The Knox murder trial was sensational news in Italy, England and the U.S. In the end, however, it amounted to little more than a mistake.
That mistake cost Amanda Knox 1,425 days of freedom. From Nov. 6, 2007, until today, Knox has been locked up in an Italian jail for a crime she did not commit.
The blame for Knox’s suffering rests firmly at the door of the Italian justice system. At this final chapter in the story there is just no arguing that the arrest, charging and trial were one huge exercise in folly. In retrospect, it appears that the prosecution’s case was not simply lacking in clear motive, undisputed testimony and physical evidence. It had none.
The bizarre notion of a sex game that descended into murder was a good example of using innuendo in place of fact.
The conflicting and changing testimony of a drug addict, who claimed Knox was at the crime scene, was considered trustworthy despite his dubious recollection of the actual date (a salient point given that Knox actually lived at the crime scene).
The physical evidence was limited to tainted DNA taken from a knife that very well could have been used by both Kercher and Knox. That slim factor, discounted in the appeal, was the only glue holding the conviction together.
On Tuesday, Knox won her appeal. It took about 90 minutes to pack her few belongings from the jail, race past a bloodthirsty mob of Italians, yelling “Shame, shame!” and disappear into the anonymity of traffic.
This story, which began with a heinous murder, spiraled into an innocent woman’s nightmare prompted by grandstanding prosecutors and took four lengthy years to grind through the courts, has run its course.
In subsequent days and weeks, Knox will have plenty of time to consider something far more promising than a 26-year prison sentence. She will be able to consider her future.
That future may hold a potential financial windfall: profitable speaking engagements, book deals and other cushy celebrity junkets. If Knox and her family choose, these opportunities may help to ease the financial burden that she and her family have labored under during these last four years.
Most importantly, this future will contain the endless possibilities of an individual released from undeserved captivity. The joy with which this verdict has been received in our region suggests many of us are vicariously enjoying the delicious taste of Knox’ newfound freedom.
Knox is now free to consider the dates of Nov. 6, 2007 (her arrest date) and Oct. 3, 2011 (her release date) as the bookends of a legal nightmare. She and her family are free to celebrate a decision that is 1,425 days overdue.
It is time to bring her home.