Great beauty set to acquit  Suprema Corte di Cassazione, Rome
Great beauty set to acquit
Suprema Corte di Cassazione, Rome


So, we got to a retrial, to bother some more the two unfortunate students. What can you do? You need a lot of patience when troubles happen. The good news is that it was for legal reasons, not for a big conspiracy of Italian judges against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.


2.1 The Case in Which a Guilty Verdict Would Have Been “Comprehensible”

Once the retrial started, we were prepared to witness a guilty verdict, and a subsequent confirmation by the Supreme Court, in case a biological substance belonging to Kercher would have been found in the re-testing of the trace “I” on the knife.

It would have been an injustice, but comprehensible, since judges can’t have the scientific knowledge of the complex DNA phenomena. We have learned the way they reason, and we know that they would have considered Kercher’s DNA on the blade as they usually consider a fingerprint. That’s why, in their view, Kercher’s DNA on the blade would have been an insuperable proof, just as it looked to all of us for a while, when it was announced, two weeks after the arrest of Knox and Sollecito. It would have been just that proof the S.C. ordered a retrial to search for, and no defense argument could have saved Knox and Sollecito.

2.2 The Actual Case

It happened, instead, that the search for Kercher’s DNA on the knife was negative. So, the reason for which the S.C. had legitimately ordered a new trial found an answer: the proof wasn’t found, the indications of guilt couldn’t be united in story that made sense, and Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito should have been acquitted.

But the Florence court convicted them anyway.

The trial didn’t appear to have been conducted with serenity, with defense lawyers stopped and frustrated all the time, yelled at, and with their arguments getting ignored. While debating once about Stefanoni’s test, the judge mentioned the value of Italian science, which “can’t be taught anything by the science of other countries.”

It looked, then, that that old Stefanoni test was representative of all science in Italy, or even of Italy itself, and had to be defended.

In case there was any doubt about his intentions, he once stopped the trial to dictate word by word to the stenographer a request of restricting measures proposed by the prosecutor for Sollecito. He looked, in sum, to have already decided, and for the worst.

It looked like patriotism played a role, and the insults, implicit and explicit –that were coming from overseas to the Italian “science,” or judicial system, or to Italy as a whole– had to be avenged.

Still, observers didn’t believe the judge would have convicted, since there wasn’t proof. Instead, he did it. Approached by incredulous journalists right after the verdict, he revealed that he needed to convince the jury, who had doubts (therefore, by law, they should have acquitted).

In other words, he convicted Knox and Sollecito even if the proof wasn’t formed, and showing then, with the report, to have not even bothered to study the case (which makes sense, if he had already decided). He thinks, for instance, that on the blade of the knife was found, originally, “the mixed DNA of Meredith Kercher and Raffaele Sollecito,” when even the most distracted reader of the case knows that there was, according to that contested test, only the DNA of Meredith Kercher.


Luckily, though, we are in Italy, where the system predicts that a judge can do something wrong. Despite the appearances, the system already worked quite well, since the error of the first instance judge was amended in second degree, and Knox and Sollecito were freed. The error is now much more evident than at the time of the first appeal, and defense lawyers shouldn’t have any problem in showing it to the five-judge panel of the S.C. It’s for those things that the S.C. exists, to fix inconsistencies.

Since S.C. judges gave proof of not belonging in a huge conspiracy aimed to convict two students, lawyers just need to understand the way they reason, and ask them to exercise their supreme function: amend judicial mistakes.

By Consequence Knox and Sollecito will be Acquitted

According to the way the S.C. judges reason, Knox and Sollecito should have been convicted if Kercher’s DNA were found in the re-testing of the knife, because that would have been The Proof, and would have allowed the putting together of all indications of guilt in a story that made sense.

But Kercher’s DNA was not found, therefore their conviction in the retrial was, according to the way S.C. judges reason, a judicial mistake.

Had the report been something rigorous and accurate it would have been kind of difficult for lawyers to require an annulment. With this report, instead, and with the judge already reprimanded by CSM, it couldn’t be easier.

Only the last phase will be at the stake in Rome. Lawyers just need –avoiding, this time, “psychologism”, fears and divisions– to simply explain why the “unification” project, that was legitimately proposed by the S.C., has legitimately failed; and why the Florence verdict was wrong, arbitrary and inconsistent. And Knox and Sollecito will be acquitted.

By Frank Sfarzo