Amanda Knox: Freedom

After seeing the airplane touch down at Seattle-Tacoma airport last night, I felt a sense of relief that Amanda Knox was safely home from her four-year ordeal in Italy.

OK, there were tears in my eyes, too.  I can be a softie.

Getting her life back on track may take a long time – but Amanda has the time now – she is free.  After four years in prison one does not just step back into life.  It will take lots of love from her family and friends to put her life back together.

For those who are not familiar with Amanda Knox and her situation, she was convicted in an Italian Court of murdering her roommate (Meredith Kercher).  The murder occurred in November 2007 when the 20 year old Knox, an American and a University of Washington student, was studying in Italy.  Knox’s boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also convicted of the murder.  Knox received a 26 year sentence and Sollecito received 25 years.  A third person, Rudy Guede, was also convicted of the murder.  Guede remains in prison for the murder where he is serving 16 years (he was initially sentenced to 30 years).  An Italian appeals court reversed the convictions of Knox and Sollecito on Monday (October 3, 2011).

Like many folks, I happened to read about her story on the internet a few years ago.  I caught CNN Presents – Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story in May, and I read a fantastic Rolling Stone article about her situation in June.  I was hooked on this miscarriage of justice.  I also followed a group on Twitter for updates, and frequently visited websites supporting Amanda often. I tweeted #FreeAmandaKnox in both English and Italian.  I prayed for Amanda and her family.

I don’t have very good thoughts about the Italian justice system – except that they did get the man who committed the crime (Rudy Guede).  But rounding up people and finding them guilty first and then letting them sit in prison fighting through the appeal system is hardly justice.

I found myself thinking that I was happy that I live in the United States.  Our justice system is far from perfect, but it looks a lot better after watching the Italian justice system in action.  Although I don’t travel very much these days, one place I won’t go even if I get the chance is Italy.

One thing we must remember is the family of Meredith Kercher (the Knox family attorney mentioned them at the press conference).  Sadly, the Kercher family will never feel the joy that the Knox family and friends felt Tuesday night in Seattle.

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