Italian prosecutors double down, seek life sentence for Amanda Knox

Stephen Robert Morse Tow-Knight Fellow in Entrepreneurial Journalism , The City University of New York
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Editor’s note: Correspondent Stephen Robert Morse is live-tweeting the proceedings of Amanda Knox’s appeals trial from Perugia, Italy, exclusively for The Daily Caller

The second day of closing arguments in the appeals trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito concluded with drama: Prosecutors asked that the pair, currently sentenced to 26 and 25 years, respectively, receive life sentences for the murder and sexual assault of British foreign exchange student Meredith Kercher.

They also asked the court to impose an additional sanction of six months in isolation for Amanda and two months for Raffaele.

Earlier on Saturday, prosecutors reviewed the case against Amanda and Raffaele, focusing on a supposed bloody footprint they claim Sollectio made. The evidence is in doubt, however, because the footprint is 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) too large for Sollecito’s shoe size.

Prosecutors also defended their decision not to test Kercher’s pillow for semen — physical evidence that could have produced definitive proof of whether — and, possibly, when — Kercher was sexually assaulted, and by whom.

Prosecutor Manuela Comodi tried to discredit an independent court-appointed experts’ report. She exposed mistakes experts made during their careers and read aloud portions of judges’ findings in which their reports had been dismissed and criticized.

Comodi also defended the controversial practices of Italian forensic investigators, explaining why she believes evidence contamination was highly unlikely, urging the court’s jury and its two judges to ignore the independent experts — whom she called “inexperienced” and side with Patrizia Stefanoni and her team of what the Italians refer to as scientific police.

Comodi’s harshest criticism was reserved for the media; she claimed repeatedly that reporters do not fully understand the process of gathering and analyzing DNA evidence.

In a moment of high drama, Comodi brought her own bra into court and waved it around to depict how Sollecito supposedly cut off Kercher’s bra with the help of another man, Rudy Guede, who pled guilty to the murder. This bit of theatre provided Comodi’s explanation for how Sollecito’s DNA was found on the hook of Kercher’s bra clasp.