Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rudy Guede Appeal: The Published Judgement Of The Court Of Appeal

Posted by Peter Quennell

The AGI News Service carried the full wording of the judgment which was published after the court session concluded.

Judges Giovanni Borsini (above) and Maria Rita Belardi presided over the appeal. There were no lay judges. The translation of the judgment below was kindly provided by our poster Tiziano.

The Court of the Assizes of Perugia at a hearing in chambers has published through a reading of the purview of the sentence the following judgement with reference to Articles 443, 605, 599 of the Code of Penal Procedure,

In partial emendation of the judgement handed down on October 28th, 2008, by the GUP of the Law Court of Perugia, in the matter of Rudy Hermann Guede, appealed against by the former, previously allowed the reduction of general mitigating circumstances, equivalent to the contested aggravating circumstances, reduces the sentence of the appellant to 16 years incarceration.

It confirms the remainder of the contested sentence. 

It condemns the appellant to payment of the expenses of the defence of the civil complainant Aldalia Tattanelli , which it liquidates in total as 1,500 euros.

Of those [legal costs] of the civil complainants John Leslie Kercher, Arline Carol Kercher, John Ashley Kercher, Lyle Kercher, it liquidates in total as 8,000 euros each, as well as that of the defence of Stephanie Arline Kercher, which it liquidates in total as 5000 euros.

It assigns the period of 90 days as the limit for the lodging of questions for the motivations for this judgement.


Added: The post has been corrected and the translation above clarified in light of poster Nicki’s comment below - several of us took it to mean that the main award to Meredith’s family that had been reduced.

For the record, the financial awards that Judge Micheli handed down at the end of October 2008 against Rudy Guede were 2 million Euros each to Meredith’s parents John and Arline, and 1.5 million Euros each to Lyle, John junior, and Stephanie.

That is about US $12.1 million at today’s exchange rate.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/23/09 at 04:34 PM in The officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Guede appeals

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Pete,  this compensation only refers to the Kercher’s legal expenses. The dispositivo clearly states that besides the lenghts of the prison term, the rest of the previous sentence remains the same.

Posted by Nicki on 12/23/09 at 05:52 PM | #

I’ve heard a lot about how these civil awards are largely ceremonial in nature and that they aren’t often seen as payable by the convicted, but seriously, what system is in place to ensure that Rudy, Rafaele and Amanda are garnished future earnings toward these penalties—anything?

Posted by nashvilletn on 12/23/09 at 07:28 PM | #

Irrespective of his claims of innocence (claims that I think are absurd) I can not see how he could possibly be sentenced to a mere 16 years confinement for having so senselessly murdered such a lovely young lady in the prime of her life.

I can not understand a system of justice that drags monetary awards into a discussion of guilt.

Posted by FoolsGold on 12/24/09 at 02:01 PM | #

The short prison terms, typical in Italian verdicts, stem from the Italian constitution requirement that “punishment must aim at the re-education and rehabilitation of the convicted”.
The minimum sentence for voluntary homicide, with all mitigating circumstances, is 21 years, however with an abbreviated trial that minimum automatically becomes 14 years.
Rudy’s sentence to 16 years in jail for murder is therefore average for an abbreviated trial and that’s why so many opt for that type of trial. I’ll report here some headlines from Google News in the last year or so. These verdicts were all the result of an abbreviated trial:
“Premeditated murder of his sister-in-law: Appeal Court reduces to 18 years”.
“Attempted to murder of ex-carabiniere with several gunshots: 12 years”
“Appeal court confirms the premeditated aggravated murder charge. He massacred his girlfriend with 40 stabs: 16 years and 8 months”
“Ran over and killed his love rival with his car: 14 years”
“Robbed and killed disabled senior citizen: 20 years”

Posted by Commissario Montalbano on 12/24/09 at 07:30 PM | #

Commissario Montalbano,
I enjoy reading your comments/posts and information you give.

Here in the U.S., I don’t know why some people assert they don’t understand how Mr. Guede received 16 year sentence.

Here in the U.S., we have, or should I say, something that’s similar to Italy - it’s called “Plea Bargain.” Plea bargain, most times there is no trial, yet, you admit guilt by accepting a lesser sentence with a lesser crime. You still get a sentence and fines, yet, less time spent imprisoned.

I would, however, like to know is there any way the Kercher’s can collect on this judgement? I do know that if it’s a government claim, they can collect almost anywhere. But, private citizens, I don’t know. I say that government can collect almost anywhere because, if there are treaties signed it’s possible. I view this the same as extradition treaties!

Posted by annjell on 12/27/09 at 01:09 AM | #

Okay, I understand now that a 16 year sentence would be considered, under Italian law and customs, to be reasonable in the circumstances (though ofcourse I still think the trial court and the appelate court quite differ on the matter).
I am perhaps subconsciously imposing my view of American sentences on a foreign jurisdiction.

I do not think however that Guede’s actions in seeking a speedy trial should be considered the equivalent to some sort of plea bargain. He still maintained his factual innocence and he still maintained his rather absurd statements about the crime and his actions during it.

Posted by FoolsGold on 12/29/09 at 04:23 PM | #

I agree that a reduction in sentence doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, except that it does appear that Guede possibly did tell the truth in part, in saying that he tried to help Meredith. Unfortunately, he did not call an ambulance, which perhaps could have saved her. 
I feel that Guede, Knox and Sollecito should all have received the maximum sentence and that they should all be grateful that they were convicted in an Italian court of law. In America they’d have likely gotten life or, depending on which state the crime and ensuing trial was held in, the death penalty.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 12/30/09 at 01:34 AM | #

FoolsGold & Mo-in-Mass, USA,
I’m no legal expert. However, I will try to break it down the best I know how. Say for example, a person was caught on private property, vandalism, such as breaking things, spray painting…
when in court, the prosecutor and the defense enter negotiations. Let’s say the prosecutor began racking up alot of charges in order to secure a conviction - trespassing, vandalism, flee from justice, assault on an officer… the prosecutor can tell the defense that if they don’t plead guilty to at least vandalism, fines, and probation, they will make sure all the other charges will stick resulting in more time behind bars if they take it to a long drawn out trial.

The defendant then decides if he wants to fight it out with a jury trial or accept the charges the prosecutor has to offer.

This is why some murder, and rape suspects sometimes get less time than the actual crime sentence calls for. Notice how some men, gang members can be out on parole for murder, then commit another murder while out on parole. They may have plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated battery. To top it off, with time off for good behavior, they can be out in less than 8 years.

Posted by annjell on 12/30/09 at 02:42 AM | #


I understand plea-bargaining, however, I don’t understand how a “fast track” trial satisfies that same criteria.  Does it mean that Rudy agreed to accept culpability for some of the charges, as opposed to making the prosecution prove each charge?

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 12/30/09 at 03:10 AM | #

Hi Mo-in-Mass.,USA,

That is what I am assuming. Commissario Montalbano could answer that question more specifically. I am assuming this based on “abbreviated trial.” I am using “abbreviated” as a key to my reasoning of equivalent to a plea bargain. Also, there was DNA evidence left behind of Mr. Guede, so, in essence, I take it he did admit to something.
Also, as Commissario Montalbano wrote, the Italian system has rehabilitation/re-education - I don’t know if my thinking is correct, but, I take this as probation/parole, where maybe classes (not this exactly, but, like in the states parents have to go to AA/NA, parenting, anger management…)halfway house, and prove they can function in society.
Yet, if you recall, Mr. Sollecito and Ms. Knox had a full trial. I don’t believe Mr. Guede tried to bring in witnesses, experts for DNA…to prove his innocence, in fact, I’m not sure, maybe he did/didn’t have a full jury trial as Mr. Sollecito and Ms. Knox had. I don’t think he did.

I said earlier plea bargain, because, again, most of these cases never make it to trial, they are quick, and sentence is imposed. This usually happens during a court hearing. Here the judge, prosecutor, and defense are in court. The prosecutor is arguing why charges should be brought against you in front of the judge. The judge then determines whether the prosecutor’s evidence could be used to try such case.

Posted by annjell on 12/30/09 at 09:06 AM | #

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Or to previous entry Rudy Guede Appeal: And The Outcome Is A Reduction Of His Sentence From 30 To 16 Years