Amanda Knox entered the final stage of her murder appeal looking tense and somber on Friday, but growing speculation suggests there's a big chance she could win her appeal after questions have been raised about the prosecution's DNA evidence.
Experts have criticized Italian police who handled the investigation, saying they contaminated key evidence. Knox, an American, was convicted after DNA was found on the knife used to kill Meredith Kercher, but none of her DNA was found in the room where the murder was carried out.
Since then, forensic experts have said there was no evidence to support the original police conclusion that Kercher's blood was on a knife handled by Knox that was identified as the murder weapon.
Knox, 24, and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, were convicted of murdering Kercher in 2009 and sentenced to 26 years in prison following her conviction. Sollecito was given 25 years.
Kercher was found lying semi-naked in a pool of blood with her throat slit in her apartment in the university town of Perugia.
Hope started to grow for Knox in her appeal after a panel of forensic experts issued a report that deemed key DNA evidence to be contaminated and poorly handled, saying it should have been presented in court.
Manuela Comodi, a prosecutor in the case, told ABC news that the work carried out by the forensic panel was inadequate, unreliable and flawed, saying they were incapable of carrying out the duty they were assigned and asked the court to order more sophisticated tests on the DNA by different experts, but was rebuffed.
The court found the request to be superfluous, but the prosecutor didn't dismiss the possibility that Knox could still win the appeal.
We did our job. I am convinced by what I have said. I am fully convinced of their guilt and I would find it very serious if they were set free, she told ABC news.
Meanwhile, a prosecutor against Knox's murder conviction urged the jurors in the appeals case to put themselves in the shoes of the parents of the murder victim, as the case entered its final phase, according to CNN.
Italian prosecutors, however, argued on Friday that Knox should be kept in prison and displayed a series of bloody crime scene photos, including close-ups of Kercher's wounds, ABC news reported.
A verdict is expected by early next month. If acquitted, both Knox and her ex-boyfriend would be freed immediately, said Carlo Fiorio, a professor of criminal procedure at the University of Perugia. They could also have their sentences confirmed, shortened or lengthened, he told Reuters.