By David D. Kamanski and Bruce Fisher
Raffaele’s defense team will make very strong arguments on appeal. The defense requests additional testing on several key items in this case. These additional tests should be granted on appeal. We feel that this additional testing is crucial to expose the many errors that occurred during the first trial. There was very little physical evidence presented by the prosecution linking Raffaele to the crime. Raffaele's appeal shows with certainty that the minimal evidence that was presented is not reliable. This summary highlights the key arguments that will be made by the defense.
The Bra Clasp
The bra clasp is the only piece of evidence that the prosecution presented to confirm that Raffaele was present during the murder. The defense argues that the clasp was found in an environment that was completely contaminated. The prosecution went out looking for additional evidence against Raffaele due to the fact that other evidence had crumbled. It was originally thought that Raffaele left a shoe print, in the murder room, set in Meredith’s blood. When this print was shown to belong to Rudy Guede, the prosecution was left with nothing to prove Raffaele’s presence at the cottage. They needed evidence in a hurry, or they would have to release Raffaele.
The bra clasp was collected 46 days after the discovery of the murder. This clasp was photographed on the floor, November 3, 2007, during the initial collection of evidence 6 weeks prior. When the clasp was finally collected on December 18, 2007, it was found under a mat, over one meter from where it was originally photographed.
The video inspection of December 18, 2007 that documented the discovery of the hook exposes errors in collection procedures. The hook was also visibly dirty due to its mysterious journey across the floor.
The video shows that investigators do not change their gloves during evidence collection. The video clearly shows the investigators collecting multiple samples with out stopping and with no change of gloves. Dr. Stefanoni stated that it was not necessary to change gloves between every sample if the samples were dry. She claimed that gloves were changed at the discretion of the investigators. If they felt their gloves were dirty, they changed them. This method is not acceptable. Dr. Stefanoni implied that transfer would not occur when collecting dry samples. The video clearly shows that samples were collected using dirty gloves. Visible contamination is present on the gloves. There is no video whatsoever showing any investigators changing gloves at anytime. Video does show ample proof that transfer did occur from the samples to the gloves. This observation proves without a doubt that contamination occurred during evidence collection.
The scene was thoroughly contaminated in the 46 days leading up to the collection of the clasp. Many investigators disrupted the crime scene while conducting searches, filming video and taking photographs. The fact that the clasp was moved from its original location shows that it was disrupted. The defense argues that the collection of the clasp in violation of Recommendations of the International Society of Forensic Genetics and should be considered scientifically useless.
Defense expert, Professor Adriano Tagliabracci, director of the Forensic Institute of Ancona and president of the Italian Association of Forensic Genetics, has documented the fallacy of the prosecution’s conclusions regarding the DNA on the clasp.
The prosecution claimed that there was an abundant amount of DNA on the clasp. It was stated by the prosecution that Raffaele’s DNA on the clasp was abundant. This is not the case. Raffaele’s DNA was mixed with other DNA. Testing confirmed the victim’s DNA was present along with at least three other unidentified people. The defense argues that proper analysis the DNA on the clasp shows that Raffaele’s DNA is not abundant at all. With proper testing, Raffaele’s alleged DNA is only 1/6 of the total sample. The prosecution agreed with this analysis. That calculation is a best case scenario. In actuality, it could easily be less than 1/6. This lowers the genetic material that is attributed to Raffaele to well under 200 picograms, the standard minimum to be used for normal DNA analysis. In order for the sample to be tested properly, LCN analysis would have been necessary. LCN testing was not done by the prosecution’s experts on the clasp. The defense argues that proper testing shows that some strands do not match Raffaele’s DNA. The defense expert was only able to test a few strands. The court did not understand that if any strands did not match then it wasn’t Raffaele’s DNA. The defense argues that additional testing will prove that the DNA does not belong to Raffaele. This additional testing should be granted on appeal.
The defense also makes a strong argument regarding the location of the alleged DNA on the clasp. The prosecution stated that the DNA was found on the metal hook of the clasp. This is not where the DNA would have been expected to be found if Raffaele cut the clasp off of the bra. The prosecution claimed that Raffaele grabbed the clasp and then made the cut. Raffaele’s DNA should have been on the fabric portion on the clasp. If there was any DNA from Raffaele on that metal hook it was most likely deposited there by the investigators that mishandled the clasp at the crime scene. The videos clearly show that the metal hook is repeatedly touched using dirty gloves. The alleged DNA was found on the little metal hook of the severed bra clasp. There was no DNA attributed to Raffaele found on the fabric. The defense argues that a person trying to unclasp a bra holds the material on either side and slides it; if doing it violently, they may give it a strong pull deforming the hooks, but in no case does a person actually touch or press on the hooks themselves when trying to open or pull and cut a bra, so that DNA should be found on the material near the hooks, not on the hooks.
The bra clasp was collected 46 days after the discovery of the murder. The DNA results allegedly showed DNA from the victim, one person that had already been present in the cottage and three unidentified people. The unidentified DNA clearly shows contamination. The DNA testing was not conducted properly so the prosecution’s results are completely unreliable. We agree with Professor Adriano Tagliabracci that the clasp should be considered scientifically useless.
Raffaele’s Kitchen Knife
Professor Adriano Tagliabracci stated that the results from Dr. Stefanoni were not usable in any way. Dr. Stefanoni’s testing was completely unreliable. Professor Tagliabracci noted incomplete documentation of Dr. Stefanoni’s work and pointed out Dr. Stefanoni’s notes where she had handwritten "too low" multiple times. Professor Tagliabracci states that the reading of “Too low” always means that the test should not be used for analysis. There are no exceptions. When proper procedures are not followed, the positive result could be contamination of the laboratory. It could have been from anything. Any result that is achieved using the methods used by Dr. Stefanoni to achieve the desired result must not be accepted.
At the hearing on October 9th, 2009, the court rejected the defense request for additional testing. The court ignored all expert opinion and chose to blindly accept the results presented by the prosecution. The court had a scientific obligation to state the reasons to reject further testing. The court neglected to provide any reason for the rejection.
The defense is asking for an expert review on all forensics. They are also requesting a complete reconstruction of all documents pertaining to the initial investigation.
The knife is not compatible with the wounds on the victim.
The defense argues that the fatal wound is not compatible with Raffaele’s large kitchen knife. The consistencies that have been noted by the prosecution are generic and would apply to any knife. It is important to identify the inconsistencies that rule out Raffaele’s kitchen knife as the murder weapon. When the knife is analyzed properly, it is shown that the knife is not consistent with any of the wounds.
The length of the fatal wound is 8cm. There is bruising at the entry point showing that the knife was pushed in all the way to the handle. The handle caused bruising at the point of entry. The blade on the kitchen knife measures 17.5cm. The other 2 wounds are too small to be considered compatible with the kitchen knife. The width of the kitchen knife is over 3cm. The width of the two wounds that were not fatal measured 1.4cm and 1.5cm.
The knife that was taken from Raffaele’s kitchen turned out not match any of the wounds. This caused the prosecution to develop the theory that more that one knife must have been used. They provided absolutely no proof to back up this claim.
The court suggested that the small wound on Meredith was caused by one of Raffaele’s pocket knives. There is absolutely no proof to suggest this. The court simply makes it up. Raffaele’s knives were tested and were shown to have nothing to do with the murder. The knives were completely free from genetic material from Meredith.
The court suggests that 3 knives were used. It is not discussed directly but the court’s reconstruction of the crime would require 3 knives. They claim that Raffaele’s kitchen knife was used. They also claim that Raffaele’s pocket knife was used. The imprint on the bed does not match either of these knives. If we are to believe the court’s theory, another knife must have been involved in the crime. There is absolutely no evidence to back up this theory. In fact, the knife that made the imprint on the bed would have been the correct size blade to make all of the wounds on the victim. Based on the evidence, the most logical conclusion would be that one knife was used in the attack.
Despite the court's theory being completely illogical, the defense also argues that this scenario causes a legal problem. The court’s reconstruction of the crime puts a knife in each of the attacker’s hands. This does not coincide with the actual charges filed in the case. This conflict prevents the defense from properly representing their client.
Evidence on Pillowcase
There is a possible semen stain that was found on the pillow under Meredith's body. The defense is requesting that testing be done on this stain. It was originally stated by the court that the stain could not be dated because Meredith was sexually active so there was no reason to test it. Forensics expert Francesco Vinci found this same substance smeared in one of Rudy's shoe prints on the pillow. This proves this substance was wet at the time of the murder so it must have been deposited on the pillow at that time. This discovery was made using Crimescope. Why wasn't this substance tested to begin with? The investigators were presented with a murder with sexual assault and they neglected to test a substance that appears to be semen. If this substance tests positive for semen and it is attributed to Rudy, the entire theory made by the prosecution would be further proven false. The photo below shows the substance on the pillow smeared in one of Rudy's shoe prints.
The defense is asking for further investigation of Mario Joseph Alessi. Alessi is a prison inmate that claims to have had confidential conversations with Rudy Guede. During these conversations, Guede allegedly discusses sexual acts that could be attributed to the stains left on the pillow. The defense argues that Alessi’s statements contain details of the crime that only Guede would have known. These details confirm that these discussions actually took place. In light of this testimony, it is imperative that further testing be done on the substance found on the pillow.
Mixed DNA in the Bathroom
Raffaele’s defense presents a very similar argument as Amanda’s defense. Both arguments deal with common sense. The defense argues that Meredith's blood mixed with epithelial cells of Amanda which remained on the surfaces of the bathroom from previous use. No control tests were done. The defense argues that a prudent investigator would test areas where no blood was present. These additional tests would confirm if Amanda’s DNA was present on the surfaces of the bathroom before Meredith’s blood made contact. These tests were not done.
The defense argues that mixed traces in the sink are attributed to a mixture of Meredith's blood with epithelial cells of Amanda which remained from previous use in the little drops and puddles of water that always live in a sink.
Evaluation of Footprints and Shoe Prints
The defense argues that the prosecution’s expert, Dr. Rinaldi, used inaccurate measurements to wrongly attribute footprints to Raffaele. Raffaele’s defense expert, Professor Vinci conducted an independent investigation using more advanced techniques. His analysis clearly showed that the measurements made by the prosecution’s expert were incorrect. The print on the bathmat and the prints detected with luminol in the hall do not match Raffaele’s foot.
The footprint sample of Raffaele’s foot shows considerable differences from the print that was found on the bathmat. The court does not properly explain how the print on the bathmat was allegedly attributed to Raffaele. There is a lack of support of the distal phalanx of the big toe feature which makes Raffaele’s toe highly distinctive. The footprint on the bathmat has a big toe joint that is seamless with the forefoot, which is absent in Raffaele's sample print. The court ignores these differences and chooses to focus on the measurements of Dr. Rinaldi. His measurements are incorrect.
The defense argues that inspection of the bathmat clearly shows that the tip of the second toe blended with the top of the big toe. Dr. Rinaldi measured the big toe including the top of the second toe. This error caused the width of the toe to measure 30mm. Dr. Rinaldi did not observe that the second toe had blended in with the big toe on the bathmat. The error by Dr. Rinaldi is clearly visible and demonstrates the presence of the second toe stamped on Raffaele’s sample pad. The nature of the absorbent carpet may have lead to natural spreading of blood. This print was made is bloody water, not pure blood. This would have attributed to the spreading of the liquid as it was absorbed into the rug. This error in measurement is crucial because the prosecution based the compatibility of Raffaele’s foot on the width of his big toe.
Raffaele’s big toe measured 30mm and is therefore incompatible with the measured foot on the bathmat. When measured correctly, the print on the bathmat measured 24.8mm. It is impossible that Raffaele’s foot made the print on the bathmat.
In the motivational report there is support for the defense analysis that the toe is 30mm but instead of the court agreeing that this measurement rules out Raffaele’s foot, the court states on page 379 that the vision of a whole smear is different than a footprint daubed on the material. This explanation makes no sense. This is not logical and not objective. The court simply decides to ignore the error. The court should have recognized the error in Dr. Rinaldi’s measurement. When the print is measured properly it excludes any compatibility with Raffaele. The court has essentially stated that looking at the big toe, it appeared less consistent with Rudy, so then they just assumed it belonged to Raffaele. In fact, the anatomical morphology analysis is much more consistent with Rudy’s foot. There is no explanation at all for how the court accepted Dr. Rinaldi’s measurements, the measurements are incorrect. Thus, there are obvious metaphysical differences in Raffaele’s footprint compared to the one on the bathmat, and thus it should have been ruled that the footprint on the bathmat is not Raffaele’s.
We added a few photos to better describe the errors that are pointed out by the defense. The photo below details the area of the print that was measured incorrectly by Dr. Rinaldi. The small circular spot is actually an imprint from the second toe. Dr. Rinaldi's measurement of the big toe incorrectly included the imprint of the second toe.
Prints detected with luminol were incorrectly measured by Dr. Rinaldi.
One of the tracks found using luminol in the corridor that was facing in the direction of the front door was wrongly attributed to Raffaele. The court went against Professor Vinci who showed that the footprint was only 215 mm long and was actually 3cm shorter than that of Raffaele. However the court came up with a measurement of 245mm using an unexplained correction made by the prosecution in the hearing on May 9, 2009. The 215mm measurement is based upon a survey conducted by Professor Vinci. Once again, Dr. Rinaldi made an error in measurement. The reason that Dr. Rinaldi’s measurements were incorrect is due to the fact that he obtained an incorrect measurement of the floor tile. He used that measurement to calculate the size of the prints on the tile. Incorrect measurement of the floor tile changed the perspective of the prints. The measurement of the floor tile was off by 7mm. This resulted in the footprint going from 227mm to 244mm. Dr. Rinaldi admitted in his testimony that if you change the perspective, you change the reference system and each measurement is associated with that reference. He never explained what system he used or how he decided on his calculations. Dr. Rinaldi provided data with no proof of his measurements or his calculations. The court wrongly deemed the dimensional data accurate, when in fact it is not scientifically correct. The court ignored Professor Vinci who said that the data showed the footprint could not have been made by Raffaele.
The correct comparison between the samples shows a difference in length of 2cm. Professor Vinci obtained correct measurements. Professor Vinci photographed the prints at exact right angels and then used dimensional calculations in a professional program for morphometry utilizing computerized image analysis software. The tile was actually measured at 337.7mm on the long side and 163.8mm on the smaller side. The print on the tile was then measured to be a toe to heel distance of 215.8mm, a width of 95mm and a toe width of 27mm. Raffaele’s foot measures 247, 99 and 30 mm respectively. The measurement of the footprint on the tile is clearly only 215 mm. The motivation report fails to set forth why these differences are ignored. The court accepted Dr. Rinaldi’s measurements. The court has clearly considered a footprint that is in fact only 215 mm long to actually be 245mm (page 381). Raffaele’s foot is actually 246mm. Professor Vinci’s measurements were done entirely independent with calculations and procedures done correctly. The court allowed the prosecution’s measurement of 227mm to be increased to 244mm, then said it was 245mm. No explanation is given for the accepted measurement or the second change in measurement. Dr. Rinaldi was questioned by the defense on September 9, 2009 and was unable to justify why the actual measurement was increased. He never even identified the specific software that he used but stated it was wrong to say it was stretched if there was a scientific way to lengthen it, but never said what that scientific reason was.
The court completely misrepresented the work of Professor Vinci. Professor Vinci gave a presentation showing the differences in the characteristics of the prints. In order to make this comparison, Professor Vinci altered the prints to make them the same size. This technique allows a side to side comparison of the specific characteristics of the prints. This presentation is not to be used in any way to compare size, just characteristics.
Professor Vinci artificially enhanced Raffaele’s footprint to make it the same size as the sample. The results showed that the characteristics of Raffaele’s foot did not match the characteristics of the sample. This method was used only to show that the prints had different characteristics.
The court completely ignored the fact that the size of Raffaele’s print was altered for comparison purposes. The court just looked at the dimensions in the presentation forgetting the sample was altered. The court actually used Professor Vinci’s altered sample to try and insinuate that the prints were actually the same size. This is made clear on page 380 where the court says the development of the heel of the isthmus to the extent of the big toe seem almost superimposable. This only occurred because the print was altered by Professor Vinci to show the differences in characteristics. When looking at the results of the tests done by Professor Vinci, it is clear to see the total lack of compatibility between Raffaele’s foot and the sample found on the floor. It is inexcusable that the court actually tried to use this altered data to prove that the prints were the same size.
Finally, the assessment reached by the ruling of the court leaves many unanswered questions that the court just ignores. The presence of the bloody shoe prints are all from a left foot, and the presence of the bare footprints are all from a right foot. They all appear to be from the same person. Had Raffaele gone into the bathroom to wash off his bloody right foot as suggested using either the sink, shower or bidet, where is his DNA? According to the court’s hypothesis, washing off a bare foot will result in a rubbing action that results in loss of cells from exfoliation (see page 406). The presence of these findings of shoe prints and bare footprints in various locations inside the house makes the argument that cleaning occurred nearly impossible.
For most of the case, the prosecution tried to prove that it was Raffaele’s shoe print in the murder room. When that was proven wrong, they tried to state that some of the luminol prints were attributed to him. The evidence simply does not support the court’s claims.
The manipulation of the measurements by the prosecution’s expert is not acceptable. The measurements were altered to match Raffaele’s foot and there was no explanation whatsoever for the altered measurements. Professor Vinci showed the exact measurements of the prints and backed up his measurements with proof. Professor Vinci clearly showed that the prints do not match Raffaele’s foot.
Time of Death
The defense argues that the time of death was improperly calculated. Due too errors early on, the time of death cannot be accurately estimated. The prosecution stated the time of death to be close to midnight. The defense argues that the time of death was between 9:30 and 10:00pm. Times were estimated using body weight, temperature and digestion. Dr. Lalli estimated the body weight at just 50 kg upon first viewing the body at the cottage. Dr. Lalli later stated after doing the autopsy that the weight was closer to 55 kg based on his best guess. Dr. Lalli never officially weighed the body. Defense experts stated that the body weighed between 55.4 and 60 kg. When looking at the correct weight along with normal digestion, the defense argues the time of death was between 9:30 and 10:00pm. The ideal weight formulas show her weight to be from 55.4 to 60 kg, with the average at 57 kg. Using this formula produces a more accurate time of death at around 9:30pm.
The court has indicated wrongly that Professor Ronchi testified that it can take 4 to 5 hours for stomach contents to empty, when his actual testimony on October 19, 2009, stated that it takes 3 to 4 hours. The court also concluded incorrectly that there was a failure to allow ligation of the duodenum, that there was slippage after traveling 5 meters in the small intestine so the court found it unreliable that Dr. Lalli found the duodenum empty. However, the court watched the actual autopsy on November 11, 2009, by Dr. Lalli who did correctly close the duodenum to prevent any slippage from the stomach down. The court talks about her eating food and drinking back at the cottage in one section but later says she had no alcohol. The prosecution assumes a mushroom was eaten after she returned home. Based upon experts and medico-legal criterion, Meredith died at 2-3 or 3-4 hours after her last meal which was completed around 6:30pm to 7:00pm. This places the death using 3 hours at 9:30pm to 10:00pm. The only food found in her stomach was consistent with what her friends indicated she ate for dinner that night. The food had not emptied into the duodenum and failed to initiate gastric emptying, which was properly closed by ligation as seen on the video footage. An item of food found in the 3rd distal esophagus was kept in a container but never tested to determine what is was, which likely was an apple from the apple pie desert she ate after dinner and not a mushroom from her home. The defense requests that this sample be tested to confirm what it is. If the sample is apple as the defense believes, the time of death would be closer to the range that the defense suggests, 9:30pm to 10:00pm.
The time of death is extremely important. The court goes to great lengths to push the time of death to a later time. In order for the court to come to this conclusion, it must ignore expert testimony and video regarding the autopsy. The court also must ignore the testimony regarding the stalled vehicle in front of the cottage. The defense argues, based on the evidence, the murder occurred between 9:30 and 10:00pm. This is supported by the evidence provided during the autopsy and is also supported by the witness testimony dealing with the stalled vehicle. The court chooses to ignore all of this evidence. Why? Raffaele’s computer activity would make it completely impossible for him to be involved in this crime if the murder occurred at 9:30 to 10:00pm. Raffaele was active on his computer in his apartment at 9:10pm as noted by the court. The defense also argues that Raffaele was active on his computer at 9:26pm. The court’s suggested time of death is also in conflict with the phone activity on Meredith’s phones.
Meredith’s Cell Phone Activity
Meredith’s phone records indicate that she sent a large number of text messages daily. One the evening of her murder there was very little phone activity on Meredith’s phone. The defense argues that the lack of text messages is a strong indicator that Meredith was murdered shortly after she arrived home for the evening. Meredith’s phone activity was “drastically different” from her usual habits.
At 20:56 Meredith attempted to call home. The attempted call failed. The defense suggests that is was very unusual that she did not attempt the call again. She usually spoke to her family before going to bed, and several times throughout each day. The defense believes that this fact along with the absence of the usual text messages that Meredith’s attack started around this time.
There are 3 other calls that are registered to the phone that night. The defense believes that these 3 calls were not made by Meredith but by her attacker. The court suggested that Meredith was laying on her in bed playing with her phone. The defense thinks otherwise.
The first call was an unsuccessful call to her voicemail. This defense states that this is not normal in respect to Meredith's usual phone habits and does not believe the call was made by her. In particular, if she were home alone with her phone in working order, why would she have interrupted that call before the end of the voice message? In any case, the defense says that if Meredith had really connected with the voicemail message even partially, the call would have appeared on the cell phone records, whereas in fact it appears nowhere except within the phone’s internal memory. The call was made and stopped almost instantaneously. The defense attributes this to someone else handling Meredith’s phone.
At 22:00, there was an unsuccessful attempt to call Meredith’s bank. The defense quotes Massei as erroneously writing that this call appeared in the cell phone records but not in the phone’s internal memory. In fact, the opposite is true. This indicates that the call, like the previous one, was really just the unintentional pressing of a button. Furthermore, the call was made without the international prefix 0044. Meredith knew perfectly well that she would need to dial 0044 when placing a call to England and also that you cannot call a bank at night. There would be no reason to believe that on this particular night, Meredith would have forgotten how to call England. Massei's explanation for this, again, is that she was playing around with her phone. The defense suggests that someone else was handling the unfamiliar phone “in a convulsive way.” The defense suggests that at 22:00 the murder had already been committed and the two calls indicate impulsive and frantic movements by Meredith’s attacker.
The third call was the 22:13 “GPRS” connection (reception of mms or connection to internet or involuntary movement). This call lasted 9 seconds and was detected by a cell tower which can actually cover the cottage and also the location where the cell phones were found. The defense quotes Massei as stating in one place (p. 337) that this tower does not cover the garden where the phones were located and in another place (p. 352) they confirm that cell tower covers the location where the phones were found very well. The court’s interpretation disagreed that the murderer was running away from the crime scene holding the phones when one of them rang.
The mms message that was recorded at 22:13 was not found in Meredith’s phone. Massei explains the absence of this incoming mms message in Meredith's phone by the fact that she deleted it without opening it, confirming the fact that she was at home with her phone at 22:13. The defense notes a very important point regarding the phones ability to retain the information regarding incoming mms messages. Meredith's phone received an mms message the following day, Nov. 2 at 20:30 and that message itself did not remain in the phone even though no one actually deleted it. The police investigated the phone to locate the mms message from Nov. 2 at 20:30 and it was not recorded in the phone. This observation proves that the phone simply does not record that information. There is no proof that Meredith was handling the phone at 22:13.
The phone activity on Meredith’s phone is very important. Along with the autopsy results and the witness statements regarding the stalled vehicle, the phone activity contradicts the court’s stated time of death. All of this evidence supports with the 9:30 to 10:00pm time of death as stated by the defense.
Raffaele’s SMS Message From His Father
The defense argues that Raffaele did not receive his father’s sms message sent at 23:14 until 6:02 the next morning because phone reception at his apartment was poor. Raffaele wasn't thinking about his phone when Amanda was there. They were spending a quiet night relaxing and did not want to be bothered. The defense notes that if Raffaele did turn his phone off, it was only to ensure that he could have some privacy and spend a quiet evening at home with Amanda.
The court stated that Filomena’s window was broken to stage a break in. The court does not believe that Rudy entered the cottage through the window even though he had shown the ability to do so in the past. The defense points out the similarities of Rudy’s past break-ins. Rudy had a knife, he used the bathroom in each case and he made himself at home by getting himself something to drink.
In a previous break-in, Rudy climbed a wall to enter a law office. That window was higher than the window at the cottage. Entering the cottage through Filomena’s window was an easy task for Rudy. The court chooses to ignore Filomena’s Testimony. Filomena testified that she pulled one of her shutters closed but not the other one. This gave Rudy the opportunity to enter through that window.
The evidence left by the broken glass confirms that the window was broken from outside. The glass on the windowsill as well as the glass scattered on the floor is all consistent with a rock being thrown from outside. There is a fresh mark on the interior shutter along with embedded glass that clearly shows the impact from an object that was thrown from outside.
The court stated that an intruder attempting to gain entrance through that window would have sustained cuts on his hands. Rudy had cuts on his hands when he was detained in Germany.
Staging and clean up
The defense argues that the accusation by the court that the crime scene was staged is not realistic. There is no proof of any staging or any clean up effort. Cleaning would have left behind obvious signs that cleaning took place. The luminol stains would have appeared as smears. Dirt would have been absent from the areas that were wiped clean. Evidence shows that no dirt was removed from the floor in those locations.
The court stated the staging was done to postpone the discovery of the body. The fact that Raffaele called the police to the cottage to investigate completely refutes that accusation. If it was Raffaele’s intention to delay the discovery of the murder, he would have never called the police. The defense also notes if the phones were taken by Amanda and Raffaele to postpone the discovery of the body, they certainly would have turned the phones off.
Arrival of the Postal Police
The defense points out the fact that it has been conclusively proven that Raffaele called the police before the postal police arrived. This fact has been accepted by the court. Massei accepts this fact but decides to make very little mention of it in his report. This error by the prosecution is simply being ignored as if it was of little importance. This is far from the truth. This error played a major role in the decision to hold Raffaele in custody. This error also gave a false impression of the events leading up to the discovery of the murder. The fact that Raffaele called the police before the postal police arrived confirms that Amanda and Raffaele were not surprised by the police. They were not caught off guard. In fact, they both wanted the police to come to the cottage to investigate what they had found. This fact shows that Amanda and Raffaele had nothing to hide.
Rudy’s Skype Conversation
During Rudy's skype conversation with Giacomo, Rudy is heard saying:
“They say there was a broken window, but when I was there, there wasn't any broken window; it's a window that's on the left when you're facing the house, the wooden shutters were open so I could see the window, it wasn't broken, and also when I left.”
The defense would like to know how Rudy could have known which of the windows was supposed to be broken. The defense confirms that this precise information was never printed in any newspaper at that time, In fact, it was mistakenly reported that Meredith's bedroom window was broken. The defense believes that there is a very logical reason why Rudy knew which window was broken.
The defense also points out that Amanda and Raffaele would not have chosen Filomena’s window to stage a break in. They could have simply broken the lock on the front door to stage a break in. Why would they go through all that trouble with Filomena’s window? The defense argues that Rudy knew what window was broken during his skype conversation because he broke it to gain entrance to the cottage.
Defense Requests Further Investigation of Computer Damage.
During the preliminary investigation, computers were seized by investigators. These computers were owned by Raffaele, Amanda and Meredith. These three computers were damaged during inspection. This damage has never been properly explained. The electronic boards of all the three hard disks were damaged in such way to hinder any data extrapolation.
The preliminary investigation judge appointed Professor Massimo Bernaschi to investigate the damage caused to the computers and to attempt to recover the data from the three computers. The investigation failed to give reasons for the damage to the computers with certainty.
The defense is asking that these computers be evaluated by their respected manufacturers (Asus, Apple, Toshiba) to gain insight as to how these computers could have been damaged during inspection. These computers contained valuable information that was beneficial to the defense. Additional testing should be granted to see it this evidence can be recovered.
The prosecution stated that the last time Raffaele used his computer on November 1, 2007 was 21:10. The defense argues that the prosecution did not take into account downloading activity on Raffaele's computer at 21:26. The court also ignored the computer activity from 5:40 to 6:38. Raffaele was listening to music. The prosecution’s analysis of Raffaele’s computer usage is incomplete. Apparently, the software used by the prosecution’s expert was not effective in retrieving all of the data from Raffaele’s MacBook-pro computer. In light of these circumstances, further investigation is required to ascertain the exact interactions that actually occurred on Raffaele’s computer on November 1, 2007, under Article. 603, first paragraph, cpp.
Massei’s Account of the Murder Contradicts the Prosecution
The prosecution believed the victim’s body was moved after death in an attempt to stage the scene. In the motivation, Massei does not note any movement of the body after death. Massei states that there was a struggle, at that time the smaller wounds are inflicted on Meredith. Her clothing is partially removed, the bra is cut, the pillow is placed under Meredith, she screams and she is choked in an attempt to stop the screaming, then the fatal wound is inflicted.
Massei’s assessment of the crime not only contradicts the theory of the prosecution, it also contradicts experts who have stated that the fatal wound occurred just in front of the closet, judging by the concentration of blood in that location. There is blood evidence in the floor that indicates Meredith was dragged from the large puddle of blood to the location where she was found. These contradictions are not acceptable and leave many unanswered questions regarding the attack.
Testimony of Nara Capezzali
The defense argues that Nara Capezzali’s testimony is held to be unreliable. She contradicts her own testimony and is also contradicted by other witness testimony. Three other witnesses testified having been near the cottage at the time Nara claims she heard a scream.
All three were dealing with a broken down vehicle close by and none of them heard a scream. Another witness, Antonella Monacchia, heard an argument between a man and a woman and then a scream. Both were shouting in Italian. Antonella testified to have then opened her window to see if she could hear more. What she heard was total silence. She heard no footsteps on the iron stairs or the rocks below. Antonella’a testimony completely contradicts Nara’s testimony.
The prosecution believed that Amanda and Raffaele were barefoot in the cottage. They would not have been able to put shoes on and get to the location where Nara heard the scream in the timeframe described by Nara.
Nara makes other statements that are known to be false. She claimed that she heard kids saying that a girl had been killed. She states this happened at 11:00am, on the day Meredith’s body was discovered. The problem is, the murder was not discovered until around 2 hours later.
Nara also claims that she saw Amanda and Raffaele standing by the parking garage observing the cottage on the day the murder was discovered. She said there were emergency vehicles everywhere. This is known to be false. After the emergency vehicles would have arrived, Amanda and Raffaele were with the police the entire time. This is documented. They were never anywhere near the parking garage at that time.
Nara Capezzali was influenced by journalists and cannot be considered a credible witness.
Testimony of Antonio Curatolo
Antonio Curatolo. Was confused about what day he was referring to. He claimed that on the same evening he saw Amanda and Raffaele that he left the piazza after the buses left taking young people to the discos. There were no disco buses running that night. All of the discos were closed. This observation by Curatolo shows that he was most likely remembering back to a different night.
Curatolo testified ten times regarding the times that he believed he saw Amanda and Raffaele,
Curatolo testified nine times that he saw Amanda and Raffaele until near midnight or until about 23:30-24:00. He testified only once that he only saw Amanda and Raffaele until about 23:00. The court ignores the nine other statements and chooses to believe the one.
Testimony was completely ignored from a woman who set up a kiosk near Curatolo’s bench. The woman stated she saw Curatolo on the morning of the 2nd on the bench at 6:40am when she opened her kiosk. Curatolo claimed that he slept in the park and didn't get up till 8:30 or 9:00am. Curatolo stated that had a cappuccino at a bar before going to his bench.
Antonio Curatolo is not a credible witness.
A vehicle stalled outside the cottage near the entrance gate on the night of the murder. The owners of the vehicle called for assistance. The repairman testified receiving the call at around 22:30. The repairman testified that he arrived at around 23:00 and completed the repair at around 23:15-23:20. The defense argues that the court simply ignores the testimony of the owners of the stalled vehicle, who stated that it took 30 minutes or more for the serviceman to arrive. One witness said 40 minutes, and service records show it took 20 minutes to assign it and 20 minutes to drive there, or 40 minutes. So the repairman arrived at 11:20 to 11:25pm per witness testimony and the repair records. All involved said it took about 15 minutes to repair the vehicle. They left the scene as soon as the repair was completed, at around 11:35 to 11:40pm. There was no witness testimony of any activity at the cottage from 10:30pm until 11:35-11:40pm. This testimony conflicts with the testimony of Nara Capezzali who claimed there was a scream around 11:30pm.
This testimony is extremely important because these witnesses saw absolutely nothing at the cottage at the time that the court suggested the murder occurred. The court ignores this testimony. The witness testimony regarding the timeframe is confirmed by the repairman. There was no activity at the cottage from 10:30pm until 11:35-11:40pm according to this testimony.
This testimony supports the defense argument that the murder occurred at an earlier time. When the vehicle broke down in front of the cottage, the murder had already been committed and Rudy Guede had already fled the scene.
Testimony of Marco Quintavalle
The information contained in Amanda’s appeal is very similar to the arguments given in Raffaele’s appeal regarding Witness Marco Quintavalle. Here is the information we have regarding Marco Quintavalle.
Quintavalle is the store owner that testified that he saw Amanda in his store the morning after the murder. Quintavalle claimed Amanda was in the store and she was showing an urgency to buy something in the cleaning section but left without buying anything. Investigators checked Quintavalle's roll of tickets and found no bleach detergent was purchased. Yet the court concluded Amanda purchased bleach anyway. No bleach receipt was ever produced. In fact, there was already bleach at the cottage.
The court inexplicably ignored the testimony of Inspector Orestes Volturno who subsequently questioned Quintavalle after the initial questioning that happened within a day or so of the murder. Volturno's service record shows he questioned Quintavalle on November 19, 2007. The record makes it clear he was shown photos of Amanda and Raffaele and he said they had been to his store two or so times but not on November 2nd. and they were always together. The record shows Volturno went with officer Stephen Gubbiotti. The record indicates that they spoke with Quintavalle and then his two employees. On March 21, 2009 Volturno testifies to the same. Volturno showed Quintavalle pictures of Amanda and Raffaele and Quintavalle denied she was in his store on November 2, 2007.
Quintavalle only came forward almost a year later following contact with a reporter which ended up getting him on TV. Quintavalle claims Amanda was wearing a cap and scarf and she wore a grey jacket. Quintavalle states that he only saw the side of Amanda's face. Then he claims it was Amanda's blue eyes that he remembers despite earlier saying he never saw the front of her face. No grey coat was ever found to be part of Amanda's clothing and it doesn't match anything anyone else ever saw. Ana Marina Chiriboga who worked in the store was asked in October, 2008 if she had seen Amanda on November 2, 2007 and she said no which she repeated in court on June 26, 2009.
The testimony of Fabio Gioffredi
Gioffredi stated that he saw Amanda, Raffaele, Meredith and Rudy together on October 30, 2007 between 16:30 and 17:30. Raffaele's computer shows intensive human activity from 15:30 to 18:30 on that day. The prosecution had suggested that Raffaele went out for a walk leaving his computer on. Computer records show intensive human activity at that time that refutes the prosecution’s claims. Massei does not give any credibility to Gioffredi's testimony so this will most likely not be an issue on appeal. We believe the defense added this information in the appeal to further show that Raffaele and Rudy did not know each other. The three never met up before the murder and the defense states that it is “grotesque” and completely illogical to insinuate that a sexual assault and murder was orchestrated by complete strangers.
Unsupported Logic of the Massei Report
The court’s conclusions regarding key aspects of the case are not supported by any evidence or logic. The most logical conclusion is often overlooked because it does not fit into the court’s theory of the crime. It is not acceptable to cherry pick the details you like and to ignore the details you don’t like. This is not the proper path to take In search for the truth.
The court concludes that failure to achieve a solid alibi is sufficient proof that Amanda and Raffaele were present at the cottage at the time of the murder. Amanda and Raffaele spent the night together. The fact that there is no way for them to prove they spent the night in their own company does not mean that they were automatically at the cottage. Anyone who was home alone or with one other person in Perugia that night would have the same alibi. Proof is needed to show that they were indeed at the cottage at the time of the murder. That proof in nonexistent.
2. Transport of knife
The defense argues that the idea of Amanda carrying the giant kitchen knife around in her bag to protect herself is completely unrealistic. There is no logical scenario for Raffaele’s kitchen knife to be transported to the cottage. Raffaele never suggested to Amanda that she should carry around the large kitchen knife for protection.
3. No plausible scenario for an attack involving the 3 accused.
The defense argues that it is not realistic to believe that Amanda and Raffaele heard Meredith being attacked and decided to go join in and help Rudy. There is absolutely nothing in their past that would suggest this type of behavior. Raffaele would have been in a state of calm from smoking cannabis. Raffaele is a calm person and he is in a state of extreme calm when smoking cannabis according to witness testimony. Raffaele had never met Rudy. Why would he assume that Rudy would invite his help? Why wouldn’t Raffaele have concern for his own safety in this situation? When you stop and analyze the scenario suggested by the court, it is completely ridiculous.
4. Manga Comics
Manga comic books are Japanese comic books. Manga comics were retrieved from Raffaele's apartment during evidence collection. These comics have been misunderstood by the court. Manga comics are imaginary stories that are very popular with people of all ages. These comics have a large following and enthusiasts organize fairs and theme parties revolving around the comics. In essence, reading Japanese comics and collecting these comics is a hobby that is very common today as it was in the past. The discovery of these comics in Raffaele's apartment has no relevance at all to this case. These comics are trendy and popular with youth in all parts of the world and therefore irrelevant to the present events.
5. Smoking cannabis
The court suggested that smoking cannabis was an attributing factor that caused Amanda and Raffaele to participate in the attack of Meredith Kercher. This behavior would go against the normal affects of cannabis use. Professor Taglialatela, defense consultant, professor of pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Molise, explained in their effect intake of cannabinoids,
"the result is a state of relaxation and sedation, and then has a depressing psychological effect "
Gabriel Traverso, one of Raffaele’s friends, testified that cannabis use had a very relaxing affect on Raffaele. Gabriel stated that Raffaele would become very calm and often fall asleep. Others offer the same observation.
Scientific data clearly contradicts the allegations of the court on the effects of consumption of cannabis.
6. Amanda and Raffaele's relationship
The court concluded that Amanda and Raffaele’s relationship was purely sexual. This simply was not the case. There was tenderness between the two. The is evident by Laura Mezzetti's testimony. Laura stated: “he used to take care of her as though she were a little girl.”
Amanda mentioned how Raffaele washed her hair and cleaned her ears. He was very caring and gentle with Amanda. This was a new relationship that began at a classical music concert October 25. 2007. This was Raffaele’s first genuine relationship. It is not plausible to think that they were already seeking out new extremes. They were just getting to know each other. Their love was new. There was nothing to show they would have interest in an orgy or an act of violence.
7. Amanda lied so she must be guilty
The court considered guilt for both Amanda and Raffaele based on the fact that Amanda lied with regard to Patrick Lumumba.
Massei states: “She must be guilty because she lied and if she were innocent she would have no reason to lie”.
The defense argues that this simple deduction is invalid. According to investigators, Amanda named Lumumba in an attempt to deflect suspicion away from her. If Amanda had really wanted to blame Lumumba to deflect attention from herself, she would certainly not put herself at the crime scene. Although Amanda named Lumumba, she also unjustly accused herself. Amanda was overwhelmed by the situation she was in and she was heavily influenced by her interrogators to sign those statements. The court must also take the Supreme Court’s ruling into consideration when analyzing these statements.
There is no evidence that the statements were signed as a result of Amanda having learned that she was betrayed by Raffaele. Contrary to the assertion by the prosecution, in fact, the real reason justifying the abnormal behavior of Amanda is to be found in her personality: a weak and fragile girl, who finds refuge in the imagination from reality when the situation becomes too heavy for her.
Amanda was completely overwhelmed during her interrogation and there is no proof showing that she named Lumumba to throw off the investigators.
8. Confused Dinnertime
The defense argues that the court puts too much weight on the fact that Amanda was unsure about the time they ate dinner on the night of the murder. The times given by Amanda fluctuated from 22:00 to 23:00. Amanda is accused of making the time later to add to her alibi and cover the time of the murder. However, Amanda has always stated she did not remember exactly what time they had dinner. Amanda repeatedly stated during interrogation the night of November 6, 2007, that she had found it very difficult to remember the exact hours of dinner and the movie on November 01, 2007. During her June 12, 2009 testimony, Amanda stated: “we talked, we had dinner, and we had not left the apartment. I had not looked at the clock. I am not able to tell exactly that time I did everything.” Amanda also stated that she did not remember the exact events of the evening very well, and said “I think we were making dinner, but I am not sure.” She was asked if they ate dinner after the movie and she said “I think so.” It is a very arbitrary assumption that Amanda attempted to postpone the hour of dinner for an alibi based upon her stating she did not know the exact time lines of her activities. Instead she recounted as best she could these normal activities that are repeated everyday and hard to be framed in a time line. It is a common experience that two people in love might prolong or have intermittent consumption of food, without accurate times.
Rights of the accused were violated
The defense argues that Raffaele’s rights were not protected. Raffaele did not have a lawyer present during interrogation. Proper paperwork was not filed before interrogation procedures took place. Raffaele’s right to an attorney was delayed.
The defense argues that documentation was withheld. They request that all documents be released for review. These documents pertain to all aspects of DNA testing. Laboratory documents were incomplete with regard to the knife and the bra clasp.
The actual DNA testing dates were withheld. The DNA testing dates are vital because they would show that Meredith's blood and DNA were analyzed in the days immediately before the knife DNA testing, providing additional evidence that the low copy number DNA results were from contamination. The knife would have been tested in a lab environment containing abundant amounts of Meredith's DNA. Documents containing this information must be released to the defense.
Documentation related to the bra clasp was missing some of the steps that were taken during analysis. All steps should be provided with nothing omitted. The credibility of this piece of evidence is discussed in great detail in the beginning of the appeal. There is no excuse for these documents to be withheld.
Holding back crucial information violates the defendant’s right to a proper defense. All documentation must be made available to the defense. This request should be granted on appeal.
The defense argues that the sentence lacks any motive. The court failed to explain why the defendants made the “wrong choice” in committing this grotesque and bloody murder. This crime was described by the court to be random. Providing no motive for such a crime is simply not acceptable. Cases involving only circumstantial evidence require a motive. Extraordinary accusations require extraordinary proof. During the preliminary hearings nothing was shown in terms of motivation to support such an adversarial situation. The report states that the crime was the result of “sexual violent erotic nature” which originated from the bad choice made by Rudy Guede. The court suggests that Rudy ended up receiving “the active collaboration of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.”
This assumption by the court is all based upon the attraction of humans and violence, forgetting that criminal process is based on facts and evidence, not presumptions that determine the burden of proof. The court’s report discusses how Amanda and Raffaele made love, did hashish and were always together and very affectionate. The court exaggerates their relationship and concludes that it was inappropriate that there was such a strong attraction between the two. The court goes on to present convoluted speculation which is beyond most imaginative novels. The court states that Rudy was carried away by the situation and considered a sexual solicitation yielding to lust and went into Meredith’s room. The court believes that the attack was Rudy’s own decision and not suggested by Amanda & Raffaele. The court indicates that Meredith’s immediate rejection of Rudy was heard by Amanda & Raffaele, who were being intimate in Amanda’s room, and so they heard Meredith resisting Rudy and went to Meredith’s room and immediately decided to help Rudy sexually attack Meredith.
The court creates this illogical scenario despite Amanda and Raffaele’s good qualities and absolutely no history of any violence, that when they both went into Meredith’s room they instantly made a choice of extreme evil. The court suggests that choice began with drug use which is completely contradicted by all of the evidence presented regarding cannabis use. Cannabis makes users calm, not aggressive.
The court tries to support how two young lovers would participate in this crime. There is no history of violence and no logical reason to support this action. The court claims that Raffaele was influenced by watching sexual movies and reading comic books in which sexuality is accompanied by violence. Such a view by the court is not realistic. That strict view would apply to the vast majority of young people and make them all potential murderers by those standards. Most literature and movies are based upon strong language and violent images and they do not turn viewers into homicidal maniacs.
Thus, the decision by the court seems to confuse motive with a mere state of mind. This point was raised in a December 17, 2009 court ruling where it was ruled improper to confuse state of mind with a motive in deciding guilt. The motive in circumstantial based cases must be made upon finding evidence of a rationale for committing the criminal actions and must then support other evidence to prove liability. The courts negative view of Amanda & Raffaele does not follow from the image of two young and new lovers, they had no need to seek excitement or worse, violence. The court's ruling appears to be more of an out modeled concept of criminal law which used to establish guilt by judging people by their lifestyle. This type of conception was rejected long ago and was determined to be wrong. This ruling hinges on the alleged and unproven character of two young people involving facts such as comic books that are irrelevant and lack guidance for reconstruction of a motive.
Accordingly, the sentence failed to establish a valid motive which is very much needed to assist in establishing that someone had reasons for murder which led them to so act. Motive is only less important when the crime is clearly evident from other aspects of objective fact. In this case, based upon circumstantial evidence, motive is extremely necessary to understand why they would have a willingness to kill. As the defense has stated repeatedly, the trial failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the responsibility of the accused or prove existence of a valid cause. The court has failed to show evidence to respond to the various hypotheses suggested by the defense on issues which combat elements of a valid accusation. The absence of clear evidence of liability and lacking any response to the defense alternative means finding a cause cannot be ignored. This is both because the uncertainty of circumstantial evidence fails to surpass the threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt”, and a motive is needed to understand the “catalyst” which is used to increase the efficiency of the probative evidence. It is clear that the rule of beyond a reasonable doubt cannot be satisfied when the sentencing decision is based upon a judicial finding not supported by rational certainty.
The defense argues that the court’s ruling is in sharp contrast to the requirements of the canon of “beyond a reasonable doubt” set forth in art. 533, 1st co. CPP which limits the freedom of belief of the judge to prevent subjective choice. This ruling is rooted on dubious presumptions, mere suspicion, and many hypotheses without any interest, that leads to different readings that are mutually incompatible nor reflected on a rational plane. Absolute uncertainty emerges from the decision including the radical absence of a motive, sudden materialization of a second weapon (never found) pages 401 and 404, lack of any witnesses who saw any of the accused enter the house, the lack of any evidence that Raffaele knew Rudy at all, unreliability of phone activity, circumstantial evidence that lacks the necessary consistency and all done according to the sentence based upon “purely random contingencies” (page 422). The framework reveals obvious inconsistencies that raise prima facie serious doubts about the ways in which the sentence demonstrates the responsibility of Raffaele Sollecito. There is a fundamental difference between suspicion and evidence which the Supreme Court has clarified by stating that suspicion is merely a hypothetical reasoning or argument, a source of conclusions only in terms of possibilities. In this case the decision is revealed without the necessary seriousness due to so many unknown facts to be determined, and lacks uniqueness, and precision which allows significant alternative sources of questionable assessments.
Two items leave an understanding of the irrationality of the decision, the lack of motive and the second knife. The decision tries to overcome the lack of casual motive by stating the accused made “the wrong choice.” Apart from the senselessness of this inference, and the absence of any factual finding, the reference to “evil” is the result of the courts prior assessment of values, which is really just an obvious foundation of any crime. There is always a negative choice. The point is the sentence cannot presuppose something that is so vague and insignificant to the accused. The court takes actions like being youthful, watching movies and reading books and tries make them look like indicators of deviance. It is too easy to lay the basis of alleged involvement in the crime as an unspecified “wrong choice” of the accused. There is no reliable evidence to base the assessment of guilt on the suspect. It seems unlikely that two youths who are described as calm, diligent, available to scholars and workers would make a “choice of evil”. No one reported any violent acts or assaults, or intimidation by the defendants to the detriment of anyone in the past (Page 421).
The attempt to overcome the uncertainties about the murder weapon and to try an overcome the insurmountable difference between the characteristics of the kitchen knife and the injuries caused the prosecution to bring a second knife into the case. Yet forensics ruled out DNA on Raffaele’s knifes, the second knife has never been found, and the results obtained from exhibit 36 (the kitchen knife) are completely unreliable and do not allow any conclusion on the genetic profile. The presence of the knife at the scene is based upon a purely fanciful hypothesis that Amanda carried the knife in a large bag to deter potential attackers. This is not based upon any factual evidence, it is pure unfounded speculation made up by the court. If the court’s claims are true, every woman with a large bag should be considered to be carrying a large knife for protection for deadly use if necessary. The bra hook, exhibit 165B, is also either the result of contamination or is incompatible with the genetic profile of Raffaele. The court should have ordered new testing given the unsteady nature of the investigation. This further shows how the trial decision is based upon mere suspicion, devoid of evidence that must be presented when there is a lack certainty and precision, not held together by any motive.
These reasons are enough to show strongly the doubt which is prescribed in Article 192, paragraph 2, c.p.p. “The existence of a fact cannot be inferred from evidence unless they are serious, precise and consistent.” None of the facts taken into account in the court’s decision and underlying the guilt of the accused may be assessed in terms of certainty or severity. Evidence requires that a fact is logically deduced with only one result. Each fact must show indication of logical certainty of the existence of fact to be proved. So, before considering the whole of the evidence, the court should have adequately tested the qualitative value of each individual clue. A fact unknown can only be proven by evidence of certainty. If there are multiple results obtained during the course of evidence collection, the judge cannot just settle for just one clue. All aspects of the evidence must be considered. Circumstantial evidence must consist of more clues, not just one, and when taken together they must be uniquely consistent with the fact to be proven. Evidence must be consistent and connected to a single cause or single effect, or thus determined to infer the absence of a fact. The sentence in this case argued the criminal involvement of Raffaele and Amanda not in terms of probability bordering certainty but on mere possibility, that is “purely random contingencies under which they went to merge with each other, creating a situation which, in combination of factors, made the possible crimes to the detriment of Meredith” (page 422).
There were no witnesses to support Amanda and Raffaele’s presence at the cottage on the night of the murder. The court’s decision is based upon mere intuition because they suddenly found themselves without any obligation, meet by chance Rudy Guede (despite no proof whatsoever) and go to the cottage home where Meredith is alone. There is never any proof of animosity or feelings of resentment by the accused against Meredith, which makes the random realization of the offense by Raffaele and Amanda a mere possibility that cannot be confirmed. Reasonable Doubt requires a degree of confirmation. It can only leave out remote possibility. The duty to condemn someone in a criminal justice system must be on only the basis of proof of the facts that is almost equal to certainty in principle as a necessary complement to protecting the innocent and to prevent state power to be used as a weapon.
Italian law states that the Beyond a Reasonable Doubt rule should be used to guide the judge’s assessment of circumstantial evidence. The BARD formula should be applied to all facts of the case as indicated in art. 187 cpp the “facts that relate to” the charge, the offense and the determination of the sentence or detention order. This conviction violates the second paragraph of Article 1 533 cpp because it is based upon contradictory evidence and uncertainty that is plausible and reasonable doubt and is able to neutralize the argument of the prosecution as prescribed by Article exculpatory, 530 paragraph 2, ccp. This is especially true when there is no motive, and in upholding the fundamental constitutional principles of the presumption of innocence referred to in Art. 27 and the respect, dignity and inviolable rights of man. (Article 2 and 3 of the Constitution). Only in the case of civil proceedings is the less stringent rule of court “more probably than not” used because in criminal cases the values at stake are much different. “Reasonable Doubt” must be understood as a mere possible doubt that is not merely abstract or imaginary, but becomes practical and reasonable. It is a rule of evidence that is not only a fundamental constitutional principle, but it is an implementation of an essential pillar of a liberal democracy. In this case the prosecution is unable to rationally exclude the possible alternative explanations proposed by the defense. All the prosecution did was re-shuffle the cards of accusatory function by making up a second knife and demonstrated an unwillingness to meet the demands of the inquiry made by the defense in requesting new expert examination of the evidence. Today requires a conclusion of acquittal, as there is a total lack of a valid reason to support the reconstruction proposed by the prosecution. The judge must find a valid reason as a catalyst and motive must play a crucial role in circumstantial cases. There is no credible and rational motive. The court should reform the ruling appealed due to the absence of other serious and substantial facts based upon the insufficient and contradictory evidence that the accused committed the offense.