The last ten days

Today was the last entire day of debate on the Kercher case and there’s now a ten day wait but reading the fine detail, it appears Knox’s lawyers get the first hour on judgment day [30th] in the morning, just before the judge and jury retire to consider their verdict.

This is advantageous for the Knox team, being the last voice heard. So it does go down to the wire, as I thought it might. They might have their sentences confirmed, reduced or in an unlikely scenario – be acquitted.

Maresco, lawyer for the family, came out formally today with the charge that the annulled appeal verdict [2011] had been decided in advance and that the angry crowd outside the courtroom were there because they’d heard of the possible acquittal ahead of time [in Italian], the crowd believing the pair guilty.

Far from the depiction by the American media that this system of justice is the nation of Italy v one poor, wronged innocent, it is one of the most exhaustive processes going and can drag on, seemingly interminably but that must, inevitably, favour the defence as all sorts of doubts can be sown and can alter a verdict, as has been seen. The Italians tend to want to be very sure and this stems from the prosecution of the mafia and its attempts to fix judges and juries.

In this light, the other big news was that the prosecution formally put in the request today to prevent the pair scarpering, should the verdict be guilty.

After the years, the hundreds of pages, the claims and counter-claims, the mass of evidence and its rebuttal, the acquittal, then overturned, one commenter at one site this evening summed up the main sticking points succinctly.

If you run with the key Knox team argument, then the murder scene was solely the bedroom – no DNA of hers was found in there and that has always been the core of the argument. The door was locked, plus she had not been back there. Therefore, with no trace of her having been in the murder “room”, she is innocent, despite conflicting alibis, witnesses and the phone record.

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The problem with that has always been the blood. The defence says it is not blood but starch. Therefore, at various places, e.g. in the corridor, the bathroom, it was mixed starch which was spattered about. This footprint was starch, as was the bathmat [further down]. The victim bled starch.

Forensic, on the other hand, found mixed blood samples of Knox and the victim, not starch were in multiple places throughout the house. Luciano Garofano is described thus by Wiki:

Luciano Garofano (Roma, 5 maggio 1953) è un biologo italiano, generale in congedo dell’Arma dei Carabinieri.

He was framed for embezzlement in the same way prosecutor Mignini was framed over the Monster of Florence but both remain unconvicted. Standard mafia tactic. Garofano is regarded as one of the foremost experts on DNA. Sorry this is in Italian but it is better to go to source.

In Darkness Descending, he states that one of Dr. Stefanoni’s key forensic findings was that Amanda Knox’s blood (not just DNA) was mixed with the victim’s blood in a number of places in the bathroom and on the floor in housemate Filomena’s room.

However, here is the electropherogram and you can see that the RFU value is very high, so the sample is undoubtedly blood, which is the body fluid that provides the greatest amount of DNA. In some cases you see higher peaks of Amanda’s DNA than Meredith’s. Amanda has been bleeding. (Luciano Garafano, Darkness Descending, page 371).

This, according to the defence, is not possible, as the crime was contained in the bedroom where no trace of Knox was found. Yet one footprint in the corridor from blood/starch was attributable to Knox.

However, Knox accepts there was blood by claiming that it must have been her ear piercing mixed in with the victim’s blood, as a fellow user of the bathroom. She also stated on the record that the blood had not been there the day before.

Another who accepted blood was Sollecito, whose explanation of the victim’s DNA being found in the scratch on the blade of the knife in the drawer at his home was that he had accidentally pricked Meredith when they’d been cooking.

The problem with that is that Meredith had never been to his home. Therefore, that pricking of her had to have been at Knox’s home, so why would the knife have been taken from one place to the other? Also, where is his DNA? This knife was at his home. He says they’d been cooking. So where is any DNA of his, as owner of the knife?

Back to the crime scene and two samples of the mixed Knox/Kercher blood were found in Filomena’s [the housemate’s] room. One can understand MK’s separate DNA or Knox’s separate DNA as they were all housemates but this was not that. It was mixed blood. Why in that room?

The further significance of that room is that it is the scene of the break-in through the window. So, what investigators have is no DNA of Guede who was meant to have broken in there yet two mixed blood samples of Knox and the victim.

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The defence disputed the footprint on the bathmat, saying it was Guede’s, whilst the matches looked like this:

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However, that overlooks one key point – for that blood sample to even be on the bathmat, there should have been samples leading up to the mat but there were none surrounding it. Yet there were samples of Guede’s shoes running directly from the bedroom to the front door along the corridor and note he was wearing shoes. The prints attributable to the other two were of bare feet.

Candace Dempsey, on of the main Knox groupies in Seattle admits Guede was wearing shoes:

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For his print to have been the one on the bathmat, he would have to have taken his shoe off, placed the print, put his shoe back on, got back to the bedroom and then run out of the house.

The existence of that blood places the crime outside of the bedroom as well as inside. And if it is both inside and outside the bedroom, then Knox’s lack of DNA inside the bedroom becomes largely irrelevant.

These are the sorts of things which are being taken into consideration during these ten days.

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