Media reacts to Amanda Knox acquittal
Here is a selection of reactions by Italian, British and American media to the acquittal on appeal of US citizen Amanda Knox and Italian Raffaele Sollecito of the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007.
Corriere della Sera, Italy
Never before has the media aspect of a trial so outstripped the judicial aspect. The English media, who are on the side of the victim, the poor Meredith Kercher, renamed the pretty Amanda "Foxy Knoxy" just to underline her elusive craftiness. The American media, on the other hand, all support her… If you add this to the mess of the investigation and the disavowal of the expert [analysis], you see how far the story has gone off the rails of a judicial investigation and onto the more fanciful, popular ones of TV.
La Stampa, Italy
Even if the rules have been followed, and the sentence is, probably, irrefutable, for the Italian justice system this is not, however, a victory. The confirmation of the evidence was missing; faced with doubt the judges inexorably, but justly, reached their conclusions. Yet this is an acquittal that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth… And so, almost by necessity, the debate shifts to the efficiency of our judicial system and the capacity of our judges, because now there are too many murder cases in which they have failed to give responses that fail to convince completely, or fail to convince at all.
La Repubblica, Italy
Outside the courtroom, after the verdict, the anger of the crowd exploded. They shouted: "Shame! Bastards!" to the judges and lawyers who were being interviewed. More than 1,000 people, mostly youths, shouted their rage, kept back by the cordon and police officers.
But from the American TV trucks parked in front of the building there were cries of joy.
The Guardian, UK
The "many faces of Amanda" was not all media hype, or overheated lawyers' rhetoric. Part of the continuing fascination of the affair will be to see which one is the true one.
Is she just an older version of the compassionate, diligent girl her parents knew back in Seattle - or the predatory and provocative young woman described by some who knew her in Perugia?
Prison may even have made her more enigmatic. "Like all the women in here, she puts a mask on in the morning that she only takes off in the evening, in her own bed, when she is alone," said Father Saulo Scarabattoli, the chaplain at Capanne prison, where she has spent the last four years.
Daily Mail, UK
And for Meredith Kercher's family, the agony will now only continue after last night's dramatic court decision leaves them still wondering how exactly their 'lovely, lovely girl' came to be so horrifically killed.
Adding to their pain, the family have told how their simple search for justice has been overshadowed by the circus surrounding Amanda Knox and her appeal.
When Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty two years ago, the Kerchers' legal team had told them it was an open-and-shut case.
That should have been their closure, marking the end of their questions and the beginning of acceptance.
The Seattle Times, US
The 2007 murder case is a tragedy on many fronts. Kercher's family has every right to want justice for their slain beloved daughter and sister. The family has ached deeply for four years.
The family was not satisfied that there was only one person involved in the killing, a local drifter, Rudy Guede, who admitted to being at the cottage the night of the murder and whose DNA was found all over Kercher's room, on her clothes and body.
But the other tragedy is for a Seattle family and Knox, who has spent more than 1,000 days of her young life behind bars.
Knox is not entirely without fault. In the wild, media-fuelled frenzy following the murder accusations, she falsely accused a bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, for whom she worked at the time and caused him undue pain and suffering.
Still, it is time for Knox to come back to Seattle and resume her life.
Knox was not guilty of the charges against her. She was tried largely in the tabloids and the court of public opinion. Her case was badly mangled by Italy's postal police, and the trial was more of a show trial than anything, with headlines declaring her a sex-crazed monster and impugning her reputation with no facts to support them.
Knox faced 26 years in prison. She would have been middle aged before she was released, having spent more than half her life in a foreign prison. She will spend the rest of her life facing down rumours of her guilt and a tarnished reputation.
[Outside Perugia], coverage of the trial was relatively light. While the fate of Knox and Sollecito were receiving wall-to-wall coverage in the US, the Italian media were treating it as a foreign news story - interesting primarily because it happened to be taking place at home...
If there was a local angle, it was a feeling of resentment over the treatment in the American media of the Italian justice system. During the long coverage of the case, television anchors in the US seemed to display contempt of Knox's treatment... Many Italians have bristled at being judged by the land of OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony; in the closing arguments, one lawyer for the prosecution called attention to the fact that at least Knox didn't face the death penalty... While recent polls have shown that the majority of Italians believe Knox and Sollecito are guilty, others will take comfort in the fact that the justice system can be said to have worked.
"Amanda Knox's case demonstrates how the system is able to react to any errors," says Paola Severino, a lawyer and a professor of criminal law at Rome's LUISS University. "Whatever the result of the original sentence, the accused is guaranteed to be able to be heard by another completely independent judge."
Over the past four years, the Italian legal system has served up a steady diet of salacious, sensational claims about the American's "demonic" sex life that allegedly held the key to the brutal murder of her flatmate, Meredith Kercher. It has made Knox, 24, the most infamous woman on the continent and the subject of books, a feature film, television debates and newspaper articles the world over.
But last night an appeal court jury decided that the portrayal of "Foxy Knoxy" as a manipulative, malevolent killer was nothing more than a myth that had been invented, and then perpetuated, to distract attention from a seriously flawed police investigation.