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Amanda Knox Appeals Trial

By Minjun Huang
The Digest, The Digest, Associate Editor

Convicted US student, Amanda Knox is seeking a full review of the case to overturn her conviction and will try to introduce new witnesses. If unsuccessful, her current jail sentence of twenty six years could increase to thirty years. Knox was convicted of murdering and sexually assaulting her British roommate Meredith Kercher, in the apartment Knox and Kercher shared as exchange students in Perugia. Knox has been behind bars in Perugia since four days after Kercher’s body was found in a pool of blood, her throat slit.

Knox’s defense team is joined by one of Italy’s most high-profile lawyers, Guilia Bongiorno, who is also an MP in the Italian parliament. Bongiorno is also representing Knox’s former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, in a parallel appeal in the same Perugia court. Sollecito is currently sentenced to twenty five years behind bars on the same charges as Knox.

Lawyers for Knox will seek to prove that the US student had no motive for murdering Miss Kercher, and there is no DNA evidence to connect Knox to the scene of the crime. The defense will try to convince a new judge and jury in Perugia that the third suspect in the case, Rudy Guede, a local drifter, acted alone and killed Miss Kercher during a burglary that turned into a sex attack. Guede was sentenced initially to a thirty year sentence but has since been reduced to sixteen years and is going to Italy’s highest appeals court to seek a complete overturning of the conviction by the end of the year. Defense lawyers will claim that forensic evidence used to convict Knox and her boyfriend were flawed by DNA contamination and sloppy police work.

The opening hearing on November 24, 2010 is expected to be attended by both defendants and will likely be quick and devoted to procedural matters. The case will likely adjourn until December 11, 2010. If the court does admit new evidence and witnesses, the conclusion will be that the they were not happy with the evidence collected in the first trial. The verdict is left up to the judge, a fellow magistrate and a jury or six.

For more information, please see:

Alessandra Rizzo, Convicted US Student Knox, Worn Out By Prison, Gets Another Chance As Appeals Trial Begins, L.A.TIMES, Nov. 23, 2010, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-eu-italy-knox,0,7774010,full.story.

Nick Squires, Amanda Knox Murder Sentence Could Be Increased to 30 Years, TELEGRAPH, Nov. 23, 2010, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/8154154/Amanda-%20Knox-murder-sentence-could-be-increased-to-30-years.html.