An Italian jury is now deliberating Amanda Knox’s appeal, and a verdict could come in at any moment. For those unfamiliar with the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox’s 21-year-old flatmate, a short article summarizing the case can be found HERE. I won’t go into too many details about the actual case, but I highly suggest reading up on it if you can.
Amanda’s case has always been a controversial one. Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student, was found dead in their Perugia, Italy apartment, her throat slit. Amanda, her boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito, and a drifter named Rudy Guede, were all arrested and later convicted of Meredith’s murder. Amanda is serving a 26 year sentence, while Rafaelle is serving 25 years, and Rudy, only 16. Amanda and Rafaelle were both convicted at a joint trial, and are also appealing their verdicts together.
In Italy, after being found guilty of a crime, the case is automatically sent through an appeals process, which is basically a re-trial in which reasonable doubt must be proven. Amanda’s re-trial began last November, and today in court, Amanda and Rafaelle were both given the opportunity to plead their case to the judge and jurors.
Amanda, now 24, spoke in Italian for about 10 minutes, and proclaimed her innocence, saying,
I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal. I was not present at this crime.
Rafaelle also addressed the court for about 15 minutes.
There are four possible rulings that could come down today, according to In Session:
- Conviction could be completely overturned
- Conviction could be partially overturned (meaning other charges could still stand)
- Conviction could be upheld
- Conviction could be upheld, and a new sentence could be given (prosecution is requesting a new sentence of life in prison, however the sentence can be decreased as well)
If Amanda’s conviction is completely overturned, she could be on a plane back to the United States tonight.
As soon as a verdict comes in, I will post it. The verdict is due to come in by 1 p.m. CST.
Supporters of Amanda Knox have started a web site for her, Friends of Amanda Knox, which details their case for Amanda’s freedom. Whether you are convinced of her innocence or guilt, it still makes for an interesting read.
Detailed entries on the appeal (day-by-day) can be found at this blog – http://amandaknoxappealforum.blogspot.com/.
UPDATE: 10/3 2:55 P.M.
Amanda and Rafaelle have been cleared in the murder of Meredith Kercher, and both ordered immediately released. Knox collapsed into tears and was seen sobbing as she was escorted out of the courtroom.
They could be freed within a few hours.
As for my own personal thoughts on the case, I honestly could never decide on whether or not Amanda and Rafaelle had anything to do with Amanda’s murder. Their actions the night of the murder, as well as in the days and weeks afterwards were always suspicious, however, I felt that there was never enough evidence to actually convict them.
The third man convicted of the killing, Rudy Guede, is still in prison. Rudy was identified by police after his bloody handprint was found at the scene of the crime.