Q: What is the current status of the case? Why are they having another trial?
A: In Italy, each case goes through 3 levels: First there is the initial trial, then the case is sent for automatic appeal. The appeal trial is essentially a new trial, consisting of a full review of the first trial plus any additional information that court chooses to review. The third stage is the Italian Court of Cassation (Supreme Court), which has to confirm the ruling of the appeal court before the case is finalized.
Amanda and Raffaele were convicted of murder in the first trial and acquitted in the appeal trial. The Supreme Court then rejected the verdict in the appeal trial, and ordered that the case be sent back to the appellate level for review. The appellate court then reinstated the guilty verdicts from the first trial. The appellate court will release a motivation document detailing the reasoning behind their ruling, then Amanda and Raffaele will appeal to the Italian Supreme Court.
Q. If Amanda and Raffaele didn't kill Meredith Kercher, who did?
A. Rudy Guede. His DNA, finger prints, and shoe prints were found at the crime scene, where he had never been before that night. He admits to having been there with Meredith at the time of the murder. He has been convicted of the murder and is currently serving his prison sentence. Click here to see more about the case against Rudy Guede.
Q. Why were Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito accused as well?
A. Because the local Perugian prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, pursued a theory that several people were involved although the evidence does not support this.
Q. How do we know that Amanda and Raffaele did not make a date with Rudy and go over to mess with Meredith? Maybe something got out of hand?
A: Amanda had met Rudy once at a party, and Raffaele had never met Rudy at all. There is no record of Amanda or Raffaele ever calling, texting or emailing Rudy (or vice versa), and they were never seen together. It makes no sense that they decided to get together to do anything, and there is not a spec of evidence they ever did.
Q. Do Amanda and Raffaele have an alibi?
A. Yes – they were together at Raffaele’s place. They are just like thousands of people all over the world who don't have absolute proof they were home in bed together. The prosecutors made sure to accuse both of them so one could not vouch for the other. There is no reliable witness that ever saw them out that night, and no CCTV footage was ever found of either of them out that night.
Q. Is there any evidence against Amanda and Raffaele that would convince a court in the USA or UK?
A. No. In the USA or UK they would not have even been charged, much less convicted. It was only because the prosecutor declared them guilty publicly before the evidence was collected, and then refused to admit his mistake.
Q. What about the DNA evidence that was said to implicate Amanda and Raffaele?
A. There was no DNA evidence that would satisfy a court in the UK or USA. DNA evidence presented by the prosecution was mishandled and misrepresented. See our pages on The Knife, and The Bra Clasp for more information.
Q. I have read people on the internet, saying that Amanda must be guilty because of the "mixed DNA" at the cottage. That sounds incriminating, what about that?
A: The killer washed off Meredith's blood in Amanda's bathroom, where she washed up and brushed her teeth every day. Of course her DNA is in there -- my DNA is in my bathroom, and your DNA is in your bathroom. Residual DNA is not evidence of anything. Click here to read more about the DNA evidence.
Q: Wasn't there a bloody footprint in that bathroom? Certainly the person that left that must have been involved in the murder.
A: Yes. Unfortunately, the partial footprint was made in a mixture of blood and water on a textured carpet bathmat, and it is not clear who left it. The prosecution tried to prove it is Raffaele's, and others have claimed it is a closer match to Rudy's foot. Raffaele's defense expert presented clear evidence in court that the measurements of the print do not match Raffaele's foot. Click here for more on the bathmat print.
Q: I have seen references to a "staged break in". Is there evidence that confirms this?
A: No. Rudy Guede had been caught breaking into offices and homes in the days prior to Meredith's murder. The police thought the crime scene looked staged, but the evidence does not support this. Forensic engineer Ron Hendry did a detailed analysis of the crime scene, which is available here.
Q. Were there any credible witnesses who could place Amanda and Raffaele at the crime scene?
A. No. The only people at the cottage at the time of the murder were the victim Meredith Kercher and her killer Rudy Guede. No credible witness has said otherwise. See our section on witnesses for details.
Q. It seems like it should be easier to prove Amanda and Raffaele were at the cottage that night if they killed Meredith. Did the police check for blood on their clothes?
A. All of their clothes, including every article of clothing they wore that night, all tested negative for blood and had absolutely no visible signs of being worn during a violent attack. Rudy Guede had so much blood on his clothing and shoes that he had to throw them away to keep them from the police (per his own admission).
Q. What about their so-called suspicious behavior?
A. People always try to decide how others should act if they were in their position. Amanda and Raffaele were shocked and scared by the murder, and did not do anything wrong afterwards. Innocent behavior like kissing your boyfriend, or buying underwear because you have no clothing to wear (her home was a sealed crime scene) was spun by the police and media to make Amanda and Raffeale look like criminals. They did nothing that indicates they are guilty of anything.
Q: If the prosecutors are so sure Amanda and Raffaele killed Meredith, what do they think was the motive?
A: They don't have a motive. First, the prosecutor speculated the murder might have been part of some satanic ritual, because it happened the day after Halloween. Then, he tried the idea that the murder was the result of a sex game that got out of hand, even though there is no evidence of this, or of either of the defendants ever participating in any "sex games" before. Next, the prosecutor argued that perhaps Amanda was angry at Meredith because they had had a disagreement about cleaning the cottage. Finally, he decided that we don't know what the motive is. Read more about the prosecution's theory of the case here.
Q. I've read that Amanda "confessed". What is that about?
A. She didn't confess, she was coerced into providing information implicating another person. She was interrogated for hours by over a dozen police officers in a foreign language without a lawyer, in the middle of the night while she was sleep deprived, until she agreed to sign a statement that was written by a police officer in Italian, a language she did not understand. She described a confused, fatigue and terror induced ‘vision’. The police based their case on this interrogation, which would not have been allowed in the UK or USA. There is no recording of the interrogation, even though Italian law says interrogations with suspects should be recorded.
Q: Why did Amanda accuse an innocent man of the crime? Why would she do that if she is not involved?
A: She didn't "accuse" Patrick Lumumba. During her interrogation, the police demanded to know what she was hiding, insisting that she must know something, and that she was lying when she told them, over and over, that she did not know anything. The police discovered that the last message on Amanda's phone that night was to Patrick, and they accused her of meeting up with him that night, and also suggested to her that maybe she repressed the memory. Confused and scared, she tried to imagine what might have happened if what the police were saying was true. Click here for more details on the interrogation.
Q: OK, so there are two black men involved here? Someone told me that the guy Amanda accused is in jail for the crime. That seems wrong, but what is the deal?
A: Patrick Lumumba and Rudy Guede are two completely separate people. Patrick never had anything to do with the murder, and was released after the police realized he had an alibi. Amanda never accused Rudy, he was arrested and convicted based on the strong evidence against him. This case is not about race, and the only thing similar about Patrick and Rudy is that they are both originally from Africa.
Q: This website takes a pretty strong stance that Amanda and Raffaele are innocent. How can you really know for sure?
A: Our opinion is based purely on the evidence. If there was evidence that clearly showed that they were involved in the murder, this website would not exist. We urge you to review the evidence for yourself, and see if you can find anything at all that shows that they were involved.
Q: Has anyone checked into Amanda and Raffaele's backgrounds? They must have done something mean or violent before.
A: After the two were arrested for Meredith's murder, reporters and police investigators went in search of such a history of bad acts and/or lawbreaking. And they couldn't find anything. Neither had ever been arrested before, and despite the lure of handfuls of money from tabloid reporters in the UK, they couldn't find anyone who would say that either of them was even a little bit violent. There was so little information that reporters actually tried to make a big story out of a ticket that Amanda had received because of a college party where the music was too loud.
Q: If the case is not over, and they still stand accused of Meredith Kercher's murder, why would Raffaele and Amanda be writing books?
A: These two young people have spent over 5 years defending themselves against unfair and unfounded charges. During their trials, Amanda and Raffaele were forced to sit idly by while their good names have been trashed by the media. Now that they are free, they both have every right to tell their side of the story.