Italy clears Amanda Knox of murder that gripped the world

Italy’s highest court overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Friday, bringing to a definitive end the eight-year legal drama that captivated people on both sides of the Atlantic. The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Knox and Italian co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito. Both Knox, who was awaiting the verdict in her hometown of Seattle, and Sollecito have long maintained their innocence in the death of British student Meredith Kercher. The 27-year-old, who served four years in prison before being freed on appeal in 2011, said: “The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal.”

Finally I can resume my life. I still can’t quite believe it. Finally I will no longer have to spend all my time with legal papers. I can return to normal.

Raffaele Sollecito

Knox and Sollecito believed they had been freed to resume their normal lives when they were first acquitted in 2011. But that decision was found to be flawed by the Court of Cassation in 2013, leading to a retrial in Florence which reinstated the initial convictions last year and increased Knox’s sentence to 28 years and six months. This decision means the judges, after thoroughly examining the case, concluded that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence. Their reasoning will be released within 90 days. The case has aroused strong interest in three countries for its explosive mix of young love, murder and flip-flop decisions by Italian courts.