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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Amanda Knox Found Guilty
Aired December 4, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION" CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, breaking news -- American exchange student Amanda Knox guilty -- sobbing as she was sentenced 26 years in an Italian prison for murdering her roommate. We've got reaction from her parents, her aunt, friends and legal experts.
Plus, we'll go live to the courthouse in Italy.
Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Jim Moret from "INSIDE EDITION" sitting in tonight for Larry King.
Let's get right to the Amanda Knox breaking news.
We'll go now to CNN's Paula Newton, who's in Perugia, Italy -- Paula, tell us about the verdict and the reaction.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Jim, a guilty verdict for both Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Really, in the courtroom, the judge read the verdict dispassionately. The other seven jurors refused to look at the defendants. Amanda Knox slumped in her seat and sobbed as her defense lawyer tried to comfort her.
But, Jim, I have to say that the family and Amanda Knox herself were well prepared for a guilty verdict. And the reason is that they had heard through many people, the jury had effectively made up its mind. The prosecution, I had spoken to them throughout the day, seemed very confident. The jury, Jim, deliberating, really, for less than 12 hours, less than an hour on each count. And I'm not even counting lunch and dinner.
There was that sense that with all the media exposure, that, really, these two defendants were going to be found guilty even before this trial actually got underway -- Jim.
MORET: And, Paula, the system there in Italy is different. There were six jurors. Two of them were judges. Six are lay people. And you -- you only need a majority.
So do we really know if everyone on that jury voted for guilty or -- or do we have to wait for that?
NEWTON: We -- we wait. Sometimes they don't disclose that and it could be up to 90 days.
But what is key here is that it does go in the defense's favor if there is any kind of tie, if someone has to break the tie, the people from the public take precedence.
They may not tell us. Perhaps -- it is unlikely that it was unanimous. But, really, throughout this trial, Jim, we didn't get any indication that the jury was actually believing Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. We always got the sense, really, from everyone that we spoke to, the jury was really glued to what the prosecution had to say about these cases.
And, Jim, you know from covering the O.J. Simpson trial, there were so many contradictory things said about what evidence existed, what didn't exist -- so many facts that were first leaked to the media. And then it was up to each side to really defend that stand and that leak in court -- Jim.
MORET: And here, in addition to a verdict, we -- we also hear a sentence, isn't that correct?
There's, what, 26 years for Amanda and her boyfriend 25?
NEWTON: Yes. And what's going to be key here now -- I mean the prosecutor had asked for 30. But now, through this appeals process -- and many people will tell you, Jim, that here in Italy, look, if you're accused, you're normally found guilty and then you try and overturn a lot of things that you see deficient with the prosecution and the evidence. You try and get that overturned on appeal.
That is where the family's efforts are focused right now and reducing those sentences, even if the verdict can't be overturned, is key here.
I also want to mention, Jim, that it was key to the Meredith Kercher family. And that is the victim in all this. They do feel that the guilty parties now have been brought to justice.
The other thing that happened, $7.5 million was awarded to the Meredith Kercher family from both Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. And that will mean, Jim, that they most likely will not be able to profit from anything to do with this trial. The money, first and foremost, going to the Kercher family.
MORET: And -- and it's important to -- to remember we -- we did see there was a victim in this case. And, clearly, her family is somewhat relieved that this is ending.
But, obviously, for Amanda's family, this nightmare is still going on.
I want to read now a statement from Amanda's parents. They issued a statement and it reads, in part: "We are extremely disappointed in the verdict rendered today against our daughter. While we always knew that this was a possibility, we find it difficult to accept this verdict when we know that she is innocent and that the prosecution has failed to explain why there is no evidence of Amanda in the room where Meredith was so horribly and tragically murdered. It appears clear to us" -- this is the family -- "that the attacks on Amanda's character in much of the media and by the prosecution had a significant impact on the judges and jurors and apparently overshadowed the lack of evidence in the prosecution's case against her. And we will immediately begin the process of appealing this verdict. Amanda is innocent," says the family. "We will continue to fight for her freedom." -- Paula, very briefly, the family left right after the verdict and we know that they -- they walked, I believe it was, what, two, three, four blocks to the hotel?
Was there any reaction other than this statement?
NEWTON: Dodging media all the way. They had people applauding the verdict, people calling their daughter an assassin. They walked straight to the hotel. Their family members, though, now speaking out, that the key reason they believe Amanda Knox was found guilty was because of the media circus surrounding this crime.
MORET: But was there a sense -- I know that the -- the defense had claimed that -- that Amanda was basically vilified from the beginning, that she had no chance of a fair trial.
Is -- do you get a sense there locally -- is there a split or do most people locally feel that Amanda was guilty from the beginning?
NEWTON: I -- I do feel that a lot of the inconsistencies that the defense and the family have tried to point out in the Italian press here is starting to have an impact in this community, the people I speak to, specifically with the Italian media. But yet, Jim, you know, a lot of -- the fact that she had a confession; the fact that Amanda Knox had a lot of contradictory evidence; the fact that she did exhibit inappropriate behavior after this crime; all of that still stands against her.
I think what the family is hoping is that this is just a process. And that is the more they get out Amanda's story and look at the inconsistencies in the evidence, that people in this town that may be selected from another jury will start to believe that Amanda Knox could be innocent.
MORET: Paula Newton reporting live from Perugia, Italy.
Thank you, Paula.
Now, let's go to Janet Huff.
Janet is Amanda Knox's aunt. She is the sister of Amanda's mother, Edda Mellas.
Thank you for joining us on the phone.
We know that this must be a very difficult time for you.
What is your reaction to this verdict? JANET HUFF, AMANDA KNOX'S AUNT: Well, we're horrified, actually, very disappointed, sad and angry -- so many emotions all kind of wrapped up in -- into one really bad day.
MORET: Do you feel that your -- your niece was railroaded?
HUFF: That has been said more than one occasion by -- by people that are not related to us. And I think that they hit the nail right on the head.
Yes, I do. And I think that the media had a huge part in her being where she is today.
The problem with the Italian justice system is that the jurors are allowed to go home every night after trial and watch TV and go on the Internet, talk to their friends and, you know, gather information that way. And that's just not something that's allowed here. They're not sequestered. A lot of them already had it in their head that Amanda was guilty before the trial even started. And there was no process of picking jurors that would be non-biased, they're just randomly chosen and you get who you get. So there's a lot of things that are very different than what we would do here in the U.S.
MORET: Well, we see her -- her bright smile here. We see a beautiful face. And yet she was vilified, clearly, in the Italian media, as this heartless killer.
Describe the Amanda you know.
HUFF: Oh, Amanda is the most nonviolent person you would ever meet. She has been known to be very upset with someone who kills a spider in the house. She's just not somebody who -- who gets angry. She gets -- she doesn't like to hurt somebody's feelings. She gets upset for days if she thinks somebody's feelings were hurt and it was because of her.
This is -- the person that they're portraying in the media -- you know, the media has a job to do and that's to sell papers or sell time on TV or whatever. And they do that by making people interested in watching a story. And to do that, you've got to have something interesting to put out there.
So you know what?
Sometimes they make things up or they twist it a little bit to make it sound a little bit more sexy. What they don't realize is they are messing with a girl's life and her family's life. And I think that this has just snowballed into this giant, enormous lie and now she's going to prison for it.
MORET: Janet Huff, Amanda Knox's aunt.
Thank you so much for joining us on the phone.
MORET: One of Amanda's college friends, a woman who has visited her in prison, is coming up next.
Stay with us.
MORET: We're back with breaking news.
American student Amanda Knox found guilty in the murder of her roommate in Italy.
I'm Jim Moret of "INSIDE EDITION" sitting in tonight for Larry King.
Madison Paxton is a close college friend of Amanda Knox.
She's visited Amanda in prison.
She joins us now live.
Madison, what are your thoughts tonight?
MADISON PAXTON, AMANDA KNOX'S FRIEND: Well, obviously, we're all -- we're heartbroken, we're upset. But this is something that, since day one, we've had to prepare ourselves that this outcome was not only possible, but that this was probably what would happen at this stage in the trial. We've seen -- there were many indications from day one that things were being handled in such a way in this case that Amanda and Raffaele couldn't have a fair trial.
MORET: Specifically, what were you looking at when you talk about not a fair trial?
PAXTON: The things that have stick out is the way that the -- the media covered things in the trial that had nothing to do with the actual trial. They -- they covered things about Amanda and Raffaele's character. They made up things about their character. Things were being leaked from the prosecution. Nothing just seemed to be controlled very well. And it seems that -- that the jury has condemned who they believe is Foxy Knoxy. But that's a character. That's not Amanda. They -- the person they put in jail is not Amanda Knox, it's their idea of Foxy Knoxy.
MORET: As anyone who's followed this case has noticed, there are many differences in the judicial systems of America and Italy. For instance, in addition to testifying in her own defense, Amanda Knox was allowed to address the court during closing arguments.
She spoke in Italian.
Here is a translation of some of what she said earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA KNOX (through translator): I have reflected in the past few days over what I wanted to say. It came to my mind and I wrote down a question that has left many people perplexed. And I wrote down a question that is perhaps still very perplexing to many people, and, also, many people have asked me this question, and that is, how do you manage to remain so calm?
Well, first of all, I am not calm. During these days, I wrote on paper in front of me that I am afraid. I am not calm. I wrote down that I was afraid to lose myself and fear being defined as someone I am not and by actions that I did not commit. I am afraid of having an assassin's mask forced on my skin.
Regarding the decision to keep me in prison these past two years, I confess that I feel let down, sad and frustrated, especially because these decisions to me seem to be saying, well, let's see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Madison Paxton, a close college friend of Amanda Knox, you watch that video and it must seem surreal to you, because this is your close friend speaking in Italian. You hear her voice trembling, however.
MORET: Do you recognize your friend in that video?
Is it painful to watch that?
PAXTON: It's -- it's painful to watch. You can see how scared she is. It's also still very Amanda. She still has the same hand signals. Her voice sounds, even in Italian, it still sounds very much like Amanda. So there's something comforting in that. And...
MORET: You visited her in -- in jail, is that right?
MORET: And -- and what -- were you allowed -- were you allowed physical contact?
Were you allowed in the same room?
MORET: Was there a glass between you?
MORET: Set it up for us.
PAXTON: We were allowed to be in the same room. There were no rules other than that we just had to be searched before we came in, to make sure we didn't bring anything in. Other than that, we were able to hold each other the whole time. And there were judges, there -- I mean, sorry, there were guards watching through a window. But that was it.
MORET: And how did she say she was being treated?
PAXTON: In jail now, things are pretty well. She -- she's friends with almost all the guards. They're actually -- things have gotten a lot better for her in jail. She -- she was very nice to them and they -- they took well to that.
So she has other friends in jail. Some of her cellmates have become close to her now. There's another American in jail that she's become close to. So her living arrangements have gotten a lot better than when she was first arrested.
MORET: Now, the prosecutors have painted your friend, Amanda, as a cold-blooded killer. They've actually portrayed her in even worse ways...
MORET: To be quite honest with you.
MORET: A sexual deviant, in some respects. Describe for us the Amanda that you know. We heard from her aunt.
What is your friend like, to you?
PAXTON: Amanda is just completely the opposite of how the prosecution has described her. She is one of the kindest people I've ever met. She is -- she's someone who chooses to be happy and helping other people to be happy. She is not this angry, violent person. If -- if she is upset, if she has hurt someone's feeling, she's willing to sit down and write a letter. She is very bad at con -- confrontation, at even yelling. That's not something she is comfortable with, which is why she's always turned to writing.
She's simply -- she's simply not the person they have described, not even close. I don't recognize one thing that they've said about her in my friend.
MORET: Madison Paxton, a close friend of Amanda Knox, thanks for joining us.
We know it's a difficult time for you...
PAXTON: Thank you.
MORET: ...and we appreciate you taking time to share your insights.
PAXTON: Thank you.
MORET: Amanda's parents spoke with Larry about their daughter's predicament. What they told him in 60 seconds.
MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
We have to remind ourselves this was a murder trial. Twenty-one- year-old Meredith Kercher was found semi-naked, her throat slit in November of 2007.
Amanda was jailed until shortly after the slaying. Her trial did not get underway until January, however, of this year.
In October, Amanda's parents appeared here on LARRY KING LIVE. They shared their thoughts on the prosecution of their daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What do you make of the whole thing, Curt?
What -- what's -- what's your view of this?
I mean you weren't there.
CURT KNOX, AMANDA KNOX'S FATHER: I believe that there was a huge mistake made very, very early on by, you know, having a -- literally a case closed, you know, presentation by the police over there. And then when they really found out that Rudy Guede was the one that actually did it...
KING: The man convicted.
EDDA MELLAS, AMANDA FOX'S MOTHER: The man.
C. KNOX: The man convicted -- that they were just too far into it. And they've been trying to press it ever since.
KING: All right. Now, was your daughter and her boyfriend present at the scene?
C. KNOX: Not at -- no. They...
KING: Not that at all?
C. KNOX: They stayed at her boyfriend's house the night that the murder took place.
KING: Why were they arrested?
C. KNOX: You know, in -- in the time that -- between when Meredith was found and the time of their arrest, there was a total of 90 hours in that window. During that time, they were questioned and interrogated for over 41 hours. And the last of that was a 14 hour, all night interrogation where there was psychological abuse, physical abuse where she was hit. And at that stage of the game, I think, you know, they made conclusions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Amanda's last ditch courtroom plea -- hear it after the break.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
MORET: We're discussing the verdict in the Amanda Knox case. A jury in Italy found her guilty of murder.
Here to discuss the trial is Judy Bachrach. She's a contributing editor at "Vanity Fair." She's written about this case for the magazine. She's lived in Italy. She knows the culture and the judicial system there.
John Q. Kelly is a former prosecutor. He is in New York.
Stacey Honowitz is a Florida assistant state attorney, joining us from Plantation, Florida.
And Lisa Bloom, my friend and colleague, CNN legal analyst, with us here in Los Angeles.
Judy, first to you.
I know you've been very outspoken about this and you've written about this. You feel the deck was effectively stacked against Amanda from the beginning.
Why do you feel that way?
JUDY BACHRACH, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "VANITY FAIR": Well, Italy is a country -- and it's very hard for a lot of Americans to understand this, but it's a country where influence is everything -- who you know, how long you've known that person. And if, God forbid, for some reason you are accused of a crime, if you know people in power, if you can do something about it, if you have a lot of money, chances are you have a good chance of not being convicted.
Most people don't fall into that category. In Italy, if you're accused, it's a pretty fair bet you're going to be convicted.
Amanda is a foreigner. She's an outsider. Her parents are from the State of Washington. They knew no one in Italy -- no one of power. And Amanda herself spoke very little Italian. She was an easy target.
This was an appalling murder. It shocked the small town of Perugia.
And who best to lay this on than her roommate, an American comma who is beautiful? And in some way, in Perugia, it was felt she wasn't one of them. She was an outsider. She had sexual mores they claimed they couldn't understand. She smoked dope. It was very easy to lay it on her. And that's what they did. And they did it with a vengeance.
You know, I was just thinking today...
BACHRACH: ...I lived in Italy for four years. But if I were advising a kid these days who's a college kid or a high school kid about to go to Italy, I might tell them either don't go or be very careful if you do go. You cannot act out. You may fall into a piece of bad luck and your life will be ruined. Italians look sophisticated...
MORET: John -- John Q. Kelly -- wait.
I just want to let everybody get an opportunity here.
John, in New York, what -- does this ring true to you, what Judy is saying?
I -- I know that there was a co-defendant here who was Italian and I thought he was well-connected. But that doesn't mean the deck wasn't, in effect, as Judy portrays, stacked against Amanda.
What's your sense of this case?
JOHN Q. KELLY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: My sense of the case is, Jim, that not only did they not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, but I really believe that these two kids -- and they are kids -- are -- are innocent, that there was no reliable physical evidence, forensic evidence, absolutely no motive. All her actions, in particular, were consistent with innocence, not guilt and that she got railroaded. It was like leading a lamb to the slaughter, what happened there.
She was convicted in the media in the first two weeks and there was no way to reverse that. It was inevitable when the trial came around.
MORET: We want to play another excerpt from Amanda Knox's courtroom plea during closing arguments.
Again, she spoke in Italian, so you will be hearing a translation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. KNOX (through translator): Many people tell me that if they were in my shoes, they would have pulled their hair out by now, tearing their cell apart. And I say that I do not do these things. I don't let myself be beaten down. In these situations, I take a deep breath. I try and I try to look for the positive. I try to find the positive in important moments and I know that this moment is one of those moments, because in this moment, unlike the previous moments, a true decision must be taken on an action. I feel more in contact with you, more vulnerable in front of you. But I am trusting and confident of my knowledge. And for this I thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Lisa Bloom, a legal analyst here for CNN, you look at this and this is really the first time, perhaps, that the jurors saw a vulnerable girl. Her voice was shaky. She was poised, but she was clearly frightened. That's not how she's been portrayed, though, all along. And that clearly wasn't enough to sway the jury.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I have a little bit different take on this. I agree with everyone else that this case was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. But I don't want to smear an entire country. There was, after all, a jury of eight people here -- six civilians and two judges. They did hear all the evidence and, yes, they were able to listen to the media. This...
MORET: But 11 hours is all it took.
BLOOM: Well, you know, in the O.J. Simpson case, it was only three hours here and many people, at the time, celebrated that verdict.
So this was a long trial, Jim. But it was only two days a week. They had a lot of time to think about it.
Again, I don't agree with this verdict, but I don't think it's fair to attack an entire country or an entire system of justice, which the Italian system has many protections for defendants that the American system does not have.
For example, you cannot waive your right to have an attorney when you're a subject being questioned. And because she didn't have an attorney, her second statement was thrown out and the jury didn't get to hear it. She's only getting 26 years. In the United States, she'd be getting the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
So I think we have to be careful, as American, not to get too far up on our high horse, when we have many wrongful convictions in this country, as well.
MORET: Stacey Honowitz, I want you to chime in before we go to break.
What are your thoughts?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Well, listen, I feel the same way. The system over there is very different in that country than it is here. And, listen, you have people -- six people, six lay people, two judges. They're not voir dired. In other words, they're not questioned. We don't know what their prejudice and bias is when they walk into that courtroom.
So we don't have -- they don't have the opportunity to question them to find out if when they walked in they thought she was guilty without even hearing some of the evidence.
So while it is a difficult verdict for people to swallow, because we heard scant DNA. People really probably convicted on bad behavior, because the behavior that she displayed during the questioning and afterwards and how she was portrayed on TV probably, unfortunately, sank her back in the jury room.
BACHRACH: Exactly. That's exactly what happened -- not on the evidence, on what they perceived to be her guilt, because they didn't like what she did in the days following the crime.
But, let me say something here. Her boyfriend, who is, after all, Italian and was also convicted, did not have the kind of resources that you need to get a not guilty verdict. He is not a rich guy. He's the son of a doctor. They're not famous. They're not rich.
Italy is a country, unfortunately, where being rich, being famous and being powerful gets you off the hook.
MORET: Judy, we've got to take a quick break. I knew this was going to happen. I wasn't going to allow Lisa onto this set for that very reason. Two people who know this case very well are coming up next. They lay out the case in favor of Amanda and tell us why it is not over yet. Stick around.
MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in tonight for Larry. Joining us now are two people who know the family and this case very well. Anne Bremner is a friend of the Knox family. She's a spokesperson for Friends of Amanda. She's also an attorney, but she is not legally advising or representing the family. Steve Shay is also with us. He's a reporter for the "West Seattle Herald." He has covered this case extensively.
Anne, first to you, Friends of Amanda, you're obviously very disappointed. Why do you think that this was a miscarriage of justice?
ANNE BREMNER, KNOX FAMILY FRIEND: I think, as has been said, Jim, it's like a bad beginning makes a bad ending. These jurors have made up their minds before they heard the case because of all the just horrendous media, about Foxy Knoxy, she-devil, the angel face from Seattle. And there were even posters in Italy that said that she was a threat to the morals of Italian.
So this is a case where facts are stubborn things. But the facts, the evidence clearly shows that she was not involved. There is no physical evidence, not a hair, not a follicle, not a finger print. The knife didn't match the wounds, didn't match an imprint of the knife embedding. And she didn't confess, as has been widely misreported. I could go on and on on all of those facts, which would indicate that she was not guilty of the prime. Am I surprised?
MORET: Steve Shay, you look at this -- hold on, Anne. You look at this young face, Steve Shay. You covered this case extensively. She has an angelic smile, yet she has been portrayed as a monster. Describe, if you can, the Amanda that you know through your reporting.
JIM SHAY, "WEST SEATTLE HERALD": My focus for the reporting for "West Seattle Herald" and WestSeattleHerlad.com has been through the eyes of the parents, the family and a bedroom community from where she came. I learned that she is very supportive of friends from grade school and high school, and that she is kind of a granola girl. She is very trusting, believes in good Karma, that if you put out good thoughts, you will be rewarded. Unfortunately, that backfired today.
MORET: Anne, what was it about this young woman that turned the country or at least this area of Italy against her?
BREMNER: Jim, that is a great question. I think it was a few things from the very beginning, and they've been cited often. That she was kissing her boyfriend and it was photographed. That she went shopping for lingerie, but she needed it because she was locked out of a crime scene.
MORET: They are talking about Italy. Italy is very progressive compared to America. You would assume, in terms of sexual mores -- I don't understand why she was vilified so.
BREMNER: It was also what she had Facebook, Foxy Knoxy. There were pictures of her partying and things like that. This is a college town, Jim. I don't have kids that age. At that age, they like to have fun.
She was looked as somebody that was evil from the get-go. They didn't like her demeanor, et cetera.
But more importantly, the prosecutor said from the get-go, case closed, and said this was a sex crime. There was a lot that he said that wasn't born out of the evidence, but the minds were made up so early by just an avalanche of negative media about Amanda Knox.
MORET: Steve, we have about 20 seconds left in this segment. Do you believe Amanda Knox was portrayed as the ugly American in this case.
SHAY: Let me say this, we feel that, from a local newspaper's perspective, that her reputation was poisoned from the get-go from tabloids and sensationalistic news abroad. We were trying to focus on who she really is, and on her parents, her parents' ex-husbands and wives, and how they all pulled together. They all live within two or three miles of one another. And they all function as a functional team. We always hear the dysfunctional family. I found them all to be functional.
MORET: To those watching at home, what do you think of the Amanda Knox verdict? Go to CNN.com/LarryKing and have your say. We want to hear from you.
Hear more from Amanda Knox herself when LARRY KING LIVE continues.
MORET: Welcome back. Let's talk now about the forensic evidence that apparently was used against Amanda Knox as a jury convicted her in Italy today of murder. Michael Archer joins us now. He is a forensic scientist and has consulted with Amanda's family.
Michael, focus on this evidence. There was a knife involved. We were told, through media reports, that there was Amanda's DNA on the handle, the victim's on the blade. And that knife was not even in the same apartment as Amanda Knox. Was that basically the evidence that, in your view, convicted Amanda?
MICHAEL ARCHER, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: I hope not, Jim. These are poor college students, for all intents and purposes. They have nothing in their apartments. For them to share kitchen utensils from one apartment to the other is not remarkable. It's not proof of murder. The DNA -- and he reviewed this report, is minimal. It's tenuous, at best. If this is what they got their conviction on, it sickens me that the Italian system could achieve a murder conviction based upon the DNA of this knife.
By the way, the knife is not necessarily the murder weapon. No one has really put two and two together to make four.
MORET: In your view, was there no other forensic evidence other than this knife?
ARCHER: Not that brings Amanda into this crime scene. There's no foot prints. There's no fingerprints. There's no trace evidence. There's no spatter. There's no blood on her. There's none of her blood there. There is no biological fluids of her there. It perplexes me to see how they achieved a conviction.
MORET: Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst, I'm watching your expression. I know in your view there is evidence here that is clearly equal to evidence that convicts people every day.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right, not beyond a reasonable doubt. But I suspect that if we talked to one of the jurors today, they would say we convicted her based on the evidence. The evidence is what the prosecution argued. Now people are convicted every day based on scant evidence like in this case. For example, a pseudo- confession that the person then takes back, but a lot of lies about what happened. Strange behavior. There is a woman named Cynthia Summers in San Diego who was convicted of murdering her husband because she acted strangely after he died. She was later exonerated. It happens in this country. It happens in Italy. I think we have to give the jury some credit for basing their verdict, I'm sure in their minds, on the evidence. There was additional forensic evidence in this case.
MORET: But they do hear news reports. But they listen to news reports throughout the trial. They can talk to people throughout the trial.
BLOOM: Yes, I'm not in favor of that. I think this was a faulty verdict. But I think it's possible to say that this was based on the evidence in the minds of the jury, and not just say they were small- town Italians who couldn't think straight or who were blinded by the tabloids.
I also want to say that the European media also had some very fair stories about this case, calling into question what was going on. I just think it's a little bit unfair of us to look down these noses at these jurors and not give them the benefit of the doubt of basing it on the evidence in the courtroom.
MORET: Jim Archer --
ARCHER: If I may -- if I may, as Lisa said, it was their bathroom. For Amanda's DNA to be in their own bathroom is not surprising. It's not remarkable. It's not evidence of guilt of a murder.
BLOOM: It wasn't just that.
MORET: We have to take a break. We'll pick up with our panel in just a minute. Hold on, Stacy, you'll have the first word when we come back in 60 seconds. But first, we have more breaking news; American exchange student Amanda Knox found guilty of murder by a jury in Italy. Stay with us.
MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret, sitting in for Larry tonight. We want to play the final segment of Amanda Knox's closing arguments earlier this week. She was convicted of murder earlier today in Italy. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KNOX (through translators): Because you have stood with me, not only directly, but indirectly, through my lawyers, my defense, my family and my friends are the reason. They are the ones who are saving my life every day, day after day, that I manage to stand this.
And I also have to thank the prosecution because, for sure, they are sincerely trying to do their job, even though they don't understand. They don't understand. Even though they haven't been able to understand, because they are trying to bring justice to an act that has taken a person from this world. Therefore, I thank them for this, for what I am doing, for what they are doing.
The important thing now is that I thank you, because now it is your turn. Therefore, I thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Our panel is going to weigh in on that statement and more. We have more on the Amanda Knox conviction coming up right after this.
MORET: Let's go to Stacy Honowitz, Florida assistant state attorney, specializes in sex crimes and child abuse cases. Stacy, I know you wanted to talk earlier. I cut you off. I apologize for that.
STACY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: The nerve of you, Jim. You cut me off.
Chime in, because -- Lisa has been training me. She is right here. I want you to chime in. I know that so many people -- we have to remember here, there was a victim. This was a horrible killing. So many people here in the states feel that this was a wrongful conviction. Why do you feel that way?
HONOWITZ: Well, listen, I don't know all of the evidence. I only hear what we're hearing through the media. I wasn't sitting in the courtroom. And of course she's an American girl over there studying. And so we feel this need to protect her because of what happened.
But they didn't just convict on a piece of DNA. They convicted on the totality of the circumstances. They had some DNA. They had inconsistent statements and stories that she gave, coupled with her behavior, coupled with DNA that wasn't challenged. You have to remember something, Jim -- and this will be the basis of the appeal, I think. They tried to get in defense experts to challenge the DNA and it was not permitted. So certainly if the jury might have heard from the defense experts, heard about possible contamination, heard that it wasn't reliable evidence, maybe they wouldn't have hung their hat on that.
I think that's what we need to wait and see what's going to be the basis for the appeal. As far as the conviction, it wasn't just a -- one little piece of evidence. It was the totality of all the circumstances.
BACHRACH: Can I say something, Jim?
MORET: John Q. Kelly -- let me go to John. He hasn't had an opportunity to talk. When you talk about the defense not being able to present a case, and not being able necessarily to attack evidence, is that enough? Are you familiar enough with the Italian system to successfully appeal a case?
JOHN Q. KELLY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, Jim, you know there's no country that really that has a monopoly here on fairness, justice, human decency. And the attack is on the evidence in this case, not the Italian system of justice. We have bad verdicts here. And I'm very critical of this verdict, of this prosecution, because of the evidence or lack thereof.
The one thing that we've got to hope -- the Italian system of justice has an appellate process. We hope it's used properly and it corrects what I see as a wrong here.
MORET: Judy, do you want to chime in now?
BACHRACH: Yes, I do. One of the things that struck me most when I was in Italy and covering this is -- and it was told to me by the lawyer for the Kercher family, the family of the victim. He said that when it was decided to keep Amanda Knox in jail for two years prior to going to trial, the prosecutor fell into his arms and gave him a big hug. So there's the prosecutor, nominally a person who works for the state, actually hugging the lawyer for the family of the victim.
In other words, there is no pretense of fairness, of being impartial in this trial. And that, unfortunately, is not rare in Italy. Italy's system -- its judicial system has come down from the ancient inquisition. And there is no doubt about that. They even talk about that. And the assumption there, even though the Constitution says otherwise, is that you are guilty if you are accused. So that's a very, very difficult thing to overcome.
And by the way, when you go to the court of Cassation, when you go to the Supreme Court in Italy, it's very unlikely they'll overturn a lower court. Very unlikely.
MORET: We have final segment coming up. I know Lisa Bloom is first out of the blocks, because she wants to say something. Back in just a moment. Stay with us.
MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Lisa Bloom, it's not uncommon for someone to be in custody. It's also -- the prosecution acted in a way that we see prosecutors act in the states all the time.
BLOOM: That's right. Prosecutors and victims and victims' attorneys are often close. They work closely together. Sometimes even hug when they get a favorable decision. It may not appear like a good thing, but it isn't uncommon. You know, the longer I sit and cover this case -- I've been talking about it for hours now on this network -- the more it seems to me this case highlights what goes on all the time in this country. It's just that we rarely talk about it in the media, because it doesn't involve a pretty young woman like Amanda Knox.
People are convicted -- and I've seen it watching trial for eight years, on television and also being involved in cases -- people are convicted all the time -- John Kelly will back me up -- on evidence like this: a pseudo confession, lies to the police, some DNA, although scant DNA evidence. We don't talk about those cases when the victims or the defendants, rather, are young African-Americans or people who aren't just us a photogenic as Amanda Knox. But it happens in this country. And we should be as outraged in those cases as we are about Amanda Knox.
MORET: John Q. Kelly, do you think Amanda Knox's appearance is what captivated us into watching this case and talking about it so much?
KELLY: It was all the elements. Some of it created about by the media, some of it factual. You had sex, drugs, murder mystery, money claims involved. It was just the aggregate, the sum total made it a real big, interesting case.
Lisa's right, you know, justice is justice. And you know, you've got to look at this verdict. You've got to look at verdicts that come down in the US every day. You've got to look and say, people are sometimes not treated fairly or get the justice they deserve. And I question whether Amanda got the right justice here. She did not. I think she's innocent. But it does happen in other places and times, and it's not the country, necessarily. It's just the circumstances here.
MORET: So let's focus on what's next. Judy Bachrach, contributing editor "Vanity Fair," are you optimistic or pessimistic about the prospects on appeal?
BACHRACH: I am very pessimistic. But I've been pessimistic about what was going to happen to Amanda from the beginning. By the way, the press in Italy wasn't the only bad press. England was all over it, because the victim, of course, was British. So I have always thought that Amanda was going to go to a kangaroo court. And unfortunately, I've been proven correct. I was hoping that it would turn out otherwise. But I had a feeling it wouldn't. It couldn't. For one thing, the moment they put her in jail for two years --
MORET: Wait, hold on. Stacy, what do you think -- it was one year, I believe --
BACHRACH: No, two years.
MORET: One before the trial, one during the trial --
BACHRACH: Two years before trial.
HONOWITZ: They thought she was a flight risk. She's from this country --
MORET: What do you think about the prospects on appeal, Stacy?
HONOWITZ: I think they're -- listen, I don't know the law very well over there. All I can tell you is I think there are some good bases for an appeal. I think just the idea that expert witnesses for the defense to challenge the DNA, which was the evidence that they convicted on, is a very good basis for appeal. But it's going to be a long, arduous process. And we're going to have to wait and see what happens.
MORET: And Lisa, what do you make of this? Clearly, you talk about this happens all the time. People get prosecuted on far less evidence.
BLOOM: I'd like to see people get fired up when other people, who are not young, white and pretty, give conflicting statements to the police and then we try to explain it, because the police coerce people, hour after hour after hour, especially young people. And I believe it happened to Amanda. And I believe it happens to other people as well in this country. That's why I'd like to see the same outrage on their behalf.
We can understand and learn from Amanda's case that people do give false confessions or at least false statements to the police, that there's more to DNA evidence than what the prosecution says in cases.
HONOWITZ: You hope that -- and the bottom line is you hope that a prosecutor -- the bad taste in this case to start out with is that the prosecutor is under indictment. So that puts a bad taste in your mouth. You hope the cases in the states where you have things like that -- you have a prosecutor who's able to ferret out, was it a false confession? Did they coerce him? If that's the case, they don't take that kind of case to court. Here you didn't have that.
BLOOM: We want Stacy Honowitz to prosecute all the cases.
MORET: And that is the last word. Thank you very much to our entire panel. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in for Larry King. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."