The Murder of Meredith Kercher back in 2007 has still not been concluded. The 21 year old student was on a student exchange programme when she was brutally murdered in her home. The two suspects who were consequently arrested were the American Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito; Rudy Guede was convicted in a separate trial. The defense made a case on shoddy DNA forensic sample collection by the Italian squad; today more has come about.
Amanda Knox’s appeal has been presented in the form of a 200 page document which will force the Italian justice system to re-think the case and Amanda’s sentence. Her lawyer attests to her innocence and her mother has made a case about her daughter’s clean criminal record and the absence of any inclination to harm another human being.
The information now presented regards the presence of a witness who has stated that Knox and her boyfriend Sollecito were not present on the scene of crime. The appeal reiterates the knife which was identified as the murder weapon and the DNA forensic analysis of the blood found on the blade. Theodore Simon, Knox’s attorney, claims that DNA evidence does not incriminate Amanda in any way but incriminates Rudy Guede; in other words there is no hard evidence linking Amanda to the murder. A re-evaluation of all the evidence and DNA samples gathered will take place and Simon is convinced this will exonerate Amanda from any involvement.
Going back to the previous trial, the defense had heavily contested the validity of all evidence because, it claimed, forensic DNA samples had been contaminated or samples too degraded to be able to construct an adequate DNA profile. DNA evidence was amplified using what is known as electrophoresis which creates DNA peaks (known as Relative fluorescent Units or RFUs) which can then be matched to the person the DNA came from. The prosecution said these peaks matched Amanda Knox’s DNA. However, the RFUs were too low to be fully reliable. The DNA found on a bra clasp and used to link Sollecito to the crime was also brought into question as the bra claps had been found only on a second investigation of the crime scene which meant that the DNA may have been rendered useless due to genetic degradation caused by environmental conditions.
Allegedly, Amanda Knox gave unreliable and inconsistent testimony when under interrogation by the Perugia Police and was also denied her legal rights as she was had no legal interpreter to help her. Overall the DNA forensic evidence appears weak and the Italian criminal Justice system may face criticism and ridicule if Amanda Knox is found innocent. If this appeal fails, Knox can further appeal at the Supreme Court in Rome. The Meredith Kercher case continues.