I have long been a fan of Ann Coulter, but she sometimes sticks her foot in her mouth. She did so when she stupidly called VP candidate John Edwards a "faggot" at the CPAC conference, and she did so tonight on the O'Reilly Factor in asserting that Amanda Knox was actually guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher, based on evidence that has been convincingly refuted.
Coulter claims that Amanda's "confession" under duress is proof of Knox's guilt and points to the kitchen knife as additional proof. The kitchen knife in question had Knox's DNA on the handle (meaning only that Knox used it for food preparation); it also had trace amounts of someone's DNA on the blade tip (the prosecution claimed it was Kercher's). [Update: experts in the appeals trial have now stated that there was no blood on the kitchen knife at all -- just trace amounts of DNA.] However, the alleged Kercher DNA was too small to measure and was not admissible as evidence. That didn't prevent the prosecution from alleging it anyway.
Coulter did not respond to the fact that clear, bloody impressions of the actual knife (on Kercher's bedsheet) did not match the kitchen knife at all. Furthermore, expert testimony stated that the wounds on Kercher's neck could not have been made with the kitchen knife. But, Coulter says, the kitchen knife had been cleaned. Gee, imagine that, someone washed a kitchen utensil after using it -- who would have guessed?
Coulter also stated that Sollecito's "bloody fingerprint" was found on Kercher's bra strap, but none of the accounts I have read state that is the case. They state that a small amount of Sollecito's DNA was found on the bra strap, which was handled and moved several times without being protected from contamination. [Update: it has now been disclosed that the bra strap lay on the floor, under a rug, for 47 days before being found and that it bore trace amounts of DNA from several people (no doubt from dander). There was no "bloody fingerprint" at all, and the bra strap should never have been introduced as evidence.]
Further, Coulter repeats the prosecution's claim that a window was broken to make the crime appear to be the result of a break-in. However, no evidence has been provided to show that it was Knox or Sollecito who broke the window -- perhaps it was broken by Guede for that purpose, whose bloody fingerprints were found in abundance in Kercher's bedroom. [It has since been established that the broken window was indeed used by Guede to gain entrance to the residence.]
Ann Coulter claims that the CBS analyst Peter Van Sant, who earlier defended Knox on O'Reilly was not to be believed because he is "a liberal."
It may be that Amanda Knox was somehow involved in the murder, but the evidence to that effect is highly underwhelming. I'd love to see a head to head debate on the issue by Coulter and Van Sant.
Ann Coulter, you disappoint me.
See the Times description of this evidence here.
Update: Since I posted this, I have come to believe that Amanda Knox and Raffael Sollecito are innocent of the crime. See Injustice in Perugia, a site detailing the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffael Sollecito.
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