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article imageItaly's high court clears Amanda Knox and boyfriend of murder

By Nathan Salant     Mar 28, 2015 in Crime
Rome - Eight years of legal proceedings, two murder convictions and four years of prison later, the question still remains: Did she, or didn’t she?
That deceptively simple question now looks like it may never be answered in the case of Amanda Knox, the Seattle woman acquitted Friday of killing her South London flatmate in Perugia, Italy, in 2007.
Italy’s highest court ruled Friday that there was not enough evidence to convict Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, of killing 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in a case that captured the world’s attention with a brutal stabbing and stunningly salacious details.
The ruling cleared both of them of killing Kercher and cannot be appealed; the court could have, but did not, order a retrial.
"I'm still absorbing the present moment, which is full of joy," Knox, 27, told reporters at a news conference in Seattle on Friday night, according to the Reuters news service.
"I'm grateful to have my life back," she said.
Knox and Sollecito had maintained their innocence throughout the proceedings.
Had a retrial been ordered, it would have been the third trial for Knox and Sollecito, who had already been convicted twice of killing Kercher, who was found stabbed to death in a house she shared with Knox in 2007.
An Ivory Coast man, Rudy Guede, is serving a 16-year prison sentence for the killing, but judges have ruled he did not act alone, Reuters said.
Knox and Sollecito were facing more than two decades in prison after the second conviction.
"Meredith was my friend," Knox told reporters, Reuters said.
“She deserved so much in this life,” Knox said.
Knox’s lawyer in Italy, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said the defense team was satisfied with the ruling.
"We shouldn't have had to wait all these years, but we have a good decision today, so we are happy," he said.
But a lawyer for the Kercher family, Francesco Maresca, had a far different view of the decision.
"This is not so much a defeat for the prosecution as a defeat for Italy's justice system," Maresca told Reuters outside the Court of Cassation courtroom in Rome.
"The judges said there is a lack of proof and whoever acted with Guede has not been found," Maresca said.
If Knox’s conviction had been upheld, Italy’s government likely would have attempted to have her extradited from Seattle, where she has lived since 2011.
Knox’s grandfather, Bill Knox, told Reuters by telephone that he was “relieved and ecstatic” with the ruling and said she would be able to continue with her life in Seattle, where she worked as a journalist and was engaged to marry a rock musician.
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