At its core, this case is not about Amanda Knox. The cases brought to trial in the italian courts, which ended in three convictions, are about the brutal murder of a young english student who’s future and life were taken from her. Every country is entitled to pursue those who committed and were complicit in the criminal act of murder. Three people were convicted of criminal participation in this muder; only one of them was an american.
Knox claims she was at her boyfriend’s all evening, but the prosecution’s evidence that places her boyfriend Sollecito at the crime scene complicates her alabi. DNA traces of Sollecito were found on the bra clasp of the bra worn by the victim and cut off with a knife. The prosecution also testified that a bare footprint in the victim’s blood on a bathmat in the bathroom was a better match to Sollecito then it was to Guede, the black italian convicted in the first trial. Further, according to other reports, Knox’s boyfriend doesn’t corroborate Knox’s alibi for the full evening- the last statement he made on the matter was that she had gone out at some point in the evening. All of these points complicate Knox’s defense- she claims she was at her boyfriends house, but the evidence puts Sollecito at the scene. Knox’s defense then not only has to argue her innocence, but support Sollecito’s as well for Knox’s alabi to be truthful.
The second complication is the footprints revealed via a forensic testing method using a chemical called Luminol. There were no other bare footprints found leading up to the bare footprint in blood in the bathroom, so the police used Luminol to reveal potential traces of blood that were cleaned up. The luminol reacted in three places in the hallway, and revealed bare footprints. It was uncontested in the trial that these revealed footprints are not Guede’s size. The prosecution argued that these are the bare footprints of Knox and her boyfriend set in blood. The defense argued that these prints were set in another substance that reacts with luminol, such as fruit juice or bleach, made at a different time. Luminol does react with other substances, but does so in a different manner (brighter & quicker for bleach, for example). Other sites indicate that experienced technicians can tell the difference between a Luminol reaction to bleach and a luminol reaction to blood, and if I recall correctly the technician at the trial testified that it was their opinion that it was blood that the luminol was reacting to.
By far, one of the biggest problems with believing that Guede alone is responsible for the death of the victim is that there is evidence the body was moved after the murder. The prosecution put forth the evidence that shows from the pattern of blood, the victim’s bra was removed some time after the murder and the body was moved from the wardrobe. If I recall correctly, the prosecution contends that this was an attempt to stage the scene as a rape, since the body was only moved to that position after the murder. Who would have motive to come back and move the body, because surely if Guede had tried to cover his involvement he would have cleaned up his own evidence- footprints in blood in the hallway, flushed the toilet, etc.
Another point that is crucial to the case is the apparent “break-in” found in one of the other bedrooms. The prosecution contends that the break-in in the was a staged scene done after the murder. Several points of evidence were put forth in support of this theory, including that glass was found on top of the clothes and objects that had already been tossed about the room. The biggest piece of evidence against the break-in being real is that Guede would have had to step on top of a window and reach up through a partially broken glass window to unlatch the bedroom window; howeverthe glass was broken lower then where the latch was making this a highly dangerous and unfeasible act. Thus, the prosecution contents that Guede was let in by Knox, since the victim would likely not have let Guede in if she was home alone.
Knox is further implicated by the drops of the victim’s blood that also contained Knox’s DNA found in the house-a few in the bathroom, and one found in the bedroom of the roommate that had the “staged” break-in. Knox’s family ague’s that Knox’s innocence is supported by the lack of Knox’s DNA in the victim’s room, while also stating that the DNA found mixed with blood in the other room was latent DNA from Knox living in the house.
A common american response is that at best Knox’s presence at the scene but not participating in the murder would make her an accessory to the crime, (or complicit) and thus would be eligible under the american system for a lessor sentence. But an accessory to commit a crime is found in english systems, not in the Italian penal code. Knox and her boyfriend Sollecito were charged under article 110, criminal participation, and this section of the criminal code applies the same penalty to all participants of a crime.
A wikipedia theory of what constitutes participation might be that without the participatory act its unlikely the crime would have been committed; even if Knox didn’t participate in the actual act, the prosecution’s theory that Knox let in Guede (who’s DNA was found in multiple places in the bedroom) would likely make Knox guilty of criminal participation under article 110 of the italian penal code, and as such, subject to the full penalty applied for murder.
The prosecution of course makes a much stronger case with the evidence and testimony of what actually happened during the act of murder and why it took multiple people to commit the act; Knox & Sollecito’s attorneys put forth contradictory defenses on how the act was done and were unlikely to counter the prosecutions theory.
A final parting consideration- if the DNA of the murderer was found in every instance someone was murdered, there would be no unsolved murders in the USA, and everyone convicted of murder would be proven to be guilty by science, not by a trial’s standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
A caveat if I were imprisoned in a foreign country unjustly, I would hope that my family would fight for my release as well. Nobody should ever have to serve out a sentence for a crime they didn’t commit.