Several news agencies reported today that Italian prosecutors will be requesting a life sentence for Amanda Knox, the American study abroad student sentenced for the murder of Meredith Kercher, a study abroad student from England.
Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini submitted a 13-page file requesting the increase in Ms. Knox’s stay in prison. He was reported to have said, “In their post-verdict report the judges said this was a murder for purely casual reasons, and if that is the case then this is a crime that calls for the maximum penalty of life.”
This is not the first time that Mignini has requested a life sentence for Ms. Knox. The Italian court decided, at her original sentencing, to give Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito (her boyfriend at the time) a lower term – due to their young ages and lack of prior arrest.
Reports have also surfaced accusing the Italian forensic police department of bias toward Ms. Knox. This is based on a photograph (above) of Ms. Knox talking with investigators from the Italian forensic police department the day after the murder, while outside of the house where she and Ms. Kercher resided. This photograph was supposedly hung on their office wall, alongside renowned murderers, 3 months after she was arrested. Italian law, like US law, is supposed to assume that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It is also noted that the 2 men charged with the murder (Mr. Sollecito and Mr. Rudy Guede) did not have photographs on the “wall of fame”, implying bias against Ms. Knox.
My previous postings indicate that this is a very difficult and complex case with two very firm camps – The Knox camp, claiming her innocence and finding it impossible that she could be found guilty with no DNA or physical evidence appearing in the room where the murder took place, and the Kercher Camp, mourning the young victim, Meredith Kercher, whose throat was slashed while she was left to die.
Ms. Knox’s attorneys are preparing her appeal, expected to be filed soon.