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Amanda's Appeal: End Game

Amanda Knox entering court. Courtesy of Getty Images
Amanda Knox entering court. Courtesy of Getty Images

On September 23, 2011, the closing arguments began for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s Appeal for the murder of Meredith Kercher. As you read this, the prosecution and Raffaele’s lawyers are done, Amanda’s lawyers will be presenting on September 29, followed by rebuttals on the 30th. Amanda and Raffaele will also read statements and we should hear a verdict between October 1st and 5th.

The Seattle native, with ties to Vashon, is practicing yoga to stay calm as she awaits the verdict of judges Hellmann and Zanetti. Her father Curt attended VHS and his parents still reside here, their thousands of friends and well-wishers equal half the Island and we are, at this moment, praying. We would be honored if those who love us would also pray for Amanda and Raffaele. Loved ones in Perugia, Italy are sitting in a packed courtroom, literally a dungeon, in the basement of a nondescript building behind the medieval walls. They are praying for the truth.

No one is afraid of the truth.

The truth according to the Defense, according to Amanda and Raffaele, is:

1) Amanda and Raffaele DID NOT assist Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

2) Meredith Kercher returned home alone to the apartment she shared with Amanda and two other women about 9pm on November 1, 2007. She was murdered and then sexually assaulted by Rudy Guede when she surprised him while he was burglarizing her home. Rudy was seen at a disco about 2am on November 2, 2007. Meredith’s body was discovered about Noon.

3) Amanda and Raffaele were at his apartment the entire night of November 1, 2007. Amanda returned to her apartment on November 2 at 10:30am. Small oddities alerted her that something was wrong and she elicited help from Raffaele, they called one of her roommates, the Carabinieri and their parents. They and six others present, including two Postal Police, discovered Meredith’s body about Noon.

4) All of the evidence supports the defense’s claims.

5) The Perugians did not follow protocol in handling the evidence and made several mistakes reaching incorrect conclusions.

6) Amanda, in particular, and Raffaele were targeted by a negative PR campaign initiated by Perugian officials then carried out by the media and blogarazzi.

Prosecutors Giancarlo Costagliola, Manuela Comodi, Francisco Maresca, Carlo Pacelli, Serena Perna and, most notably, Public Minister Giuliano Mignini each presented a segment. Mignini’s presence at the prosecution table is notable because as a plaintiff in the libel suit and the prosecutor of the 2009 Trial of First Instance, by law, he is not supposed take part in the Appeal. Mignini’s place was secured by his immense knowledge of Italian Law and his expertise at twisting it, just so.

This week the prosecution complained about what they perceived as defense-biased media coverage, Mignini himself said that the "armchair detectives" from thousands of miles away should realize that the decisions need to "come from the court." They were appalled that Amanda and Raffaele’s supporters spoke out in their defense, but we think it’s strange to hear them whine about that, they used the same media to globally destroy Amanda’s reputation from 2007 to present.

Anyway it’s the men are who should complain about lack of media coverage, especially Rudy Guede. He is continually swept under the rug by the prosecution and ignored by the media in favor of the women and obscene titillation. Raffaele is mentioned in passing, yeh, just like that. The fickle media now realizes that the ‘real story’ is the simple truth and they are reporting it. Thank God. Finally. It’s about time!

"I’m sure today it was stressful for her. Listening to people tell a bunch of lies about her is difficult," said Amanda’s mother, Edda Mellas. Listening to the prosecution has been upsetting and exhausting for everyone. We’ve endured "Foxy Knoxy" crammed down our throats and witnessed the humiliation of our friends. They’ve endured a beloved daughter forced to wear the mask of convicted murderer and the mantle of "Sex-crazed femme fatal," of "enchanting witch," of "calculating Satanist." Carlo Pacelli was the worst, calling Amanda "Lucifer-like, demonic, satanic, diabolic."

It’s all bullshit. (Oops, can I say that here?)

Amanda was visibly upset, looking down at times, as she endured the tirade, but there were also times when she sustained a penetrating stare at the speaker. Raffaele is composed, he sits through court counting each day as a step forward and he still wears a bracelet Amanda gave him, as a sign of friendship and solidarity. These kids have never stopped being friends or supporting each other.

Amanda is resolute, she has a Plan B and Curt often tells of "how strong she is," it’s easy to see his admiration for his oldest daughter. Amanda is no longer a frightened 20-year-old, at 24 she is purposeful and fighting for her freedom. She is speaking out. This exceptionally smart honors student from the University of Washington now has a command of the language and is learning the law that a few corrupt Perugian officials used against her in 2007.

And since I mentioned The U, how is it that they have not protested Mignini’s claim that Satanists are actively recruiting on the Husky Campus? Speaking of the Devil how is it that the American media was not immediately suspicious of such a claim? Is Satanism so common that it barely rates a reaction from the networks? And how did I miss all of these apparently boring Satanism stories? Oh wait! There aren’t any because it IS a weird subject that should have garnered some questions by American "investigative reporters," but they were distracted by the SEX. Oh, now I get it! Doyt! *slaps forehead*

The prosecution moved on to the evidence and spoke about the confidence they had in the Scientific Police’s job of collecting and processing the DNA. They called into question the court-appointed expert’s resumes then complained that they were biased against the prosecution. *insert sour grapes* The court’s experts performed an independent examination of the DNA evidence that had been denied to the defense since 2007 and found more than 50 breaches of international protocol. They examined the Knife and Bra Clasp that supposedly tied the kids to the murder, both were ruled out and the miniscule traces of DNA were found to be rye bread starch and a partial profile from any number of Italian people; there were five profiles present.

Mignini urged the court not to blame the "poor black boy," Rudy Guede. Guede’s DNA profile was the only one found in Merdith’s bedroom, the murder scene. Although Amanda had lived with her for 45 days, neither hers nor Raffaele’s was found in the bedroom. Guede’s DNA, fingerprints, footprints and shoe prints were found all over Meredith, all over her room and he tracked her blood into her bathroom then down the hallway. The Mixed Blood that the prosecution talked about is actually Cellular DNA Mixed In Meredith’s Blood. There is no doubt DNA from the other roommates and guests are also in those bloody prints, but the police never tested for other profiles, nor did they profile the semen stained pillowcase. It was deemed it "not necessary."

The "poor picked-on boy" slashed poor Meredith’s throat, while she fought for her life, and then stripped her and sexually assaulted her as she lay dying. The "poor innocent boy" covered her body with a bedspread then stole her money, credit cards, keys and went dancing. Then the "poor misunderstood boy" fled to Germany. He was tried, found guilty and is in prison for her murder, though he pleads the SODDI. "I was the "poor saintly boy" and Some Other Dude Did It."

Mignini shamefully played the Race Card to excuse the heinous murder of a promising young woman.

The prosecution made a great show of displaying Meredith’s autopsy photos for the court. First by ordering the public out on the first day and then by "accidentally’ showing the entire gallery the photos the following three days as they ‘fumbled’ with the slide show. Amanda looked away, as she has every time, pained to see her friend displayed in such an inhumane manner. Mignini told of looking into Meredith’s lifeless eyes, shocking the court, but Maresca’s appalling disrespect on the 26th elicited angry reactions from Amanda’s family as Edda and Deanna walked out of the courtroom in protest. Amanda’s friends were visibly upset to have witnessed a vulgar shot of Meredith’s body. A spectator, with a daughter Meredith’s age, told Mignini he was "evil" as they passed in the hall during a break, she was detained briefly for the outburst and released unharmed. The press erupted with thousands of tweets about the daily display of Meredith’s nude corpse; even prosecutorial press was horrified.

After four years of abiding by court protocol, why did these senior prosecutors "forget" to send the public out? Using Meredith Kercher as a pity pawn and repeatedly showing her bloodied and nude body to the entire court was unconscionable. This team works for Meredith and her family. They tell us to "remember the forgotten victim," but they do not mention that Meredith and Amanda appear together on every broadcast around the planet. This is not the way to find justice for this victim.

At the end the prosecutions closing arguments amounted to proving there really is an Italian Witch-Hunt and a smear campaign against Amanda and Raffaele. They proved that they have no evidence against these two innocent students. They wanted us to see Meredith as a victim, they succeeded in proving that they have no respect for her. They proved that they used Meredith and her family as a means to an end. They’ve proved that this is about the money.

Curt told reporters, "I hope there will be a full review of the case if Amanda is freed. The trial was more about emotion than evidence and the evidence presented was a character assassination of Amanda." In a few days we will know if the judges were able to see the mistakes made and whether or not they will right the wrongs. All we have ever wanted is truth and justice from this court.

All we have ever wanted is Fair Play.