Amanda Knox Verdict Reversed
By Art Harris, The Bald Truth, (c) www.artharris.com, all rights reserved
Amanda Knox was acquitted today of a murder in Italy that gripped Americans, putting Italian justice on trial as its court of appeals threw out her earlier conviction, ruling contaminated DNA evidence had wrongly put her behind bars for four years.
As the judge in Perugia, Italy announced she was free, she seemed to slump in shock, as the appeals court dismissed a 26 year prison sentence that went along with the conviction for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher.
Knox insisted she was innocent, said Italian police had twisted her statements during 50 hours of grueling and virtually framed her and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for slashing the throat of a fellow student who had treated her kindly.
The prosecutor had called her a “She Devil,” obsessed with kinky sex, a prosecutor who has been charged in other cases with misconduct, and hsa been telling reporters privately he really doesn’t know what happened that night, but felt she was guilty.
“I was shocked when I heard that,” a CNN correspondent reported, adding she was not the only reporter he shared his feelings with.
Disputing her portrait as evil, Knox told the jury she liked Kercher. “We had a friendship. … She was concerned for me. She was always kind to me. She cared about me,” Knox said in her plea to ber set free.
Within minutes of the verdict, she stumbled out of the courtroom, hustled along by Italian police, crying, bent over and gasping for air. Within hours, she left Capanne Prisoni, homeward bound for a return to Seattle.
But the jury upheld her conviction and a 22,000 euro fine for slandering a local bar owner she purportedly implicated in the murder, while being interrogated by police. The maximum sentence for slander is three years in prison, but Knox has already served four years.
Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in December 2009 of killing Kercher in a 2007 attack that left the British exchange student partially nude and bleeding to death from a slashed throat. Sollecito was also acquitted of the murder today.
“We are thankful that our nightmare is over. She has suffered for four years for a crime she did not commit,” Knox’s younger sister, Deanna told reporters from the steps of the courthouse.