- (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)
The international community has reacted with an array of emotions concerning the acquittal of Amanda Knox, announced just an hour ago from Perugia, Italy, where the case has faced global media coverage for the past four years.
Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were being tried for the murder of Knox’s English roommate, Meredith Kerchner. Knox originally received a sentence of 26 years, and Sollecito 25 years. Both were acquitted in Italian appeals court today.
The court announced that the DNA evidence was not sufficient enough to convict Knox of murder. The court did convict her for the lesser charges of defamation, but she has already served more than enough time over the past four years for those charges.
Public outcry concerning Knox’s acquittal began the minute she left the courthouse. Some of those gathered applauded, while other booed, shouting “disgrace” and “shame.”
Family members and lawyers of Knox celebrated in the courtroom, shaking hands, crying and hugging.
"We are thankful that our nightmare is over. She has suffered for four years for a crime she did not commit,” Deanna Knox told reporters on the steps of the courthouse, moments after her sister’s innocence was announced.
Within 10 minutes of announcing the verdict, 297 people commented on MSN’s Facebook page regarding Knox’s innocence. Although some disagreed with the jury, most comments were expressing relief that justice was served and peace towards Amanda and her family:
“Yes, they got it right this time. God bless them and their families,” commented Sharon Warren.
Others continue to express doubt: “Don’t know what to say! It’s still baffling me, who knows,” said Samir Samura.
Similarly, followers of the case took to Twitter airwaves to express their concern.
“Even though I know virtually nothing about the case, it seems Amanda Knox really got off lightly with being cleared of murder,” tweeted Jacob_Prichard.
“Brilliant. America has a new OJ Simpson,” tweeted totalkhaos, Kevin Biggs.
With the acquittal announced, Knox will return to the Perugia prison to collect her belongings and return to her home in Seattle, Washington.
Followers are now asking what next for Amanda Knox?
“We now respectfully ask you to give her family the privacy to recover from this horrible ordeal,” said Deanne Knox.
Others see future opportunity in the innocent verdict.
“Amanda Knox is gonna make some serious coin now,” tweeted El_Duderino81, Ross Maclean.
Knox owes $34,000 to the Italian government for trial expenses.