologia of a heroin addict and serial prosecution witness. Alas, there is no use debating fine points of DNA analysis with someone who claims, as the judges did, that heroin – an opiate! – does not impair the “lucidity of memory”. It’s like debating astronomy with a flat-earther.
By the way, it is the same court that voided the sentence of a 60-year-old man for sleeping with a 11-year-old girl in his care because the relationship between the two had been “romantic”. Why, Stavrogin ought to have been tender to poor Matresha and she would have grown up to marry him by the same logic.
It’s also interesting that, in spite of my misgivings, the Carabinieri did a very decent job testing the tiny speck of DNA on the kitchen knife. The way they documented their tests was a welcome contrast to the police lab’s sloppy, unprofessional work bordering on criminal negligence.
Now, on to three good links:
– The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks of Italy by Jim Snowden.
– Pandering to Existing Beliefs by Mark Olshaker.
– A summary of closing arguments by Amanda Knox’s lawyers. A docx file on Amanda’s site.