After nearly a decade, the case against Amanda Knox is forever closed.
An Italian court has explained why it tossed the convictions of Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, NBC News reported. Both stood accused of — and Raffaele spent four years in jail for — killing fellow student Meredith Kercher.
At only 21, Kercher was found half-naked and stabbed 40 times in an apartment Amanda shared with her in the Italian city of Perugia. The legal saga that followed requires Cliff’s notes to make sense of, with convictions handed down and appealed, then overturned, left and right.
But finally, and officially, Amanda has been cleared. In March, her conviction was overturned and Amanda fled back to the States, promising not to return to Italy regardless of the outcome of a second trial. Details about the decision were released Monday.
Knox was relieved by the details’ release, Radar Online reported.
“This has been a long struggle for me, my family, my friends, and my supporters. While I am glad it is now over, I will remain forever grateful to the many individuals who gave their time and talents to help me … I will now begin the rest of my life with one of my goals being to help others who have been wrongfully accused.”
The court focused on a couple things, primary among them the complete lack of biological evidence connecting Knox and her ex to Kercher’s death.
Some of the notable problems in the case against Amanda Knox: the supposed murder weapon, a kitchen knife, was found in a cardboard box not to be concealed, but possibly to be wrapped as a present; and a smoking-gun bra clasp that police contended held DNA evidence was left untouched on the floor for 46 days.
A tarnished investigation, mistakes at trial, and malpractice on the part of the courts practically demanded the court overturn Knox’s conviction, the Daily Beast added. The police investigation and prosecution was slammed by the high court for its “stunning weakness” and “investigative bouts of amnesia.”
So how was Amanda Knox convicted in the first place? Police needed a scapegoat and they rushed the investigation into Kercher’s death in order to serve one up, quickly, the court said. Kercher’s “dramatic mode of death,” the international youth connected to her murder, and intense hype and media attention rushed the case against Knox, marring it from the start.
“(The) spasmodic search for one or more guilty parties to offer up to international public opinion … certainly did not aid the search for the truth … (T)he frantic search for one or more culprits … affected not only the timing, but also the completeness and correctness of the investigative activities.”
Meanwhile, a man is in person in connection with Meredith’s death — Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, who is serving 16 years and left plenty of biological evidence behind at the scene. But this fact remains — the evidence suggested the young woman was attacked by three people, leaving two of her killers at large.
Kercher’s mother told the Beast that the court’s decision about Amanda Knox at least puts an end to eight years of trials, and she can now start to heal.
“We don’t really know what to think. But at least hopefully this means we won’t have to hear about Meredith’s murder in the news anymore.”
[Photos Courtesy Stephen Brashear, Franco Origlia, Franco Origlia / Getty Images]