Amanda Knox, the American student once convicted of murder in Italy, saw her conviction overturned in March. The court that set aside the conviction issued its formal written explanation this week, offering a scathing criticism of the prosecution’s flawed case against Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.
The case against Amanda Knox began in 2007 when her roommate, Meredith Kercher, was found stabbed to death in the apartment the women shared while studying in Perugia, Italy. According the Associated Press, the court’s explanation notes that the investigation found an “absolute lack of biological traces” connected Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito to the crime the scene. In fact, the court wrote, the investigation was flawed from the outset.
The court’s explanation called the investigation of Amanda Knox “objectively wavering, whose oscillations are… the result also of stunning weakness or investigative bouts of amnesia and of blameworthy omissions of investigative activity.”
According to The Guardian, the court cited intense media scrutiny of the case as being partly to blame for the botched job. Because the media wanted a suspect to be named, investigators prematurely focused in on Amanda Knox.
“The international spotlight on the case in fact resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration, that, in the frantic search for one or more guilty parties to consign to international public opinion, certainly didn’t help the search for substantial truth,” the court wrote.
The Guardian reports that the court also called arguments made by the prosecution during the trial of Amanda Knox “illogical.” For example, the court wrote, the prosecution’s assertion that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had selectively cleaned the apartment to conceal evidence was impossible.
In it’s March ruling, the appeals court declared that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito did not murder Meredith Kercher. This was significant, because it was more forceful than simply ruling that the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence to reach a conviction.
Though she was not guilty of murder, the appeals court’s explanation did note that Amanda Knox likely did commit another offense. At the time Amanda Knox was questioned, she blamed the killings on Meredith Kercher’s boss, who spent weeks in jail before being exonerated. The court wrote the point was moot, however, because the maximum sentence for that crime was three years and Amanda Knox had previously served four years in prison following her initial conviction.
Carlo Dalla Vedova, an attorney on the Amanda Knox defense team, told the Associated Press that his client was “satisfied and happy” to read the court’s explanation.
“At the same time, it’s a very sad story. It’s a sad story because Meredith Kercher is no longer with us, and this is a tragedy nobody can forget,” he added.
[Photo by Stephen Brashear via Getty Images]