Here you will find a translation of the report submitted by Profs. Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti of the University of Rome — La Sapienza to the Corte di Assise di Appello (Court of Appeals) of Perugia, Italy, regarding DNA evidence in the case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Vecchiotti and Conti were appointed by the presiding judge in Knox and Sollecito’s appeal trial, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, to conduct an independent review of this evidence, which (like most of the evidence in the case) had long been seriously questioned by Knox and Sollecito’s defense teams and by outside observers.

The conclusions reached by Conti and Vecchiotti constitute a damning indictment of the investigation conducted by Italy’s Scientific Police, and in particular of the methods employed by the prosecution’s main forensic scientist, Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni. They lend official support to the already-widespread perception that Knox and Sollecito have been the victims of a scandalous miscarriage of justice

Two translators worked on this project: komponisto (pages 1-30 and 106-145) and katy_did (pages 31-105). Anyone with questions, comments, or corrections is invited to contact komponisto via private message on the Injustice in Perugia forum, JREF, or Less Wrong.

The English translation of the report can be downloaded in pdf format (Italian page numbers are indicated in square brackets).

The original Italian version can be downloaded here.

(Update: On October 3, 2011, Knox and Sollecito were acquitted at the appeal trial, and in December 2011, the motivation document, the Hellmann-Zanetti report, was released! That 144-page report gives the judges’ explanation for the verdict, and in particular shows how the work of Conti and Vecchiotti played a key role in securing Knox and Sollecito’s exoneration.)

Contents of the report:



Description of Item 36 (Knife)

Laboratory Analysis of Item 36

Description of Item 165B (Bra Clasps)

Laboratory Analysis of Item 165B

Extraction of DNA from Item 36 (Knife) and Item 165B (Bra Clasps)

Quantification of DNA by “Real-Time PCR” Technique

Preparation of Samples for Real-Time PCR

Analysis of Individual DNA Extracts (Samples A-M)

Cytological Analysis

Cytocentrifugation to Detect Cellular Material

Conclusions (1)

Notes on Inspection and Collection Techniques

Notes on Forensic Laboratory Tests

Examination of the Technical Report on the Forensic Genetic Tests by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni

Laboratory Analyses Reported in the RTIGF Regarding Item 36 (Knife)

Samples From Item 36 (Knife)

Extraction of DNA (knife)

Quantification of DNA (knife)

Amplification (knife)

Capillary Electrophoresis (knife)

Low Copy Number (LCN) or Low Template DNA (LT-DNA)

Assessment of the Forensic Genetic Tests Conducted by the Scientific Police on Item 36 (Knife)

Laboratory Analyses Reported in the RTIGF Regarding Item 165B

Laboratory Analysis

Extraction of DNA (clasp)

Quantification of DNA (clasp)

Amplification: Autosomic STRs

Capillary Electrophoresis: Autosomic STRs

Amplification of the Y Chromosome

Capillary Electrophoresis [Ychromosome]

Assessment of the Forensic Genetic Tests Conducted by the Scientific Police on Item 165B (Bra Clasps)

Conclusions (2)

For more information on the wrongful prosecution of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, and the terrible crime which led to it, see the website Injustice in Perugia.