As I have spent the last four years wondering about Amanda Knox’s fate, I’ve been watching her mother, Edda Mellas, through the ordeal. Â She has never for one minute given up on the fact that her daughter was innocent and should be set free. As the mother of a daughter (who is now 8), I, too, would fight for her life until she got out and would let nothing get in my way until she was set free.
Today Amanda Knox gave a speech she prayed would lead to her freedom. Here is an excerpt:
- Meredith was killed and I always wanted justice for her.Â I am not running away from the truth, and I never escaped from the truth.Â I insist on finding the truth.Â I insist after four desperate years, on my innocence, and on our innocence, because it is the truth and we deserve to be protected, recognized.Â
I want to go back home, I want to go back to my life. I donâ€™t want to be punished. I donâ€™t want my life taken away from me, my future, for something I didnâ€™t do because I am innocent.Â Rafaelle is innocent. We deserve freedom because we didnâ€™t commit this crime.
She broke down when the verdict was read. Â I will never forget the look on her face – it was of such intense relief and shock. Â I can’t imagine how her mother felt when it was read.
Amanda’s mom has stood by her side since the beginning, when she was arrested before her mom herself could land in Italy after the murder of Amanda’s room mate, Meredith Kercher. Â Her daughter had been interrogated, hit, screamed at, threatened and confessed under extreme duress. Â That confession, however, was the result of hours of forced interrogation in which no attorney was present for Knox and the prosecution reportedly invented dozens of possible scenarios for what happened, until Knox agreed to one.
Her mom has spent every waking moment for the last four years fighting for her daughter’s freedom. Determined to no end, she and her family have nearly gone bankrupt in their constant trips to and from Perugia, and they have never given up to see her walk free.
It all came down to a lack of evidence today. Â The case was built on character. Â Knox was called a “she-devil” and that was what the defense was building their case on. Â The DNA evidence that originally put Knox and her boyfriend, RafaelleÂ Sollecito,Â behind bars would have never been admitted into a U.S. court. The samples were too small and too contaminated, and when an independent panel of forensic scientists viewed the evidence this time, they found more than 50 critical errorsÂ in how it was collected, tested and stored.
For Mellas and her family, they are relieved to see Knox set free. Â But they have made it very clear that they feel sorry for Kercher’s family. They understand that their daughter will never come home, like their own, and it is obvious that they wish she could. Â I know that the Kerchers are upset, wondering if their daughter’s murderer is now going free and feeling as though their own daughter has been forgotten. Â I don’t think that England has forgotten about her, and I also don’t think that Kercher herself would want an innocent girl to go to prison unfairly. Â Kercher sounded like an amazing young woman, who had dreamt of spending time abroad and was just like me as a young girl before I, too, set out to live in England.
They loved her very much and I hope that they can live with the verdict and come to terms with the court’s decision and the fact that a wrong decision was made about Amanda’s Knox in 2009 when they convicted her and gave her 27 years in prison. Â That decision had to be over-turned.
How did you feel about the verdict?