Today Show’s misleading report on the appeals hearing

UPDATE (Sun Jan 23 00:41:23 UTC):Repackaged segment for Nightly News continues misleading “scant evidence” statement, re-frames as “small win” for Amanda Knox.

Michelle Kozinski’s report on the Today Show leads viewers to believe that -all- of the evidence is being reviewed by the appeals court, and that the totality of evidence is “scant”:

…Not only has the court agreed to let independent investigators analyze with fresh eyes the scant evidence in this case; miniscule traces of DNA on a knife that prosecutors say was the murder weapon, and on the victim’s bra, but today they decided to have it all retested if possible, and maybe even take apart the knife to look for other traces of DNA.*

Michelle unfortunately ignores the other DNA evidence that places Knox at the scene of the crime, along with the bare footprint on the bathmat linked to Sollecito. That evidence is not being re-evaluated.

Later, after a statement from Mellas, she implies that both the knife and the bra strap had scant DNA; when in actuality its only the victim’s blood on the knife revealed via Low Copy Number dna testing:

Well today the judge gave attorneys and experts 90 days to retest this dna evidence, to really do what they can with it because the traces were so scant to begin with and highly contested.

The expert that they interview, Paul Callan, a former NYC homicide prosecutor,  doesn’t understand that it’s not only Knox’s DNA on the knife; the victim’s dna was found on the blade of the knife, and its that DNA that is primarily contested, not Knox’s.

…but in this case, they have a second argument on the DNA and that is her dna was found on a knife, but it was from her boyfriend’s apartment and she was in her boyfriend’s apartment for other reasons all the time. So really is the dna evidence that incriminating? I  think her lawyers have some strong arguments that its not.

Both the interviewer and Paul Callan believe that Curatolo’s testimony is the only evidence of Knox & Sollecito at the apartment:

Host: But on top of that, they’re also putting into question the whole issue of where knox and her boyfriend were at the time.

Paul Callan: Exactly. Italian prosecutors relied on some shaky evidence. A homeless man who had put them at the scene of the crime. Now it looks like he may be a herion dealer and he may have testified falsely in other cases. A lot of things are being used to attack the credibility of that witness who put them at the scene.

In truth Curatola’s testimony places them -outside- of the apartment, and is primarily a counter to their alibi of being home all night. Even without Curatolo’s testimony, ample contradictions in their own stories and other evidence is sufficient to question their alibis.

Paul Callan goes on to say that this appellate court is essentially “starting over”, which is not the case. The appellate court is starting with the conviction from the first trial and the motivations document issued following that conviction.

About the only thing they got right in the whole clip is Paul Cow’s comment on the impact of Guede’s conviction which was reaffirmed by the highest court in Italy, and the acceptance of a three-person crime by that court, although Paul thinks its only Guede’s story that involves Knox & Sollecito:

…so some people who fear that Amanda Knox may have a problem through the appeal process say that since Italy’s highest court has accepted his version, and his version is that sollectio and knox were involved in the murder, that maybe that’s going to undermine her chances overall. I don’t know that’s really the case, but that’s the status of it right now.

*Interestingly enough, MSN’s own transcript of this video leaves out the comment “the scant evidence in this case”

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