Current Events

The Marasca Report: Italy’s Exoneration of Amanda Knox

The Marasca Report: Italy’s Exoneration of Amanda Knox
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Amanda “Foxy Knoxy” Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, have been decidedly cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher by a top Italian court. An explanation of the March ruling was released on 7 September 2015 by the panel of five judges and ends a saga which began on 2007, when Kercher was found murdered in an apartment she shared with Knox. Overzealous prosecutors quickly labeled Knox as the prime suspect and ignored other theories better supported by the evidence. Knox was found guilty of the murder in 2009 and served four years of a 26-year sentence in an Italian prison before being released after winning an appeal. A retrial resulted in another guilty verdict, and the subsequent review by Italy’s top court could potentially have affirmed that guilty verdict and sent her back to prison.

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High Profile Case

The 2009 trial of Amanda Knox garnered world-wide attention. Meredith Kercher’s body was found partially nude with close to 40 stab wounds. Prosecutors hastily developed a theory in which Kercher’s murder resulted from a bizarre sex game, while the intense pressure and focus on Knox initially led her to make false accusations against another man. With the dramatic elements of sex, drugs, lies, and the fate of an American citizen caught up in a foreign judicial system, the curiosity surrounding the case led to Amanda Knox becoming a household name. Extensive news coverage was later supplemented with books such as “Angel Face: Sex Murder, and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox (2010),” a 2011 Lifetime Movie, “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy,” starring Hayden Panettiere as Knox, and a 2011 documentary, “Beyond the Headlines: The Amanda Knox Story.”

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No Happy Ending

The Marasca Report, which details the top Italian court’s reasoning behind their decision to overturn the murder convictions of Knox and Sollecito, speaks of “glaring errors,” “stunning weakness,” and “investigative bouts of amnesia” occurring on the part of the Italian prosecution. Yet, despite the final ruling of Italy’s top court, which surely provided some relief for Knox and Sollecito, there are no winners in this case at the end of the day. Meredith Kercher remains dead—the victim of a brutal murder. Knox and Sollecito both spent four years of their lives imprisoned in Italy for a crime the court now emphatically states they did not commit. The years of uncertainty, the back and forth of verdicts within the Italian judicial system, and the unimaginable anxiety, grief, and other emotions experienced by all involved have surely given unpredictable scope to the damage caused by the initial tragic event.

Whatever resolutions to this case remain, nothing can restore what was taken from Kercher, nor from Knox and Sollecito. And then there is the ever-present cloud of suspicion which has not fully dissipated with this latest and final ruling. Despite the court’s forceful declarations of the flaws in this case, questions will remain in the minds of others for years to come, and there will always be some who remain convinced that Amanda Knox got away with murder.

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Randal A. Burd Jr. is a freelance writer, educator, and poet from Missouri. He is also a Kentucky Colonel and a genealogy enthusiast.

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