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Experts Shed Doubt on Amanda Knox DNA Evidence

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on July 01, 2011 7:02 AM

According to two court-appointed forensic experts assigned to the case of Amanda Knox, DNA evidence that was central to her conviction and that of her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, is "not reliable" and may have been contaminated.

The two pieces of evidence in question are DNA found on a knife in Sollecito's kitchen, which prosecutors believe was the murder weapon, and a bra clasp that was not found until 46 days after the murder.

From the beginning, Amanda Knox's defense attorneys have contended that the DNA evidence was not properly handled, but this is the first independent review of the issue.

Because there was too little DNA to retest, the judge ordered the experts to determine the reliability of the tests, and whether there was any possible contamination, according to ABC News.

While the bra clasp, which spent weeks on the floor, is an important piece of evidence, the experts' conclusions about the knife will be central to the case.

The knife, found in a drawer, allegedly contained both the DNA of Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher.

But, according to the New York Times, police did not follow the proper international protocol for tests conducted on small samples, making the results unreliable.

It's unclear just how these results will impact Amanda Knox's appeal, as Italy imposes different evidentiary standards than those used in the U.S.

However, if this occurred in the U.S., there would be a strong likelihood that this new information on the Amanda Knox DNA evidence would convince an appellate court to vacate her conviction. In turn, she could be retried, and a jury can decide which experts they want to believe.

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