It's been about two and a half months since Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were freed from prison after serving four years of their sentence for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Yesterday an Italian appeals court gave a detailed explanation of why their convictions were overturned. Shockingly, it turns out that there was never any reliable evidence that Knox and Sollecito killed Kercher as part of a drug-fueled, satanic orgy.
According to the Associated Press, Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman's 144-page report states that Kercher was killed by a "lone assassin." In other words, Rudy Guede, who was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering the student. The appeals court found that there were an appalling number of problems with the evidence in the original trial. The DNA evidence was collected improperly and failed to tie Knox and Sollecito to the crime. As for the kitchen knife that supposedly had traces of Kercher's blood on the blade, the appeals court noted that the couple had no reason to take it back to Sollecito's home after the crime, and said the real murder weapon hasn't been found. The appellate court also said Kercher's time of death was probably around 10:15 p.m., not after 11 p.m. like prosecutors said in the first trial.
The report states that the original verdict,
... Was not corroborated by any objective element of evidence and in itself was not, in fact probable: the sudden choice of two young people, good and open to other people, to do evil for evil's sake, just like that, without another reason. It is not, therefore, sufficient that the probability of the prosecutors' hypothesis is greater than the hypothesis of the defense, not even when they are notably greater in number, but it is necessary that every explanation that differs from the prosecutors' hypothesis is, according to the criteria of reasonability, not at all plausible.
The only thing the first trial did get right is that Knox was guilty of slander for accusing Patrick Lumumba of committing the crime, and that Knox and Sollecito's alibis did not match. However, the appellate court said that still doesn't prove they're guilty of anything.
Knox is currently back in Seattle living with her hipster boyfriend (and possibly pining for Sollecito, if you believe the tabloids). She didn't comment on the new report herself, but her parents issued a statement saying they're "pleased" to see the court "reiterate and reaffirm what we have known all along, that Amanda had absolutely nothing to do with the tragic and terrible murder of Meredith Kercher." The Kercher family's lawyer says hearing the reasons "increase the bitterness" of having the convictions overturned. Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini said he doesn't think it's appropriate for him to comment (which may be fore the best since other attorneys have called Knox a "satanic, diabolic, she-devil"), adding that he "believes that the chief prosecutor will appeal the sentence." Prosecutors have another 45 days to file their appeal.