Amanda Knox


Italy's top court overturns Amanda Knox conviction


When the verdict was announced, shocked Bongiorno shouted, "Yes! Yes! Yes" and leaped into the arms of a defense colleague.

"You never saw Raffaele pleading or praying. He has been a rock," she said, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported. "He is at home with his father and he is very happy. The verdict has proved him completely right."

Knox was 20 and studying in Italy in November 2007 when Kercher was found dead of multiple knife wounds in the flat they shared in the picturesque hillside town of Peruggia. Authorities determined she had been sexually assaulted and her throat had been slashed.

Under police questioning, Knox said she was in the flat and heard the murder but did not participate. She later recanted, saying she gave the statement under duress.

Knox, then-boyfriend Sollecito and another man, Rudy Guede, were charged with the murder. Guede, whose DNA was found on Kercher's body, agreed to a fast-track trial and was convicted of murder in 2008. The native of the Ivory Coast is serving 16 years in an Italian prison.

In 2009, an Italian court convicted Knox and Sollecito, now 30, of murder. Knox was sentenced to 28½ years in prison, Sollecito to 25. Both served four years before an appeals court overturned their convictions and acquitted them in 2011. Knox returned to Seattle.

But Italy's highest court threw out the acquittals in March 2013 and sent the case to a Florence appeals court, which convicted them again last year.

The Florence court cited "reliable" evidence placing Knox, Sollecito and Guede in the flat when Kercher was killed. The Florence court found Kercher was killed after a "mounting quarrel" with Knox — rejecting the initial prosecution theory that Kercher was killed after a drug-fueled sex game gone wrong.




Amanda Knox and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito cleared in final ruling

Italy's highest court closes 8-year legal saga, acquitting Knox and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of British student Meredith Kercher's murder

Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend were sensationally acquitted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher on Friday night, in a surprise move that brought to an end an eight year legal saga.
The former lovers had their convictions for the sexual assault and murder of the Leeds University student overturned by Italy’s supreme court, after judges deliberated for more than 10 hours.
Miss Knox, 27, and Raffaele Sollecito, 31, were convicted of the crimes in 2009, then acquitted on appeal in 2011, then saw the convictions reinstated last year.
The supreme court ruling in Rome brings to a definitive end the long-running drama, which intrigued people around the world and sharply divided opinion in Britain, the US and Italy.

Speaking after the verdict, Miss Knox said she felt "tremendously relieved".

"The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal," she said. “And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me," Miss Knox said.

Various friends and family members gathered in the back garden in their back garden in Seattle, amid an atmosphere of relief and jubilation and people could be heard yelling: “Freedom! Freedom!”

Miss Knox’s step-mother Cassandra and her daughters hugged, kissed and embraced for the cameras, putting their thumbs up, saying: “We're happy campers, we're happy happy! Its about time - we knew all along.”


Miss Knox was portrayed by prosecutors as a promiscuous temptress and “she-devil”, while her family and defence lawyers said she was the victim of a dysfunctional legal system and deeply unfair character assassination.

Miss Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found dead in the bedroom of the hillside cottage she shared with Miss Knox and two Italian women in Perugia, Umbria, in Nov 2007.

She had been sexually assaulted and then stabbed in the neck. Prosecutors insisted that the outgoing undergraduate was killed as a result of a drug-fuelled sex game that spiraled out of control.

But Miss Knox and her then boyfriend insisted they had nothing to do with the crime and that they had spent the night in question watching a film, smoking marijuana and having sex.

The judges’ ruling came as a huge surprise because it had been expected that the best possible outcome for the two defendants would have been to have their case referred to yet another appeals court. Few experts had predicted that their convictions would have been annulled altogether.

“I’m very happy for Amanda and I believe she will be very happy too,” said Luciano Ghirga, Miss Knox’s lawyer.

“It’s a brave decision which has renewed my faith in the Italian justice system. Amanda always insisted she was innocent. Now she can get on with her life.”

Another member of her legal team, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said: “It’s over! It couldn’t be any better than this.”


For Meredith's mother Arline however it is not over: "I am a bit surprised, and very shocked if I'm honest. I don't know what to say. They have been convicted twice so it's a bit odd that it should change now."

Miss Knox, whose sometimes eccentric behaviour, suggestive nickname of 'Foxy Knoxy' and girl-next-door good looks made her a tabloid favourite, was not in court, having vowed never to willingly return to Italy after her initial acquittal in 2011.

Before her release, she had spent four years in an Italian jail. She anxiously awaited news of the court’s decision at her parents’ home in Seattle.

David Marriott, her spokesman in Seattle, said the verdict was “unexpected”. He added: “I personally feel overjoyed that the truth has won out, that she is innocent.”

The panel of five judges said there was insufficient evidence to support the convictions. The full reasoning for their ruling has to be released within 90 days.

Francesco Maresca, the lawyer for the Kercher family, said he was bitterly disappointed with the decision.

“There’s not much to say. It is a huge surprise. It’s a drastic decision and a definitive one.”

Patrick Lumumba, 45, a Congolese bar owner whom Miss Knox falsely accused of having murdered Miss Kercher, said: “It is a huge judicial error. I’m very disappointed, but there is nothing more that can be done.”

Giulia Bongiorno, Mr Sollecito’s lawyer, whooped with joy and jumped into the arms of a colleague when she heard the news on the steps of the imposing supreme court building.

Moments after the verdict was announced, friends and family of Mr Sollecito cheered and clapped, shouting “acquitted, acquitted!”

Prosecutors had called for Miss Knox to be sent to jail for 28 years and for Mr Sollecito to spend 25 years behind bars.

During her final address to the court, Ms Bongiorno, one of the country’s leading criminal lawyers, said Mr Sollecito had no motive for murder, that there was no trace of his DNA in the bedroom where Miss Kercher was stabbed to death, and that the knife seized by police was not even the right murder weapon.

“Raffaele Sollecito is an innocent who found himself dragged into a gigantic, high-profile event that he had nothing to do with. You know who he is like? Forrest Gump. I ask you to overturn his conviction.”

The key piece of evidence linking Mr Sollecito to the murder – traces of his DNA on a clasp that had been cut from Miss Kercher’s bra – was unreliable, Ms Bongiorno said.

It took investigators 46 days to find the bra clasp on the floor of Miss Kercher’s bedroom, by which time it had been kicked around the room by forensic officers.

The conviction of the former lovers was the result of “a tragic cascade of errors” in the police investigation and subsequent trial, Ms Bongiorno told the court.

The annulment of their convictions means that the sole person in prison for the murder is Rudy Guede, a small-time drug dealer from Perugia who is serving a 16 year jail term after undergoing a separate, fast-track trial.

He was convicted largely on the base of DNA evidence found on Miss Kercher’s body and in the house where she was murdered.







Amanda  Knox:  il processo di Perugia


 Diceva Amanda Knox che nella giustizia italiana puo accadere qualsiasi cosa : è infatti è accaduto Riassumendo: una corte la ha giudicata colpevole, una di appello  innocente, una prima cassazione ha sentenziato che l’assoluzione era sbagliata, un secondo appello che era colpevole , una seconda cassazione che è cosi chiaro che è innocente che non si deve  nemmneo fare piu il processo.  Il tutto poi sotto un enorme risonanza internazionale  che certo non giovera al nostro paese.
Il nostro mondo giuridico spiega che, nel caso di difformità di due sentenze, non si puo parlare di errore ma di diversa valutazione e che appello e cassazione sono stati istituiti per dare la più ampia garanzia, cosa che all’estero, ad esempio in America, non esiterebbe. Cosi l'illustre giurista  ZAGREBELSKY al primo appello spiegava sul Corriere delle Sera che “Chi non ha esperienza del giudicare può essere sconcertato e chiedersi chi sbaglia. In realtà normalmente la questione non si pone in termini di giusto/sbagliato.”
Pare cosi profilarsi la teorizzazione di un relativismo giudiziario dopo quello etico, politico, religioso
Non esisterebbe , in sostanza un verità processuale oggettiva ma essa variarebbe a secondo della libera valutazione e convincimento del giudice. Infatti se noi ammettiamo che giudici diversi possano dare giudizi diversi sui medesimi fatti senza cha si possa dire che alcunidi essi  hanno sbagliato dovremmo concludere che non abbiamo alcuna certezza: insomma si deve essere fortunati a incontrare il giudice giusto, dove per giusto, si intende quello che è a noi favorevole
Ma ci possono essere pareri diversi nell’etica nella politica nella religione senza parlare di errore di alcuni: questo principio è anzi la base della democrazia
In realtà non si dice che non esiste la verità o il giusto ma che gli uomini possono e di fatto hanno, pareri diversi su di tali problemi perchè partono da principi diversi e danno diversa rilievo a medesimi fatti che poi in pratica conoscono solo in parte.
Ma la sentenza è cosa ben diversa: il giudice non è chiamato a dire se un fatto sia bene o male ma se è proibito o meno espressamente da qualche legge; non se l’imputato abbia o meno commesso un fatto ma se esistono prove sicure, al di la di ogni ragionevole dubbio, che ha commesso il fatto
Questo allora significa che se due giudici danno pareri diversi uno di essi debba necessariamente sbagliare: certo tutti possono sbagliare , anche i giudici sono uomini, ma HA SBAGLIATO
Ora se un procuratore porta in giudizio una persona e poi questa è assolta vuol dire che non aveva prove sufficienti e quindi ha sbagliato (oppure ha sbagliato il giudice): se una corte d’appello modifica una sentenza significa che i primi giudici hanno sbagliato ( o ha sbagliato la Corte di Appello) : se la Cassazione dice (addirittura) che il processo non è stato condotto secondo le procedure allora vuole dire che i giudici non hanno saputo applicarle ( e come e’ possibile? non sarebbero allora da rimuoverli per incapacità? )
Invece da noi qualunque giudice può decidere tutto quello che vuole tanto, per definizione, non ha mai sbagliato : sarà sempre promosso per anzianità, esattamente come il giudice che ha preso la decisione opposta
Si parla spesso di provvedimenti disciplinari e della responsabilità civile dei giudici ma ci si riferisce a errori formali non ad errori nell’ambito della discrezionalità del magistrato: spesso queste poi si basano su cavilli, su aspetti puramente formali perchè invece la sostanza del giudicare rimane non indagabile.
E’il sistema di valutazione dei giudici , delle loro carriere ad essere sbagliato
Si diventa magistrato da giovane con un difficile concorso che valuta solo la preparazione teorica e si fa carriera fino a 70 senza tenere nessun conto di quello che si fa: ma che una persona sia magari anche un genio non esclude che possa essere un paranoico, uno squilibrato, un disonesto un esibizionista: spesso i geni lo sono
Il problema fino  ad ora era che  in Italia ormai esistevano  due schieramenti : uno che vorrebbe che i giudici non possano condannare Berlusconi e l’altro che vorrebbe invece che lo condannassero: che la giustizia sia ormai allo sfascio pare non interessare più nessuno

 Speriamo che questo riguardi ormai il passato, e che si possa, con Renzi, superare questo sfascio