Remember Kercher, prosecutor tells jury

Picture of Meredith Kercher, who was murdered in Italy in 2007BBC News - Amanda Knox appeal: Jury told to remember Kercher

Italian prosecutors have urged a jury considering an appeal by two convicted murderers of British student Meredith Kercher to remember her family. …

Before a packed courtroom, prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola denounced the media campaign that made “everyone feel like the parents” of Knox and Sollecito.

“As you make your decision, I wish that you jurors feel a little bit like the parents of Meredith Kercher, a serious, studious girl whose life was taken by these two kids from good families,” he said.

This statement is obviously an attempt to appeal to the emotions of the jury (I wasn’t aware that appeals had juries; they don’t in the UK, where trials can be held with a jury but all appeals are held by panels of judges) and treat the case as some sort of judicial theatre in which the jury is an audience. The feelings of the Kercher family are irrelevant here, because what is being decided is not whether Amanda Knox and her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito serve fifteen years, thirty or more, but whether they are guilty at all, or totally innocent. The reason we don’t “consider the victim” (or the family of the victim) in such cases is because they are not the ones at risk of a miscarriage of justice; the defendant is.

If the Kerchers choose to continue believing that Knox and Sollecito are guilty in the fact of much evidence that they are not, that should not persuade anyone that they are in fact guilty. The judge should have intervened, stopped his rhetoric and told the jury to ignore it.

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