The US recently released Ryan Ferguson, who had been in prison for a decade for the murder of Kent Heitholt. Ferguson and his supporters claim he was “wrongfully convicted” (a term that these days seems to only mean “someone who has amassed a vocal following”). Ferguson’s supporters say that he was found innocent, which isn’t quite accurate. Ferguson was released when an appellate panel declared he did not receive a fair trial, and overturned the conviction. The attorney general could have decided to prosecute again, but has not at this time (Huffington Post, Nov 2013).
Ferguson claims to have read Knox’s book while in prison. He recently posted about the case against Knox and Sollecito on a Facebook page for his supporters. Ferguson claims that the media got the case about him wrong and tries to pass along information about the case against Knox and Sollecito. Ferguson, however, pushes information about Knox’s case that has been proven to be misleading or false. Below are quotes from his message and the corrections to Ferguson’s information.
Many people have a knee-jerk reaction to Amanda’s story, based on misleading information that has leaked into the media.
Ferguson claims to have an interest in correcting misleading information, he gets almost nothing right about Knox’s case in his note to his supporters.
I can identify with Amanda on many levels as I know first hand what it is like to have the world turn against you based on a series of lies.
Its interesting, then, that Ferguson chooses to publish things about Knox’s case that aren’t true.
There are also several similarities to my own case. So if you don’t know Amanda’s story – here are 5 key facts you need to know:
1) When Amanda was initially interviewed by the Italian police she was badgered for hours in an interrogation that was later ruled illegal by an Italian appeals court.
It was not ruled an illegal interrogation. Knox was being questioned as a witness. Phone records show her questioning started after 11pm on the 5th; she signed her first statement at 1:45 am. It is the first signed statement that the Supreme Court ruled on, NOT the questioning which started less than three hours earlier. The Supreme Court ruled the first signed statement could not be used against her in the murder case, as she was being questioned as a witness at the time.
Her co-accused, Raffaele Sollecito, retracted his support for Knox’s alibi that same evening. Sollecito’s reason for retracting his support for her alibi was that the police ‘didn’t give him a calendar’.
Amanda eventually signed a false confession in a moment of desperation. 25% of wrongful convictions are the result of false confessions (remember, my conviction also hinged on a false confession from Charles Erickson)
Amanda Knox did not confess to the crime itself, and she is cautious about saying the police accused her of committing the crime. Knox accused another person of the crime, and thus placed herself at the scene of the crime when the murder happened. She signed two statements early in the morning of the 6th. Later on the 6th, after sleeping, she asked the police for paper and voluntarily wrote an additional statement that was used as evidence in her original conviction.
2) There was plenty of DNA evidence in the room in which Meredith Kercher was murdered including blood and fingerprint samples. NONE of it matched Amanda. But it DID match with Rudy Guede, who was later convicted of the murder.
Knox and her advocates attempt to redefine the “crime scene” as being only Meredith’s bedroom, thereby excluding other DNA evidence against Knox. The truth is, Knox’s DNA was found mixed with the murder victim’s blood and DNA in several other rooms of the house. In any other case, this forensic evidence would be enough to secure a conviction.
Guede’s conviction was also a conviction of participating with others in the crime of murder. People who believe that Guede was the lone killer… must then be against Guede’s reason for being in jail- he is in jail for participating with others in the crime of murder.
3) The only ‘witnesses’ against Amanda were later deemed unreliable by an appeals court. (sound familiar?)
Knox’s advocates constantly refer to a legal ruling which was almost entirely annulled. They leave out the information that the only part of that ruling that was retained- was Knox’s blaming of Patrick! Yes- even the appellate court which provided Knox her (now annulled) acquittal was convinced Knox is fully responsible for blaming Patrick!
The other conclusions from the Hellman acquittal were completely tossed out; in fact, the Supreme Court blasted the Hellman appellate court for Hellman’s handling of the witnesses (Italian Supreme Court, Sep 2013). One of those witnesses originally presented by Knox’s defense, Aviello, was again brought back to the Florence appellate court (Guardian UK, Oct 2013). At that time, however, the defense team objected to hearing from the witness they originally brought to the court!
4) Guede had a history of breaking and entering and wielding a knife. In the days following Meredith’s murder he fled the country.
Knox has recently admitted to previously staging a burglary prank, which is what the prosecution also alleges in the conviction against her. If Guede’s past events can be used as circumstantial evidence against Guede, then why is Knox’s past behavior somehow exempt from being circumstantial evidence against her?
5) The Prosecution didn’t have any real facts to convict Amanda – so turned the trial into a character assassination, presenting Knox as a crazed, sexual deviant. (In the same way my Prosecution presented me at trial as a spoiled rich kid)
Evidence against Knox participating in the murder includes:
- Lack of a solid alibi (which she admits to in a King 5 interview, Oct 2013).
- Placing herself at scene of crime at time of murder in her Nov 6th, 2007 2pm voluntarily written statement.
- Knox’s DNA mixed with the blood and DNA of the murder victim in multiple rooms of the crime scene.
You can read about the rest of the evidence at The Murder of Meredith Kercher site.
As you probably know Amanda was originally convicted of Kercher’s murder and freed by an Italian appeals court. Now this decision is being appealed by the Prosecution, in a politically motivated move to cover their mistakes.
Ferguson gets the process almost completely wrong; the acquittal has already been overturned (Huffinton Post, March 2013). The Hellman appeal was annulled in March of 2013- a fact anyone can determine by a simple internet search. The Italian Supreme Court sent the case back to the appellate level to re-hear Knox and Sollecito’s appeal of their original conviction. Even Knox’s own lawyer, Ted Simon, admits the case was sent back to the appellate level by the Italian Supreme Court (Shepherd Smith show, 6 Nov 2013).
In addition, the prosecution in the original conviction has nothing to do with the current appeal. The supreme court overturned the acquittal, and now Knox and Sollecito’s appeal to their original conviction is being re-heard in a different city by a different prosecutor.
Ferguson claims he was convicted based on misleading news reports and false evidence. It is surprising that he chooses to push misleading information regarding other murder trials.