Amanda Knox Could Go Free Next Week
Amanda Knox, the American college student sentenced to 26 years in Italian prison for the death of her housemate, might go free next week. According to Reuters, the defense and prosecution in Knox’s appeals case begin final arguments today.
Knox, now 24, was convicted in 2009 of the murder of her English housemate Meredith Kercher, 21. Knox, who was portrayed in the media as a party girl who spiraled out of control, has maintained her innocence throughout the legal process. “I and Raffaele are paying with our lives for a crime we did not commit,” Knox said when the appeals trial started last year. Her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted and sentences to 25 years.
In July, independent forensic experts found that the DNA evidence that helped put Knox away was unreliable and that police scientists had made numerous errors. One big error: no evidence supported the police’s claim that Knox had handled a knife (thought to be the murder weapon) with Kercher’s blood on it. Because of these findings, Knox could be freed as early as next week, when the new verdict is expected to be revealed.
The LA Times reported earlier this month that a court denied the prosecution’s request for more DNA testing – another positive development for Knox. Since the case lacks a clear motive and strong witnesses, DNA evidence was very important for the prosecution.