Amanda Knox cleared of murder
Perugia, Italy (CNN) — A jury cleared Amanda Knox of murder and other charges today, nearly four years after she was arrested on suspicion of having killed her roommate in this picturesque Italian university town.
The jury evidently believed Knox’s impassioned final statement to the court, delivered in a voice trembling with emotion.
“I am not what they say I am — perverse, violent. … I haven’t murdered. I haven’t raped. I haven’t stolen,” Knox said in the most important speech of her life.
Knox was, however, judged guilty of defamation against Patrick Lumumba, an early suspect in the case. She had accused club owner Lumumba of killing British college student Meredith Kercher in 2007 in Perugia.
She and her defense team succeeded in overturning a conviction handed down two years ago by a different jury, which found her and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito guilty of killing of Kercher, who was sexually assaulted and killed. Her throat had been slashed.
“I am innocent,” Knox said today.
Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga reminded the jury that they had to be convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Knox and Sollecito were guilty if they were to uphold the conviction.
At least four members of the jury — composed of six members of the public and two judges — must have concluded they did, indeed, have doubts about her conviction.
A majority ruling was all that was needed to throw out the conviction, with a tie favoring the defense. The actual vote will remain secret, but the main judge, Claudio Pratillo Hellman, will file a statement explaining the jury’s reasoning within 90 days of the ruling.