Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Amanda Knox May Benefit On Appeal From Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini's Alleged Misconduct In Another Case
Can a convicted defendant ever catch a break? Well, maybe sometimes. Especially if she may be innocent. Amanda Knox has always claimed that she is innocent. She is the U.S. college student who was convicted last month of the murder of her British roommate in Perugia, Italy. Her appeal may have taken a turn for the better after the Prosecutor was convicted himself for abusing his office in an unrelated case. As a consequence, Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini faces a 16-month suspended jail sentence for allegedly abusing his position during a 1985 investigation into the death of a doctor alleged to be part of a satanic group. Smiles were visible on the face of Anne Bremner, a Seattle attorney who represents the family and friends of Knox. Since the prosecutor's interrogation techniques in the Knox case are in question, this is a positive development for the Knox defense team.
Philadelphia attorney Ted Simon, a high-profile expert on defending Americans convicted in foreign jurisdictions, is handling the Knox appeal. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., announced last month that she plans to call on the U.S. State Department and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to investigate possible violations of international law. Mignini maintains that the conviction should have no impact on Knox's conviction for killing Meredith Kercher. The Knox appeal may take two years. Mignini's conviction stems from his wiretapping of several journalists and a police official in the "Monster of Florence" case. That case involved a killer who stalked lovers in the Italian countryside between 1968 and 1985. Pietro Pacciani, Mario Vanni and Giancarlo Lotti were arrested and convicted in 1993 in connection with the case, but were later cleared of all charges by the Italian Supreme Court. Thomas Harris, the author of The Silence of the Lambs, allegedly studied the case for inspiration to create the character, Hannibal Lecter.
Knox and her former Italian boyfriend were convicted last month of Kercher's murder. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in jail, while her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, received a 25-year sentence. Both maintain that they are innocent. A third man, Rudy Guede, was convicted separately in the case and sentenced to 30 years (reduced to 16 years on appeal.) Mignini's attorney, Marco Rocchi, will also seek an appeal.
Update 5-10-10: Harry Rag provides interesting commentary on the alleged evidence in the case. For his opinion, see Comments! For those further interested in the case, Barbie Latzu Nadeau has written a book titled: Angel Face the True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox. Apparently Nadeau sat through the trial and was not surprised by the verdict.
Update 8-9-2010: Judge Massei's decision can be found here: http://www.perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?p=53735#p53735
Update 8-17-10: TJ Holme presents another view of the alleged evidence here: http://www.injusticeinperugia.org/. No matter which side of the fence you are on, this case seems to scream for additional scrutiny by all involved. Equally clear, the family of the victim deserves to know the truth so that they may find closure. Perhaps it is best to wait for all of the appeals to conclude before anyone comes to any firm conclusions.
Update 11-9-10: Amanda Knox, convicted of murdering her British roommate in Italy, now faces a trial on slander charges. She will be represented by attorney Luciano Ghirga. Amanda and her parents are accused of defaming Italian police involved in her arrest for the killing of Meredith Kercher. A recent hearing determined that there is enough evidence for the prosecution to proceed. The slander arises out of alleged police mistreated during Amanda's custody. Amanda's parents are charged with repeating the allegations. Knox will attempt to have the proceedings moved to Florence.
Amanda's alleged statements were not recorded and thus it will come down to a battle of credibility. The defamation trial is set to begin May 17, 2011. Knox, 23, is still proceeding with her appeal of her murder conviction and 26 year sentence. Knox's former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, is serving a 25-year sentence. A third person, Rudy Guede, a is serving a 16-year prison sentence.
Update 5-8-11: The appeal is well on its way; however forensic experts want more time to review DNA evidence on the victim's bra clasp and on the alleged murder weapon. For more details, see comment of this same date.
Update 6-18-11: Mario Alesso. a convict, testifies in the Appellate Court that he knows Amanda Knox did not commit the murder. The convicted child murderer testified that a fellow inmate had told him the American student had nothing to do with her roommate's death.
Update 10-4-11: The murder conviction of Amanda Knox was vacated on oppeal. Apparently the defamation charge remains; however Amanda is now FREE!