Published November 06, 2013
In Amanda Knox’s third Italian murder trial, testimony was given that the knife alleged to be the murder weapon shows a trace of DNA evidence that belongs to Knox. This testimony was given by Andrea Berti, a court-appointed expert, and supports the claim of the Defense that the knife entered as evidence is not the weapon used in the 2007 murder. The knife was found in a drawer in Knox’s boyfriend’s kitchen, and her attorney continues to maintain that it contained her DNA because she had used the knife to prepare food. The Defense also points out that the existence of the DNA indicates that the knife hadn’t been washed, “It is absurd to use it for a murder and put it back in the drawer.” Knox and her boyfriend were convicted of the murder in 2009, but the convictions were overturned on appeal in 2011 and she returned to the US where she remains. She is not compelled under Italian law to return for the trial. Italy’s highest court ordered a second appeals trial, citing as one of the errors leading to its vacating of the acquittal the fact the appeals court in Perugia failed to test the tiny trace of DNA on the blade. The Prosecution insists that the knife is indeed the murder weapon because it matches the victim’s wounds, and their tests show that the victim’s DNA is on the blade, and Knox’s is on the handle. Review conducted during the first appeal discredited that evidence and pointed to errors in the collection of evidence and the DNA testing conducted.
The Italian legal system does not include any protection against double jeopardy guaranteed by the US Constitution. The continuation of this case seems to be an illustration of the value of our Fifth Amendment. There is no statute of limitations on the charge of murder, and it appears that the Italian legal system can continue with successive trials until they get the result they want, or the result that the public demands.