Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Judges Report On Guede Appeal Outcomes Of 22 December Is Released

Posted by Peter Quennell

We have several posts coming up on Rudy Guede. This is the first on a report by the UK Press Association explaining Guede’s appeal outcome of 22 December.

Apology over Meredith won term cut

An appeals court said it shaved 14 years off the sentence of a man involved in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher because he was the only one of the three defendants to apologise to her family.

Rudy Hermann Guede denied killing Ms Kercher, 21, a Leeds University student from Surrey, but said he should have done more to help her as she lay bleeding in her room in a Perugia flat she shared with Amanda Knox, the American student from Seattle who was also convicted of her killing, Italian reports said…

By law, Italian courts must give a written explanation of their rulings within a few months of the end of trial. The ANSA and Apcom news agencies said the appeals court also said that while Guede sexually assaulted the woman, he was not the one who stabbed her….

Guede “was fully involved not only for being the one who carried out the sexual violence, but also for having held firm the left hand of the victim while she was being fatally wounded,” the ruling said, according to ANSA.

He was the only one among the defendants to apologise to the victim’s family, “even if it (the apology) was limited to failure to come to her rescue”. Guede testified during his trial shortly after the killing, saying that he was in the bathroom in the house listening to music when the attack took place.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/23/10 at 01:34 PM in Trials 2008 & 2009Guede appeals

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I don’t think so - this says he was not the one who stabbed her, and Amanda’s said that she wasn’t the one either, that only leaves RS and I felt he was the least likely. So, do Amanda and RS just have to say their sorry, but didn’t do anything to the Kerchers during their appeal and get another 14 years off of their sentence. That is not Justice.

Posted by John on 03/23/10 at 05:52 PM | #

John: Did I miss something? Where did Amanda’s motivation say she didn’t stab the victim? I thought they said they believed the knife evidence, which would implicate Amanda in the fatal wound?

If Amanda wants the same leniency, I’d say she needs to start taking responsibility, and fast. She also needs to call off the Knox-Mellas Dog and Pony Show (not likely).

I’m glad they rewarded him for his modicum of remorse. Sixteen years does seem a bit lenient though—but I guess that’s the way they do it in Italy.

Posted by Earthling on 03/23/10 at 10:13 PM | #

You’re right - they did say she was the one who stabbed her - sorry, I had to re-read it, I was thinking they said she was not the ‘Master-Mind’ behind it meant she didn’t do the actual stabbing. Regardless, none of them are comming clean, therefor we should think the worse and make them all pay equally, I don’t feel justice is being served with these reduced sentences.

Posted by John on 03/24/10 at 01:30 AM | #

I have to agree with John.

All three of them - including Rudy Guede - come off with very light sentences for what they have done.

Posted by Nell on 03/24/10 at 04:46 AM | #

I agree, Nell and John. In general, I appreciate Italy’s justice system’s focus on rehabilitation and giving up years for good behavior. However, in this case, I personally think the full sentences are in order. For one thing, I believe AK and RS are still a very real danger to society; Rudy less so, because I don’t think he was the instigator (in this, I disagree with the motivations).

Posted by Earthling on 03/24/10 at 06:21 AM | #

What puzzles me, is that as Rudy has already pointed the finger at Knox and Sollecito, why does he not come forward with more information? I realize that he claims to have been in the bathroom, but certainly he must know more than what he has divulged thus far.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 03/24/10 at 12:49 PM | #

I agree with Mo-in-Mass ... surely the sensible and most pragmatic thing to do is for Rudy to start giving a full and factual account of the events of that dreadful evening. Surely the first thing to do in terms of thinking about redemption, salvation and conscience clearing is to tell the truth. To make it clear and confirm what actually happened, who did what, who was involved and why things worked out as they did?

OK maybe the experience is still raw and still too fresh in Rudy’s mind. Maybe there is some element of real fear in his naming of names. The problem is that he has pointed the finger at AK and RS but not given a frank and detailed account of what actually happened. Until he does, there will be continued speculation and debate. I guess the problem is that we are not dealing with a ‘normal’ rational person able to make value judgements and clear and concise statements. Lets hope that he does see the light soon.

Posted by james99 on 03/24/10 at 01:28 PM | #

If Rudy would talk and tell the whole story, he would have to admit his own ugly role in the crime. Hence his silence. He doesn’t give details about Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito so they don’t feel compelled to give details about what he has done. From their point of view they can only lose if they admit to more than what is actually known so far.

Even though the defence lawyers have tried to convince the jury that the lone wolf theory is consistent, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito themselves never pointed their fingers to Rudy Guede. If my memory serves me right, Raffaele Sollecito only mentioned Rudy Guede once in his diary (fearing about what he might invent/say to police after his arrest), but besides that, they never accused him of anything.

Nevertheless I have the feeling that Rudy re-considers all possibilities and what his options are. We will wait and see.

Posted by Nell on 03/25/10 at 01:33 AM | #

It’s all a laywers’ technical strategy. Whenever one goes too far the others put him back in place. Attorneys are playing a delicate game in order to have the sentence reduced for their client. These are damn good lawyers !!

Posted by Cesare Beccaria on 03/25/10 at 01:57 AM | #

As for the sentencing, Italians always complain that convicted criminals get away with light sentences and are kept out of prison until third appeal. Mario Alessi killed a baby while he was waiting for Cassazione’s confirmation of his 6 years sentencing on appeal for raping a teenage girl. In the mean time he brutally murdered an infant.
Italians are fed up with this criminal system. Laws in Italy are too soft on criminals and give them too many rights and guarantees.

Posted by Cesare Beccaria on 03/25/10 at 02:07 AM | #

Has the Press Association got the arithmetic correct (14 years shaved off for saying sorry)? Surely there is also the fact that Guede opted for a fast-track trial, which entitles him to a reduction in sentence. So surely his sentence was reduced from life to 24 years because he said sorry. Then on top of that he got his fast-track reduction. This would have reduced a life sentence down to 30 years, but actually reduced his 24 years down to 16. Is that correct?

Posted by SteveW on 03/25/10 at 03:26 PM | #

Hi SteveW. The appeal judge himself stated both in December and in this new report that the reduction to 16 years was a an outcome both of Guede showing at least some humanity and of his selecting the short-form trial.

We tried calculating how many years he got off for each but never reached a firm conclusion. Several of us will be in Perugia soon and may be able to get questions like this answered.

Sometimes these judges seem to us to grasp at hairs as far as signs of humanity are concerned, but I dont think anyone here thinks Guede was the prime instigator, and without question he was not the sole one.

If this now puts pressure on AK and RS to show some humanity that would be a huge advance which might bring some comfort finally to Meredith’s family and her many seriously-burned friends. 

By the way, Cesare Beccaria’s lament above on the present leniency of the Italian judicial and penal systems reflects what our other Italian posters Nicki and Commissario Montalbano have been observing in previous posts.

Only lunatics would consider the Italian system inefficient or unkind or inclined to mistakes or anti-American or for that matter inferior to the American system. And oddly, they all seem to be setting up blogs.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/25/10 at 05:42 PM | #

Thanks for that. And I fully agree that it would be great if AK and RS showed some remorse. Unfortunately, it seems like AK’s parents have put her in a position where that is nigh-on impossible.

Posted by SteveW on 03/25/10 at 07:26 PM | #

SteveW - This is exactly what makes me so angry at the Knox/Mellas. They put Amanda in a no turning back situation, and they are in fact protecting themselves, their “family”, their way of life. They do not want to ask themselves “where did we fail, what did we do wrong, what should we have told her before she left, what did we chose not to see?”

It is a mantra now, she is innocent because they did everything right. Therefore, Mignini is a monster, and Italy a fraud.

More and more is it obvious that this is not a “good” family, because instead of facing the horrible truth - or even the possibility of some horrible truth - they are doing more wrong, putting their daughter in the absolute necessity of lying… to show the world how good a family THEY are…

It is disgusting

Posted by Patou on 03/25/10 at 08:53 PM | #

We have their tangled words and outward appearances, confusing bits of information from which we form our observations of their gut reactions to the murder.

An apology is something (more than nothing) but if it is not heartfelt, if it does not represent a soul truly empathising with the pain of Meredith and those from whom she was taken, can it really mean anything?

I think American psychology most likely coined the term “dysfunctional family”, which presumes that there exists a model of the ideal “functional family”.

I am not a psychologist (tho psych classes were among my favorites at uni) but I do work alongside the school social worker, with children in need of tutoring and extra attention outside the classroom.

Some of them require medications because of “attention deficit disorders”, others are highly distractable because of the dysfunction amid which they have been raised. Some live in foster homes ( with relatives or total strangers, carefully vetted through the department of social services). Some of them have been severely emotionally damaged by their own families.

Plenty of parents rely on the schools to teach their children basic notions of how to behave in public. I am limited in what I am allowed to say to these kids ( I had to be vetted - my fingerprints are on file with the school system) but I report to the social worker any worrying words or interactions I observe from the students.

One boy, who would destroy his classwork, often just as he completed it, told me he couldn’t do the work because he was retarded. He said he was retarded because that is what his brother told him. It turned out that the boy’s older brother, who had suffered a brain injury in a bike accident, was sexually abusing my student.

I wondered, when I first began to look deeper into this case, what the dysfunction was in the backgrounds of the three accused. I suspected that maybe AK was autistic, or had Asperger’s syndrome, which while not preventing her from achieving high marks academically, could indeed have limited her ability to “get” people.

Her mother, as a teacher, should certainly have been able to see this, but she was too overtired from being a single, working Mom, chasing down child support from dad, and then preoccupied with her new, young lover. They waved away what we all saw as Amanda’s bizarre behaviour as their daughter ” just being Amanda”.

I am not convinced that she is actually capable of feeling another’s pain. She was agitated, but was that mainly her worry over the investigation?  Anger is fully accessible to Asperger’s patients, and can go from zero to 60 in a second. But you don’t see a lot of tears.

Perhaps Miss Represented could comment here?

Posted by mimi on 03/26/10 at 08:46 PM | #

......... My wife and I were talking about that just the other day. Amanda’s weird behaviour, the cartwheels in the cop shop, the singing in the restaurant, playing the guitar while others are watching TV, showing little or no emotion and then have Edda saying, ’that’s just Amanda being Amanda.’

She’s probably right, that’s just Amanda being Amanda, but that is not a normal person being a normal person. Bells should have been going off years ago if that were the case.

Posted by John on 04/01/10 at 11:50 PM | #

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