Amanda Knox Makes Tearful Plea Prior to Verdict [Video]

Before the jury was sent off to deliberate the case of Amanda Knox, the US student made a tearful plea in the Italian court room.

Knox said:

“I did not kill, I did not rape. I am paying with my life for things that I did not commit…I am not who they say I am. The perversion, the violence, the lack of respect for life—I did not do the things they are saying I did. I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal. I was not there.”

The court is expected to deliver the verdict this evening.

The BBC reports that Knox, who was speaking in Italian, had been working on the speech for three months, but she did not use any notes while delivering her tearful address to the courtroom.

Knox, 24, was sentenced to 26 years in prison in 2009 for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was given a 25-year sentence. Prosecutors say that if the verdict is overturned they will file an appeal.

Knox ended her statement, saying:

“I want to return home, to my life, I don’t want to be punished, deprived of my future for something that I didn’t do. Because I am innocent, Raffaele is innocent, and we deserve freedom because we didn’t do anything wrong. I have great respect for this court and the attention you had in this trial, and so I thank you and all I ask for is justice.”

Here is a video of the statement Amanda Knox gave in court today. (You can read the full translation at the New York Times.)

Do you think Amanda Knox is innocent? The verdict is expected to be delivered by 2 p.m. EST.

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