Amanda Knox's retrial began in Italy today, with Knox herself, of course, not in attendance. Raffaele Sollecito, who was also convicted of Meredith Kercher's murder in 2009 only to see the conviction overturned in 2011, is also staying away. He's in the Dominican Republic with a friend, CNN reports. Neither is required to be present, and though they could be declared in contempt of court, that carries no additional penalties. As for what will happen during these new proceedings, which could take months, the AP explains that the appellate court will likely take a fresh look at the forensic evidence. In deciding to retry the case last year, Italy's supreme court said "a uniform and global analysis of the evidence" was needed.
A related narrative making headlines: Knox said in a recent interview that she'd like to be able to visit Kercher's grave, but in a statement yesterday, Kercher's family "made it clear Knox's presence would not be welcome," writes Lizzy Davies for the Guardian. "It took us as a family nearly five years to even begin to feel ready to lay Mez to rest and it is still extremely painful now," the statement reads. "However, she now has a place near to us that we and her friends can visit to take flowers and spend time … Her grave is now her safe place to sleep in peace and be with us and we hope that is respected by all."