I am sure more than a few people will think the title to this post is, well, overly optimistic, but to those people I would say- To think otherwise is being overly pessimistic. Besides, there are many different ways this appeal can go and yet it can still be considered a win for Amanda. I am however thinking that she will win the whole thing. Why? Because of a combination of facts, common sense, and some faith in the appeals court to do the right thing based on the evidence.
It is the job of the appeals court to judge the verdict of the original trial court. The verdict, and how that verdict was reached, and an important part of that is the judge's 'Motivation Report' on how the judge and jury came to their conclusions. Now I will say outright that anyone who thinks that the Massei Motivation report validly supports their guilty verdict has either not read the report, or they are simply a few bricks short of a full load- or an extreme case of denial is in motion. It is not the purpose of this post however to go over the motivation report and how it's cheese slipped off the cracker- that is the job of the appeals court. We are going to stick to reality here, and show how and why the original court came to the wrong conclusions.
Even when it happened, and that guilty verdict came down in Decemeber 2009, few people really understood what had happened. Most people who didn't know about 'low copy number DNA or luminol revealed footprints, simply read the newspapers to try and get a grasp on this case- and yes, the jurors sitting in on the case were allowed to read the news also. Problem was, most of the journalist didn't know what the hell those things were either so most of the news was filled with 'the prosecutor says' and 'the defense says' and how Amanda looked in court, how she smiled, inaccurate quotes from her diary, and that damn cartwheel. And the prosecutor Mignini had to have been amused by all of it. After all- most of the confusion was his doing.
Even before the trial started Mignini was hard at work leaking false information to the press- Phony bleach receipts, misquotes from Amanda's diary, overblown sexual references, giving Amanda's personal papers to the press for publication, phony witnesses, and on and on. All for the sole purpose of trying to make her look as bad as possible before the trial even got started. And it worked like a charm.
After the trial started the smoke and mirrors act continued to the point where it can be stated as fact that the prosecution mislead the court in much of it's presentation of the 'evidence'. In the end, what those jurors believed were signs of guilt, had very little to do with reality. As Mignini made his case on one half truth after another, with a lot of speculation to the point of absurdity at times, the jury seemed to be buying it. What they did not seem to care for was the arguments of the defense- with some of the jurors catnapping while the defense stated their side of things. The following are some of the things presented by the prosecution with the intent to mislead:
The bloody footprint on the bathroom mat was not Raffaele's as an examination of the print on the mat compared with prints of the feet of Raffaele and Rudy Guede show- the print appears much more like Guede's than Raffaele. The print was not a good piece of evidence to begin with as there was no DNA for a match and since it was just a partial print on a cloth surface it really was not what you would call damning evidence. Yet that did not stop Mignini from giving the court the impression it was Raffaele's, with no proof to back it up.
Next you have the so-called mixed DNA of Meredith and Amanda. Now I do believe that really sounded like incriminating evidence to the court but the reality is that there is absolutely nothing unusual about it. Anyone, and I mean anyone who shares a living space with another person is going to mix their DNA with the other person. Now a lot of this mixed DNA came from the bathroom but Meredith and Amanda shared that bathroom- both their DNA was all over the place in there and some of course would become mixed. Forensic experts know this is nothing- its a common occurrence when two people co-inhabit the same space. Yet to listen to Mignini in court on this issue (as with others) you would think he just discovered how to split the atom, when in fact he was only hoodwinking the jury.
And he continued along those lines to produce another illusion for the court- the footprints in the corridor of the flat. revealed with luminol (a substance that turns bright blue in the dark when in contact with iron- usually used to detect traces of blood). Now to listen to Mignini on this one you would get the impression that someone had been tracking Meredith's blood all over the place with their feet, and all the time subtly insinuating that it was Amanda. Now first off- in reality- no one tested the footprints for blood or if they did- it wasn't blood, and to top it off their was no DNA of Amanda found in the footprints. Of course Mignini didn't tell them that.
Then you have Mignini selling them the story about the murder weapon which was not the murder weapon. It was a large kitchen knife taken from Raffaele's home where the knife was in with the rest of the knives and silverware. It has been dubbed the "double DNA knife" (drama huh?). It was found to have Amanda's DNA on the handle and an extremely small amount of Meredith's DNA on the blade. Now that indeed sounds incriminating except that- as was stating in court- the knife was too big to match the wounds on Meredith. Also the knife was tested for blood- and none was found, but, a tiny amount of Meredith's DNA was found on the blade (so they say) but this was not found under normal testing. When tested for DNA the machine registered "Too Low" so the machine was altered and altered until finally it came up with something the prosecution states is Meredith's DNA. However, as most forensic experts will tell you- the amount of DNA of Meredith's found was so tiny an amount that is was probably the result of contamination- due to the lab not being qualified to do this kind of testing, contamination is almost a given- yet they did it anyway. Now Amanda's DNA on the handle is no mystery at all as she was living at Raffaele's house on and off and had touched all the silverware and knifes there when cooking and doing the dishes. Yet the court did not seem to wonder about the fact there was no blood found on the knife that was suppose to have been use to stab Meredith. Yet a knife that was not compatible with the wounds inflicted- go figure.
It is not the purpose of this post to go over every piece of evidence, but hopefully the appeals court will. My purpose was to show that a lot of what was believed true, is in fact not true, and even today there are more than a few people who are not aware that a lot of the myths of this case have been proven false. After the appeals court reviews the evidence I think Amanda is going to win the whole thing- finally. There won't be a magic act this time- just the truth backed up with facts, or in the case of Mignini's presentation and the motivation report- the lack of facts.
With an evaluation of the original trial court and the 'evidence' used to convict, the court of appeals is not going to be falling for any Mignini type tactics "Fool me once- shame on you. Fool me twice-shame on me". Think about it, this is not the kind of case that can hold up under close examination- it's going to fall and fall hard. And the world will be watching.
I have not of course mentioned anything about the fact there was no motive, no history of violence for Amanda, the weak testimony of the prosecution's witnesses, the wrong time of death, etc... because most of those things are generally undisputed. I tried to present the common myths of the case. Not that this post will stop a certain group who hate Amanda from believing what they want. I still expect to see some of these people on the comment board yelling "Oh yeah, what about the fact that Amanda tracked Meredith's blood all over the house?" Some lies never die.