December 4th, 2009
09:48 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Amanda Knox Guilty of Murder

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/12/04/italy.knox.trial/t1larg.knox.bars.gi.jpg caption="Amanda Knox is driven into court at midnight in Perugia, Italy, to hear the verdict in her murder trial." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

American Amanda Knox is facing 26 years in an Italian prison after a jury convicted her of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher, while they were exchange students in the city of Perugia in 2007. Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend was also convicted. Raffaele Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years.

The two were convicted of all charges, except theft. They must pay 5 million euros to the victim's family. Knox must also pay 40,000 euros to a man who she falsely accused of the killing.

When the judge read the jury's verdict, Knox started to weep and said "No, no."

In a written statement, Knox's parents said they were "extremely disappointed" in the verdict.

"While we always knew this was a possibility, we find it difficult to accept this verdict when we know that she is innocent, and that the prosecution has failed to explain why there is no evidence of Amanda in the room where Meredith was so horribly and tragically murdered," they said.

"It appears clear to us that the attacks on Amanda's character in much of the media and by the prosecution had a significant impact on the judges and jurors and apparently overshadowed the lack of evidence in the prosecution's case against her."

Prosecutors said Kercher died during a sex game in which Knox taunted her while Sollecito and an acquaintance Rudy Guede sexually assaulted her. Guede was convicted in a separate trial and is appealing.

Tonight on 360°, you'll hear from Knox's aunt.

"They [the jury/the italian legal system] screwed up. They made a huge mistake. People are cheering about it now. I'm disgusted by that. I'm absolutely disgusted my family had to come out of that courtroom and hear people cheering Amanda has been convicted of something she had nothing to do with it," said Janet Huff on CNN's Campbell Brown show.

"What upsets me most about this is, i guess you can't change an entire country's way of justice and their court system, but the fact their jurors are not sequestered, they are allowed to go home, talk to their friends, reads the newspapers and go online, read whatever they want and believe it or not that does affect their decision-making process," she added.

Do you agree with the verdict? Share your thoughts below.

Join us for this story and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Sarah, Canterbury UK

    Meredith Kerchers family have maintained a dignified silence and they have finally seen their daughter's killers tried and convicted.

    Amanda Knox has lied from day one and the Italian court saw through that. Clearly her family would not wish to think she could do something so evil, and I can see why they would wish to support her.

    I only hope Meredith can finally rest in peace and her family find the courage to move on.

    The Italian system is no better or worse than that of the US or the UK.

    December 7, 2009 at 6:11 am |
  2. Andy

    I became aware of the Amanda Knox story only recently, during the last news cycle. I am no expert on the case but from what I can tell she is an innocent victim of a group of overly zealous prosecutors that for what ever reason had it in for her from the very beginning. If Amanda had taken part in the murder, in my opinion there would have been a huge amount of evidence against her. A murder of this sort is messy. Drugs, sex, ritual, and knifing make for a huge amount of evidence. How can the prosecutors explain away the lack of DNA and other evidence? It seems to me that in Italy when someone is accused of a crime he or she is guilty before proven innocent and not the other way around. What ever happened to proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt? What perplexes me are some of the viscous comments made above. Just imagine facing a 24 year sentence for something you didn't do. Or even worse, imagine this happening to your daughter? What has happened to civility in our world?

    December 6, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  3. Neil

    What an utter load of tosh!

    Think about the inconsistencies of Knox's claims, her accusations towards other people by trying to vindicate them and the DNA evidence provided.

    If these are Knox's words verbatim, the four-sentence statement (above) gives us many red flags that are hard to ignore.

    The choice of words "while I stayed in the kitchen" is indicative that Knox was somehow doing something with Patrick and Meredith...yet in the report above, she does not say she is. This is contradictory. "To stay" is indicative of "staying behind" as if to break away from the group.

    The words "I can only say" and "at a certain point" are unique as well. When we recollect a story, we don't talk like this. When we are controlling facts and being deceptive, however, we do. We only remember details that are important to us, and forget the rest. Knox really wants us to know that she wasn't in the room, but doesn't remember anything else. How interesting is that?

    "I was scared so I covered my ears." When people are afraid because someone is screaming, they typically react by (A) running away for help, or (B) running to the aid of the screamer. Fear evokes a response.

    You don't ignore a fearful/terrifying scream from someone, and hope it goes away by covering your ears when you or they could be in danger...unless, of course you know the reason behind the screams - and know you are not in danger.

    "After that, I don't remember everything" When people are deceptive, the often have a selective memory - remembering "only" what they want us to know and forgetting everything else. It's so convenient. Too convenient - especially considering strong emotions should have been elicited by the screams - which in turn should have burned searing memories that can't be purged, no matter how hard she tries. Yet Knox seems to only remember one selective thing. I'm not buying it.

    If Knox wasn't in the room participating in the killing, then her words (if they are indeed hers) certainly hint that she knew what was going on behind those closed doors. It hints she was involved with Patrick and Meredith, yet her story is leaving out any involvement with Meredith.

    Each of these four sentences has a red flag in it. That's a strong indication of deception. I don't believe Knox is being honest with us –if these do in fact prove to be her words verbatim. That is now the question.

    December 6, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  4. jermaine

    she did the crime now she is going to do the time

    December 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Amanda's family and supporters need to speak and be humble when in the media regarding Italy's judicial system, they weren't and think it hurt her in the end. We can't demand justice by being disrespectful and expect an Italian judge to look you in the eye as Amanda's father mentioned, her father too should have bowed his head as the judge and jury did and not look like he was trying to intimidate them, it doesn't work like that. I hope they will learn to be humble to get their daughter released, it might work.

    December 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  6. Craig

    Knox has been found guilty of the murder she committed. Bravo Italy for not being intimadated by American ignorant public opinion and Knox' dysfunctional family.
    Knox is clearly displaying signs of borderline personality, bi-polar disorder most likely. What is sad is to see how little her "loving" parents know about their daughter. It seems they do not have a real relationship with her and probably never bothered to have one.
    This trial hit their pockets – and lets face it – money is all it counts in US. So, I'll say good thing they will lose most of it. I am also appaled that they are not thinking about their other children who will need financial support for their lives. Drowning all the funds in Amanda seems like another sign of sickness in that family. Though I saw they set up a fund for Amanda they will not get a penny from me – I do not support convicted killers. No apologies. Knox family would do well to spend their moeny on intensive therapy for denial and dysfunction that plagues them.

    December 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  7. Zanz

    Well I would never visit Italy. There justice system sucks. Where was the real evidence? All hear say and stuff made up by the prosecution. I don't believe she would have been convicted in the US. They suck over there!!! It's like they let the tabloids determine the case.

    December 6, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  8. John

    There was a court case.

    A Judge and Jury of their peers found them guilty.

    Case closed.

    They got what they deserved, looking forwards to the failure of the appeal!

    RIP Meredith, justice served!

    December 6, 2009 at 2:47 am |
  9. Cindy

    I followed this story and I believe that Amanda and her boyfriend are both innocent. If you follow the story and the facts there is a clear explanation for every discrepancy that the prosecutor questioned. They say the boyfriend lied when he claimed to have called the police ( when he arrived at the apartment and saw the carnage). He had a relative in the police department and had called that relative to report the crime. It goes and on, there is no evidence against either of them. I believe this crime was committed by one person and he was convicted early on.

    December 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  10. joel

    I'm amazed how many people on the television news shows,etc are so convinced that this girl is not guilty of these charges. I personally don't know if she is or isn't because I was not sitting in the courtroom listening to all the evidence as it was presented and cross-examined. How can people who weren't privy to all the evidence have a definitive opinion on this?

    December 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  11. debbie

    What is the evidence against her besides the pathetic dna knife, bra, and bad behavior. give me a break! This was all they had? I will continue to pray for amanda and rafaelle and their freedom. Why doesnt guede just spill it.

    December 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  12. Sophia Sommer

    I have to believe that justice has been served. I am actually surprised that a pretty white American girl didn't get away with murder. Why are people so outraged at her conviction? I don't really get it. And no parent ever believes that their child is guilty of whatever crime they are convicted of. I volunteer at a prison and everyone is always "innocent". I feel for them but like Casey Anthony's parents and others, they cannot fathom that real evil exists in people who are seemingly normal especially not their perfect wonderful kids. Blah, I actually commend the Italian jsutice system for using commen sense, something not present in our justice system. Look at her eyes, there is pure evil behind them, and they see it, a Spanish jury would see it, and African jury would see it but spoiled white Americans just can't.

    December 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  13. Nicky

    I think it's high time that American's boycott all things Italian and even the US Government should remove all military bases from Italy and even slap tariffs and embargo all goods and products from Italy until they Free Amanda Knox.

    That trial was a sham and the Italians have convicted the wrong person based on false and circumstantial evidence that would have never held up in any western civilized court. The Italians are nothing more than corrupt inept and plainly medieval government.

    The US should punish Italy in the same way they did in after world war 2 and they should punish them again for that they did to Amanda Knox.

    December 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  14. Jimmy

    I am not sure if she is guilty or not... but most Americans believe Amanda is innocent. A number I have talked to are going to avoid buying Italian products and are not going to travel to Italy... ever. The majority of parents from all countries will no longer allow their kids to go to school in Italy. The end result will in fact cost Italy billions of dollars.

    December 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  15. Robert Etherington

    Remind me America, don't you still use the medieval, third-world ,punishment of "death"?... a punishment long ago eliminated by civilised countries.
    What happens when you kill someone based on your justice system who is then, subsequently discovered to be innocent?

    At least Knox keeps her life and may, on appeal, win her freedom. This is an option not available when your legal system's ultimate penalty fails.

    December 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  16. vince vanlear

    Our government and its citizens should stand up and fight this miscarriage of justice. The evidence was not there. The motive was not there. Therefore she nor her boyfriend could be convicted of anything. If we allow this type of anti-american feeling to go unchecked then all of us who travel to Italy or any other country could be fair game of this type of injustice.

    December 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  17. Demi

    As a British person how can you Americans bury your heads in the sand and say that this girl is innocent when it is very clear that she is guilty, a liar, a racist (accusing an innocent black man and she was not forced to do this, she looked through her phone saw his name and said it was him), evidence from her myspace proved that this sort of character was in her nature. The only injustice in this case was that she did not get life inprisonment she is a despicable, vile, creature and there was ample of evidence to convict her. It's quite easy for you guys to pluck evidence out of the sky to accuse someone of terrorism.

    December 5, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  18. Jules

    Amanda Knox is in denial , as are many misguided Americans. There is so much evidence against Amanda , she could have been found guilty in any country . Before you condemn the Italian justice system , please remember the OJ Simpson trial, money talks in the US justice system. Would you all be so quick to condemn the trial and verdict if it was an American student brutaly murdered ? Research the evidence on line, get the facts. There are no winners here, one young girl is dead and three other young people are going to serve long prison sentences

    December 5, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  19. proudlyitalian

    I do not understand why you guys are making such a fuss about Amanda. What about the other two convicted of the same crime? There will be an appeal and the verdict will probably change once everybody calms down. All these stories about Italian medieval justice, anti-American biases, media circuses, etc., do not go to the core of the problem, namely that, like her Italian ex-boyfriend, Amanda failed to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that she is innocent. If she does it this time, she will be acquitted, otherwise she will serve 26 years in prison. Period. Ah, and those who want to boycott Italy and everything Italian are demonstrating that the Middle Ages are not over, but not in Italy...

    December 5, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  20. Caitlyn

    They have no evidence linking Knox to the room. They have only attacked her character over and over again. The "murder weapon" they found was an ordinary kitchen knife that had Amanda's finger prints on it. But the DNA on the knife did not match the victim and they can't say for certain if the DNA is even human. They forced a fake confession after 12 HOURS of interrogation. Could you imagine a group of Italian police officers shouting at you for 12 hours, telling you that you are a liar and that your boss had something to do with the murder? She had a text on her phone from her boss that said “See you later” and they used this in their interrogation. The only other piece of evidence Knox has against her was her blood in the bathroom. Has everyone forgotten that she lived in that house and that that was her bathroom too? She had a piercing in her ear that had been infected. That’s all.

    Her conviction was based solely on the prosecutions attacks on her morality and the press eating it up. If you look at the raw facts, there is no way the prosecution can prove that she did it nor can they link her ex-boyfriend.

    They caught the real murderer, Rudy Guede, who’s DNA was found in the room. They caught him in an attempt of fleeing Italy. His original story said that neither Knox nor Sollecito were in the house at all.

    She is not guilty and I am stunned that no one is stepping in and doing something.

    December 5, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  21. clarabows

    I've watched this case with interest. In the UK (where I am) I doubt she would have been have been charged. The case didn't seem robust to me and there seems to be a huge lack of evidence and throw into the pot the fact the crime scene was messed about so much.

    I disagree strongly with peoples comments on here that Justice has been served.

    Her personal life has been ripped apart, made to look like a whore when in fact.....she sounds pretty much like most 22 year olds here.

    She may have behaved strangely in the police station, perhaps the police hammed it up (real possibility).....doesn't make her a killer.

    Remove all the emotive hearsay from this case and when you view the facts, there are very few.

    I don't think she should have been convicted or her boyfriend.

    December 5, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  22. Tricia

    I'm British, and I feel Knox got off lightly by being sentenced to an Italian jail. The documentaries showing prison life and injustices in the American jails and prosecutions is just downright terrifying. At least this way the killer will have her human rights respected and not have to endure the racially drawn up gang culture and overcrowdedness of an Amercian jail. She is guilty and justice has been served. People need to respect the laws of their host country and respect the lives of fellow human beings. If the victim had been the only American in this case, how would you guys have reacted to Knox's verdict?

    December 5, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  23. Sherri

    Ms. Kercher's family should be as outraged as anyone at the lack ofjustice done here. I am apalled!!!

    December 5, 2009 at 5:39 am |
  24. yvonne

    The facts as I have researched them seem to be -#1 Motive I believe is the rapist. #2 Fleeing from the country. #3 The rapist's dna , fingerprints, and shoe footprint found in the victims room. #4 The shoebox found in the rapist's flat (where he stayed).

    It looks like the investigators, or attorneys, or police, or a combination of them missed the basic facts and evidence right in front of them.

    I think it's time for the government of the united states to get involved!

    December 5, 2009 at 5:14 am |
  25. william

    Americans should Boycott all Italian products and Refuse to travel to Italy until that silly, uncivilized country learns how to administer Justice in a fair manner.
    Of course Amanda's DNA was in the cottage, she lived there. Your DNA is all over your home too. They did not find her DNA in the room where the murder took place. The Italian prosecutor was on a witch hunt from the beginning because he found her permiscuity to be satanic. What might we find in his closet?
    Amanda is guilty of being naive, careless, and immature......Hardly worth 26 years in prison.
    Americans should give Italy the Boot - No more Italian wine, olive oil, or clothing for me.

    December 5, 2009 at 4:08 am |
  26. sue kennedy

    So people in USA think she is innocent because she is american. so what about her Italian boyfriend is he also innocent. They were all at the house when Meredith was murdered and then lied about it, thats GUILTY in my eyes. If Meredith was an american and Amanda another nationality I doubt very much that people here would be disagreeing with the verdict. Justice at last for Meredith her family and fairplay to Italy

    December 5, 2009 at 4:07 am |
  27. georgy_it

    there isnt much to add to what has been said so far in behalf of Amanda and Raffaele, I believe they are innocent victimes of a system which dont weigh human values and works only for it self, justice gained nothing from such verdict, it only proved again its demential hypocrisy.

    December 5, 2009 at 4:06 am |
  28. maryam

    i think the verdict is correct because the evidence proves it, how can they explain blood stains on her bra strap and on the knife? so the jury definitely made the right decision.

    December 5, 2009 at 3:46 am |
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