Many of the more contested points of the case remain unsolved, leaving many of the experts following the case unsure as to Thursday's outcome. A new wrinkle was the testing of one DNA speck on a knife found in Sollecito's apartment that the prosecution claimed was the murder weapon. The speck had been left untested previously. The DNA turned out to belong to Knox, but that was not seen as surprising she had stayed with Sollecito and could have used the knife for cooking.
The judge, Alessandro Nencini, has made it clear that this court's decision will be based on all the evidence and arguments used and presented in the previous trials.
Whichever way the judges and jury rule on Thursday, the case against Knox and Sollecito will still not be over. The decision will almost certainly be appealed, and return to the highest court for a definitive sentence. A conviction at that level could eventually lead to Knox's extradition, but Knox would be able to fight any such request in a U.S. court.
A third person, Rudy Guede, a native of Ivory Coast, was convicted in Kercher's murder and sentenced to 30 years, later reduced to 16-years on appeal. Guede was convicted of participating in the killing of Kercher with others.