Amanda Knox, the American student originally convicted in 2009 of brutally murdering her former roommate, has issued a statement following Friday’s decision by an Italian appeals court to overturn a guilty verdict handed down by a lower appeals court last year, which itself overturned an earlier acquittal.
Knox, who potentially faced extradition and a 28-year prison sentence for her alleged involvement in the death, expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court of Italy and her supporters. Knox, now 28, and her family awaited the verdict in their Seattle home. Her statement, via Seattle's KING-TV:
“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy,” she said. “The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal. And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me. I only wish that I could thank each and every one of you in person.”
Her family also released a statement:
“We want to express our profound gratitude to all of those who have supported Amanda and our family. Countless people -- from world-renowned DNA experts, to former FBI agents, to everyday citizens committed to justice -- have spoken about her innocence,” they said. “We are thrilled with and grateful for today's decision from the Supreme Court of Italy. And we are grateful beyond measure for all that so many of you have done for her.”
Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, spent four years in jail immediately after the 2009 conviction. They and a second man, Rudy Guede, were accused of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher with a knife and sexually assaulting her. Guede was tried separately from Knox and Sollecito and is serving a 16-year sentence in Italy. The Kercher family was not happy that Knox and Sollecito were set free. Their lawyer called it “a defeat for the Italian justice system,” the Associated Press reported.