Though she was reportedly reconvicted in the murder of her one-time roommate Meredith Kercher due to DNA evidence, American Amanda Knox may be able to prove her innocence at an appeals trial due to claims that the evidence is invalid.
According to KOMO News, a presentation by two scientists at a conference for trial attorneys in Chicago used the Knox case as proof for when DNA evidence can be considered invalid in a murder trial. The presentation, by experts Greg Hampikian and Tom Zupancic, reportedly focused one rrors that were made while police collected DNA at the crime scene, claiming it compromised the investigation, and caused for prosecutors to reach erroneous conclusions.
The experts, who have both advocated for Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the past, used Italian police video showing the collection of DNA from Kercher's bra clasp ti prove that the so-called evidence pointing to Knox and Sollecito may be invalid because it was mishandled from the beginning.
The presentation also pointed out that Italian technicians previously admitted they had not changed gloves during the collection of key evidence, which allowed it to be compromised and therefore inadmissible in court.
"American attorneys...we're stunned to hear how Italian forensic analysts and prosecutors connected to the Knox-Sollecito case manipulated and withheld evidence in this case," Zupancic said. "Such behavior would never have been tolerated in the American system. It shows an inherent contempt for fairness, the concept of justice and is a serious breach of acceptable judicial practices."
Knox, Sollecito and a third man, Rudy Guede, were all arrested in connection to Kercher's death back in 2007. While Guede was convicted of murder and given a 16-year sentence, Knox and SOllecito pleaded not guilty and served four years in an Italian prison before their convictions were overturned in 2011.
However, in January of this year, the Italian Court reconvicted Knox and Sollectio at a trial that was reportedly focused on DNA evidence. Sollecito received a 25-year sentence, while Knox was hit with a 28-year one.
The Nencini report, which detailed the reason behind Knox and Sollecito's reconvictions, was released in April, and also detailed other reasons outside of reported DNA evidence for the decision. , including the presence of multiple knife wounds on Kercher's body which left reason for prosecutors to believe that multiple assailants were involved, as well as reports that Kercher and Knox had quarreled over money on the day of the murder.
After the findings were released, Knox appeared on CNN to maintain her innocence again, saying that the motives were all false.
"I did not kill my friend," she said. "I did not wield a knife, I had no reason to. In the month that we were living together, we were becoming friends. A week before the murder occurred we wnt out to a classical music concert together. We never fought."
She also reiterated that the lack of DNA evidence at the crime scene further proved that both she and Sollecito were not involved.
"There is no trace of us. If Rudy Guede committed this crime, which he did, we know that because his DNA's there, on Meredith's body, around Meredith's body, his handprints and footprints in her blood," she said. "None of that exists for me, and if I were there, I would have had traces of Meredith's broken body on me, and I would have left traces of myself around Meredith's corpse, and I am not there, and that proves my innocence."
Now that the reasoning for the reconvictions has been released, the verdict has officially been opened to appeals by both Knox and Sollecito. However, if the Supreme Court of Cassation confirms the convictions, Sollecito, who is still in Italy, will be brought to prison.
Knox, who resides in Seattle, Wash., could then become the focus of a potentially long extradition fight between the U.S. and Italy.