An Italian court said last night that Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are guilty of Meredith Kercher’s murder. It has been an ongoing trial, with acquittals and rulings overturned for just over six years. The 26-year-old American is reportedly shocked by the verdict but will not leave for Italy by choice.
Kercher, Knox and others were sharing a flat in Italy at the time of the incident. In November 2007, Kercher was found brutally murdered and her flatmates were arrested on suspicion of murder. According to police, she was found with her throat slashed and 40 stab wounds in her body. It was 11 months before Knox and her boyfriend at the time were charged with sexual assault and murder. By 2009, they were both found guilty but appealed.
Two years later they were released from prison after an acquittal. The court decided that the DNA evidence was questionable, which has been something raised at the current trial. She returned home to her family in the United States, where she was when she heard about the new guilty verdict.
On March 26, 2013, Knox and Sollecito heard that the Italian Supreme Court had decided to overturn the acquittals. It led to a new trial, which came to an end last night. Many people raised the question of double jeopardy, but the law in Italy over this is quite lax. Just because Knox was acquitted, does not mean that she cannot be tried again with the same evidence, unlike in the United States, according to Decoded Science.
The trial came to an end with the Italian court saying that Knox and Sollecito were guilty of murder and she was sentenced to 28 years, with Sollecito facing 25 years. The 26-year-old watched the verdict announced on live television in her home in Seattle. She explained to the media that she is “saddened” by the unjust verdict, after already being found innocent.
Her parents were also saddened and angry at the decision. Curt Knox explained that the evidence supports his daughter’s innocence and it was surprising for the court to rule the opposite way. The evidence shows that the student was never in the room, so would not have been able to commit the crime.
For now, Knox is remaining in the United States. She has no plans to travel to Italy voluntarily, which will lead to a battle between the American and Italian officials. Her lawyer, Ted Simon, explained that there is another appeals process, so extradition is not something to speak about yet. Sollecito has not been arrested, but is having his passport taken from him. He remains in Italy and the officials want it to remain that way.
The Kercher family want to close this chapter of their lives, but that cannot happen until 2015 when the right to appeal comes to an end. Lyle Kercher, the brother of the victim, stated that nothing will bring his sister back but that a conviction will help them “move on.” They are not exactly happy that the Italian court says Knox is guilty of murder, because it does not change the events that have happened.
By Alexandria Ingham