Monday, October 03, 2011

Amanda Knox to Go Free: Murder Conviction Overturned

American Amanda Knox was ordered freed in a court in Perugia, Italy in an appeal of the sensational murder case of her roommate Meredith Kercher. A jury acquitted her on almost all charges.

The 24-year-old Knox had been sentenced to a 26-year sentence for the murder of her roommate, Briton Meredith Kercher. Kercher was found stabbed to death in their house in Perugia, where both she and Knox were students.

Knox's Italian boyfriend at the time, Rafaelle Sollecito, was also convicted of the murder. The two had been in prison for the last four years.

Both Knox and Sollecito spoke before the six-person jury shortly before they went into their deliberations. Knox proclaimed "I am innocent" in her statement, which she delivered in Italian. "I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal," Knox said in her emotional 10-minute statement to the jury.

Knox was found guilty on a charge of defamation and sentenced to three years, but since she had already served four years already, she was ordered released. CNN reported that she was to head back to prison to collect her belongings and was free to leave the country.

Amanda Knox News: Verdict Due; Acquittal Coming?

Monday, Oct. 3rd is the day that a verdict is set to be announced in the appeal by Amanda Knox. Will she be acquitted of the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher?

Here are some of the latest bits of Amanda Knox news from the world press:
* Amanda Knox proclaimed "I am innocent" in her 10-minute statement to the jury, which she delivered in Italian. The jury began meeting soon afterward
* Australia's Herald Sun talks about how Knox is preparing her final statement to the jury that will decide her fate
* CNN offers an explainer on how Knox's case will be decided;
* another CNN piece looks at the Amanda Knox case timeline
* the Italian town of Perugia has taken a hit to its reputation, with the trial showing its seamy underside of drugs and drunken foreign students

In a previous post I talked about some of the info on Amanda Knox's MySpace page (which was later taken down). You can read what she had on her MySpace page, and see a screen capture of it there.

(See a gallery of Amanda Knox personal photos.)

Knox's appeal is focused on the evidence in the case, or rather the lack of it. Her team has argued that the DNA evidence is sketchy, and that despite the bloody crime scene found around Kercher, Amanda Knox's DNA was not found at the scene. Some of Knox's DNA was found on a knife believed to be the murder weapon, but since Knox and the victim were roommates, it's possible that the DNA got on the knife by completely innocent methods.

The defense has also argued that investigators botched the case by tainting the DNA evidence.

Knox's initial defense had to contend with inconsistent statements made by Knox herself and emotional appeals based on the bloody Meredith Kercher crime scene photos.

The six-person jury is expected to deliver its verdict on Monday in Perugia; the families of both Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher will be in attendance.