Amanda Knox Appeal: Absurd Arguments Undermine Italian Legal System

The theatrics of Italian court continue as Knox is compared to cartoon

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  • Amanda Knox
    (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)
    Amanda Knox, the U.S. student convicted of murdering her British flatmate Meredith Kercher in Italy in November 2007, reacts in court during her appeal trial session in Perugia September 26, 2011. Knox is appealing against a 26-year jail term imposed after she was found guilty of murdering Kercher with the help of her Italian boyfriend and another man during a drug-fuelled orgy. Prosecutors have asked the appeals court to extend her sentence to life in jail.
By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
September 28, 2011|8:11 am

In the appeal case of Amanda Knox, attorneys have used interesting comparisons to sway the opinion of the court in their favor. On Tuesday in Perugia, Italy, Giulia Borgiono, the co-defense lawyer for Rafaelle Sollecito and Amanda Knox, portrayed Knox as being a “faithful young woman in love” with her Italian boyfriend.

The lawyer compared Knox to Jessica Rabbit in the Warner Bros’ film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “because she looks like a femme fatal but is a loyal and loving woman.”

Borgiorno ended with quoting Jessica Rabbit as saying “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”

This defense of Knox is obviously in retaliation of yesterday’s somewhat smear campaign in the court room, in which prosecuting lawyer Carlo Pacelli referred to Knox as a “diabolical she-devil” with a Jekyll and Hyde split personality, casting her as a dark, manipulative “femme fatal.”

Knox was portrayed as being a loose and malicious woman, who thrived in rough, drug fueled sexcapades. She and her ex-Italian boyfriend Sollecito are accused of murdering her British flatmate, Meredith Kercher, on November 1, 2007, after a group sex encounter went wrong.

Just a week later, prosecuting lawyers once again used vivid imagery to entice the compassion of the court. Head prosecutor Giuliano Mignini compared Knox to the Nazi regime’s minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels because of the web of lies she had weaved to mislead police.

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This is the first appeal out of two possible attempts for Knox and Sollecito. The third party, Rudy Guede, has already exhausted his appeal attempts and is currently living out his 16 year jail sentence.

Defense lawyers are also dwelling on the physical evidence against Knox and Sollecito, which is the only physical link between the two defendants and the crime scene. The two items of evidence, including a bra clasp and a knife found in Sollecito's apartment, have recently been thrown into doubt with the evidence proving inconclusive, and defense lawyers are playing off of that angle as much as possible.

One criticism that followers of the case continue to rehash is the difference in decorum in American and Italian courtrooms. The Italian lawyers in this case have evidently taken the liberty to portray the defendants in a variety of ways. Critics argue that these theatrics have drawn out the trial and misled the jury.

Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagiola also asked the jury to "feel a little bit like the parents of Meredith Kercher." Critics argue that such employment of the jury's emotions is considered prosecutorial misconduct, and such actions would not be permitted in a U.S. courtroom.

Another angle of criticism is the disorganization of the Italian judiciary system, in which many items of evidence have been thrown out the window due to inconsistencies. One such item was the testimony of heroin addict Antonio Curatolo, who claimed to have seen Knox and Sollecito at the flat on the night of the murder. Inability to match dates and events illegitimized Curatolo's argument.

The case became more heated in November as prosecutors urged for a life sentence for Knox, as opposed to the 26 years she originally received.

The appeal is expected receive a verdict as early as October 3.

 

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