Friday, March 19, 2010

Rome Panel On Meredith’s Case: Seems To Have Been Shallow, But Of No Comfort To Knox Apologists

Posted by Cesare Beccaria



[Above: IAF president Rocco Girlanda - a wannabe Italian David Marriott?]


The outrage that directly led to the creation of TJMK late in 2008 was the deliberate attempt to disappear Meredith and to replace her as the “real victim”.

Reversing that horrible trend and ensuring Meredith is revered, and at the end of the day granted her true justice, has always been our main mission. We have also worked to reverse the horrible sliming of Italy (a country Meredith loved and so looked forward to) and the officials and the trial process.

As far as we can see no English-language media have better explained the impressive Micheli Report and the impressive Italian system and the powerful evidence of guilt. Or for that matter lately shown Italy in such a positive light.

Ideally, if it had wanted to spread actual understanding, the Italian American Foundation Rome panel yesterday should have covered much of that same ground.

As far was we can see, it didn’t. And there seems to have been little mention of Meredith.

But at least the panelists seem to have come up with no new criticisms. Today Italy looks no worse, and Knox’s position looks no better. And the panel was inconclusive on what might have happened differently in the United States. (We reckon the outcome would have been identical but the sentences would have been Life.)

Andrea Vogt reports for the Seattle P-I on yesterday’s doings. Key excerpts below.

1) On the Italian American Foundation panel

The gathering was not so much an exercise in legal theorizing as one to smooth the hard feelings between Italy and the United States over the trial of one American college student. It’s a case that has spawned books, Websites and congressional involvement.

In fact, experts decided they couldn’t say what would have happened in an American trial.

“The only answer is, it is impossible to answer this question,” lawyer Anthony Sistilli told the audience, according to ANSA Italian wire services that covered the forum. “We do not want to retry the case. We want to help bridge the gap of understanding, which is our mission for this meeting.”...

“Trial outcomes are unpredictable. You really can’t guess what the outcome would be,” Arcabascio, who is co-director of the Florida Innocence Project, told the crowd. “But reasonable doubt is a standard of proof we use in both countries.”

Arcabascio also noted that sequestered juries are still used in the United States, but less and less common due to the high cost….

“No-one had any intention of bringing up criticisms,” said Rocco Girlanda, president of the U.S.-Italy Foundation told seattlepi.com. “Our scope was simply to compare the judicial systems and trial processes of Italy and the U.S.”

2) On Amanda Knox in prison

Girlanda ended the evening on a light note, saying that perhaps after the case’s expected appeal, the association would even have the chance to have a “special honored guest,” meaning Knox.

He also mentioned that the association is continuing to meet regularly with Knox in prison. Italy-USA Association officials said that prison authorities have called Knox’s behavior in Capanne “exemplary.”

Though she had requested work in the prison laundry, she has been given a less menial task with the prison commissary. Her job, according to foundation officials who meet with her, is to take orders from the various cellmates about what they want from the prison store. Inmates are able to buy items such as candy, cheese, soda or other small shopping items.

There are also some must-read paragraphs by Andrea Vogt on the very fishy commercial aspects of IAF president Rocco Girlanda’s role in the case. Is he seeking a PR contract?

Rocco Girlanda, who is also a parliamentarian and PR consultant, has been criticized before for raising false hopes for Knox apologists, and yesterday he did it again.

Andrea Vogt also reports on the state of Seattle-Perugia relations (with links to some Facebook pages), on the new books on the case, and on a new pro-Sollecito website, apparently created by a certain Chris Mellas.

What a surprise.

Low-traffic low-traction and generally highly inaccurate apologist websites, all with a nasty sneering tone, seem to be springing up like wildflowers these days.

************

Below: IAF president Rocco Girlanda at right with fellow parliamentarians outside Capanne Prison, after visiting Amanda Knox.





Comments

Thanks for keeping us up-to-date!

“Low-traffic low-traction and generally highly inaccurate apologist websites, all with a nasty sneering tone, seem to be springing up like wildflowers these days.”

How true.

Posted by Nell on 03/19/10 at 01:07 PM | #

I was at the conference yesterday. I may write something on it if there is anything to say.

Just for now: among the few things Girlanda said, one worth to be reported is he claimed he knows personally Giuliano Mignini, and stated he absolutely trusts him as a “very serious” and “honest” person and an “excellent” prosecutor who worked on several difficult criminal cases.

Posted by Yummi on 03/19/10 at 01:33 PM | #

Thanks Yummi. We would like that. And actually we dont know of anyone in Italy who does not have the utmost respect for Mr Mignini.

Understood correctly, what he tried to do in the MOF case was brilliant and brave and could have led to the case finally closing.

Kermit’s great Powerpoints on the railroad to hell compared Mignini’s mundane and respectable reality with the fevered imaginings of Doug Preston’s brain.

It is actually pretty funny. Preston seems to have a real obsession with (among other things) satanic sects.

Mignini has actually never shown much interest in such things. He never saw satanic sects as relevant to Meredith’s case, and the idea of a satanic sect behind the MOF murders was around for FIVE YEARS before Mignini got involved.

Of all the players in Meredith’s case, in our view Preston comes off looking the worst. A dishonest and muddled opportunist, promising false hope to thousands of apologists. Perhaps they should tar and feather him and run him out of town.

That would sure lighten Mignini’s day.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/19/10 at 01:51 PM | #

Girlanda: “Our scope was simply to compare the judicial systems and trial processes of Italy and the U.S.”

Then I wonder if they brought up the discrepancy in how DNA tests are handled, as explained in ViaDellaPergola’s video.

Namely, in the U.S., the defense is not invited to observe tests, but they are in Italy. Which explains why double-testing is not necessary in Italy—an altogether sensible alternative in the case of LCN DNA, if you ask me.

I wonder if Yummi or someone else can tell us if they mentioned this. Thanks!

Posted by Earthling on 03/19/10 at 04:02 PM | #

Earthiling wrote:

Girlanda: “Our scope was simply to compare the judicial systems and trial processes of Italy and the U.S.

Yes. I recorded him saying this.

But I also recorded him saying the oppposite. When answering to a woman in the public who was objecting the total absence of comparison he just said “Our scope is not to make a comparative jurisprudence”.

The fact is Girlanda didn’t follow his own indication and absolutely didn’t pursue what he called his scope in his introduction, therefore someone among the public objected.

Never mind.

Posted by Yummi on 03/19/10 at 06:47 PM | #

Her behavour in prison is exemplary… How, precisely, would they expect her to behave? She complimented the jury (her jailors) for the fair treatment she felt she had received. Perhaps she believes that if she stays as sweet as aspartame (sugar would cause tooth decay, and she wouldn’t want to add that accusation to her record) she can secure her early release.

The March 12 edition of Steve Shay’s Herald has the family (quotes from Chris and Edda this time) heartened by the claims of baby-bludgeoner Alessi (“He chose to share”, isn’t that commendable?) and optimistic about what they read as contradictions within the 427-page report.

They seem under the impression that the motivational report was “not based in court fact,” and believe it will greatly assist Knox’s attorneys with her appeal process. Are we talking about the same report?

Mrs Mellas is pictured “being comforted by Amanda’s cat”. The Amanda snap accompanying this article, at least, shows her above the age of 14.

An English exchange student is brutally murdered in Italy, and we see no forums or conferences designed to heal English-Italian relations. Why is the US- Italian relationship perceived as being so delicate?

Is it because more Italians have emigrated to the States than to Italy?  Immigrants from everywhere can probably cite cases of xenophobic mistreatment in the US. How many American visitors to Italy have been singled out for police abuse?

Posted by mimi on 03/19/10 at 07:51 PM | #

Actually, for some reason Americans in Italy have always been treated with much respect, way more than any other nationalities. I remember when I was a child that when we encountered an American all of us kids would stare at him with our mouth open as if he was a god !!!

I think Amanda Knox is the only American that doesn’t receive much admiration. I don’t know what image she is giving of America to the new generation of Italians. Maybe Mr. Marriott should be hired by the U.S. government to restore the positive image of Americans to the Italian youth.

Posted by Cesare Beccaria on 03/19/10 at 09:38 PM | #

I am really, really tired of hearing about the rights of Ms Knox (despite my being really one of the most liberal people that you could meet).

It would be nice if the media would consider the rights of the true victim in this case - Meredith Kercher.

What was the point of this meeting? The crime was committed in Italy not the USA, so why on earth is there a discussion about how the case would have been tried in the USA. It is totally irrelevant. I don’t think that I have seen such questions raised before about a person being convicted in a country which is not their country of origin.

I am sure that I am not the only person to find this particular sentence repellent:

“Girlanda ended the evening on a light note, saying that perhaps after the case’s expected appeal, the association would even have the chance to have a “special honored guest,” meaning Knox”.

You are quite right that the English speaking media have not really covered the Micheli report. I live in England and I have only really seen one newspaper discuss the reports findings. On the day that Knox was found guilty the British media announced her guiltly verdict, but also heavily questioned whether or not she got a fair trial. I can honestly say that I have never seen this sort of coverage in regards to a murder case ever before. I can only guess that the Knox PR machine is still rolling on muddying the waters.

I have followed the tragic death Of Meredith Kercher since it was first reported in the media. It was not until a few weeks after the Knox/Sollecito guilty verdicts when I read “Darkness Descending” by Russell, Johnson and Garofano that I began to realise that the case against Knox and Sollecito was a lot stronger than was being reported in the British media.

I began to dig around and came across your site and your in depth analysis of the Micheli Report. I am thankful that I did and that you continue to put the truth out here and recognise that Meredith was the true victim in this awful case.

I am absolutely livid that so-called FOA continue to paint a picture of Amanda as the only victim, whilst seemingly having no empathy or sympathy for Meredith and her family. It’s disgusting.

Please keep up the great coverage.

Posted by Teal on 03/19/10 at 10:37 PM | #

This foundation meeting apparently produced nothing and I doubt they normally would even have a meeting regarding any other citizen in the same circumstances.  Who engineered this waste of time?  Knox/Sollecito supporters? 

Amanda Knox should rot in hell for all of the brouhaha she has caused to so many people with her behavior and dishonesty.  The Knox/Mellas clan should rot in hell with her for trying to obstruct justice with their lies and trying to buy public opinion, dragging senators and celebrities into the fray.  What’s next, an infomercial?  The American media producers that are touting Amanda’s innocence should be reprimanded and boycotted for not sticking to facts.

Stating that Amanda was an exemplary prisoner was a lame point.  Of course her behavior NOW is exemplary, as she needs to kiss ass to preserve the image of her that her media whore parents are pimping to the world.  What’s worse, now we find that Amanda’s stepfather, in conjunction with Sollecito’s sister Vanessa, is trying to pimp Sollecito, too, via yet another website designed to persuade people from the truth!  Where do the lies stop???

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/20/10 at 09:46 AM | #

I have a question regarding the recent sentencing\motivation report.

From what I understand it endorsed the prosecution claim that Amanda Knox’s hand written voluntary\spontaneous note\memoir confirmed her earlier statments that placed her and Patrick at the cottage on the night of the murder.

Is this is so, what was their justification for this interpretation, rater than seeing it as a retraction? The only argument I can find to support this view is the one Mignini made in court that plucked her expression “I stand by my statements that I made last night” out of context from the rest of the letter.

Posted by MGL1 on 03/20/10 at 11:12 AM | #

Hi MGL1,

Amanda Knox voluntarily admitted that she was involved in Meredith’s murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007. She even asked the police for a pen and paper to write this confession.

Knox also accused Diya Lumumba of murdering Meredith. The judge pointed out that she did this “knowingly and deceivingly.”

She didn’t retract her false and malicious allegation against Diya Lumumba the whole time he was in prison despite knowing full well that he was completely innocent.

Posted by The Machine on 03/20/10 at 02:24 PM | #

Hi Machine,

Thanks for your response.

Can you tell me where abouts in the handwritten note she says she was involved in Meredith’s murder?

Here is the full transcript and I cannot find any confession.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1570225/Transcript-of-Amanda-Knoxs-note.html

If she is confessing again and not retracting her earlier statements, what does she mean by the following?:

1) “The next thing I remember was waking up the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am”
2) “In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements”
3) “these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened”
4) “But the truth is, I am unsure about the truth”
5) “but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.”
6) “but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night”
7) “Why did I think of Patrik?”

Posted by MGL1 on 03/20/10 at 03:33 PM | #

MGL1 - My question to you: where in the above do you see a retraction? The fact is, there is no retraction, any more than there is a clear endorsement of what was said. It is possible that the truth emerged, i.e., perhaps Knox was so high on drugs that she really doesn’t remember exactly what happened. Drug-induced amnesia would not be exculpatory in the presence of other evidence of participation, however.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/20/10 at 05:11 PM | #

Hi MGL1,

Amanda Knox admitted that she was involved in Meredith’s murder in the following sentence:

“Everything I have said in regards to my involvement in Meredith’s death, even though it is contrasting, are the best truth that I have been able to think.”

Posted by The Machine on 03/20/10 at 10:30 PM | #

If she is confessing again and not retracting her earlier statements, what does she mean by the following?:

1) “The next thing I remember was waking up the morning of Friday November 2nd around 10am”
2) “In regards to this “confession” that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements”
3) “these things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened”
4) “But the truth is, I am unsure about the truth”
5) “but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house.”
6) “but the way the truth feels in my mind, there is no way for me to have known because I don’t remember FOR SURE if I was at my house that night”
7) “Why did I think of Patrik?”

The statements above can be only the result of two possibility:

1 - The person saying all of the above is mentally very disturbed and/or under the influence of very heavy sedative drugs or other narcotics, such as LSD.

2 - The person making the above statements is a reckless liar trying to get away with murder and trying to frame an innocent person without being too forthcoming and explicit about it.

Since there was no indication that during the interrogation Amanda was under the influence of any heavy drugs, I opt for the latter explanation.

Posted by Commissario Montalbano on 03/21/10 at 12:38 AM | #

Hi Machine,

when she uses the expression “my involvement in Meredith’s death” I don’t think she means she was actually involved in the act of the murder. If that is what she meant it would be inconsistent with the main point of her note and make nonsense of this particular quote. She is referring to her role in the event of Meredith’s death in the sense of a possible role, because she has two conflicting memories - two mutually excusive possibilities. One possibility is where she does indeed have a role - of being in the cottage with Patrick. The other possobility is where she has no role at all becasue she was at Raffaelle’s flat all night.

Posted by MGL1 on 03/21/10 at 05:27 AM | #

Hi Skeptical Bystander,

where do I see a retraction?

Her original statements declared uncategoricaly, with no reservations that she was at the cottage with Patrick. One could justifiably assume from this she would say the same thing in court.

Her voluntary note says she has two conflicting apparent memories of where she was but she has greater confidence in the memory of her being at Raffaelle’s flat all night. She has significant doubts about her memory of being at the cottage with Patrick. This is a significantly different claim from the earlier statement which it clearly undermines.
She also says ” I don’t feel I can be used as condemning testimone [sic] in this instance” which suggests she would not have testified against Patrick in court.

She is casting sufficiently significant doubt on her earlier accusation to justify its status as an implicit and effective retraction.

If, as you say, it is not a clear endoresement of her earlier claim, why did the police, prosecution and jury claim it confirmed it?

Posted by MGL1 on 03/21/10 at 05:30 AM | #

Hi Commissario Montalbano,

I was not asking why she made the statements but what she meant by them, but thank you for your point.
Your conclusion skipped over the possibility she was mentally disturbed, which presumably covers false memory syndrome.
Also I missed the bit in her voluntary note where she is trying to frame an innocent person. Perhaps she was doing this in her earlier testimony but in her voluntary note she is quite clearly casting doubt on her accusation.

Posted by MGL1 on 03/21/10 at 05:36 AM | #

“Is this is so, what was their justification for this interpretation, rater than seeing it as a retraction? The only argument I can find to support this view is the one Mignini made in court that plucked her expression “I stand by my statements that I made last night” out of context from the rest of the letter.”

Because it is not a retraction.

A retraction is an information, not a doubt. Making a retraction (on the statement “x” (i.e. “I was there and witnessed this fact”) means you assume a position “true” or “false” on the statement “x”.

Amanda’s handwritten intends just to avoid assuming a position.

It only wants to withdraw, cast doubt on the usability/credibility of her position, but carefully avoids assume any position. No new position and no information means no retraction.

Posted by Yummi on 03/21/10 at 11:12 AM | #

Hi Yumi,

Re your understanding of retraction:
——-
A retraction is an information, not a doubt. Making a retraction (on the statement “x”, i.e. “i was there and witnessed this fact”) means you assume a position “true” ore “false” on the statement “x”.
——-

My understanding of a retraction is that you are simply withdrawing an assertion. If you - as you say - “assume no position” - you are no longer asserting - (ie you are withdrawing/retracting) your original position.

If you assert “x” and then assert “x or not x” you are by implication withdrawing the assertion of “x”.

In fact Amanda is saying more than just “x or not x”. She is saying “possibly x but probably not x”

If my definition of retraction is wrong and I accept yours, this still does not adequately explain why the police thought she was confirming rather than doubting her original statements which presumably was why they kept Patrick in prison for a further 13 days.

Posted by MGL1 on 03/21/10 at 12:18 PM | #

Hi Teal,

you refer to the book “Darkness Descending” convincing you of the strength of the case against Knox and Sollecito.
One thing the book obscures is Amanda’s spontaneous voluntary note\memoir. On page 100 they mention her handing a handwritten note to the police as a present and then quote a statement where she is accusing Patrick which they suggest is from this note. I cannot find this text anywhere in the note. It seems to be from an earlier statement she made. They also later state that her note or memoir confirms her previous statement. If you read the note carefully it does not confirm her earlier statement but does implicitly and effectively retract it. Here is the note in full.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1570225/Transcript-of-Amanda-Knoxs-note.html

Posted by MGL1 on 03/21/10 at 01:19 PM | #

In reading the text of her note, I see it as a deliberate avoidance of affirmation or retraction, and most likely written to position her to get off the hook using the claim of “temporary insanity” as sometimes happens in American courts, though I don’t know if Italian law has a provision for it.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/21/10 at 02:02 PM | #

Hi MGL1,

Please forgive me, but your definition of a retraction makes absolutely no sense to me ( However if I was John Winters of the pro Knox clan - it would probably make perfect sense ). To me, if you say a man is guilty of something, and then later make a statement basically saying that you’re not sure whether he did do it or not - that you may have dreamt what you had said it your previous statement - That to me is not a retraction. However it is clearly a sign of her feeling guilty about blaming Patrick, and basically trying to withdraw her accusation, without actually withdrawing it, basically to ease her own conscience.

For her to say she doesn’t know if what she had already stated to be fact was true, or she didn’t know, or couldn’t remember - that’s not a retraction clearing Patrick. At best, in anyones eyes that’s ” Bullshit “:+)

Posted by Paddy5000 on 03/21/10 at 02:50 PM | #

A retraction would have been: “I’m sorry, I was scared and confused, but I wish to state that I did not see Patrick there that night and as far as I know, he wasn’t involved.”

What we get instead from Amanda is: “I don’t really remember. My best memory is that I wasn’t even there. But I also have this ‘dream’ or ‘vision’ in which I see Patrick there, and hear him murdering Meredith.”

To me, her note is an attempt to establish a Primary Alibi (“I wasn’t even there”), while also setting up a possible Secondary Alibi (in case they have incontrovertible proof that she WAS there) that says “I may have been there, but I’m totally innocent, Patrick did it!”

Also, I find her writing confused, difficult to read, and the sign of a disturbed and/or guilty mind.

Posted by Earthling on 03/21/10 at 06:09 PM | #

OT, but
http://www.komonews.com/news/88766167.html
PERUGIA, Italy – The Italian court system has handed a small victory to Seattle college student Amanda Knox, awarding her $55,000 in damages in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit, according to media reports.

Knox, who was convicted last December of murdering her British roommate, had filed a lawsuit against an Italian book author and a media company that ran excerpts from her personal diary and revealed details of her sex life.

continues

Posted by mojo on 03/21/10 at 06:39 PM | #

MGL1,
You can dress it up with pseudo symbolic logic terminology, but that doesn’t make it logical.

If I say “X” at T1

And then at T2 I say “X or not X”

No reasonably sane person would understand from this that I have effectively retracted “X”

Epecially if, in the same statement, I go on to say “Y” where Y = I stand by everything I said earlier, including “X”.

Pretending otherwise is just plain sophistry.

In addition, we have a reality check to guide us: Amanda Knox and her mother, Edda Mellas, did nothing for two weeks while Patrick Lumumba sat in prison. Had Knox retracted her earlier statement, we might expect - not logically perhaps but in terms of plain common sense and what people do - that she or her mother would have followed this up with an inquiry into Patrick’s status. Neither of them did this.

I can understand that you want to believe Knox’s ambivalent and ambiguous voluntary written statement is a retraction, but it just isn’t so. Not even close. One can’t stand by what one said earlier and retract what one said earlier at the same time.
That’s called X = Not X, which everyone knows is logically impossible.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/21/10 at 08:35 PM | #

MGL1

The logical value of “x or not x” can be expressed as “maybe x”.

A change from “x” to “maybe x” a reiteration of “x”.

In this case a logical base remains fix in common in “x” and “maybe x”, which is: this memory seems unreal, not usable, i won’t repeat it in court, but yet the question is does this memory of Patrick exist or not?
The problem is that albeit she feels her memory is “unreal”, she reaffirms she has in fact that memory.
This information “x” in her memory is reiterated and confirmed. 

This was about a logical value but the writing is not only that. It is a text wich says several things and has meanings that are effective and make sens on many levels.

Posted by Yummi on 03/21/10 at 09:34 PM | #

Yummi,
—————-
The problem is that albeit she feels her memory is “unreal”, she reaffirms she has in fact that memory. This information “x” in her memory is reiterated and confirmed.
—————-

She is re-affirming she has what seems to be a memory, but she is not re-affirming her assertion based on that memory


=================================
Skeptical Bystander

———-
If I say “X” at T1 And then at T2 I say “X or not X” No reasonably sane person would understand from this that I have effectively retracted “X”
—-
I am not saying that the expression “x or not x” is by itself a retraction of the expression “x”.

The issue of whether her voluntary note is a retraction ( or a withdrawal of her original assertion if you don’t like my definition of retraction) turns on whether her voluntary note supplements or replaces it. If it supplements her original assertion “x” then “x or not x” is completely vacuous and says nothing new to what she said earlier.

So this of course is not withdrawing her original assertion. But the idea she is simply supplementing her original assertion is very difficult to sustain.

If you ask a stranger directions at a T junction and he says “turn left” and then says “oh, its either left or right” what would be your interpretation of his second statement? Would you really assume he is supplementing his original statement with a vacuous tautology or would you think he has withdrawn his earlier directions? Would you really turn left? Or would you prefer to ask someone else directions?

It should also be remembered that she is saying something stronger than “x or not x”. She is saying “possibly x but probably not x”. This reinforces the interpretation that she is withdrawing her earlier assertion.


—————-
One can’t stand by what one said earlier and retract what one said earlier at the same time. That’s called X = Not X, which everyone knows is logically impossible.
——————

That’s right, so she can’t possibly mean by “I stand by everything I said earlier” that she is confirming her statement, but merely confirming she said it and perhaps that she still has this “memory”. Of course this expression out of context from the rest of the letter sounds like she is confirming her earlier statement, but it is immediately followed by the qualification “but I want to make very clear that these events seem more unreal to me that what I said before, that I stayed at Raffaele’s house”.

======================

Kermit
————-
“It’s clear that any statement she made while he was in prison was not clear enough to contribute to getting him out.”
————-

But it was clear enough for the prosecution to claim it confirmed her accusation. However unclear the note was, it was at least more of a retraction than a confirmation.

Posted by MGL1 on 03/22/10 at 09:55 AM | #

“She is re-affirming she has what seems to be a memory, but she is not re-affirming her assertion based on that memory “

The value her statements is as testimonies. The only aspect of interest of a witness report is what a witness knows. What a witness knows does not depend on his/her decision. This is what has to be true. Not his/her asserion nor conclusions. A witness is not allowed to make assertions, conclusions, suppositions, and they are not relevant for the consequences.

Nobody asked her to make any assertion. She is not asked to make an assessment on the reliability of her memories. One discriminant is: either she has those memories, or she hasn’t. If she has those memory - whatever she thinks of their meaning - then she is re-affirming a her testimony.

Posted by Yummi on 03/22/10 at 11:16 AM | #

MGL1 wrote: “However unclear the note was, it was at least more of a retraction than a confirmation.”

I think you’re diving way too deep; overanalyzing the issue, MGL1. It has always been very clear to me that Knox was being coy; doing everything she possibly could to keep the investigators off balance by chasing false leads down blind alleys.

And, for about 2 weeks, it worked.  But unfortunately for Knox Lumumba had a rock-solid alibi - you never know unless you try.

Posted by Fly By Night on 03/22/10 at 11:58 AM | #

MGL1,
My point is merely that Knox did not retract her statement in her voluntary written follow-up. “I stand by everything I said last night” hardly counts as a retraction of an accusation for a very serious crime. In addition, Knox placed herself at the crime scene and gave details that were concordant with what was known at that point in time.

Nothing happens in a vacuum. If you add to the above the bizarre and implausible circumstances surrounding her “discovery” of the crime scene and the fact that Sollecito threw her under a bus as far as her alibi was concerned when confronted with glaring inconsistencies in his own statements and glaring incompatibility between his and her statements, then a reasonable and neutral person would probably conclude that the police would have been remiss had they not acted and, in the absence of any clear and forceful retraction, also remiss had they just let Patrick go based on Knox’s written statement.

If you read Italian, I suggest you look at the report issued by Massei. It gives a very detailed picture of all the things that did not add up, and that are part of the detailed description of the murder Knox gave, in which she fingered Lumumba as the killer.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/22/10 at 12:50 PM | #

Lets solve this issue once and for all. I don’t think there should be too much philosophy behind a clear and simple statement. On her notes Amanda explicitly confirmed what previously stated. Period. No need to be Baconian about it.

If she wanted to retract she should have made two concurrent statements: 1) “I was not in Meredith’s room (police pressured me into making a false confessions)”, 2) “Patrick is innocent and I wrongly accused him”. Anything short of that is clearly a confirmation. As simple as that.

Although Cassazione ruled inadmissible her two previous statements (to police and to prosecutor) we should nonetheless look at the chronology of the interrogations to better understand her notes.

Police told her that RS blew her alibi by saying that she was not at his house from 9PM to 1AM, adding that Amanda made him lie on Nov.2 and he didn’t think about the inconsistencies. Then police asked her if she answered Lumumba’s message and said no. When police showed her the message (written in Italian) she broke down and began confessing.

The name of Patrick was not suggested by police. She voluntarily indicated him as the murderer. Now, Amanda asked for pen and paper and without any external pressure wrote down her confessions. She confirmed whatever she previously stated, mixing her confirmations with words used during interrogation (“imagine”, “what do you see”, etc.).

She had plenty of time to think about the wording, knowing that she had absolutely no alibi, no credibility whatsoever because of her constant lies and sent an innocent man to jail. Those notes were the best she could do to try to save her butt, considering she was not credible anymore.

There is no such a thing as “it’s more of a retraction than a confirmation”. There is nothing more or less. A retraction is a retraction. A colorful, and “deliberately confused”, confirmation is a confirmation.

Posted by Cesare Beccaria on 03/22/10 at 03:25 PM | #

@MGL1:

X, Y, not X, not Y, and E=mc2 ......

For God’s sake, what are we on about? Even from her cell and guilty verdict we’re analysing her lies ?

Try this for an equation: G = 3x -a +cw , where G = guilty, x = statements and cw = cartwheels.

Innocent people DO NOT have differing statements, their memory flows into substantiated events (at least one) and usually, not always, there is an alibi.

The love birds were smart by half; all they had to both say is we were smashed last night and we can’t remember a thing. At least it would have been consistent.

Innocent people DO NOT point at anyone because by definition they don’t know any of the murder facts. Even IF, she was coerced by the police, S’s sister was a cop! you wold have thought that either K or S would have said something like:’ hey sis, K was bashed over the head and made to falsely confess’.

K is a brazen, over-confident, attention seeking liar who thought that she play the police the same way she feels she could play on a soccer pitch: ‘foxy’.

If we are going to spend analysing logic perhaps we could turn to string mathematics - there is a greater chance of understanding there than trying to work out K’s head.

Posted by Chan on 03/23/10 at 05:38 AM | #

I’m with you on your comments Chan. The woman is guilty, as is her two buddies. That is what the court has said. That is clearly what the evidence points to. There is an arsenal of smoking guns everywhere in this case to prevent the possibility for a mistake to have been made by the court. Let the three stew in the brew that they have cooked up. The only interesting thing remaining is to see the translated court report. When the detailed descriptions emerge of that fateful night, then the focus of sane people should shift away from the three living people, to the severe sadness of what happened to a poor unsuspecting young person. RIP

Posted by Terence on 03/23/10 at 10:37 AM | #

.....Who’s idea was it to trial these two together anyway, if it was Amanda’s or Rs, or any of their lawyers idea, then they deserve at least what they got. How can one say they were with the other, and the other say they were not, at least one is lying for sure and most likely both.

.....RS’s lawer should have at the very least, had RS change his story one more time once he knew they would be trialed together. Thats just stupid, stupid, stupid.

Posted by John on 03/23/10 at 12:09 PM | #

One thing that I have always wondered is - If AK and RS were innocent, obviously no one would know that better than Rudy Guede, so why ( apart from getting a shorter sentence ) would Guede not want to be tried together with 2 ” innocent people “? After all as everyone knows ” the best way to tell a lie is to sandwich it between 2 truths “. The point I’m trying to make is that if AK and RS were innocent, I believe that it would be in Guede’s best interest to ” muddy the waters ” and be tried together with 2 innocent people, in the hope that their ” innocence ” would rub off on him. To me the fact that Guede opted to be tried seperately from AK and RS is a clear indication to me of their guilt, and simply shows that he wanted to put as much distance between himself and both of them as possible. If they were innocent he would not do that. If Ak and RS were innocent he would naturally want to ” throw his lot ” in with them, but he did not. This also indicates to me that it was definitely AK and or RS who ” did the damage “, who actually murdered Meredith.

Posted by Paddy5000 on 03/23/10 at 08:10 PM | #

I completely agree with you, Paddy. I found that very suspicious too.

In my opinion the situation got out of hand or they had planned a prank from the beginning, with Rudy Guede as willing participant. He was the one who sexually assaulted the victim. That might well account for his silence, because he knew he left his traces at the crime scene. He knew they knew and he was already aware that the crime scene had been staged and cleaned. His traces obviously had been left behind.

No matter how you look at it: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito come across as the instigators of all this, and there is no doubt that the only one who had a motive was Amanda Knox. She was also described as being dominant over Raffaele Sollecito and that is what was observed in the courtroom too.

He is a loser and she is manipulative, a perfect match.

Posted by Nell on 03/23/10 at 11:01 PM | #

At this conference I was told that 35 people attended. This goes to show how much interest this trial has on the Italian public.
Also, not even one journalist from a major Italian daily newspaper was present.

Therefore, on one side we have the Knox family spending millions of dollars on PR in order to restore Amanda’s virginity. On the other, you have absolute apathy.

Posted by Cesare Beccaria on 03/25/10 at 12:53 AM | #


Make a comment

If you are reading this please log in to post a comment.

Smileys



Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry Judges Report On Guede Appeal Outcomes Of 22 December Is Released

Or to previous entry Tomorrow In Rome: Italian American Foundation Panel - May Be Tilted Anti Truth