Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Amanda Knox Murder Conviction Overturned by Italy High Court

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Amanda Knox Murder Conviction Overturned by Italy High Court

Article excerpt

ROME * Italy's highest court overturned on Friday the murder conviction against American Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of Knox's roommate, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that captivated trial-watchers on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Finished!" Knox's attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova exulted after the decision was read late Friday. "It couldn't be better than this."

The Supreme Court of Cassation overturned last year's convictions by a Florence appeals court and declined to order another trial. The judges declared that the two did not commit the crime, a stronger exoneration than merely finding that there wasn't enough evidence to convict.

In a statement issued from her home in Seattle, Knox said she was "relieved and grateful" for the decision.

"The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal," she said, thanking her supporters for believing in her.

Experts have said such a complete exoneration is unusual for the high court, which could have upheld the conviction or ordered a new trial as it did in 2011 when the case first came to its review on appeal.

The justices' reasoning will be released within 90 days.

The decision ends the long legal battle waged by Knox and Italian co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito to clear their names in the death of British student Meredith Kercher, after they spent nearly four years in prison immediately after the murder only to be freed when they were first acquitted in 2011.

The case aroused strong interest in three countries for its explosive mix of young love, murder and flip-flop decisions by Italian courts.

Across the Atlantic, a spontaneous shout of joy erupted from inside the home in Seattle of Knox's mother as the verdict was announced. Several relatives and supporters filtered into the backyard, where they hugged and cheered. …

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